Lakesmere appointed to design and build bus station roof

lakesmere logoLeading building envelope specialist Lakesmere is set to make another journey into the transport sector following the contractor’s prestigious appointment to work on the new Stoke-on-Trent bus station.

The £1m contract will see Lakesmere design and install the new bus station’s dramatic sweeping roof that is in the form of a breaking wave. The impressive structure will be created using the innovative Kalzip XT aluminium system and a complex combination of straight and tapered sheets. As part of the building envelope package, Lakesmere will also complete the installation of the sweeping fascias, gutters, rainwater pipes, smoke vents, access hatches and mansafe system. Additionally the team will install a Sika Sarnafil roof, aluminium rainscreen cladding and secondary steelwork to the adjacent concrete frame bus drivers’ accommodation building. Continue reading

Diggers Move in For Next Phase Of The Hanley Bus Station Development

Following extensive and challenging ground stabilisation the work, today will see a team of excavators move on to the John Street site, where they will begin creating the foundations of the city’s new bus station – the first phase of the £350million new shopping and leisure complex in the city.

Over the next 10 weeks enough earth to cover a football pitch will be dug out of the new landmark bus station site in the city centre. The excavators are expected to move more than 3500m3 of earth to prepare the up to 8m deep foundations needed to support the iconic new building.

Once completed a further 3600m3 of concrete will be needed to prepare the ground for the complex 245 tonne of steelwork being fitted next as part of the build.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said

Today is an important day in the construction of the city’s new bus station. The earth which is needed to be moved is no small feat and will create the foundations for the iconic bus station building.


The work is being carried out by principal contractor VINCI construction UK.

Mark Thomas, Regional Director, VINCI Construction UK Building Division – North, said

The ground breaking ceremony is an exciting event for Stoke-on-Trent and VINCI Construction UK. It represents the start of a challenging and significant redevelopment of the new city centre bus facility and will open the gates to the £350 million redevelopment of a new shopping and leisure complex in Stoke-on-Trent.

Once the foundations are complete work will start in Spring on creating the bus drivers accommodation building before work starts on erecting the station’s main bus concourse.

Attention to detail

I don’t often write blog posts on here, I generally keep my opinions away from the site other than in the odd comment here or there.

Today I am going to make an exception to my rule and ask why do Stoke-on-Trent City Council seem to have such a lack of attention to detail?

Earlier I published a piece on the consultation for bus re-routing in Hanley. The re-routing needs to be carried out to allow the new bus station to operate.

I have an issue with the way the documents are presented, when you click on the links to view the proposed inbound or outbound bus routes, the maps are presented to you sideways. Why? It takes literally seconds to rotate the files before they are uploaded.

I’m lucky that I am a reasonably technically competent person so for me to rotate the files so I can read them is not a big problem, but a lot of people have little or no technical skills when it comes to computers or the Internet and could struggle trying to do this. More importantly why should I or anyone have to rotate files so we can read them? I don’t think that it is an unreasonable expectation for documents to be orientated the right way on the council website.

Who actually checks the content once it has been published? Every time I publish content on here or on other sites I run, I immediately go and look at it on the site, just to check it and make sure that everything looks and works as it should.

I’m pretty sure that the City Council don’t plan to make things difficult for us to read, I think it is just a lack of attention to detail.

Now while I am talking attention to detail, have a look at the Proposed Traffic Management Measures map that is part of the consultation.


Attention to detail isn’t an issue here, everything is detailed, even things that won’t change, all on one map. This cacophony of colour covers every detail of the changes that are proposed to the roads in the city centre, but you can’t see the road names because they have been obliterated by the addition of various coloured arrows and markings.

Bizarrely whoever created the map saw fit to add large black arrows on all one way streets that remain unchanged. Surely the standard implication on a map such as this is, everything is the same unless we tell you otherwise? So why add all this extra confusing detail that isn’t needed, maybe a note on the map stating that, all one way streets will remain the same unless otherwise noted, but I see no need to make this important map even more difficult to read.

Why not make a simple interactive map on-line that shows what the changes are rather than just producing a flat PDF? Someone with half an hour or so to spare could make something like the one below.

View Hanley Proposed Traffic Management in a larger map

The hardest part of creating this map was trying to work out what the actual roads were on the council map! This isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination and I’m sure it could be done a lot more elegantly but it proves a point and shows all the proposed changes.

The regeneration of Hanley as the ‘city centre’ for Stoke-on-Trent and the badly named City Sentral development is allegedly going to put us in the top 5 shopping cities in the UK I heard a few weeks ago. Well if this is the case then we need to be in the top 5 with everything else as well to support it, administration included.

200 years ago Stoke-on-Trent was at the forefront of the industrial revolution & manufacturing, world leaders in ceramics and known across the globe, now we can’t even get a PDF the right way around. Can you imagine Josiah Wedgwood allowing something to go out of his factory with the decoration on sideways?

Whinging about a couple of PDF’s that are not rotated may seem a bit petty, but I think the lack of attention to detail and the, that’ll do attitude, puts us in a bad light. When you see little things like those PDFs or the City Farm Tender document (remember that gem?), it makes you wonder why are we over looked for investment, why don’t we succeed with the bids we put in, is it the lack of attention to detail in the bid documents and presentations?

I want Stoke-on-Trent to improve, I want it to succeed, I want the council to be better. 

We deserve better.

Consultation for Bus Re-routing in Hanley begins

Public consultation on changes to the bus routing in Hanley appears to have begun.

Although there has been no official public announcement about this from Stoke-on-Trent City Council yet, the web page on the council website appears to have been updated on Monday.

It was proposed at the December Cabinet meeting, that public consultation should take place in January & February 2012, with the detailed design phase taking place between February & April in order for the final proposals to be presented to the April Cabinet meeting.

The consultation covers in-bound and out-bound bus routes for the new John Street bus station as well as substantial changes to the traffic flow on roads in the city centre.

According to the agenda pack for the December Cabinet meeting the public consultation will involve a leaflet drop to every address in and adjacent to the city centre as well as a public exhibition of the proposals.

You can view the councils consultation page and the Cabinet meeting agenda item using the links below.

VINCI Construction UK Selected As Principle Contractor For Stoke-on-Trents New Bus Station

VINCI Construction UK, who built the new Tesco store in Hanley in 2010, has been selected by Stoke-on-Trent City Council as the principal contractor for the development of the landmark new bus station in Hanley.

The appointment will see the next phase of the bus station start in the New Year as work on the foundations for the site start by the end of January.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said

Over the next few years Stoke-on-Trent city centre will start to look very different as major projects such as the regional new shopping centre, bus station and improvements to the public realm areas are developed. The new city centre bus station will create an important facility and stunning new gateway in to the city centre. It is exciting to see the project progressing to the next stage with Vinci.

VINCI Construction UK was chosen from 16 companies that showed a strong interest in undertaking the next phase of the Grimshaw Architects designed bus station.

Work on the site has progressed well since it started in April 2011. With the site now fully secured by 8ft hoarding, the ground works completed and the site prepared for foundations to start in the New Year. Work on the foundations will take around 8-10 weeks to complete with the new facility due to open in Autumn 2012.

Chris Hamer, Managing Director of VINCI Construction UK Building Division – North, said

VINCI Construction UK is helping to initiate the redevelopment of Stoke-on-Trent’s city centre with the construction of the first phase of City Sentral, the new bus station. We are replacing a tired 1960’s building with a new visually captivating facility that will kick start the redevelopment. It is exciting to be part of a project that will have such a positive effect for Stoke-on-Trent and improve the public realm.

The landmark new bus station will make way for the new £350million shopping complex – City Sentral – to start on the site of the current city bus station.

Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates, said

The bus facility is an important first step towards transforming City Sentral. Work on the new bus station is set to progress quickly, setting the scene for us to move ahead with the main City Sentral development. Once completed, City Sentral will transform Stoke-on-Trent city centre with the stunning new bus station acting as a landmark gateway to the Midland’s newest regional shopping and leisure destination.

Hanley Bus Station location

John Street Car Park And Bus Station Development

On March 23, Council Leader Mohammed Pervez started work on the much talked about new bus station for Hanley.

Councillor Pervez started the work with the construction of a 2.4 meter high fence around the site and said

This is fantastic news for the city. We gave commitment to starting on the bus station by 28 March. We have managed this. This is a sign of our absolute commitment to making sure we deliver. The new bus station will become a lasting legacy for the city and will provide users with a quality, warm and safe facility.

If we rewind back to September 2010, the cabinet of the time, under the leadership of Councillor Pervez made a number of pledges that they were going to deliver by the end of March 2011 These pledges included

  • Delivery of 100 Extra Care housing units to support older people.
  • Building new homes in Coalville, Blurton and Fegg Hayes.
  • Working in partnership to provide 100 affordable homes.
  • Starting a new adult learning programme.
  • Starting work on the new REACH short stay school at Trent Vale.
  • Supporting 2,000 people with advice on training and employment.
  • Helping 500 people into permanent jobs through the city’s JET centres.
  • Introducing 11 more No Cold Calling zones
  • Completing the refurbishment of the Mitchell Memorial Theatre.
  • Starting work on the development of a new city centre bus station.

Amazingly just before the ‘Purdah‘ period for the 2011 local elections started, (during Purdah publicity, in any form, by public officials, of candidates and politicians is prohibited), Councillor Pervez was able to Start work on the development of a new city centre bus station and deliver one of his cabinets pledges from September.

After the work started, the car park remained open until 11 April when the fencing was complete and the gates were locked for the final time. If you were expecting work to be being carried out as a matter of urgency behind the fence, you will be sorely disappointed.

John Street Car Park

An empty John Street car park

John Street Car Park

No sign of any work being carried out

As you can see now almost 9 weeks on from the work starting and 6 weeks since the car park was closed, there is no work being carried out nor are there any signs of any work other than putting the fence up and removing the pay machines being carried out.

Can closing a car park, which it has been alleged generated over £9000 a week in parking revenue for the city, be classed as delivering the cabinet pledge to start work on the development of the new city centre bus station? Especially as the planning application for the new bus station is reserved with clauses which appear to mean that any construction above ground level is not to commence until certain conditions have been met.

It is possible that other pledges made by the cabinet have been delivered as promised, but this one looks like it was a last minute vanity project by Councillor Pervez to dupe people in to thinking that work was actually beginning on the bus station.

Pits n Pots have contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council to ask them for a schedule of works currently being carried out, any completed works and any planned works, along with a statement from Councillor Pervez or Renew, so far they have not been able to supply this.

Updated 17:20 23 May Stoke-on-Trent City Council provided the following statement.


Since work began in March this year we have successfully secured the site, completed the site hoarding, commenced service disconnections, de-commisioning of ticket machines, tree removal and soft strip of shrubbery to the perimeter of the site. We have completed the tender for the enabling works package to stabilise the ground with the tenders now under review. This process has been slightly delayed due to the intensive bank holiday period which was unavoidable. We expect all reviews to be finished today (May 23) with a view to grouting works starting shortly; an eight to 10 week process. The tender for the principle contractor is also now issued with a closing date of June 24, 2011 and commencement on site following completion of the enabling works in early – mid August.  While a lot of the work has been in the background it is all vital to the project goes ahead as planned. We are working hard every day to get to make sure this process causes minimum disruption to people in and around the City Centre. Importantly we are still on track for completion in Autumn 2012.


Cabinet Pledges To Deliver Key Projects

Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez has today announced the cabinet’s pledge list for the city that will be delivered by the end of March 2011.
The pledges cover seven core service areas including; housing, education, employment, health, safety, cleanliness and delivering value for money services.

It’s no secret that we have to make some tough decisions and come up with ways of significantly reducing our spending. But there are many good things going on in Stoke-on-Trent which are improving the quality of life for our residents. We are publishing our pledges to promote this good news and in spite of tough financial times we are clearly driving the city forward.

We have already made significant progress on some of these pledges like the new Sixth Form College but I wanted to send out a very clear and positive message on the projects we will deliver by the end of March 2011.

The pledges include:

  • Deliver 100 Extra Care housing units to support older people.
  • Build new homes in Coalville, Blurton and Fegg Hayes.
  • Work in partnership to provide 100 affordable homes.
  • Start a new adult learning programme.
  • Start work on the new REACH short stay school at Trent Vale.
  • Support 2,000 people with advice on training and employment.
  • Help 500 people into permanent jobs through the city’s JET centres.
  • Introduce 11 more No Cold Calling zones
  • Complete the refurbishment of the Mitchell Memorial Theatre.
  • Start work on the development of a new city centre bus station.
Regeneration will continue in the city centre, the University Quarter and on our housing estates. Alongside that progress, people will also see the benefits of our efforts to make the city safer, cleaner and healthier, with better education, homes and job prospects.

The Coachmakers Arms The Final Curtain

We have heard some disturbing news over the past few days. A number of sources have reported that the Coachmakers Arms is to close this weekend.

The licensees Jason & Sue are reported to be leaving this weekend and the pub will finally close its doors once the cellar is drunk dry, which is expected to be as early as Tuesday 31 August.

We have tried to contact Jason & Sue this week to get a statement or an interview without any success and we have heard from other sources that the staff are tight lipped when asked about the rumour, neither confirming nor denying the story.

Regular readers of this site will recall the campaign launched by patrons & staff of the Coachmakers last year to try and save this almost unique building from being wiped out in the name of progress, with the proposed development of the East West Centre in Hanley. A facebook campaign, a petition to Number 10 nor the numerous blog posts were able to stop the planning application which sealed the fate of the Coachmakers.

If you have any news on the closure of this iconic local pub, please do get in touch with us or leave a comment below

New Bus Station For Stoke-on-Trent

After years of waiting, consultation, and empty promises, Stoke-on-Trent City Council finally agreed the company that will design the city’s new bus station.

Last night Stoke-on-Trent City Council unanimously agreed that Grimshaw Architects LLP, designers of the Eden Project in Cornwall and the International Terminal at London Waterloo station, will be the lead architectural company creating the full design for the city centre bus station.

With the designers being agreed, the next steps of the project was also revealed and work is targeted to start on site in just 9 months, on March 28 2011.

Council Leader Mohammed Pervez said, ‘I am excited and pleased with this significant step towards a new bus station. At long last the people of Stoke-on-Trent will know their new, state of the art, modern and fit for purpose bus station is within reach.

The bus station will be located at the heart of the East West Redevelopment which will bring a critical mass of investment into the city directly creating much needed new jobs.

I will personally be there on March 28 to see the work start on site. It is a project the council has been keen to progress. It has been a long time coming but we are definitely a significant step closer after tonight’s decision.’

Grimshaw Architects LLP will now complete the final design for the city centre bus station after producing a concept designs for stage two of the design competition. The final design for the bus station is expected in November before work begins in March next year.

Richard Blackwell, Associate for Grimshaw said, ‘We are delighted that our concept proposal secured the client’s support and look forward to developing and realising this exciting project. The competition brief clearly described the need for a new Bus Station but we soon recognised that the significance of the project extended beyond the immediate confines of the site.’

He continued, ‘We aim to deliver an elegant, simple building of enduring quality and are confident that the project will play a significant role in shaping the on-going redevelopment of Stoke-on-Trent.’

Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates,the company behind the East West Centre, said, ‘We are excited to be working with one of the world’s top architectural practices on this important project. Yesterday’s decision demonstrates the significant progress that has been made since we gained planning consent last year and reiterates our desire to press ahead with a scheme that will enable Stoke-on-Trent to take its rightful place as one of the top 30 shopping destinations in the country.’

Hanley Bus Station Have Your Say

Stoke-on-Trent residents are being asked for their views on on what they would like to see in their new city centre bus station.

This Wednesday (26 May), Stoke-on-Trent City Council will be holding a public exhibition, showing the initial design concepts of each of the 6 international design teams have been short-listed for the new bus station and asking local people what they think and what is important to them in their new bus station.

he new bus station, which is the first phase of the £275 million redevelopment of the East West Centre, will be an important new transport link and provide a new gateway to the city centre.

Councillor Brian Ward, said, ‘The bus station is a major step in the regeneration of the city centre. It will create a safe, warm and state-of-the-art facility for visitors to Stoke-on-Trent. Who better to tell us what will work and how the bus station should be designed than the people that use the current facility day in, day out. It is important that we get a design which will complement the new shopping centre and which people want and need.’

Residents are invited to the East West Centre Exhibition Unit in Charles Street between 10am and 6pm on Wednesday. Feedback from the event will be given to the judging panel, which will then decide which design team to appoint.

Representatives from the city council and Realis Estates, the developer behind the East West Centre redevelopment project, will be on hand to answer any questions about the scheme.

Each of the teams has put together a display that will be unveiled at the event. The drawings are not the final designs for the bus station but show initial concepts to give people an idea of the capabilities of each team.

The short-listed design teams are:

  • Austin Smith Lord, the practice behind the proposed new €100 million Tara Street Station in Dublin, lead architect with sub consultants Curtins, Hilson Moran & JMP
  • BDP, which was responsible for the new Number 1 court at Wimbledon, lead architect with sub consultants Mott MacDonald & AA Projects
  • Grimshaw, the architects behind the Eden Project in Cornwall, lead architect with sub consultant Arup
  • John McAslan & Partners, which is working on the masterplan for the redevelopment of Marble Arch in London, lead architect with sub consultants Mott Macdonald, AECOM & Billing Jackson
  • Wilkinson Eyre, which designed the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, lead architect with sub consultants Arup, Drivers Jonas Deloitte & Buchanan
  • Zaha Hadid, the practice working on the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, lead architect with sub consultants AKT, Savell Bird & Axon, Max Fordham.

Duncan Mathieson, Managing Director of Realis Estates, said, ‘The new bus station is a vital part of our plans for the redevelopment of the East West Centre. It will become a stunning new gateway not just for the scheme itself but for the whole of the city centre. The redeveloped East West Centre will enable Stoke-on-Trent to take its rightful place as one of the top 30 shopping destinations in the country. The city has a bright future with a number of major investment projects now either underway or in the pipeline. We are proud to be part of these exciting plans.’