The new £48m Bolton Interchange has officially opened, bringing the town’s transport facilities ‘into the 21st century’ with environmental features and facilities for disabled passengers.
The interchange has been delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Bolton Council and replaces the old Bolton Bus Station.
TfGM said described it as a ‘truly multi-transport mode facility’ that offers passengers ‘a step change in quality’, including better customer information and enhanced waiting and ticketing facilities in a light, bright and safer environment. A ‘Skylink’ bridge to the nearby rail station offers easy transfer between buses and trains.
Bolton Council leader Cliff Morris said: ‘The interchange brings Bolton’s transport facilities firmly into the 21st century. It’s a magnificent new gateway to our town and an important part of our masterplan for the town centre.’
The interchange includes level or ramped flooring throughout, enhanced toilets, baby-changing and ‘Changing Places’ facilities.
Throughout the delivery of the project TfGM consulted its Design Disability Reference Group (DDRG), whose members have a range of disabilities and provide insights into the challenges experienced by disabled people using public transport.
The roof of the interchange was designed to reduce energy consumption using ethylene tetrafluoroethylene, a lightweight alternative to glass that enables natural light to penetrate into the centre of the building and reduces the need for artificial lighting.
A new 48-space cycle hub outside the main interchange entrance offers secure storage for bikes. The interchange also links passengers to upgraded pedestrian facilities throughout the town centre.
John O’Callaghan, managing director at Kier Construction Northern, said: ‘Construction of the Bolton Interchange was the largest and technically most challenging of the three interchanges we’ve undertaken in partnership with TfGM through the North West Construction Hub.
‘We’re very proud to be handing over to the people of Bolton what we hope will prove to be a superb facility for many years to come.’
The interchange is part of a £48m scheme including highways and other works, funded by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund, that aims to support the Bolton town centre transport strategy and the wider regeneration of the area.