Leicester City Council have started work on a £13.5m regeneration of Leicester’s St Margaret’s bus station and the surrounding streets, set to be complete by summer 2022.
The project will replace the old bus station and create more attractive routes for pedestrians and cyclists, as part of a major regeneration effort in this part of the city centre.
Encouraging more people to use sustainable transport and cutting the carbon footprint of the city’s buildings are key aims of Leicester’s Climate Emergency Strategy, which sets out a plan to make the city carbon-neutral by 2030.
Cllr Adam Clarke, deputy city mayor for environment and transportation, said: ‘These exciting plans to replace St Margaret’s Bus Station with a striking, new and net carbon zero building represents an ambitious and important step forwards in our efforts to become a carbon neutral and climate adapted city by 2030.
‘It shows our commitment to decarbonising buildings and will build on our work to promote sustainable transport and support bus operators to convert to low emission fleets. In many ways this new carbon neutral bus station building will be a flagship for what we are striving to achieve in Leicester.’
A series of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures will help make the new station a net carbon zero building, including fitting the roof with around 750sqm of photovoltaic panels which will generate enough energy to power the station and feed surplus green energy back into the grid.
Electric bus charging points will also be installed, and the new building will feature storage for 150 bikes and increased capacity for national and regional bus services.
The station will have glazed walls and a curved aluminium roof, reusing the steelwork frame of the previous building, and will contain a new café, better seating, improved toilets, and digital passenger information.
The redevelopment of this area is supported by a £10.5m allocation from the Getting Building Fund, a pot of government money awarded to the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) for shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery.
Kevin Harris, chair of the LLEP Board of Directors, said: ‘St Margaret’s Gateway is a significant investment in the future of Leicester, and I’m very pleased that the LLEP has been able to support it via our Getting Building Fund allocation.
‘A major regeneration project at one of the key gateways to the city, the new bus station and improvements to the surrounding roads will be a great benefit to the local economy, creating jobs and connecting Leicester to the wider county and the rest of the UK.
‘The building’s carbon neutrality is a major boost to our goal of a net-zero Leicester and Leicestershire, and it’s great to see new investment in the green infrastructure of the future.’
In related news, plans to start construction on a railway station in Leeds have been approved, connecting communities and boosting the cities response to the climate emergency.
Photo by Gonzalo Facello