The government has committed to making bus facilities a priority.

It comes as plans for the Lord Street complex, which was due to house bus facilities, have stalled again.

Demolition of the central bus station on Lord Street to make way for a ‘temporary’ pay and display car park was given planning permission in March 2002.

Yet 20 years on, the site remains a car park.

In this month’s Tynwald sitting, Douglas East MHK Joney Faragher requested for a commitment that a detailed plan of bus facilities, with a report on the plans to be presented by December 2023.

Ms Faragher said: ‘The last time we had a bus station pre-dates smart phones.

‘With all the issues outlined with development in last month’s Tynwald, perhaps it is time to think beyond Lord Street.

‘The infrastructure minister said in last month’s sitting that completion could be years away but we can’t wait more years for facilities with most passengers. What if we move the main arrival and departure point to the Sea Terminal.

‘There are already most facilities there – shelter, toilets, Wi Fi, a shop and refreshments available with the only exception of route information. The buses could wait facing the terminal building on a diagonal, we would lose some parking spaces, but I believe this is a decent swap.

‘Wouldn’t it be great to have a central, warm and equipped hub from which to travel?

‘I hope the department may consider this as a potentially quick and relatively straightforward solution.’

Ms Faragher added: ‘I just want to finish by saying that bus station facilities are truly essential if we want to encourage public transport use.

‘The increase in use of public transport is identified in the climate report as a key lever in emissions reduction.’

‘Making a more positive travel experience can help retain existing users and may encourage new riders to choose the bus service and by investing in these facilities, we not only improve the travel experience, but also showcase our city’s commitment to the wellbeing and happiness of its residents and visitors.’

Whilst Ms Faragher’s motion requested that plans include but are not limited to: route and timetable information, protection from weather, toilet services, appropriate seating, accessible Wi-Fi and availability of refreshments, Ann Corlett (Douglas Central) amended it to include adequate lighting.

Mrs Corlett said: ‘I have had many people contact me regarding the lighting at the bus station.

‘The most recent contact I’ve had was from a young woman who is 17.

;She told me that as she sometimes works late due to the nature of her work, the lights aren’t very bright.

‘She said there have been many times when she has felt scared and that she would feel safer if there was better lighting.’

The motion was carried as amended, with the interim Infrastructure Minister and Chief Minister, Alfred Cannan,telling his colleagues: ‘Speaking in my capacity as DoI Minister I am happy to get on board with both the motion and the amendment and I look forward to updating Tynwald further in December 2023.’