Phase 2 of the City Centre Public Realm scheme aims to connect the gateway plaza of the Bus Station to areas of the City Centre to the north and create a major new public space at Albion Square which can accommodate City Centre events and attractions.
A section of Phase 2 along Stafford Street was included as an addendum to the Phase 1 contract to meet timescale requirements for
revised bus routes and avoid abortive spend associated with the delivery of temporary works.
But the works to complete Phase 2 works on Albion Square and down Albion Street around the Town Hall will now not begin until late spring, after the Bus Station is due to open.
What does this mean will the opening of Bus Station be delayed or will Buses be re-routed around Albion Square?
The Council have replied to say
The works in Albion Square will start in April, after the new bus station opens and the revised bus routes and traffic management arrangements for the City Centre are implemented. At some stage in the early summer it will be necessary to reroute inbound buses to complete the Albion Square works but the last alighting stop for the rerouted inbound buses (outside Bon Marche in Stafford Street) will not change and the only change will be a slightly longer journey for passengers who need to go all the way to the new bus station. We will reopen the road closure in Lichfield Street for southbound buses and taxis for a short time while the work is being undertaken.
We considered the impact of doing the work before the new bus station opens but there are more buses going through Albion Square now than there will be afterwards and closing it before the changes would affect more services and more passengers and would mean the phasing of work in Albion Square being more complicated.
With such a mayor change to Hanley it was always going to be difficult to manager all changes at once, but it appears all is going to plan.