Ever since the plans for the new £3.2million bus station in Worksop were given the green light back in February 2014, the Guardian has tried to keep you up-to-date with how it was progressing.
Fast-forward 18 months and the wait is now over, with the interchange set to open on Sunday for the first time.
On Tuesday we were given access to all areas of the site, which should help give the area a big boost and is a major part of regeneration plans for the town centre.
In attendance at the ‘completion ceremony’ was Sybil Fielding, chairman of Notts County Council; Alan Rhodes, Notts county council leader; Kevin Greaves, chairman of transport and highways committee at Notts County Council; Bassetlaw MP John Mann and Bassetlaw council leader Simon Greaves amongst many others.
Here’s all you need to know about the impressive facility.
Blueprints for the bus station were approved last year in February 2014, with councillors voting unanimously in favour of granting planning permission.
It is located at the junction of Newcastle Street and Watson Road, opposite Asda.
Wates Construction carried out the work.
Notts County Council designed the facility, which included visits to other stations such as Retford, Newark and Mansfield to find out what worked well.
The running costs of the bus station will be shared by both Notts County Council and Bassetlaw District Council.
The main stages of the bus station included carrying out work on the car park adjacent to the site, which meant it had to be closed for around a month. There are now fewer parking spaces, but it has a newly-laid surface and new lighting.
Work then started on creating a left turn from Watson Road into Newcastle Street, along with other improvements at the junction.
The main construction work on the building started earlier this summer, which also gave the chance to school children and college students to have their design work showcased around the station.
The bus station has eight bays, although more spaces can be added to meet demand if needed.
There is a staffed information point, a café/shop space, toilets, baby changing rooms, covered seating, electronic information screens and CCTV.
There are also some sustainable design features including low energy lighting, solar (pv) cells and rain water harvesting for the toilet flush.
The bus station will be open 7am-7pm Monday-Saturday and will be closed on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Free wi-fi will be available and the station will be well-lit and be monitored by 24-hour CCTV.
Whilst waiting people can enjoy a drink and snack in the cafe area.
There will be staffed travel information desk selling National Express coach tickets.
Mobility scooters can be hired for free.
Did you know?
The bus station is 220 metres from the Priory Shopping Centre, 160 metres from the library, 170 metres from Bridge Street and 500 metres from the Savoy Cinema.
What they said...
Opening the proceedings on Tuesday, Councillor Sybil Fielding, said: “Good morning everyone and welcome to Worksop, especially to the town’s fantastic new bus station. To be here marks the completion of Worksop Bus Station in advance of its opening to the public in a few days time.
“Nottinghamshire County Council’s vision (for Worksop) is for a better place to live, work and visit. For me, this bus station represents the council’s aim of working towards this vision.
“The bus station provides a facility for people who live in the town, those who work in the town or those who commute who can now ride via a bus to a modern and attractive facility. The bus station also offers a great first impression to new visitors to the town.”
Councillor Kevin Greaves said: “As a local member for the town, I am delighted to be here today. In my role as chairman of transport and highways committee I have had the opportunity to closely be involved with the project, which has been a great pleasure.
“As the new bus station is within my ward and the town that I live, it has been a project very much in focus for myself, other local members and of course the public.
“As the construction has progressed it has been great to see the different stages in progress.
“I have attended the site on a number of occasions and thank those who made myself and colleagues very welcome.”
Simon Greaves, leader of Bassetlaw council, said: “Bassetlaw Council is committed to the future of our town centres and the completion of this new bus station marks the important stage in the redevelopment of Worksop itself.
“Over the last few years, we have seen a new cinema, the successful market move in the town centre, the opening of the new library just down the road, the completion of the Old Market Square and improvements to Bridge Street and Bridge Place, and now the most bus station in the county. Another example of millions of pounds of good investment into Bassetlaw and in particular, into Worksop. And there are many more projects that we want to see to drive the regeneration of Worksop town centre.
“It is fantastic that the district council and the county council have been able to work together to make this project happen. That is what team work is about.”
Alan Rhodes, leader of Notts County Council, who also presented a certificate to the students of North Notts College for their artwork which adorns the glazing, said: “We worked so hard for this, we campaigned for this over so many years.
From the day this is open, the bus travelling people of Worksop, will no longer have to stand out in the cold on Hardy Street. They will be able to use this warm, dry, modern facility and it is just what this town needs and what the people of Worksop deserve.
“As leader of the county, it is very special to be here to see the projects that are funded and delivered by the council get completed and opened as planned. The new bus station is more important to us than most because we have waited so long for it, it has been a long, frustrating process.
Bassetlaw MP John Mann said: “It is about time. We have had to fight to get this. It will bring a quality to the town centre. It means that the public can sit inside rather than outside. The town centre is slowly but surely, becoming a decent place to go, but there is more to be done. I am confident that some of the other plans that I have longed call for will now happen.”