Work has begun on construction of the new Wolverhampton Coach Link as part of the city’s multi-million Interchange plans. City of Wolverhampton Council announced at the end of October that it had been granted £500,000 by the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for the development of a new coach facility and related works. Wolverhampton Coach Link will be based in Bilston Street and will make use of the now redundant side of the St George’s Metro stop.

It will alleviate congestion in Pipers Row, where a new stop for the planned extension of the Metro is planned outside the bus station. There will be a lane closure in force on Bilston Street for the duration of the works, which are due to be completed by April 2016.

This should not have a major impact on traffic flow as traffic will be funnelled into a single lane on Garrick Street before turning right into Bilston Street. Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets, said: “The start of work on the coach link further strengthens the progress that is being made on the Interchange project.

“Phase one saw a new bus station delivered. Phase two has already seen i10 open its doors and the demolition of the former Steam Mill completed. “Work will soon begin on redeveloping the railway station car park, doubling the number of parking spaces to 900. “The coach link will not only help ease traffic congestion on Pipers Row – but will deliver a facility befitting of the new Interchange.”

The scheme will involve some highway alterations at the surrounding junctions to accommodate the movement of the coaches. Coach services will approach the facility from the Ring Road/Bilston Street Island and make their way via St George’s Parade and Garrick Street to the link. Coach services will therefore not need to drive through the busy central area of Pipers Row, Queen Street and Market Street.

Avoiding this central area, which will be subject to continued works for delivery of the Interchange project, will also reduce potential for delays to services and allow operators to run a reliable timetable. The coach facility will provide an enhanced waiting facility for coach passengers within the city centre, and is within 200 metres of the bus station and the tram. The platform and waiting area will be fully accessible and the design includes appropriate width for deployment of wheelchair access ramps from coaches.