Mansfield Public Transport Interchange

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Mansfield Public Transport Interchange

The Mansfield Public Transport Interchange scheme consisted of building a new, fully enclosed bus station building with 80m connecting footbridge to the railway station. The scheme included:

  • A new signalised junction
  • An bus to train interchange
  • Pedestrian bridge linking bus and rail
  • Taxi provision at bus station
  • Cycle parking
  • Improved walk routes to town centre

The new bus station was designed to address a number of specific issues with the old bus station, including: its limited weather protection; the safety and security of passengers, particularly at night; operational safety; its accessibility; and links with the town centre. As part of this, the project aimed to enhance the public realm, improve the ease, image and attraction of using public transport, and thus encourage modal shift from car use.

Economic evaluation of the outturn costs and benefits shows that the scheme has delivered an economic return on investment at up to £6.50 for each £1 spent. The scheme succeeded in meeting most targets and objectives. The observed demand increase has exceeded expectations while passenger satisfaction has improved significantly. Whilst previously high, the reliability of the bus service has improved further since the opening of the new bus station. Accident rates have also fallen in line with the targets set, although based on previous trends, this cannot be attributed fully to the bus station investment. Other aspects of the service such safety and ease of interchange to rail have also improved.

The full case study can be accessed here.

Key Statistics

Location: Mansfield
Key Stakeholders:
  • Mansfield District Council
  • Nottingham County Council
  • Bus operators
  • Contractors
  • General public
  • Taxi drivers
  • Portland College (engaged regarding requirements for disabled users)
  • Security persons (consisting of police, town centre warden & CCTV operations staff)
Construction completion date: 31 March 2013

Sources of funding



DfT: £7.16m
NCC/MDC: £1.34m

Transport and the economy

Rationale for investment

The identified problems of the old bus station were:

  • An ageing bus station with limited weather protection
  • Safety issues for bus passengers and operators
  • Steps, ramps and subways to gain access – accessibility issues
  • Bus station felt isolated at night and people were reluctant to use it

Walk routes between bus and rail/town centre were indirect and lengthy.

Scheme objectives

The objectives of the scheme were to:

  • Provide a new interchange facility with enhanced public realm that will improve the ease, image and attraction of using public transport, encouraging modal shift from car
  • Enhance the accessibility of the town centre by all modes of public transport
  • Improve access to the town centre for pedestrians and mobility impaired people
  • Improve the operational safety of the bus station
  • Reduce personal security fear at the bus station, and on the walk routes between the bus station and the town centre and rail centre
  • Support the sustainable development of the Mansfield sub-regional centre
  • Contribute to the delivery of the Government’s 10 year Transport Plan targets.

Appraisal and selection

Scheme development

A Major Scheme Business case (MSBC) for the Interchange Scheme was submitted for approval by the DfT in July 2005. Following review as part of the Regional Prioritisation process the Scheme received approval in August 2006.

During December 2006 and January 2007, a public consultation was held in the town centre to canvas public opinion on the proposed bus station and to ensure the specification of the bus station and accompanying investments met the needs of the potential users. Additionally a series of stakeholder meetings were held during this period.

Planning approval was first granted on 5 February 2008. However, the adjacent landowner, Aldergate Projects Limited (APL) sought judicial review which went to High Court and planning permission was revoked.

The revised application for planning permission was approved on 23 September 2009.

Business case development

An initial business case was submitted in 2005. This was updated in 2010 after the original proposal was amended. The updated business case showed a Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) of 4.06 for the base case and 4.99 for an optimistic scenario over a 60-year period, indicating high value for money. The present value of benefits was in the range of £61 million to £75 million while the present value of costs was £15 million.

The base case was based on a target of 5% increase in demand in the first year while the optimistic scenario estimated benefits based on a 10% increase in demand over the same period. A summary of the outputs is shown below, including the forecasts for the optimistic case, where available.

Economic benefits – Annual impacts (2002 prices)Base caseOptimistic case
Revenue from patronage increase from interchange improvement£333,300£699,000
Quality benefit (based on 10% of standard fare and 3,050,000 annual boarders)£610,100£610,100
Pedestrian benefits (including bus to rail interchange)£1,064,700£1,064,700
New bus user benefits (based on additional 152,500 trips) (includes quality and pedestrian benefits)£32,100£64,300
In vehicle journey time impact for existing users(£45,000)n/a
Accidents at signals (1.35 accidents saved)£140,000n/a
Bus operator accidents (75% reduction)£14,250n/a
Non-user vehicle time savings107,400n/a
Revenue and costs
Capital costs (including cost of land and pre‑scheme costs)circa £11 millioncirca £11 million
Operating and maintenance costs (annual)£420,000£440,000
Departure charges (annual)£180,000£180,000
Other income to bus station (annual)£67,500£67,500
Benefit cost ratio4.064.99

Evaluating the investment

Performance evaluation

The Mansfield Public Interchange scheme succeeded in meeting most targets and objectives. The observed demand increase has exceeded expectations while passenger satisfaction has improved significantly.

CategoryEx-ante Business CaseEx-post Business Case
Demand5% growth in first year7% growth in first year
Benefits3 minute journey time saving, quality improvements with a satisfaction target of 90%, 25% accident reductionno data on time savings, improved satisfaction close to targets, 29% accident reduction
Capital costs£11m£11m (on budget)
Operating costsOperating costs faced by NCC and MCC - £250,000 per annumOperating costs faced by NCC and MCC - £270,000 per annum
Value for moneyBenefit-Cost Ratio - 4.06 (High value for money)High value for money

An ex-post business case evaluation indicates that the ex-ante analysis has not deviated significantly from what has been achieved in reality. This indicates that the project has delivered high value for money.

Based on the data available we have updated the BCR analysis using the latest WebTAG methodologies. The estimated values of benefits are shown in the table below.

Updated benefits
(annual, 2002 prices)
Ex anteEx postAssumption
Pedestrian time savings
(excl. bus to rail interchange)
£1,052,400£1,186,000Uplifted based on actual pedestrian counts.
Quality benefits£610,000£854,000-
Uplifted based on actual demand growth and WebTAG values.
Revenue£333,300£511,980Uplifted based on actual demand growth.
New bus user benefits£32,100£44,940Uplifted based on actual demand growth.
Time savings(£45,000)(£63,000)Uplifted based on actual demand growth.

Other benefits or costs not included in the table above have been assumed to be equal to the forecasts in the ex-ante business case. This assumption is made either due to lack of data or because it was difficult to establish a counterfactual scenario. Those values which have not been updated include non-user benefits such as benefits from a reduction in accidents or cost savings for operators.

The updated annual benefits and costs have been discounted to 2002 values over a 60-year appraisal period, in line with the ex-ante business case.

The results of the ex post business case analysis show that the actual BCR of the scheme, based on outturn data, is likely to be in the range of 4.3 to 6.5. This compares to an ex ante BCR estimate of 4.06. The exact BCR will depend on actual quantity of time savings and exactly how much users value the quality of the new station and the additional facilities and services offered. However, estimated BCR based on the revised analysis indicates that the scheme was good value for money and exceeded the value for money that was initially expected to achieve.

Process evaluation

Timing of activity

Overall the delivery of the project went to schedule with no major complications or delays.

Project delivery

The development as a whole has been delivered as expected and is of high quality, which is reflected in the customer satisfaction metrics and the increase in bus patronage.

The success of the project delivery was attributed in part to the design team employed with expertise in landscaping, highway design, architects etc. This enabled the team, all based in one building, to work through any issues which arose during either the design or delivery phase more quickly and efficiently and eased the task of project management.  The expertise and experience of the project team also enabled them to learn lessons from other bus stations in the local area, including Retford bus station which opened in 2007 and Newark bus station which opened in 2007.

Stakeholders and partnership working

The Mansfield Public Transport Interchange demonstrated strong and effective partnership working, in particular between Nottingham County and Mansfield District Councils and the bus operators. The partnership was formalised through the Statutory Quality Bus Partnership (SQBP) which came into force on 5 May 2013. This included commitments from all parties to invest in improved bus services.

In addition, both the general public and relevant organisations such as taxi companies and a local car park were engaged in the process to maximise the consensus on the project delivery.

Unexpected outcomes

Both the re-development of the old bus station in the town centre and development in Stockwell Gate have not yet materialised, possible having a negative impact on overall bus patronage. This has also had a negative impact on retail sales in Stockwell Gate, as footfall has been redirected from this route to the new interchange site, partly mitigated by investment in street signage and maps.

External factors

The economic downturn and the increase in unemployment are likely to have led to lower patronage levels and lower retail sales.

Improvements since opening

There have been a number of elements of the bus station which have been amended following opening, to improve functionality and operation. These include:

  • Adjusting the digital signage on the bays to allow it to be turned off (which had not initially been possible), to save on energy costs at night
  • Adjusting the cleaning schedule to an early morning and late night rota to reduce the impact when the station is at its busiest
  • Increasing hours of opening from 10pm to 11pm to allow for additional services to run.

Overall, however, there has been little change needed and the interchange has faced few significant issues since opening.


The Mansfield Public Transport Interchange scheme consisted of building a new, fully enclosed bus station building with connecting footbridge to the railway station. The scheme cost £8.5million and was estimated to deliver an economic return on investment at up to £6.50 for each £1 spent.

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