David Bell visited Bedford last week to see the town's much needed new £8.8m bus station which opened just before Easter, the new facility includes a spacious concourse including travel and tourism centre and 11 departure bays.
Stagecoach Alexander Dennis Enviro200 seen departing the new bus station on a 51 to Oakley (c) David Bell.
David reports: "The external appearance is impressive but internally there looked to be work still to be done. I visited the Travel Office only to find that the timetable rack was almost empty. Although the bus station is now open there are several services not using the main concourse most notably the X5s which are still starting from bays running parallel with the main road outside. Uno's service to Milton Keynes via Cranfield University is starting from the adjacent River Street whilst there are at least two of Grant Palmer's rural routes still starting from Harpur Street despite Grant Palmers timetables on their website stating that the starting point is the bus station!"
Stagecoach Plaxton President bodied Transbus Trident 18060 AE53 TZM is seen here operating a service to Flitwick, this bus was one of a batch new to Cambridge depot for Haverhill services (c) David Bell.
Bedfordshire independent Grant Palmer operates numerous services in the area, pictured here on a service to Clophill is short wheelbase Alexander Dennis Enviro200 YX12 DHJ (c) David Bell.
Another Grant Palmer bus photographed was centre staircase Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident T885 KLF working a service to Toddington, this bus was new to First Capital in 1999 (c) David Bell.
Away from the new bus station concourse is Uno Optare Olympus bodied Scania N230UD YN07 LFB operating on Cranfield University services, this bus was previously with Reading Buses (c) David Bell.
The previous batch of X5 coaches are continuing to be used on the route occasionally, seen here still picking up at the stop just outside the bus station is Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12B 53611 AE11 FMF on a Cambridge bound service (c) David Bell.
We'll finish this post with a shot of one of Stagecoach's flagship X5 Plaxton Elites, 54317 YX64 WDC is seen here awaiting departure on a service towards Oxford (c) David Bell.
Many thanks to David for the selection of photographs included in this post.