Northampton's new £7m bus station opens

North Gate bus station in Northampton
Image caption The North Gate station replaces Greyfriars, which will now be demolished

A new bus station has opened in the centre of Northampton.

The first buses began operating at the £7m interchange at North Gate on Saturday.

Demolition work on the old Greyfriars station, which was "beyond repair" and would have cost £30m to refurbish according to the borough council, will begin in April.

Demolishing Northampton's bus station as part of a plan to redevelop the town centre will cost £4m, the council said.

The work is expected to take 18 months to complete and will also require knocking down a large car park and offices.

Demolition would also enable the possible expansion of the nearby Grosvenor Shopping Centre, which the council is discussing with its owner Legal & General.

Northampton Borough Council leader David Mackintosh said: "Greyfriars has become a real embarrassment for people coming into Northampton and really was not fit for purpose.

"Change is always difficult and some people will take a while to get used to [the new station] but hopefully they will see it's a big improvement on Greyfriars, and when we can develop that site after demolition it will really help us to enhance Northampton further."

Image caption Greyfriars opened in 1976 and its roof garden was an architectural feature

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