It would be a ‘crime’ to demolish Bracknell bus station for a new ‘market square,’ the manager of the bus station cafeteria has said.

Bracknell Forest Council has said it wants the bus station to be demolished as part of next phase of the town centre’s regeneration.

But Chris Griggs, 61, who has run the cafe at Bracknell bus station since a month before the first coronavirus lockdown, says she thinks the plans are ‘disgusting’. She told the News she’s worried what the move would mean for older and disabled people trying to get into town.

Chris said: “They’re just not thinking straight. You’ve got disabled people getting off the buses, the old people they struggle to get into town from here. How are they going to feel if the bus station is further out?”

READ MORE: Have your say on huge town centre plans

Under a master plan drawn up by Bracknell Forest Council, the bus station would be demolished and replaced with a new market square. Under this vision, buses would instead stop on a looping route around the edge of the square.

Planners say this would make the town centre more accessible for drivers, and potentially be safer – stopping people from crossing the bus station on foot.

Currently, the only pedestrian route from the train station into the town centre is by two underpasses around the edge of the bus station.

But staff at the bus station cafeteria – all volunteers – still worry about what this might mean for disabled visitors to the town centre. Many of them have disabilities or disabled relations themselves.

Linda McIver, 37, told the News: “It makes me not want to bring my partner. He’s a double amputee, no legs, so he can’t walk.

“I’m my partner’s carer. When I heard about this bus station being moved I thought no – they can’t.”

Chris has run the cafe since 2020. But it’s been around for much longer than that. She said: “The guy before me had it for 25 years, and there was a lady before him – I don’t know how long she had it.”

She also worries about what the plans would mean for the cafeteria – and for the people who visit it.

She said: “We have all sorts come in here. This is a cheap cafe, you get a lot of people on benefits in here, we get old people in here. We have blind people, we have deaf people and we know them.

“Sometimes you just need to sit here just for a few minutes and see the people that are getting off. If they move it, it would be a crime in my eyes.”

Bracknell residents can see all the plans and have their say in a consultation running until May 20. Plans are on the council's website, in its offices and in libraries.

There will also be chances to view and ask council staff questions about the plans next to the Starbucks in Princess Square on Thursday 25 and Saturday 27 April, from 10am-4pm.