WORK on the new £2.9million Andover bus station is close to completion following a year-long closure and major refurbishment.
Next week the futuristic-looking station welcomes its first paying customer in the form of local charity Test Valley Community Services (TVCS), which takes up its permanent home there as tenants.
The charity, which helps run Shopmobility and the Andover Volunteer Centre as well as the local Community Transport Scheme, will be fully accessible and easy to find for residents.
The office move provides Shopmobility with bigger premises than its current site in the Chantry Centre, and will mean those with mobility problems will have smaller distances to travel from the car park or to and from the current off-site bus stops.
All TVCS services will operate from the new offices from Monday, and with its eye-catching purple signage being visible to anyone visiting the bus station, it will be easy to locate.
TVCS volunteer development officer Tessa Makepeace said: “It’s an exciting move for us and great to be back in the centre of town, especially for the Volunteer Centre and Community Transport, who will join Shopmobility in these new premises.”
When fully open, the new station will have two additional bays for buses and coaches, a new internal waiting area, covered bus boarding area, electronic passenger information systems, a Stagecoach customer enqui-ries office and facilities, and a new café, as well as the facility for Shopmobility and Test Valley Community Services.
During the redevelopment, period buses have used temporary stops in West Street, Western Avenue and Bridge Street.
The station should be operational in part within weeks.
A Test Valley Borough Council spokeswoman said: “It looks like the buses will be using the station next month, but the official opening will take place in September.”
Funding for the project has come from the capital contributions of housing developers.