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Bus hub ready by this Christmas

Townsville CBD’s long-awaited bus hub is expected to be mostly built by December – about eight years after the previous public transport terminal was removed from the city centre.

A Townsville City Council manager provided an update on the $4 million project to the council’s infrastructure committee yesterday, while the council also released an artist’s impression of how the facility would look.

The council was told the bus hub design was to be completed early next month so tenders could be released to have work start in July.

Infrastructure committee chair Mark Molachino said the project was vital and needed be built with as little inconvenience as possible for the CBD’s Christmas season.

“It’s been going on for so long, it’s become a bit of a football. It’s something we need to get built and then move on,” Cr Molachino said.

The previous Stokes St bus terminal was removed as part of the Flinders Mall redevelopment in 2010 and a new bus hub has been a contentious issue ever since, mainly over where to put it.

Ogden St, opposite Urban Quarter, was selected in 2016 and the council has bought two properties, a former hardware shop which will provide a new road and bus laydown area connecting to Hanran St, and a former sports shop that will also be demolished to provide a lane to Flinders St.

Planning committee chair Les Walker said the bus setdown and pick-up shelters in Ogden St would help activate arcades between Ogden and Flinders streets, while the old sports store property would also provide a laneway.

Lighting and security cameras will improve safety.

A section of Ogden St near the bus hub will be made oneway traffic, allowing footpaths to be widened.

Vehicles will be able to continue east or turn right on to the new roadway to Hanran St, while vehicles heading west on Ogden St will have to turn left on to the new roadway to Hanran St.

Cr Verena Coombe asked what materials would be used for seating, saying the concrete seats in Flinders St were seldom used as they got hot.

Council will discuss that before the design is finalised but timber seats are not favoured because of the ongoing need for maintenance.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the council had done a lot of consultation and conceded that, while the council had sought to respond to people’s issues, some remained unsatisfied.

Originally published by The Townsville Bulletin, reporter Tony Raggatt.

Townsville Bulletin Wednesday14Mar2018-Page4