New bus station idea for Ipswich

IPSWICH could get a new bus station at the heart of a new retail centre in the Mint Quarter, the Evening Star can reveal today.Suffolk County Council is bidding for government cash to help it improve public transport in Ipswich - and developing a new bus station is at the top of their list.

IPSWICH could get a new bus station at the heart of a new retail centre in the Mint Quarter, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Suffolk County Council is bidding for government cash to help it improve public transport in Ipswich - and developing a new bus station is at the top of their list.

This would combine the county bus station, at present in the Old Cattle Market behind the Buttermarket centre, and the borough station, currently at Tower Ramparts.

For many years the preferred option has been to offer the Old Cattle Market site to car park operators NCP as a swap for their surface car park at Tower Ramparts, opposite Marks and Spencer.

This would allow the Tower Ramparts bus station to be extended - although it would have Electric House between the two sections.

However borough council engineers are believed to have raised concerns about this proposal, believing that a long thin bus station would not work.

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A report being compiled by consultants FaberMaunsell has identified the area behind Woolworths and the Co-op department store - the Mint Quarter - as a possible alternative site.

And borough council officials are believed to favour the development of this site in an attempt to kick-start the redevelopment of the area.

As well as a large bus station the development would include a new multi-storey car park for landowners NCP.

Transport operator Ipswich Buses is still waiting to see what the outcome of the consultancy will be.

Managing director Malcolm Robson said: "There has been talk about having a single large bus station for many years.

"This is under consideration by FaberMaunsell, along with other ideas including not having a bus station at all.

"I know the Mint Quarter is one suggestion, but we are some way off anything happening."

A spokesman for NCP, which owns the Mint Quarter, said the company was keen to get plans together for the development of the site.

What do you think of the bus station plan for the Mint Quarter? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Opinion - see page 6

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