Exeter Bus Station | New Bus Station Minimum Requirements
The following calculations are for local bus services only and assume that the two National Express bays will be displaced to e.g. Belgrave Road/ Bampfylde Street, with all long distance express coaches operating from there.
This will require:
- displacement of on-street car parking to accommodate these bays,
- provision of sufficient shelters etc. to accommodate intending passengers, those waiting with them and their luggage
- provision of sufficed space to enable the coaches to safely deploy their nearside wheelchair lifts.
The local bus service bay requirement, based on current service levels, is 14 departure bays plus 5 layover bays.
The current provision is 13 departure bays plus 6 layover bays (of which more than 5 are rarely needed).
The minimum number of bays, for local bus services only, that can work operationally is 12 departure bays plus 5 layover bays.
Below this number, as departure bay numbers reduce a corresponding increase in layover bays is required. A minimum of 17 bays is therefore required. If the majority of these can be accommodated in the bus station the remainder can be located immediately adjacent in Cheeke Street (between Bampfylde Street and Belgrave Road) as long as this section of Cheeke Street is for buses only.
There is no future-proofing in this number, which is the absolute minimum for the current service levels. This number also provides no scope for future growth in services as Exeter grows. Future growth in services would in turn result in a poorer bus station experience for the public and/ or more bus stops on streets away from the bus station.
The bus station needs to provide a positive visitor experience to the city, as reflected in the Exeter City Council City Centre Vision (2010). It will also need to adequately cope with the increased numbers of visitors, workers and shoppers coming to the city who cannot be accommodated by more traffic and who will therefore need to travel into the city by public transport.
The minimum requirements for the public are:
- Sufficient bus bays to ensure that buses do not regularly have to depart from the wrong bay (see above).
- Good walking access, between the city centre and bus station, relatively direct, in a pleasant environment that will not be intimidating in the evening or when dark, with multiple entry/ exit points to ensure that it is open from all directions (and not closed off from any direction).
- Good waiting facilities: a roof over waiting areas and a waiting room of a good design, well lit by natural light and lighting.
- Sufficient space for intending passengers to wait for buses, in the dry with some seating and space for luggage etc..
- A positive welcoming ambience throughout the bus station and the pedestrian access between the bus station and the city centre.
- Public toilets in the bus station or close by.
- A cafe and small retail facilities (e.g. a newsagent as currently located in the bus station).
- Enquiry office for bus company staff to help the public with enquiries and deal with problems and concerns.
The bus station needs to be properly managed. Facilities are also needed for drivers to start/ end their shifts in the bus station, given the displacement of current depot facilities by the new development and the need to relocate the bus depot adjacent to the site.
The minimum requirements are:
- Driver paying in facilities and safe
- Cash room
- Staff canteen/ rest room
- Staff toilets
- 2 small offices for administrative and management purposes
- Public Enquiry Office (could be co-located with a TIC on/adjacent tot eh bus station)
- Inspectors’’ Office (could be co-located in the enquiry office)
Only the last two have to be on ground level; the others can be upstairs.
Other Essential Requirements
The current bus station site functions both as a bus station (the upper site) and as a depot (the lower site) for:
- parking 120 buses overnight
- bus layovers during the day
The lower site also provides facilities for excursion coaches:
- drop off/ pick up point
- parking for coaches whist passengers visit Exeter.
The new bus station will therefore also require the provision of these other essential facilities elsewhere. Whilst it can be envisaged that the excursion coach facilities can be relatively easily accommodated elsewhere, the current bus depot cannot function without parking for its 120 buses in close proximity.
Concurrent relocation of the bus depot to a new site – that is adequate for its requirements and that has adequate access – is therefore a necessary part of the development of the current bus station site.
Transport Co-ordination Service
Devon County Council