This Sunday saw a new chapter in Rochdale’s transport history with the opening of Rochdale Interchange’s bus station. It improves on its predecessor with twelve stands under one roof, and an entrance with waiting area – ideal for Town Taxi’s cabs and the forthcoming Metrolink line to Rochdale railway station.
“The interchange is an attractive, accessible, bright place to catch your bus with modern, easy to use facilities” – Transport for Greater Manchester (2013)
It is easier to use than its predecessor, and clearly aimed at casual bus users as well as regulars. Ambience is airier and its single terminus design makes for a more attractive environment at night time. The introduction of departure boards at each stand and in the centre of the bus station itself (for all services) is a welcome addition. If there’s anything which it falls down on compared with the 1978 version, it is the lack of a café (though facilities are available in the Council Offices opposite).
The only other gripe I have(well a trifling one) is the lack of a 2013 version of the Bielefeld bus stop flag. Then again, there’s every chance our fellows from Germany might present it to TfGM once the Rochdale Interchange – Rochdale Railway Station line has opened.
“No doubt at all that they will continue to enjoy and appreciate this for a very long time to come” – Greater Manchester Transport (1978)
We hope this statement, which applied to the previous bus station (on the 28 May 1978), is as true with the present day version. It is also more energy efficient being powered by the River Roch, thanks to a form of Hydro Electric generation. By the time the old bus station is replaced by an extended Wheatsheaf Shopping Centre, we hope this and the bus/tram interchange makes Rochdale a more attractive location to do business, shop, or sample real ales.
From now on, I shall let the pictures do the talking and enable you to judge for yourself.