Thetford bus station anger grows

Hundreds of signatures have been collected in objection to the proposed relocation of Thetford’s bus station.

Wendy Raphael and Patricia Smith stopped shoppers in King Street in the town in a bid to uncover public opinion. More than 400 people were asked whether they agreed with the move from the current site on Bridge Street to a proposed site on Minstergate.

Mrs Raphael and Mrs Smith, who are activities co-ordinators for the Thetford Society, both believe the current site should be renovated and the station kept in its current location.

Mrs Smith said the site on Minstergate was too small to accommodate extra traffic, passengers would step off the bus near a busy road, and pedestrians using the underpass would be at risk.

She said: “We’re just so angry, like most people. According to our petition 86pc of the people we asked in Thetford were against the new site. Now, if that’s not an overwhelming majority I don’t know what is. There’s been a public outcry and we feel we haven’t been listened to.”

The Bridge Street site has been mooted a centre for shops, restaurants and homes. It had been thought the town’s academy would become part of the town’s academy but less than anticipated government funding meant this was no longer possible.

Relocation of the bus station would also include renovation of the town’s old Cosy Carpets building.

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A separate toilet block to the right of the building would be made of either flint or concrete.

Mrs Smith, of Redgate, Thetford, said the idea of a petition, carried out on April 9, had begun at a Thetford Society meeting. She added: “I’ve been to every consultation and meeting but they take no notice at all about local feeling.

“Now the forum is not going on the Anchor site it’s the perfect place for a bus station. There are lots of ideas which are more suitable than the Minstergate site which is minuscule.”

Both Norfolk County Council, which is leading the project, and Moving Thetford Forward, which provided funding, declined to comment.