The demolition of Leicester’s 1980s St Margaret’s bus station could begin early next year under plans to replace it with a more modern transport hub.
The city council wants to replace the ageing structure with a new, carbon-neutral bus station as part of a £13.5 million scheme which will include the revamping of surrounding streets.
These artist’s impressions show how will look if the council is able to get permission to go ahead with the project from its own planning committee.
The council believes it would be the UK’s first carbon-neutral bus station
If approved, the roof will be fitted with around 750 square metres of solar panels which will generate enough energy to power the new bus station and feed extra energy back into the grid.
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The new building will be made from materials chosen for their insulating qualities to help reduce heating demand and will feature energy efficient LED lighting, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and air source heat pumps – in place of gas boilers – to drastically reduce energy consumption and use of fossil fuels, said a council spokesperson.
The bus station will have a redesigned and improved internal layout, with a new café, better seating and real-time digital passenger information, they added.
There will also be increased capacity for national and regional bus services, with the number of bays increased from 18 to 24.
Electric bus charging points will be installed.
The new building will feature secure storage for up to 150 bikes.
Changes to footpaths and roads immediately surrounding the bus station are also proposed, with better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, new landscaping and tree planting, and better and safer crossings to soften the impact of the ring road.
The council wants to improve links between key development sites and the city centre, including the new Savoy Street which will link the new St Margaret’s and Haymarket bus stations.
The project is being paid for largely with a £10.5million grant from the government’s Getting Building Fund, as part of a £20million allocation received by Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).
Deputy city mayor for environment and transport Councillor Adam Clarke said: “These exciting plans to replace St Margaret’s Bus Station with a striking, new and carbon-neutral building will signal the beginning of a revival of this part of the city.”
He added: “The award of over £10million of government cash is a huge endorsement of the importance of this scheme. It will provide a huge boost for sustainable transport, help regenerate a run-down but important gateway into Leicester and attract further private investment into the city.”
Chairman of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) Kevin Harris said: “I welcome the news that the new St. Margaret’s Bus Station will be a carbon-neutral building.
“Investing in green and low-carbon initiatives is central to the LLEP’s Energy Infrastructure Strategy, which sets out our commitment to a net-zero emissions Leicester and Leicestershire.
“The green economy is poised to become a major factor in employment, investment and infrastructure, and this new transport hub will help increase prosperity whilst lowering emissions.”
A full planning application is in the process of being submitted. If given the go-ahead, work on the demolition of the existing St Margaret’s Bus Station building could begin early in the new year.