Wilts & Dorset to sell two bus stations

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Wilts & Dorset has confirmed both the Salisbury and Amesbury bus stations will be sold, increasing the likelihood of the redevelopment of Salisbury’s Endless Street station, a goal of the Salisbury Vision project.

Ed Wills, Operations Director for the Salisbury Reds and Wilts & Dorset bus network, said the closure of both stations will have no impact on services and jobs as buses will use existing stops in the city centre and more modern office accommodation will be found for the Salisbury bus station team. No staff are based at Amesbury.

The fleet of 100 buses will continue to be parked and maintained by the company’s main depot at Castle Street.

Ed said: “Neither bus stations are essential to our services but as they age they are costing more to maintain and operate each year. We believe this annual cost can be better used to provide bus services and the land could be put to much better use for the community and the local economy.”

None of the high frequency Salisbury Reds services use the bus station and less than 12% of overall passengers using their services in Salisbury access the bus station. Most of these customers are travelling on their inter-town services, which will use alternative stops in the city centre.

“We would rather preserve jobs and services than spend a fortune upgrading facilities that are being used by only a small number of our customers,” continued Ed. “Salisbury bus station, constructed in the 1930s, is riddled with asbestos and no longer offers a pleasant working environment for the 160 employees.

“Many major towns, including Bournemouth and Brighton, no longer have bus stations yet have thriving bus services. We believe that our customers travelling to and from Salisbury and Amesbury will not be inconvenienced in any way with the closure of these facilities.”

Wilts & Dorset says it will be consulting further with the local authorities and, provided purchases are agreed, they expect to vacate both bus stations by the summer of next year.