Work to demolish the Mayflower West car park and begin clearing the ground for a new multi-million pound intercity coach hub is set to start next month.
Demolition of the car park, which was closed last September due to its deteriorating structural condition, is expected to get under way just after the Easter break and take around 20 weeks to complete.
In its place are plans to build a brand new coach terminal, unveiled by Cabinet members earlier this week as part of a major city centre investment package proposed by British Land, the owner of Drake Circus and the UK’s largest listed retail landlord.
As well as bays for long-distance coach services, the proposed new terminal includes a waiting room, booking office, toilets and significant improvements to the look and feel of the streets around the site, as well as public parking for cars.
Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Mark Lowry said: “The Mayflower West car park is typical of many that were put up hastily in the 1960s and 1970s as car use rapidly expanded. Apart from being in poor structural condition, it’s bleak and gloomy for shoppers and visitors. I expect many people will be pleased to see this eyesore removed!
“Providing a bright and modern coach terminal here will create a much better welcome to Plymouth city centre and encourage far more shoppers into the West End. It will also be as significant improvement on the existing facilities at Bretonside.”
Doug Fletcher, Chair of the Plymouth City Centre Company, said: “Removing the existing car park and replacing it with a coach station and additional car parking spaces is good news for the city centre. I feel sure the traders, particularly those operating nearby, will be looking forward to the additional customer numbers that will come once the facility is operational – it can’t come too soon.”
Demolition of the car park will include removing the ‘bridge’ link to the Armada Centre and all of the structure above ground level. An interim car park will be provided at ground level until work begins on the proposed coach terminal next year.
There will be access restrictions in place during the works but access will be maintained for deliveries to nearby businesses.