While a decision is yet to be made about where the bus stops will go when Willow Street is all prettied up for the Civic Heart Project, Durham Street is the obvious next option.
Papers made public this week showing the city council is considering Durham Street as a possible bus hub alternative when the Civic Heart project shifts them from Willow Street, is a placeholder decision, says Mayor Greg Brownless.
Plans associated with the council decision to spend $3.9m on the Durham Street/Durham Lane upgrades show the designer Jasmax has included a future Durham Street bus hub on the southern end of the Spring Street/ Elizabeth Street block.
“We are looking at other options as well,” says Greg. “Do we leave it on the street? Or do we need a proper bus centre in which case constructing other things, other sites. So we are not convinced that that is necessarily the site, yet.
“That's just in the plan so when they re-do Durham Street there is the possibility of having the buses there, but we want to look at a few other options yet. But in the meantime it's quite urgent to get Durham Street sorted for when the new university comes on stream next year, so that's the reason.
“We are not one hundred per cent convinced that should be the place, but it's just like a place holder in the meantime, so we don't do anything there that stops it.
“In fact I know there are some strong views around the table that it shouldn't be in Durham Street. But it's just out there in the meantime and we will see what people say.”
The designer's brief states a future on-street bus interchange is proposed to be located in the block between Spring and Elizabeth Streets, with the final location at the southern end of the block.
“The design needs to allow for the future (5+ years) placement of 4 heads of stop each side with room for an additional stop each side to accommodate increased uptake. Allowance will need to be made for bus stop infrastructure that signals a quality service such as all-weather canopies, seating, lighting, real time information (RTI) signage, CCTV and toilet facilities.”
The Durham St bus hub will need to accommodate up to 25 peak period bus movements/hr (1 bus every 2.5 minutes) in each direction. Four heads of stop each side (with layover provided elsewhere) will be required constituting approx. 75m of bus bay footprint each side plus pull in and exit tracking in 2.7m deep indented bus bays. Which represents almost a third of the length of the block.
Jasmax's Durham Street proposal approved by the council this week includes the potential bus interchange bays which will provide on-street carparking in the immediate to medium term.
Jasmax has prepared a concept design for the full length of Durham Street, between Elizabeth Street and Harington Street. This area covers four city blocks and is 610 metres long.
Council this week gave approval to go ahead with detailed design for the tertiary precinct between Elizabeth Street and Spring Street.
The concept for Durham Street is for a pedestrian friendly, north-south green street, with high amenity and slow speeds (30km/h).