A significant step towards transforming and regenerating Medway takes place on Monday (10 October) with the opening of the new Chatham Waterfront Bus Station.

The bus station will act as the central hub for bus journeys in Medway and Kent and make it easier for residents to get around.

With its modern, sleek new design, landscaped surroundings, and eco-style grass roof for butterflies and other insects, the bus station will present a much more welcoming reception for visitors than the old, out-dated one, which has now closed.

The new bus station, which will be staffed while open and used by Arriva as well as other bus companies, is financed by central government and is one of a series of public transport improvements in the area.

These include building 100 new improved bus stops within Medway – many with shelters and with level access for people to get on and off – and real time bus information screens – showing when buses will arrive – at council information points, healthy living centres and The Pentagon Centre.

These are geared towards further improving transport services for Medway’s passengers who make an incredible 8.5 million trips annually.

Currently, nine out of ten passengers say they are satisfied with Medway’s bus services.

The bus station will also help in the council’s ambition to open up Chatham’s waterfront and connect it with the town centre – Medway’s largest shopping area.

This, along with new transport links, will add to the area’s regeneration and help make Chatham town centre much more desirable for national stores and other businesses looking to open up in the region.

The opening of the bus station is a crucial part in changing Chatham and the waterfront area.

As the bus station will be open on 10 October, it means it will be in good time for the Christmas shopping season – which will soon be upon us.

Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council, said: “The new Medway bus station will act as a welcoming drop off point for all people travelling into the area, and as an easy to use hub for all residents catching public transport locally.

“It is no secret that the old bus station in the Pentagon was out of date, unwelcoming and – to be honest – was not a nice first impression for those arriving in Medway.

“This is a key part of the regeneration of Chatham town centre. It opens up the waterfront and helps with our aim of ensuring the area remains an important shopping destination for people across the region.

“We understand that this regeneration work has taken time, but we really think it will help in our work to transform Chatham town centre. I would like to thank members of the public for being so understanding while this much needed work was carried out.”

Arriva Southern Counties’ Managing Director Heath Williams added: “We are pleased that the new Chatham Waterfront Bus Station is now complete and its opening marks an important phase in the regeneration of Chatham Town Centre.

“It will provide a much brighter and more modern environment for our customers and staff than the Pentagon Bus Station did and this should help to make travelling by bus a more attractive option.”

For more information go to http://www.medway.gov.uk/chathambus

BUS STATION Factfile

– 1,100 buses will use the new facility every day.

– These will run along 56 services covering Medway and Kent .

– Buses will use GPS tracking providing up to the minute information to passengers on state of the art display boards about arrivals/departures.

– 100 new bus stops have already been put in place across Medway.

– Five operators will use the new bus station.

– The station’s canopies will each have a ‘living’ green sedum roof.

– There are an average of 163,000 bus passenger journeys a week in Medway; totalling 8.5m per year.

– The old outdated bus station was built in 1970s.

– The old bus station’s inadequate facilities provide no room to expand operations as Medway continues to grow.

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