08/03/2014

Out & about in Northampton ~ new bus station special - part 1

Northampton's new £7 million, fourteen bay North Gate bus station opened last Monday, it replaces the old dark and rundown Greyfriars bus station which was situated underneath a multi-storey car park and office complex and has been part of life in Northampton since 1976.

Whilst the new bus station has been controversial with some in the town due to it's cost, reduced size (which means some services now depart from on-street stops in nearby Drapery) lack of layover space and more 'open' nature it is no doubt some improvement over the old facility which the council says was 'beyond repair' and would have cost £30m to refurbish.

David Bell visited the new North Gate bus station on Tuesday. Following Monday's widely reported traffic chaos in the town due to the opening of the new bus station (believed to be caused mainly due to incorrect traffic light phasing) he reports that congestion was still being caused on a smaller scale by buses waiting for vehicles to reverse off stands and this had a knock-on effect with some vehicles being unable to turn in off the road. He also noted that building work had not finished yet with building materials stacked on part of the concourse. The shop planned for the site was also not yet open with drinks, snacks etc were being sold from a makeshift stall instead.

Now, lets take a look at the photographs, all kindly provided by David and taken in the vicinity of the new bus station, they include shots of the large fleet of brand new Alexander Dennis Enviro200s that Stagecoach have just introduced in the Northampton area - enjoy!

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
We start this part with this photograph showing two Stagecoach vehicles loading up at the new bus station, closest to the camera is Alexander Dennis Enviro300 39696 KX08 HRD, whilst to it's right is new Alexander Dennis Enviro200 37046 YX63 ZWP © David Bell.

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
Next we see one of Stagecoach's large fleet of new Alexander Dennis Enviro200s that has just entered service in the town, here is 37059 YX63 LKP working on the 12 to Kings Heath © David Bell.

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
Stagecoach Gold vehicles are a familier sight in the town with a fleet of Alexander Dennis Enviro400 bodied Scania N230UDs working on services X4/X46/X47, seen here heading to Peterborough is 15746 KX61 DLN © David Bell.

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
Moving back to Stagecoach's new fleet of Alexander Dennis Enviro200s we see 37046 YX63 ZWP working on the 15 to Acre Lane © David Bell.

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
Hertfordshire-based Uno continue to expand their services in the Northamptonshire area, seen here operating on one of their original University Of Northampton services is Alexander Dennis Dart 119 KE04 UMD © David Bell.

Northampton, March 2014 (1) (c) David Bell
We finish this part with this view of Centrebus Optare Excel 772 FD51 EYY working on their infrequent service 60 to Guilsborough © David Bell.

Look out for part 2 including a further selection of photographs as well as a brief look at the plans for the future of the old Greyfriars bus station - coming soon!