£400k earmarked for Dudley bus station revamp

Work to improve the town’s bus station was first planned three years ago but the project has struggled to get off the ground.

Dudley bus station’s long-awaited planned revamp has been given a £400,000 boost – but it has emerged a controversial design where buses reverse out of stops is being considered.

Work to improve the town’s outdated bus station was first planned three years ago, but since then the project has struggled to get off the ground due to lack of funds. A planning application has not been formally made yet. 

Now, a transport project update to the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership has revealed that £400,000 has been allocated to the scheme. An update on the design has also been given, with one option showing the station could feature a ‘drive in/reverse out’ facility for buses.

It would see buses parking next to each other while passengers wait in a departure lounge. The buses would then reverse from the stand before continuing on their journey. The design was proposed for Stourbridge bus station, but later dropped after safety fears were raised. The project update to the LEP states:

“£400k [is] allocated to develop this scheme. The work will involve Transport for West Midlands and Dudley Council to develop a design that complements the wider metro scheme.

“A drive in/reverse out facility has been designed to maximise capacity. The draft concept design is in progress.”

Councillor David Stanley, who is on transport committee for the West Midland Combined Authority, said he did not support the design. He added:

“You have to think about the members of public using the station and the safety risk it could pose. I don’t think it is a good idea to have buses reversing anywhere.”

A spokesman for Transport for West Midlands emphasised that the design was yet to be finalised, saying:

“This is one of the options that has been explored at concept stage to ensure designs going forward meet the capacity needs for Dudley town centre, as well as the ability to work alongside the proposed Midland Metro extension and give passengers the best possible journey experience when changing modes.”

The idea was put forward for Stourbridge, where a bus interchange was opened five years ago. Transport bosses had considered a drive in/reverse out layout, but following a consultation and fears raised over health and safety issues, it went for the drive in/drive out system.

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