Makeover for bus station at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth

THE much-maligned Market Gates bus station in Great Yarmouth is set for thousands of pounds of investment this year.

Maps, electronic signs and improvements to its appearance are among the things planned in an effort to make it more passenger-friendly.

The efforts follow on from widespread dismay at the facilities on offer, from out of date timetables to toilets that close too early.

Following an outcry last year in which the Mercury labelled the station’s appearance “appalling”, borough councillor Mike Taylor was one of five to form a sub-committee tasked with addressing the issue.

Mr Taylor, who has since left the group, gave a presentation this week to the Great Yarmouth Borough Council Scrutiny committee, signalling positive progress with some of the issues raised in conjunction with Norfolk County Council.

Following the meeting, he said the sub-committee had been working with Norfolk County Council to bring about change.

“Nothing had changed much and now there are changes being made, and it’s a mix of carrot and stick,” he said.

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“I think we’re two fifths of the way there but I’m pleased with the progress because now transport users are being listened to.”

So far, Mr Taylor said updated timetables have been introduced by the county council, who are largely responsible for the site.

He added a letter from the borough council asking bus companies to tell drivers to turn their engines off while parked in the station for prolonged periods of time in the interests of air quality has also been heeded, with a year’s monitoring of the air also set to begin.

And more is expected over the course of this year, including electronic boards detailing incoming and outgoing buses expected to cost upwards of �50,000.

Jeremy Wiggin, travel development team manager at the county council, explained such boards would be funded by private developer contributions from the owners of Market Gates.

Additionally, broken or worn down timetable cases and bus flags would be replaced, with new maps of the area introduced detailing further transport links.

Mr Wiggin said: “We’ve got a good working relationship with the sub committee.

“It became clear if we were going to deliver anything meaningful we have to do it together.

“There will be a visual improvement in the facilities and I think people will see that quite quickly.”

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