Protesters sit it out on Derby bus station roof

29.10.2005

A roof top protest by environmental protesters is causing quite a stir in Derby, they have camped out on top of the soon to be demolished bus station roof and have been there for a week now, as part of a last ditch attempt to stop it being knocked down to make way for a £90 million Riverlights scheme. Protesters need help

"Why do you hate buses Mr CO2 Blair"? is the message on one of the banners hanging from the top of the bus station roof

Friends of the Earth have campaigned that its replacement with another bus station, casino, bars, nightclub, hotel and underground car park will add to regional carbon emissions and reduce choice and access to public transport services. As well as unsustainable development which does not take into account the effects on future generations or on climate change.

It's not as if Derby doesn't have enough pubs, clubs or casinos and the underground car park that was under the Eagle Centre was closed when the new multi story car park was added next to the bus station and Eagle Centre adding to the traffic chaos around Cockpit Island. The new bus station complete with electronic time tables, shops and cashpoint machines is to be in the same place so it will not help with reducing traffic congestion.

If that isn't bad enough the development is also in a floodplain and washland of the river Derwent which burst its banks three times in the last 50 years and as acknowledged by the UK government that storms and flooding will only get worse because of climate change.

The save the bus station action group have been continually trying to get Derby City Council to back down on its plans for the Riverlights. Before they were just going to spend £8 million (as opposed to the new redevelopment of £90 million) on repairs and upgrades to the 1930s bus station which was the first to be covered and have double bays until they heard of Westfield's plans to redevelop the Eagle Centre which is right next to the bus station, into something akin to Birmingham's Bullring or Sheffield's Meadowhall.

Work is now under way for the Eagle centre, inner ring roads and bus station taking some two to three years to complete, with old buildings being pulled down to expand the new centre, new bus station and traffic chaos.

Derby has become a no go zone for shoppers as many businesses have closed waiting for relocation and jobs have been lost. Further bus loads of passengers now have to huddle under a 4 person shelter when it rains with no adequate seating for the infirm or disabled persons and many are constantly asking where they need to go to catch the bus to their destination. Even home owners are being forced out with new road schemes in the Fivelamps area and have local campaigners from Derby Hearts on the bus station roof as well as protesters from several campaign groups. And the subject has been hotly debated with local people in derby. When the Derby Telegraph reported it there were some 27 comments on the website some for some against, so it looks like Derby City Council has not got a clear point of view from the local people and might have acted too soon on condemning the bus station to death and now we here that Derby is to get a monorail, yes a monorail in a city you can walk across in under five minutes.

Urgent support is needed on this climate change protest
The protesters are looking for volunteers to stay on the roof for a couple of nights or hours so they can get a break, read fan mail, and the like
Call 07979 238913 or 07854 807129

Links
Bus station history
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=124615&command=...

Protesters on roof
http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=124615&command=...

http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=124615&command=...