Azara Blog: National Express opposes bus station at Cambridge railway station

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Date published: 2006/01/23

The Cambridge Evening News says:

National Express bosses are refusing to shift Cambridge's long-distance coach stops to the railway station after saying they were being "railroaded" into the move.

The firm claimed members of the traffic management area joint committee did not fully consider its ideas for improving Drummer Street bus station to avoid relocating.

Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridge City Council say the move is part of a package of transport management proposals aimed at improving traffic conditions for local buses.

The committee voted this week to relocate the bus stops temporarily to Parkside, despite considerable opposition, until the station development is completed.

Mike Lambden, head of corporate affairs at National Express, said: "We feel our proposed solutions and the potential to both fulfil the needs of coach customers and local residents were dismissed as being too difficult.

"We believe councillors were railroading us into a move to the railway station and the so-called transport interchange.

"This is not something we are prepared to consider as it does not meet the needs of our customers."

But Coun Julian Huppert, the committee chairman, said alternative plans produced by National Express were submitted just days before the decisive meeting and were unworkable.

He said: "I find this absolutely astonishing. We have held lots of discussions over the past 18 months but National Express produced alternative plans just a few days before the meeting.

"The plans were completely and utterly unacceptable. They would have involved building on Christ's Pieces and digging up trees. We have tried to accommodate National Express but we've made it clear our priority is local buses."

Unbelievable, what a way to run a city. Presumably National Express will cave in, they have a business to run. Of course a natural extension to the Drummer Street station, as partly proposed all the way back in 1950, is to take over the Bradwell's Court site when it gets demolished this year, but that would involve the city paying some money for good reason, and it would never do that. (Far better to waste money on pointless public consultation exercises, and "recycling" plastic waste by spending a fortune picking it up and then shipping it to China.)

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