Green Party’s ‘Plan B’: An open letter to Pete Edwards

23 March 2018

Exeter Green Party are calling on the Labour-run council to urgently put the brakes on their bus station redevelopment plans, saying it is now ‘imperative to reconsider the most appropriate and possible uses for this site’. 

In an open letter to City Council leader, Cllr Pete Edwards [1], Green Councillor Chris Musgrave and Diana Moore, Green Party candidate in St David’s ward, call for a feasibility study into refurbishing the current bus and coach station; an investigation into whether Pyramids could be refurbished or a new pool built on site; an ‘absolute commitment’ to providing a modern covered multi-use market and a mix of affordable and social housing on the city centre site.

Greens point to changes in the economic climate since the development plans for the bus station were first conceived and call for a fundamentally rethink.

Alphington Green Party councillor, Chris Musgrave, said:

“The fact that the Council owns such a large proportion of a valuable site in the city centre offers a once in several generations opportunity to improve our city centre. It is vital to get it right.

“In particular, we deplore the decision to demolish the current bus station. With so many uncertainties about when or if a new bus station will be built, we must avoid inconveniencing the travelling public, possibly for many years to come. We need to look first at the feasibility of refurbishing the current bus and coach station.

Likewise, we need to explore the possibility of retaining the Pyramids pool, either through refurbishment, which the Council has already committed £1 million to, or by building a new pool on that site.”

Diana Moore is urging the Council to adopt a popular Green Party policy of a modern market square for the site. She said:

“We want to see an absolute commitment to providing a modern covered multi-use market, with associated open space. We know this is popular - 70% of residents we’ve interviewed support the idea. Such a market would thrive -  used by local food producers and traders as well as providing space for local organisations who want to have stalls, craft and cultural events.”

Greens also challenge Exeter City Council and Devon County Council to work together to develop a whole city transport plan to tackle congestion and the city’s chronically bad air quality. Diana Moore concluded:

“We must gear up to a future where active travel such as walking, cycling and scooters and public transport are easy, safe and given priority over private car use. A whole city transport plan could tackle congestion, improve air quality and guide the development of the site based round a fit-for-purpose bus and coach station.”

[1] Letter accompanying press release