I Wanna Ride The Bus!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Shudewho? (Part 1)

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that there are little niggly things that make what should be a pretty easy journey frustrating. One of those things is the alternate reality surrounding Manchester's new bus station, Shudehill.

Manchester does not have a single bus station. People say that Manchester used to have a single bus station at the old Arndale centre, but I'm not so sure that the Arndale served all of the routes, I may research that if I have the time. I know for certain that there used to be a bus station at the site of the old Manchester Exchange station in Salford, as my mum can't navigate at all round Manchester, but knows how to get to Kendals from the Exchange bus station because that's where she went with her mum as a child.

In the last decade or so, the lack of a single central bus station has been felt, and a site for a replacement bus station was identified next to the Metrolink route through the city centre, and the chance for an interchange station was grabbed with both hands.

Was this going to be the single bus station Manchester has been crying out for?

No, the site is too small, and sadly seems to be more interested in being a multi-storey car park rather than a bus station.

Is the bus station any good? I think it's safe to say that at present, it hasn't lived up to the hype. For starters, Shudehill is slightly in the wrong place. Yes, it's next to the trams, and yes, there's a great big car park on top of the station, but that part of Manchester is quite a long way from the main part of the shopping district, and the walking route to Market Street is down a narrow pavement with many obstacles for those who are visually impaired, then there's the matter of the buses that serve the station - and that's the topic of tomorrow's post.

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