Issue - meetings
Bus Station Improvement Project
The Head of Regeneration and Economic Development introduced the report and highlighted that the Council had been working with Stakeholders which included Kent County Council, Arriva and Capital and Regional throughout the design process.
It was noted that an eight-week public consultation process would take place, with the provision of display boards and a comment box within the Mall for one week. The public consultation was due to start on the 22 July 2020, however in order that advertising could be maximised, this would likely start in early August 2020. The use of additional poster sites would be considered. The Over 50’s forum and numerous Disability groups would be consulted.
It was confirmed that an online survey, that would be compatible with screen assisted technology, would be available on the Council’s website as part of the consultation process. An officer would be able to provide assistance over the phone to residents unable to complete the survey online. The project would be promoted by the Council’s Communication Team through multiple channels.
Mr Felix Lewis gave a presentation to the Committee on the designs for the bus station improvement project, as a representative of CF Architects. During the presentation, particular attention was given to the use of colour and lighting to improve the overall attractiveness of the bus station, the cleaning and improvement of surfaces and concourses and that cosmetic improvements rather than structural changes would be pursued. A public art piece would be commissioned for placement near the north entrance of the bus station.
An animation of the bus station with the proposed works included within the report and presentation was then shown to the Committee. This would be distributed to Members.
Questions were raised about using a one-way system within the bus station.
The Head of Regeneration confirmed that a one-way system was ruled out earlier in the project process as it was not feasible in this space and without significant wider work on the road network beyond the scope of the project.
In response to questions, Mr Lewis confirmed that the timber would be replaced in order that a softer appearance be achieved. It was confirmed that an Insect Hotel could be included in the designs and that actions would be taken to allow the placement of digital boards to display live bus times retrospectively. It was noted that numbers would be placed on the portals to highlight each bus stop and that bins and disabled seating would be included within the final designs.
Several members expressed a wish to have planters within the bus station, however it was confirmed that there would not be enough natural light to sustain their growth.
The Head of Regeneration and Economic Development informed the Committee that there was a contingency of £70,000 within the budget.
RESOLVED: That the draft designs be approved for public consultation.