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Range of views on tackling bus station

Alnwick Bus Station
Alnwick Bus Station

Residents have a range of views on the best way to deal with the ongoing concerns about Alnwick bus station.

Last week, we reported that an action plan has been drawn up for the site with improvement works planned for this year and into the future.

The news came as the state of the dirty, litter-strewn facility had once again sparked fury last Monday.

The package of works proposed for this year includes repairs to the roof, with recladding of the underside; new, brighter and vandal-proof LED lighting to discourage anti-social behaviour; removal of all unsightly and unnecessary steel barriers; jet washing of all surfaces; repainting and re-landscaping.

Leaseholder Arriva and landowner Morrisons are also looking into working with Alnwick in Bloom to deliver environmental improvement works.

Almost all of our readers agreed that the facility is not up to scratch, but some felt that the real issue to tackle is those who drop litter and the anti-social behaviour caused by those gathering there.

Others felt that the works proposed do not go far enough, including James Matthewson, who campaigned on the issue when he ran for election as a county councillor in Alnwick and is setting up a new development trust with the aim of tackling projects like the bus station.

He said: “I’m delighted that we have got a bit of traction although I’m concerned that not enough is going to be done.

“I’m pleased to hear that lighting is going to be addressed, but I still feel that without a reasssessment of the building, something like Morpeth that’s locked at night, then the same problems are just going to keep happening.”

On our Facebook page, Ann Carr said: ‘Nothing wrong with the bus station, It is the people who have never been taught to use a litter bin or too lazy.’

Jacqueline McNish posted: ‘It IS filthy and it IS the fault of some of the people who use it. In saying that, as someone who passes through there regularly, I’ve never actually seen anyone cleaning it whereas in Morpeth, where I start my journey, there is always someone cleaning the floor inside and someone else attending to the outside at 7am.’

Mary Harrison added: ‘How about making it enclosed with glass like Morpeth and the Hay Market!’

Youth issues rear head at new facility in Hexham

In last week’s Gazette, we asked whether Alnwick had the worst bus station in the county, comparing it to the facilities in other towns in Northumberland.

Hexham was one of the places we mentioned, given that buses started rolling off the five new stands there in November 2016, following a £2.28million investment.

However, it appears that the new station there has not prevented youths from using the facility as a hangout.

The Hexham Courant reported just last week that the ‘multimillion-pound bus station at Loosing Hill has become a den for underage drinking, drug taking and anti-social behaviour’.

The Courant reports that a meeting of Hexham Town Council heard concerns from a local businesswoman, Deb Humble, who said that the indoor seating area and toilets have become a target for vandals who are ‘running amok’.

It follows a string of incidents including a £4,000 repair bill for a broken window and £800 to replace a toilet cistern ripped from the wall.