Exeter City Council leader Pete Edwards has released the following update to councillors on plans to redevelop the Exeter bus station site:
“I wanted to contact you urgently to inform you about a meeting that took place between myself, Stagecoach MD Bob Dennison and council officers this morning (Oct 9).
"As you know, the Bus Station and Leisure Complex Programme Board recently reiterated the council’s commitment to redeveloping the bus station.
"This tired site remains in desperate need of redevelopment and we have never moved on our commitment to create a new bus station and new leisure complex on the site. We remain absolutely committed to delivering this long overdue redevelopment.
"An extraordinary council meeting will take place at the Guildhall on Thursday, October 12, to discuss recommendations made by the Programme Board for moving forward with our plans.
"One of those recommendations is to formally affirm closure of the bus station from October 29, 2017.
"However, following advice we have received it has become apparent that we will not be able to proceed with our plans to demolish the bus station as quickly as we thought.
"As a result of this advice, and following representations from a number of key stakeholders, I shall be recommending to council on Thursday that the closure of the bus station is rescheduled to take place early next year.
"Bus users have, and always will be, our priority. It has now become apparent that we will be able to reduce the period of time the public will be inconvenienced by the closure of the bus station, and it is right that we do so.
"With this in mind, and a result of this morning’s meeting, it was agreed by all parties that it would be in the best interests of passengers to keep the bus station operating as usual until early next year.
"This is the recommendation that I will be asking members to support at Thursday’s full council meeting.
"We will ensure that the necessary communications are carried out to ensure everyone is aware that the temporary, on street solution for passengers will not be introduced until early next year.
"All other recommendations made by the Programme Board regarding the redevelopment of the site remain the same.”
Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, added: “Earlier today I attended an extremely positive and productive meeting with Exeter City Council.
“Here, we discussed what would be best for bus users during the bus station re-tendering process. My priority has always been to put our customers’ needs first, minimising any inconvenience to them and this view is shared by the council.
“To this end, I am pleased to confirm we have jointly agreed to keep the bus station open until early 2018.”