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Designs revealed for Leicester’s new carbon neutral bus station

Published on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Artist's impression of new St Margaret's Bus Station

STRIKING designs for Leicester’s new St Margaret’s Bus Station – and ambitious plans to make the building carbon neutral – have been revealed by the city council.

Leicester City Council is planning to completely rebuild the existing St Margaret’s Bus Station and revamp surrounding streets as part of a major scheme to regenerate this part of the city centre.

The proposed £13.5million scheme has been awarded £10.5million from the government’s Getting Building Fund, as part of a £20million allocation received by Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) 

Artist’s impressions show the striking design of the proposed new bus station building, which will be glazed from floor to ceiling and feature a striking curved aluminium roof that appears to float above the main concourse hall.

A series of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will help make the new bus station a carbon neutral building. It is believed that this would be the first bus station to be built to net zero carbon standards in the UK.

The roof will be fitted with around 750sqm of photovoltaic panels which will generate enough energy to power the new bus station and feed surplus green energy back into the grid. 

The building itself will be constructed from materials chosen for their insulating qualities to help reduce heating demand. It will also feature energy efficient LED lighting, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and air source heat pumps – in place of gas boilers – to drastically reduce energy consumption and use of fossil fuels.

Bus passengers will benefit from a completely redesigned and improved internal layout with a new café, better seating and real time digital passenger information. There will also be increased capacity for national and regional bus services, with the number of bays increased from 18 to 24.

Electric bus charging points will be installed, and the new building will feature secure storage for up to 150 bikes.

Improvements to footpaths and roads immediately surrounding the bus station are also proposed, with better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, new landscaping and tree planting, and better and safer crossings to soften the impact of the ring road. This will help strengthen and improve links between key development sites and the city centre, including the new Savoy Street which will link the new St Margaret’s and Haymarket bus stations.

Deputy city mayor for environment and transportation Cllr Adam Clarke said: “These exciting plans to replace St Margaret’s Bus Station with a striking, new and carbon neutral building will signal the beginning of a revival of this part of the city. 

“It also represents an ambitious and important step forwards in our efforts to become a carbon neutral and climate adapted city by 2030, and will build on our work to support bus operators to convert to low emission fleets.

“The award of over £10million of government cash is a huge endorsement of the importance of this scheme. It will provide a huge boost for sustainable transport, help regenerate a run down but important gateway into Leicester and attract further private investment into the city.”

Kevin Harris, Chair of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), said: “I welcome the news that the new St. Margaret’s Bus Station will be a carbon neutral building. Investing in green and low-carbon initiatives is central to the LLEP’s Energy Infrastructure Strategy, which sets out our commitment to a net-zero emissions Leicester and Leicestershire. 

“The green economy is poised to become a major factor in employment, investment and infrastructure, and this new transport hub will help increase prosperity whilst lowering emissions.”

The St Margaret’s Gateway is a regeneration project supported by a £10.5m allocation from the Getting Building Fund, a pot of government funding awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP) for shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country.

A full planning application is in the process of being submitted. If given the go ahead, work on the demolition of the existing St Margaret’s Bus Station building could begin early in the new year.

Encouraging more people to use sustainable transport and cutting the carbon footprint of the city’s buildings are key actions resulting from the first Leicester Climate Emergency Strategy. Launched this month, the new strategy sets out an ambitious vision for how the city needs to change to move towards becoming carbon-neutral and adapting to the effects of global heating by 2030, or sooner.

An accompanying action plan – which will be updated on a yearly basis – sets out an initial programme of 120 actions that will support the strategy and help achieve the ambitious carbon savings required.

To find out more visit www.leicester.gov.uk/ClimateEmergency