WITH less than three weeks to go before it opens its doors to the public, the final touches are being made to Mansfield’s new £9m bus station.
The new station opens its doors for business on Easter Sunday (31st March), hoping to take bus travel in the town into the 21st Century.
To mark the completion of the building, a ceremony attended by Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, will take place on Monday.
He will arrive in Mansfield by train where he will be met by Nottinghamshire County Council leader, Coun Kay Cutts; county council chairman Coun Carol Pepper and Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton.
The guests will cross from the railway station to the new bus station via a brand-new footbridge which links the two, helping to create a transport hub in the town, encouraging more people to travel by public transport.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the entrance to the bridge and, following a tour of the new building, the secretary of state will unveil a commemorative plaque in the main concourse area.
Among the guests at the ceremony will be pupils from the Queen Elizabeth Academy who, along with pupils from King Edward Primary School, contributed towards a time capsule which has been buried beneath the station, showing future residents of Mansfield what life was like in the early 21st Century.
The station also has a high-tech video wall for use by local businesses and community groups.
A Family Fun Day takes place on Easter Saturday, giving people an opportunity to look at the new facility before it opens for business the following day.
The new bus station is 180 metres (195 yards) from the market place and will be used by more than five million passengers a year – that’s more than East Midlands Airport.
The new building is light, airy and safe. It is fully enclosed and has a waiting area with plenty of seating, toilets, a baby changing area, shops and refreshments.
It also boasts a staffed travel information office, electronic timetables and CCTV cameras linked to the town centre system.