PARTS of Lancaster bus station and the city’s main taxi rank will close next year while further sewer inprovements are carried out by United Utilities.
The scheme, which is expected to last for 14 months, will see engineers create two large new underground storm water tanks – one beneath the bus station site off Damside Street, and one beneath a section of the Bulk Road retail park car park.
The 25m diameter underground tanks will be used to capture excess rainwater during heavy storms, and prevent sewer spills into the river Lune.
Some bus stops will be temporarily relocated to the car park at the side of Chapel Street and taxi drivers are being consulted about a relocation of the taxi rank for the duration of the work.
Work is expected to get underway on both city centre sites in February 2013, and will be delivered in several phases.
The whole project is expected to be completed by spring 2015.
United Utilities project manager Dawn Harrington said: “This project is vital to ensure a cleaner, greener Lancaster, as well as improved coastal waters.
“Currently, when the heavens open, the sewer system can become overwhelmed, causing stormwater containing diluted sewage to spill into the river.
“By increasing the capacity of the sewers, we can dramatically reduce these spillages.
“The work in the city centre has to be very carefully co-ordinated to minimise disruption, which is why we are sharing our plans months in advance.
“We are liaising closely with bus providers, taxi operators and the shopping centre, to make sure they can continue to provide their usual services to the public when the work begins next year.”
Once the bus station has been reinstated in mid-2014, engineers will move onto Damside Street, North Road and Rosemary Lane to increase the size of the sewer pipes. These roads will be closed in a phased manner while the work takes place.
Work to create a smaller storm water tank on the car park of the Bulk Road retail park, also due to start in February next year, is expected to take approximately six months.
Work on Bulk Road itself will also need to be carried out.