Council gets approval to acquire Stirling Street site

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A compulsory purchase order for Galashiels bus station has been approved by the Scottish Government, despite objections from FirstGroup.

The order enables Scottish Borders Council to acquire the site and start work on the development of the transport interchange ahead of the arrival of the railway.

A council spokesman said: “The compulsory purchase order was confirmed in mid-May and the council is now undertaking the formal process to take title to the land, which will take a two-month period.

“Discussions are continuing with First Bus regarding operations during the construction period and for the longer term from the new transport interchange.”

He added: “In terms of the physical works on site, the infrastructure element (re-aligning Stirling Street, creating the new civic space and car park) will commence in October of this year.

“This will create the space for the transport interchange building, allowing works 
to commence in March 

A First Scotland East spokesperson added: “We are aware of the plans for Galashiels bus station. I can assure our customers that we are working closely with the local authority and are considering how best to serve our customers both in the short and long term.

“We are determined to put in place a solution that is convenient and welcomed by our passengers.

“We hope to be able to announce plans in the coming weeks.”

The council has submitted a planning application for the car park on Ladhope Vale to be used as temporary overnight bus parking while work is carried out in Stirling Street.

The car park would be given over to FirstBus from November this year, 
with fencing erected to secure the site. In April 2015 it would reinstated as a car park.

Only minor alterations are required to the car park to enable the buses to park there, these being the removal of a ticket machine and a lamppost.