Rugby town centre ‘should have a bus station’

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Environmental campaigners are calling for a bus and coach station to be built in the town centre.

The Sustainable Rugby group has put in a formal submission to Rugby Borough Council’s review of the local plan, which guides future planning decisions.

Sustainable Rugby chairman Cllr Neil Sandison said: “All the evidence points to increased traffic congestion from new developments.

“There are 11 bus and coach providers operating in the borough, all being channelled down the B54114 between Clifton Road and North Street. Private hire coaches have been evicted from other stop overs like Westway car park and the Leisure Centre despite the legal requirement for drivers to take a break in driving. This in turn is leading to drivers and their coaches having to hide out in residential streets which adds to conflict with residents.”

Cllr Sandison says the group’s own research shows that bus and coach passengers spend an average of at least four hours in the town centre and visit more shops and services than the average car user, who typically visited one or two venues and spent less than an hour in the town centre.

There is currently uncertainty over the future of North Street, with the borough and county council keen to pedestrianise the road, but with some businesses opposing the proposal.

Cllr Sandison added: “If our town centre is going to survive then it must cater for its loyal customers who use the town centre on a regular basis.

“We currently have a window of opportunity with the proposed redevelopment of North Street to integrate a bus and coach interchange into its design or on an adjacent council car park. That is why we are supporting the call for a modern interchange not as a short term measure but integral part of the local plan for the town centre.”

Sustainable Rugby describes itself as “committed to sustainable development and environmental enhancement and protection.”