New bus interchange will help keep Newcastle connected
Newcastle’s future integrated transport network is a step closer today with key planning documents for the new Newcastle Bus Interchange put on public display.
The Newcastle Bus Interchange Review of Environmental Factors (REF) details bus facilities and passenger drop off areas proposed to be built on the former Newcastle and Suburban Co-Operative Society store site, adjacent to the Newcastle Interchange.
“Integrating seamlessly with the adjacent Newcastle Interchange, the bus interchange would enhance connectivity between trains, light rail, buses, taxis, private vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians,” Revitalising Newcastle Program Director Michael Cassel said.
“The NSW Government acquired The Store site in September 2015 with a view to realising the transport and development potential identified for the area in the Newcastle Urban Renewal Strategy. This project would help realise that potential.”
Construction of the bus interchange will require the removal of The Store building and car park.
“Unfortunately the buildings are in poor condition and pose a safety hazard for the community,” Mr Cassel said.
“Temporary hoarding is in place to protect the public from the risk of falling debris from the building façade, and controlled removal of the materials by accredited contractors will ensure the future safety of the site.”
“We know this site is meaningful to the local community because it played an important role in Newcastle’s development and as a community meeting point.”
“We will ensure the history of the site is respected in whatever comes next – a heritage interpretation plan will be developed and all heritage items will be appropriately recorded and documented.”
In April the NSW Government announced market testing was underway to gauge private sector interest in delivering a fully integrated transport destination with commercial, retail and residential opportunities.
“In coming weeks, the NSW Government will be working to identify those parties that can best deliver this key piece of infrastructure as part of a broader development on the site,” Mr Cassel said.
“It is important to note the REF does not cover any development in additional to a bus interchange – a separate planning process is required to develop the site any further.”
“The area around the interchange is set to become the city’s new CBD and the site has the potential to attract big employers, more activity and help create jobs and generate growth in the city.”
Construction of the new bus interchange could start as soon as early 2018, with the potential for operations to start before the end of 2019.
“We’re asking the community to have their say and provide feedback on the REF either at a community information session or in writing,” Mr Cassel said.
“To review the REF and find out more visit revitalisingnewcastle.com.au.”
The Newcastle Bus Interchange Review of Environmental Factors (REF) is available for review until 18 August.