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Call for town's bus station to be revamped.

Byline: Paul Tully? 07554 437755 ? paul.tully@ncjmedia.co.uk

HUNDREDS of people have backed a new campaign to have a main town bus station urgently renovated.

Online and paper petitions were launched this week demanding a revamp of Hexham Bus Station in Northumberland.

County and town councillor Terry Robson, who launched the petitions, said he was "overwhelmed" by the early show of support and he said he was seeking a mandate from the people of Hexham to press the county council for work to be carried out.

Local MP Guy Opperman has also stepped in, branding the 80-year-old bus station "disheartening".

The station, on Priestpopple in the town centre, has no shelter or toilet facilities for travellers and is wide open to the elements.

Mr Opperman said: "The bus station has suffered a steady deterioration, not just the building itself, but the forecourt and surrounding area, too. People are really disheartened by the state of the bus station. It is literally the first stop for tourists into town and it doesn't make a great impression.

"Local people who use it every day deserve better too.

Right now it doesn't even have toilets or somewhere to shelter from the wind and rain. That is just not good enough."

An online petition on the county council website yesterday had 116 names on it and many more people have signed the paper petition circulating in the town.

Coun Robson, a former town mayor, declared: "Everybody is agreed that something has to be done. I am sad to say the bus station has become symbolic of the lack of investment in our town. I am determined to get action."

In 2012 it was proposed to move the bus station site to Loosing Hill on the eastern edge of Hexham town centre, but a 2,000-name opposition petition and a lack of funding stalled the plans.

"Since then almost nothing has been done," Coun Robson added. "The county council has commissioned a study but there is no sense of urgency and no real plans. We need to invest in our bus station as soon as possible."

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PETITION Coun Terry Robson at the 'outdated' bus station
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2013
Words:363
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