Member for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp has welcomed the opening of the Newcastle West bus interchange, signalling a hope that improved integration of transport options will encourage a growth in patrons.
In 2015 Mr Crakanthorp met with the Minister for Transport to urge the Government to buy the site, formerly that of The Store, to develop the interchange and create a larger transport hub.
At the time the existing transport interchange had been strongly criticised for its inadequate space to accommodate buses and cars.
“I’m pleased the Government listened to me and to the community on this one,” Mr Crakanthorp said.
“That land was hot property, and chances to purchase a site positioned like that and develop it for public benefit don’t come along very often.”
While COVID-19 restrictions mean that public transport services are currently forced to run under capacity, Mr Crakanthorp said he hoped the bus interchange would make it easier for commuters to navigate the city.
“This is what we need if we want to be a connected city and I hope this assists people out of their cars and onto other transport options,” he said.
“The proof will be in the pudding though, so I’ll be watching the patronage numbers with interest.”