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June 8, 2012 1:53 PM

Mayor Dave Hodgson

Mayor Dave Hodgson

Work to improve facilities for rural bus passengers and increase the provision for hackney carriages inBedfordtown centre is now complete.

Previously, a number of rural bus routes picked up and dropped off from outside the shops on Greyfriars. These bus stops have now been moved into the bus station and became operational on Sunday 3rd June.

This will improve the service which rural bus passengers receive as they will be dropped off inside the bus station and will no longer need to cross the busy Greyfriars to reach the majority of the town centre shops.

In addition to improving the service to bus users, the changes have also allowed the Council to increase the provision for hackney carriages in the town centre. The bus bays on Greyfriars (near the junction with Midland Road, outside the QD shop) and River Street (bus lane by the side of Tesco Express) have both been relocated to the bus station and replaced with taxi ranks. Similarly, the bus bay on Harpur Street has also been relocated to the bus station and extra provision for disabled parking added in its place.

There is still space for approximately 4 blue badge vehicles and 3 hackney carriages at the bus station.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: "Earlier this year, the Council opened a consultation to try and improve the facilities for rural bus users as well as increasing the taxi rank provision in the town centre.

"A number of rural bus users are elderly or have mobility problems and have told us they found it difficult to access the stops across Greyfriars. These changes will significantly improve the provision for these users by locating the stops in a more convenient location as well as providing seating and shelters.

"In addition, we have also increased the amount of space for hackney cabs in the town centre and provided new taxi ranks in prominent locations.

"I am pleased this work has now been completed and we have found a solution to these issues."

The new bus stops became operational on Sunday 3rd June 2012. Notices have been added at the stops which will be relocating.