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Cabinet approves Chatham bus station site

Date: 20/02/2008           Category: Medway Renaissance

The location of Chatham’s new £5m bus station was today approved by Medway Council’s Cabinet. The agreed site – Option 4 of seven possible sites presented to Cabinet – centres on Sir John Hawkins Way and Globe lane and requires demolition of the Sir John Hawkins flyover. Option 4 can be seen in detail by opening the attached PDF. Precise boundaries of the site have yet to be agreed. Today’s move ends many months of debate and extensive public consultation over the most suitable location for the new bus station, which is a key element of Chatham’s regeneration programme. “Getting this right is vitally important for Chatham’s future and that’s why it has been the subject of so much discussion and consultation,” said Leader of Medway Council Cllr Rodney Chambers. “It’s now clear that the most logical location is Option 4, which makes demolition of the Sir John Hawkins flyover unavoidable.” He added: “This is a complex project and the works will inevitably cause disruption. But that is a price worth paying. The new bus station is a key element of the vastly improved public transport system that Medway will need as the regeneration programme takes shape. “It will replace the bus station now at The Pentagon, which is a highly unsatisfactory bus station environment. That, in turn, clears the way for the £80m expansion of The Pentagon that the new owners are keen to get on with.” The Sir John Hawkins flyover was closed to general traffic when Chatham’s two-way road system was launched in September 2006. Its short-term re-opening three months ago has brought little or no overall benefit to traffic flow. Demolition of the flyover and the building of the bus station will be followed by phase-two of the Chatham two-way works. This will include the widening of The Brook, a series of junction improvements and three major new car parks, delivering a net gain of 500 spaces. Medway’s £1billion regeneration programme will transform Chatham as Medway’s new city centre. Plans for the Chatham Waterfront regeneration site, between Sun Pier and the Command House pub, include striking apartments, a waterfront park, cafes, restaurants and a major new arts and entertainment venue. The area around Chatham train station will become a busy new business quarter and there are big retail and residential ambitions for The Brook. “With the flyover down and the new bus station operational, we can get on with the rest of the regeneration programme,” said Cllr Chambers. “In a few short years Medway as a whole – and Chatham in particular – will be a very different place.”