Lincoln Transport Hub

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Lincoln Transport Hub

The Lincoln Transport Hub is a large multi-modal scheme being delivered with LGF and local funding. The main purpose of the Lincoln Transport Hub is to provide an integrated and improved transport hub that enables both the bus and railway stations to cope with increased passenger numbers and open up the possibility of more services in the future. This addresses the problem of an inadequate existing bus station with sub-standard facilities, condition and general amenities, as well as poor railway station access facilities in need of redesign and investment.

The scheme will have a significant impact on local growth and investment, providing a fitting gateway into the City of Lincoln. With an expected BCR of 1.64, the scheme has been granted funding not only based on the economic case but the strategic case and the significant wider impacts expected to come from this investment.

Key Statistics

Location: Greater Lincolnshire, City of Lincoln
Key Stakeholders:
  • City of Lincoln Council
Construction start date: September 2016
Construction completion date: March 2018

Sources of funding



Greater Lincolnshire LEP SLGF: £13,000,000
City of Lincoln Council: £15,775,000
Station Forecourt Improvements NSIP Funding: £225,000
Total Capital: £29,000,000
Lincoln Transport Hub

The Lincoln Transport Hub site is located in the heart of the City of Lincoln, (see map). Lincoln is a principal urban area for Greater Lincolnshire and a regional centre for services including employment, retail, leisure, culture, health and education.   As a focal point for these services, and with a Travel to Work Area (TTWA) of some 300,000 people, the city is subject to daily inward flows in excess of 10,000 people.

Transport and the economy

To ensure that there is a coherent and effective approach to managing transport to and within the city, an improved transport infrastructure is a vital element of Lincoln’s growth strategy, and enabling efficient and cost effective transportation access & prioritisation is critical to supporting the city’s economy.  In recent years the expansion of the University; creation of a University Technical College; continued business growth; investment in the visitor economy, in particular the Castle and Cathedral; and the significance of the city as a retail centre has meant that the need to address critical transport infrastructure issues became a high priority.

The main purpose of the Lincoln Transport Hub is to provide an integrated and improved transport hub that would enable both the bus and railway stations cope with increased passenger numbers and open up the possibility of more services in the future. The existing bus station was deemed inadequate, with sub-standard facilities, condition and general amenities. Railway station access, parking and services were also in need of redesign and investment.

The scheme will have a significant impact on local growth and investment, providing a fitting gateway into the City of Lincoln with associated public realm improvements, creating a fully integrated, accessible and welcoming city centre, and safeguarding the future of the High Street. The Lincoln Transport Hub proposal site has wider implications for the regeneration of adjacent retail areas, which formed part of an underperforming and increasingly vacant area of the city.

  • Assist the sustainable economic growth of Lincolnshire, and the wider region, through improvements to the transport network.
  • Improve access to employment and key services by widening travel choices, especially for those without access to a car.
  • Make travel for all modes safer and, in particular, reduce the number and severity of road casualties.
  • Maintain the transport system to standards which allow safe and efficient movement of people and goods.
  • Protect and enhance the built and natural environment of the county by reducing the adverse impacts of traffic.
  • Improve the quality of public spaces for residents, workers and visitors by creating a safe, attractive and accessible environment.
  • Improve the quality of life and health of residents and visitors by encouraging active travel and tackling air quality and noise problems.
  • Minimise carbon emissions from transport across the county.

Appraisal and selection

Scheme development

The scheme has been approached from a partnership perspective and several stakeholders and businesses have been involved and consulted in its initial development and design. A number of market driven solutions for the site were explored over several years, but none came to fruition, mainly due to viability and changes within the national economic climate. A framework approach for the appointment of a fixed price Design and Build contract under the Scape Major Works Framework, which is OJEU compliant, was taken for delivery of the scheme.

Scheme prioritisation

The project was prioritised as a priority regeneration/economic growth related project through a local strategic scoring process for growth deal (SLGF) investment via the LEP, responding to priorities for investment identified within the Greater Lincolnshire Strategic Economic Plan.  It was subsequently categorised as a DFT retained scheme, requiring full WebTAG appraisal due to the level of SLGF investment allocated by government along with 24 other schemes nationally.

Business case development

During the last few months of 2015 it became clear that the complexity and cost of delivering the dual-purpose footbridge over the railway element of the original scheme design would require substantial additional funding. The difficulties in obtaining this funding would have added significant time delays on delivery and additional cost to all components of the scheme, hence alternative plans for delivering the scheme were explored in detail with partners. This identified a two-phase approach, with the footbridge and Tentercroft Street area improvements being delivered in future years as a Phase 2 project.

The full business case was brought together by consultants on behalf of City of Lincoln Council as per recently revised WebTAG guidance, taking into account the broader strategic case and regeneration impacts of the scheme. Bespoke models for evaluating impact of the scheme were shared and discussed with DFT as part of the appraisal process, and a number of meetings and site visits with the City of Lincoln Council, the GLLEP and DFT helped to ensure greater clarity on what the overall scheme aims to achieve and why. Though BCR results were of course considered in the overall value for money assessment they were not the driving factor when it came to the final ministerial decision, which took into account the wider benefits analysis and local strategic importance of the project.

A Green Book appraisal was also carried out in tandem by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP focused on jobs created, new employment space created, housing provision, public realm improvements and leverage.

The project was met with several challenges as the business case was being developed, standard transport related models though of course relevant to an extent, could not on their own justify the wider economic and regeneration impacts of a unique transport related project of this nature. Partners and funders needed to approach the submission from a bespoke perspective, offering additional means of capturing growth outcomes likely to be achieved, and highlighting strongly the strategic nature of the proposed investment.

The economic assessment demonstrated that the scheme offers a medium value for money with a BCR of 1.64.

Having a regular dialogue between all partners, funders and local business groups played a big part in the level of detail the applicants were able to demonstrate. It was recognised at an early stage that consulting local bus companies, retailers, rail providers and public transport users would be key to the success of the Transport Hub, and these liaisons are continuing as the scheme continues to evolve.

Monitoring plan description

A detailed monitoring and evaluation plan has been agreed with the applicants. Steered by a combination of DFT guidance and LEP National Assurance Framework guidance, an appropriate hybrid approach was developed and agreed. Outputs and outcomes will be monitored and evidenced each quarter alongside claim submissions initially, and then will be captured separately once the main works are completed on site. Quarterly returns are provided to DFT and project progress updates are shared at each Greater Lincolnshire LEP Investment Board.


The Phase 1 scheme currently on site will deliver the following:

  • Demolition of the existing bus station and rooftop car park building to provide a new 31,260 square metre multi-storey city centre car park (with approximately 1,000 spaces) on the site of the existing out dated bus station.
  • A new modern 950 square metres 14 stand bus station situated on St Mary’s Street opposite the railway station with a bespoke coach drop off point located outside the railway station and two bus lay-over bays. The bus station will have a coffee shop, information desk, changing places and baby changing facilities, drivers’ welfare facilities and cash room at ground floor level. The first floor will comprise toilets, office accommodation (approx. 93 square metres) and a control room/office.
  • Station improvement works to the railway station forecourt with wider concourse and enhanced public realm improving accessibility for passengers. This will include the provision of cycle docking stations and taxi bays.
  • Improved and relocated access arrangements into the railway station customer car park together with improved boundary wall treatment.
  • New retail unit of approximately 325 square metres.
  • Nine new residential apartments above the retail unit.
  • Improved highway works along St Mary’s Street incorporating traffic calming measures, cycle lanes, safe pedestrian crossing and a new public space outside the main railway station entrance leading to the new bus station and the city centre.

The scheme is being procured and delivered via a framework approach with the lead partner being City of Lincoln Council.

Construction works commenced on site on 5 September 2016 and are progressing well and on programme.  A temporary bus station was created on Tentercroft Street (an adjacent road) to ensure continued provision and it is operating well.   The bus companies are operating a free hop on service to take passengers into the City and drop them off by the old bus station and to take them back to the temporary bus station should they wish to take advantage of this service.  Two temporary bus shelters have also been erected.

Though the project has not encountered any key issues during delivery to date, archaeological excavations were carried out over a nine week period across the site of the new MSCP before the construction works could get underway. Given the historic nature of the City this had to be extremely thorough and some of the more interesting findings will be displayed for public interest once the project is completed. Had something of great significance been found the scheme could have experienced lengthy delays and potentially a redesign, however this was not the case.

The scheme will be completed in 2018, though outputs and outcomes will be captured long after this date.

Assurance processes

Strong project governance arrangements on this project ensure the project is tightly controlled and visible within the Council’s decision making process.

The principal authority managing the scheme is the City of Lincoln Council and the delivery of the scheme is overseen by the Council’s Growth Board which comprises of the Council’s Chief Executive, Leader of the Council and three Corporate Directors.   Key members of the Project Team including the Council’s City Solicitor and Chief Finance Officer also meet regularly to report into the Project Programme Board which is chaired by the Council’s Chief Executive.

The Councils Risk Management Group meet regularly to review the project risks register to identify and mitigate project risks.

Evaluating the investment

Performance evaluation

The project evaluation will be completed in future years once the scheme is finished and actual outputs and outcomes have been evidenced. A detailed monitoring and evaluation plan is place and an external evaluation report will provided to the LEP in due course.

The successful delivery of the scheme will be judged by the following outcomes:

Supporting the delivery of sustainable economic growth – measured through GVA figures, employment levels, housing figures, retail and office provision as published by Lincolnshire Research Observatory, City of Lincoln’s ‘State of the Economy’ annual report and ‘The Lincoln Drivers Report’ and Lincoln Annual Population Surveys.

Increasing public transport usage – measured through Bus Operator annual surveys, Level of Service agreements with Lincolnshire County Council; timetable review; customer satisfaction surveys; and Office of Rail Regulation statistics on rail station usage.

Encouraging use of alternative / sustainable modes – measured through surveys undertaken before and after scheme implementation.

Supporting the City’s Parking Strategy – measured through the review of the Parking Strategy.

Supporting improvements in the quality of life, attractiveness and liveability of central Lincoln – measured through Visit Lincoln’s visitor satisfaction surveys, Indices of Multiple Deprivation updates – this includes income rates, employment levels, health indices, education / skill levels and crime data from the police and crime rate per 1000 figures published by Lincolnshire Research Observatory.

Improving the health of residents and visitors by encouraging active travel and tackling air quality and noise problems – measured through measurements of concentrations of key air quality indicators in AQMA – measured through annual monitoring at existing receptor locations; Carbon toolkit measurements; obesity and physical activity figures published by Lincolnshire Research Observatory, monitoring of journey to work data and pedestrian / cycle surveys.

Reducing number / severity of accidents – measured through comparison of standard accident data collected by the police and analysed by Lincolnshire County Council; also traffic speed monitoring in the area.

Process evaluation

So far, this has been a complex scheme to bring together with tremendous support from all partners and stakeholders concerned. Late changes to design could have stalled the scheme, but due to experience, resilience and determination will result in a more cohesive hub development fitting for the principle urban centre it will serve.

By listening and responding to concerns/requests from local bus service companies, rail service providers, existing retailers and future users the scheme has been extremely well received. Traffic and pedestrian route disruptions have been kept to a minimum with alternative options being explored from the start.

 The relationship with funders has been a very positive and helpful one with regular liaison, clear direction and useful advice being provided, however this has been down to the sincerity and commitment of the delivery partners and willingness to consider alternative approaches.

Performance against targets and objectives and lessons learnt from the project delivery will all be captured in the evaluation report.


The Lincoln Transport Hub consists of an integrated and improved multi-modal transport hub with associated public realm improvements, providing a fitting gateway into the City of Lincoln, creating a fully integrated, accessible and welcoming city centre, and safeguarding the future of the High Street. The scheme costs £29million and was estimated to deliver an economic return on investment of £1.64 for each £1 spent.

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