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Farewell the Belconnen Bus Interchange

By johnboy - 23 April 2009 58

[First filed: April 22, 2009 @ 14:55]

These are the final days of one of the ugliest and most dismal buildings ever erected (and made worse by slovenly maintenance post self government).

The Belconnen Bus Interchange is finally being torn down.

On a cold and gray day I went to one of the world’s coldest and grayest buildings to have a look at the arts extravaganza known as in2CHANGE and to record the last moments of the building.

There’s also an exhibition on in the Belconnen Community Centre.

There’s going to be a grand finale on Friday night from 4-8pm if you haven’t yet had a chance to pay your respects.

Slideshow below:

What’s Your opinion?


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Farewell the Belconnen Bus Interchange
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TP 3000 9:58 pm 26 Apr 09

After being made aware of the depths of Belconnen Interchange. I understand why it is being demolished. There are 7 or so rooms that were either toilets, information desks, timetable rooms, etc. But they have been turned into storage rooms.

But the funny thing is that ACTION Staff had finally kicked out the gangs from Belconnen Interchange for good & they close it down. But one reason for the 3 new bus stations is that it spreads the load out more. Also Westfield have always complained to ACTION about how far the interchange was from the shops. So now they are paying for most of the new bus stations & the Westfield Bus Station will have Westfield Contracted Security Guards.

Demosthenes 9:38 pm 26 Apr 09

I think the government should just replace it all with piles of artistic rocks and call it an installation.

clueless70 8:00 pm 26 Apr 09

David Williamson said that our most searching thoughts as to the worth of human existence tend to come to us at bus stops. How much more intense the sense of meaninglessness at an interchange, where as in most modern public spaces, the nearness of large numbers of other people to oneself offers not the slightest bit of fellowship or comfort. There is a certain pathos about waiting alone at a suburban bus stop, which is like being under the spotlight of your own mind. You can disappear into the role of the jilted lover, or the jilted human. But in an interchange there is a tedious or even nerve-wracking obligation to keep yourself together, raise your eyebrows as people you know come past, etc.

I must have spent a fair, or at least calculable, portion of my young life under the pebble-coated concrete slab of Woden interchange. It’s a bit like time spent in the toilet, those cold hours sitting on the bench or just wandering up and down the platform. Where does all that time go? Why are these tracts of time so formless and vague, since they were as real as others I remember clearly?

NickD 9:09 pm 23 Apr 09

Feathergirl said :

Now Woden will be the ugliest, coldest, most dangerous and smelliest interchange in Canberra.

You’re more likely to be run over by a bus at the Civic interchange

p1 2:16 pm 23 Apr 09

Now Woden will be the ugliest, coldest, most dangerous and smelliest interchange in Canberra.

While I agree with most of that, I always felt more at risk of being stabbed in Woden.

Feathergirl 2:13 pm 23 Apr 09

Now Woden will be the ugliest, coldest, most dangerous and smelliest interchange in Canberra.

JC 2:03 pm 23 Apr 09

taco said :

JC said :

What is bad is there is no longer going to be an interchange as such. Read the ACTION website and you will see there will be 4 or so ‘super stops’ spread out through Belconnen. I know I would rather change buses (at night in particular) at an interchange were there is likley to CCTV, other passengers and maybe some staff rather than waiting at a street stop.

If anyone thinks that this is an intirm messure then you would be mistaken. What they plan to do is build a new stop at the mall and build a stop where the interchange is, but that is all they are going to be, simple bus stops. Even the mall stop will just be some smallish shelters on the outside of the mall.

The mall stop is intended to be the main interchange with the longer layovers.
Part of the deal with Westfield is that when they build their new multistory carpark with the permanent interchange on top at the future front door of the mall, is that Westfield is responsible for having security guards patrolling the area.

Or least that’s the way I remember reading one of the LDA’s announcements about a year ago.

Intended yes, but not going to be. The mall stop is just going to be that a stop. For commuters heading to the western Belco suburbs there will be two shelters on the town centre side of the stop. For comparision at present these services are served by 6 or so platforms at the interchange. For commuters heading the Aranda city way there will also be two stops with some kinda waiting room.

The orginal “grand plan” had a system like Brisbane does, where all the stops at the mall ‘interchange’ had an inside waiting room, but alas that is not going to be now.

Heavs 1:05 pm 23 Apr 09

Re: The Painted Heart on the walkway …

I’m stretching back now but the story I heard back in HS was that it was painted by some lovestruck fella whose girlfriend has died suddenly. The curse on it was that if you walked over it you were forever bound to get your heart broken but if you walked around it you were saved. Or something like that.

caf 11:45 am 23 Apr 09

That is correct.

No, it’s bulldust. As JC said above, it was designed that way (just like Woden Interchange) so that the buses could park adjacent to an island and passengers didn’t have to cross a road (like they do in Civic). Think McFly, think.

PM 11:41 am 23 Apr 09

@ taco:
“The mall stop is intended to be the main interchange with the longer layovers.”

That was how it was originally sold to us, but more recent documentation has seen the ABS bus station – ie the one which will be on the current site – listed as the main one.

I understand the change was because the mall bus station won’t be able to cater for light rail and buses at once, simply due to space. So, they moved it to the station closest to Benjamin Way.

At the end of the day, all buses on all routes will stop at each of the four bus stations.

niftydog 11:28 am 23 Apr 09

PBO said :

I think that you are referring to Greg Hinton and whatever he was up to at the time.

Hmm, could be. Ah, such pleasant memories…

taco 11:03 am 23 Apr 09

JC said :

What is bad is there is no longer going to be an interchange as such. Read the ACTION website and you will see there will be 4 or so ‘super stops’ spread out through Belconnen. I know I would rather change buses (at night in particular) at an interchange were there is likley to CCTV, other passengers and maybe some staff rather than waiting at a street stop.

If anyone thinks that this is an intirm messure then you would be mistaken. What they plan to do is build a new stop at the mall and build a stop where the interchange is, but that is all they are going to be, simple bus stops. Even the mall stop will just be some smallish shelters on the outside of the mall.

The mall stop is intended to be the main interchange with the longer layovers.
Part of the deal with Westfield is that when they build their new multistory carpark with the permanent interchange on top at the future front door of the mall, is that Westfield is responsible for having security guards patrolling the area.

Or least that’s the way I remember reading one of the LDA’s announcements about a year ago.

PM 9:59 am 23 Apr 09

AstralPlane said :

There is a persistent rumour round town that the BBI was built from a plan bought from the USA – but when built the planners didn’t twig that if you drive on the right hand side is works differently. If you drive on the left you’re driving in the out and crossing all over the place. So… if it had been flipped it over it would have worked properly. Anyone ever thought that through while waiting for that bus?

That is correct.

Deckard 9:49 am 23 Apr 09

What was with the heart that was painted on the footbridge over Benjamin Way? Being a southsider I just walked over the top of it, but when I was there with my Belco friends they stepped around it.

candelabra 9:33 am 23 Apr 09

Thanks for the pics @johnboy, they capture the place nicely.

PBO 9:08 am 23 Apr 09

niftydog said :

PBO said :

The Nash Brothers – remember them anyone?
The great Nash Bash

Was one of the bros. the martial arts dude who threw some poor sucker off the red footbridge?

I remember:
– being f’n cold and waiting ages for buses in that windy shit hole
– my walkman batteries running out long before I’d reached my destination
– putting up with the smell of urine while sitting in the enclosed rooms for warmth
– that sinking feeling of knowing that your bus departed in 5 minutes but you were still at the far end of the mall
– befriending a bus driver and copping a garbage bag full of used tickets – most with the blue and orange bits still attached to each other!

Not sure if it was that incident, the Nash Bros were grotty twins who copped an unfortunate flogging one day from the Bombers (the crew, floating hat guys). It was sickenly amusing at the time, I would not have wanted to be one of them. I think that you are referring to Greg Hinton and whatever he was up to at the time.

goose 7:10 am 23 Apr 09

Cold, grimy, dismal, grey…

Sounds like the whole of Belconnen 🙁

Go Southside 🙂

swissbignose 1:46 am 23 Apr 09

AstralPlane said :

There is a persistent rumour round town that the BBI was built from a plan bought from the USA…

Not too dissimilar to the Glenloch Interchange really…

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