The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority (CPCA) Board has unanimously approved funding to investigate alternative options for the relocation of Peterborough Bus Depot.
A sum of £40,000 will be used to find and evaluate a new site for Peterborough Bus Depot from its current one on Lincoln Road.
Speaking to members of the CPCA Board at their meeting on 27 July, Oliver Howarth, bus strategy manager, said: “The board is asked to approve the drawdown of £40,000 from the £150,000 in the STA Revenue Budget, to support the investigation of alternative options for the provision of a bus depot in Peterborough.
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“The current location of Peterborough Bus Depot on Lincoln Road has insufficient capacity for electric buses because each electricity charger will need barriers to protect it from parking accidents, taking up floor space. There are also difficulties with bringing high voltages into a residential area.
“This means that there is a need to investigate alternative options to meet current and future needs, including the potential for multi-operators.
“Following discussion on 13 July, 2022, the Transport and Infrastructure Committee resolved unanimously to recommended the proposals shown above to the Combined Authority Board for approval.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, John Peach said: “While I am in full support of this scheme, it seems very ambitious, and because it is so ambitious I just hope that it won’t take too long to complete.
“There’s a big crime problem in the Lincoln Road area, which must be the most diverse area in the city of Peterborough, and which I represented for 30 years both as a county and city councillor.
“This project is very long overdue – it used to be a tram depot, and even back then people used to complain that it was too small and totally inadequate; so, if there’s anything we can do to push the project forward, then let’s do it please.”
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Councillor Chris Boden (Conservative, Fenland District Council) said: “I realise the problems with a project of this size and having such a depot in a residential area or on a busy road like Lincoln Road.
“You certainly don’t want it anywhere where there is high crime as it is now, and so I might suggest that you look at the Kings Dyke area just across the border in Fenland: the newly closed railway crossing means there is plenty of land available.”
‘Move project on at pace’
Councillor Wayne Fitzgerald (Conservative, Peterborough City Council) added: “You’ll have heard me wax lyrical in the past about the benefits of electric buses and how much we want them in Peterborough.
“The simple fact is that we need move this project forward – but it’s not just about size and location, it’s about technical capacity as well.
“There simply isn’t the infrastructure in the Lincoln Road area in terms of electrification, and so I think the money which we’ve put into the relocation budget will help officers engage with other professionals to find a suitable site.
“While I thank councillor Boden for his suggestion of Kings Dyke, I’d rather Peterborough City Council kept the business rates than Fenland District Council have them.
“We need to move this project on at pace, and I know the officers in Peterborough are grateful to Oliver Howarth and his team at the CPCA to try and solve this problem, but I also think that whoever operates the buses – whether its Stagecoach or anybody else – they need to show some commitment as well.”
Members of the CPCA unanimously agreed the funding to investigate alternative options for the relocation of Peterborough Bus Depot.