Wigan’s new bus station has proven to be a big hit with users during its first year - with the number of customers saying that they are very satisfied increasing more than threefold.
A survey of 260 users undertaken over four separate days in June this year showed that, overall, 89 per cent of those asked were satisfied with the new facility, with 68 per cent very satisfied, compared to just 17 per cent at the old facility in 2017.
The survey showed increases in all areas of customer satisfaction, such as:
• Finding your bus stand – 98% (89% in 2017)
• A clean environment – 99% (83% in 2017)
• A comfortable waiting area with seats – 90% (78% in 2017)
• Interchange is an attractive entrance to the town – 96% (48% in 2017)
• A safe and secure environment with 24hr CCTV – 98% (88% in 2017)
The £15.7m facility, delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) in partnership with Wigan Council, opened more than two months ahead of schedule on 29 October 2018. A comparative survey of 207 people was undertaken over three separate days at the old bus station in June 2017.
Councillor Mark Aldred of the Greater Manchester Transport Committee said: “The bus station is a key part of the modern town centre, playing a major role in making travel easier and allowing people access everything Wigan has to offer, so I’m delighted it is proving so popular.
“I know that a huge amount of research and consultation went into the design of the facility to ensure it delivered exceptionally high standards in terms of safety, security, comfort and accessibility and I think that is reflected in the feedback.
“I hope it continues to encourage more people to use public transport to make their journeys.”
Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “It’s fantastic to hear that commuters have given such positive feedback about the new bus station. It was really important for us to work collaboratively with Transport for Greater Manchester to deliver a bus station that met local need and that residents and visitors could be proud of.
“Not only does the new bus station play a vital role in supporting the economic growth of Wigan town centre, but it’s key to encouraging others to use alternative modes of transport to the car where possible.
“An easy to navigate, well-managed and safe bus station helps us to deliver a sustainable transport system, supports our regeneration plans and makes travelling around our borough much easier.”
Since early 2019, Wigan town centre has seen an increase in footfall, which can be partly attributed to the new bus station, in addition to the council’s free parking initiative, frequent town centre events and The Fire Within cultural exhibition housed at The Galleries shopping centre.
Throughout the design and construction of the bus station, TfGM has consulted with the Greater Manchester Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG) and the Wigan Access Committee. Their members, who have a wide range of disabilities, provided feedback on the new facility. Combined with customer feedback, this has resulted in a facility which makes public transport more accessible for all.
The station boasts a number of eco-friendly features too. Part of the roof is made up of Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE), a lightweight alternative to glass that allows natural light to reach the centre of the building, reducing the need for artificial lighting. In addition, solar panels on the roof provide around 15% of the bus station’s power.
Funding for the Wigan Bus Station development was supported by Central Government through the Greater Manchester Local Growth Deal Programme.
It was designed by Austin-Smith:Lord and Mott MacDonald, and built by VINCI Construction UK For more information, visit www.tfgm.com/wigan-bus-station
For information on public transport across Greater Manchester visit www.tfgm.com, call 0161 244 1000 (7am-8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am-8pm at weekends and bank holidays) or follow @OfficialTfGM on Twitter.