The delayed bus exchange has undegone its first live testing with a National Express and a Park and ride bus undergoing a test drive of the facility. Other bus operators will carry out tests before the exchange is handed over the council in May. Originally scheduled for completion in March, the interchange will not open to passengers until June to allow time for bus companies to update their timetables and routes. Despite online speculation, information about which companies will be using the interchange and routes around the city has not been released.
Graham Pink, Director of Commissioning Places and Commercial Management said: “The successful trials this week bring us closer to the opening of this fantastic new facility which will provide passengers with a much better experience. We recognise that whilst there have been some delays to the original programme, these were unavoidable and were largely due to unforeseen issues inherent with a brownfield city centre site such as this with the added challenge of working in a historic city.
“Gorse Stacks is one of Chester’s many historic roads and is constructed on top of a concrete slab to reduce the depth of road construction and protect archaeology. Recent excavation to provide additional drainage in the area revealed further work necessary to the concrete slab before the resurfacing could take place.
“Repairs to the concrete slab needs detailed preparation, this additional work has added a couple of months onto the programme, but they are necessary to ensure that Gorse Stacks gives many years of maintenance free life and continues to protect the city’s archaeological heritage.”