Art is given thumbs up, but station is still an issue

The spray paint art panels at Alnwick bus station.
The spray paint art panels at Alnwick bus station.
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Urban art that was unveiled at Alnwick bus station has received a positive response – but many people believe more needs to be done to improve the facility.

Last Friday, we launched a poll on our website to gauge reaction to the eye-catching creations which have gone up inside the shelter.

The project, which received funding from a number of sources, including Arriva, was the brainchild of town-based Gallery Youth and youngsters worked with street artist John Craggs to produce the boards, which reflect the area’s heritage.

The work has attracted a host of positive comments and 70 per cent of people who voted in our poll were in favour of it.

However, all of these said that while they liked the art, more needed to be done to improve the station.

Among the comments on our Facebook page, Cate Garrison said: “Step in the right direction. But wouldn’t it look even better in a covered, comfortable, new setting, with proper timetables, clean attended loos, a friendly inquiry booth, and a good tea or coffee stall?”

Lee John Hope added: “Looks good. Let’s hope it’s the start of good things for the site.”

A number of our readers said that there was a problem with litter at the site and wanted to see more bins installed.

Not everyone was in favour of the work though. In the poll, 15 per cent of people said it was not their kind of art, while a further 15 per cent said that the creations were not in the right location.

The state of the bus station has long been a source of complaint.

In 2010, the Gazette launched the Fix It campaign, calling for site owner Morrisons and operator Arriva to take action. It attracted around 2,000 signatures and some cosmetic work was done in the area.

This week, Alan Wilkes, depot manager for Arriva Ashington said: “We were very keen to offer our support to Gallery Youth, especially since the artwork has been created by local young people in the Alnwick community. We’ve already had lots of positive comments from drivers about how great they think the artwork looks.”

A spokeswoman added that she could not comment on the state of the bus station as Arriva does not own the site.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “We will listen to the residents’ concerns and discuss the condition of the site with our tenants Arriva.”