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Cumbernauld needs a bus station, Hepburn says

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 00:00 GMT on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011.

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JAMIE Hepburn, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, and SNP candidate for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth has once again raised the prospect of a new bus station for Cumbernauld Town Centre. 
At General Questions in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 17th March 2011, he raised the matter with the Minister for Transport, Keith Brown, describing the current bus station as “a shambles”.
In his question, he asked Mr Brown for advice as to how to best make the case for the bus station.  In response, the Transport Minster stated that it was vital that the relevant public bodies come together to develop “a facility that will meet passengers’ needs”
The text of Mr Hepburn and Mr Brown’s exchange was as follows:
Jamie Hepburn (Central Scotland) (SNP): “To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made in implementing the national framework for park and ride for buses.”
The Minister for Transport and Infrastructure (Keith Brown): “Bus park-and-ride schemes are delivered by local authorities and regional transport partnerships. They have been successfully developed at many sites throughout Scotland and the Scottish Government is keen for that to continue. They can make a valuable contribution to increasing modal shift and reducing congestion, which are key outcomes for the Scottish Government.”
Jamie Hepburn: "Is the minister aware of the on-going campaign for a new bus station for Cumbernauld town centre to replace the shambles that passes for a bus station at the moment? What advice can he give to those of us who are campaigning for a new bus station for the town?"
Keith Brown: "I am aware of the on-going campaign for a new bus station in Cumbernauld town centre, and of the member’s staunch support for it. My advice is that North Lanarkshire Council, local bus operators and Strathclyde partnership for transport should work together to develop practical and cost-effective proposals for a facility that will meet passengers’ needs. During this morning’s debate, we saw that the best environment for buses in Scotland is a mutually supportive one in which bus operators, Government and local authorities work together. That will provide the best outcome.
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Commenting, Jamie said: “I have long been calling for a new bus station for Cumbernauld Town Centre.  It is not without reason that I described the current station as a shambles in Parliament.  It is dirty, unwelcoming and being separated by a busy dual carriageway, very confusing for those not used to it.  Frankly, it is an embarrassment for the town.
“That is why we so desperately need a new bus station, which will properly serve the needs of the town and wider area.  I welcome the comments of the Transport Minister that those with a locus on this matter should get together to try and forge a new way forward.
“To be fair to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, they have indicated to me in the past that they are aware the current station is inadequate and are predisposed to a decent replacement, but that they require the local authority to come up with a coherent town centre master plan for Cumbernauld which can set aside an area for the bus station.
“If I am fortunate enough to be elected back to the Scottish Parliament, I shall continue to prioritise this matter and press hard for a new proper bus station for Cumbernauld town centre.”

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