ANDOVER’S new £2.9 million bus station will be open for bus business on Sunday.

Bus operators Stagecoach described it as a state-of-the art building which is light, airy and features a secure, covered passenger lounge with seating area and electronic passenger information departure display.

It is built on the same site as the previous bus station, the building provides essential office space for Stagecoach, Test Valley Community Services and Shopmobility, as well as featuring a new café.

Pete Robinson, Stagecoach’s operations manager, said: “The opening of the new bus station is fantastic news for both our drivers and passengers, who we feel will really see the positive effect this will have on the delivery of their bus services.”

The company anticipates that it will increase the number of bus passengers, especially given major developments in East Anton and Picket Twenty.

Once the bus station is open the temporary stops in West Street and Western Avenue, that have been in use during the construction, will cease and passengers will be able to use the new, purpose-built facility.

The improvement work has been funded by Hampshire County Council and Test Valley Borough Council in a joint project.

Councillor Seán Woodward said: “The new bus station really is an excellent facility for the area.

“We’ve knocked down the old building, and replaced it with a modern bus station with more capacity, comfortable waiting areas, electronic information and a café.

“I hope it will encourage more people to use local bus services, in turn reducing congestion on the roads.”

Test Valley council leader Ian Carr said: “As well as offering a much-improved facility for regular passengers, I hope that it helps entice new users and encourages more people to travel to town.”