Plans for the scheme have been revised to allow the project to be delivered earlier than first anticipated, reducing costs and making the scheme a reality sooner.
The main change is the location of the new bus station, which would be built opposite Lincoln Central Railway Station, better connecting the new facility with the city centre.
Under the revised plans, the main elements to create a central hub would be delivered first – the bus station, retail, multi-storey car park and improvements to the public realm.
These include improvements to the train station forecourt and a new entrance into the station car park, which would mean the existing car park entrance could be closed to allow a more pedestrian-friendly plaza area leading from the front of the railway station and connecting to the new bus station and into the city centre.
Completion of the new bus station and car park is anticipated by the end of December 2017. The new bus station will offer an improved environment for passengers, with capacity for more services, while the car park will provide the city with an extra 800 parking spaces.
In order to deliver the £29 million scheme as soon as possible, without risking rising costs or delays, the scheme will be delivered in two phases with the dual-purpose footbridge being delivered as phase two of the development.
Angela Andrews, Chief Executive at the city council, said: “The city council is committed to delivering a modern, fit for purpose integrated transport hub for Lincoln. We have already invested a significant amount of funding to drive this scheme forward.
“Working closely with our partners, Lincolnshire Co-op, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains, Lincolnshire County Council and the GLLEP, we have decided to make the footbridge part of a second phase of the project so that our residents can realise the benefits of the rest of the scheme sooner, particularly the bus station which is a major priority for the council.
“The delivery of the new footbridge has been delayed, which means delivering the entire scheme in one go isn’t feasible. But, by making these changes we can deliver the key elements – the bus station and the car park – sooner than anticipated.
“This high quality project will act as a catalyst for future growth in Lincoln and provide superb facilities for residents, commuters and visitors, while making our city centre more attractive and accessible.”
City of Lincoln Council’s Executive members will be asked at a meeting on Monday, January 25, to approve the revised plans. These will then be submitted for new planning approval with an aim to start on site in the summer of 2016.
As part of the scheme, Network Rail remains committed to constructing a 240 capacity cycle hub and other station improvements. The project has received overwhelming support in public consultations and would bring a number of improvements that have been needed for a long time.
The original design was approved by the city council’s planning committee in October last year, but rising costs to meet emerging design requirements on the footbridge mean it will not be delivered at this time. Network Rail and East Midlands Trains will continue to work to develop the successful business case required to deliver this footbridge in the future.
In early 2014 the transport hub project was awarded £11 million indicative funding through the Single Local Growth Fund from the Department for Transport. A final business case is being prepared for submission to the Department for Transport in June 2016 and a decision on confirmed funding is expected in July 2016.