Optimal intermodal transport: a bus station on the roofing slab of the train station
The SNCB [Belgian Rail] Holding, the SRWT [Regional Walloon Transport Company] and the City of Namur have combined forces to define an optimal intermodal transport project: a suburban bus station on the roofing slab of the train station.
The Namur Station would thus meet two fundamental criteria that now constitute the mark of renovation/construction of the country's large stations: Transferability (which is already the case) and close train-bus intermodal transport (to be brought about when the project is completed).
Entrusted to the SNCB Holding, the feasibility study for this project was conducted by EuroGare.
This study is relatively large in scope, extending from Heuvy Bridge to Louvain Bridge, so as to take into account the urban, town planning and mobility aspects, as they are evidently interdependent in this sensitive area at the centre of the city.
It was presented to the public on 29 April 2010.
Results of the feasibility study
The feasibility study broaches three main aspects:
Stability of the roofing slab
When the idea of building a bus station on the roofing slab of the train station was first aired, the initial verification required was the stability of said slab. It turns out that the stability is provided by the reserve measures taken when the slab was made. The only problem was the concentration of the load of the buses on the floor. The proposed solution to this problem is to add a device that will spread the concentrated load to the entire structure.
Other important questions concerned how to get the buses on this roof, taking into account the constraints of the site, how to integrate these works in the urban fabric, how to organise traffic on this roof, and how to provide an optimal interface between the bus station and the train station.
Buses are to access the roofing slab via a ramp connected to the Rond-Point Léopold. A full volume is installed against the façade of the parking facility on the track side to accommodate the ramp. This ramp is extended by a cable-stayed bridge which ends at the slab. The mast of the bridge is to serve as a sign, announcing entry into the city, while the light deck is to provide a clear view from the Place de la Station to Bomel.
On the slab, two central platforms are connected by the bays of the travel centre, thereby ensuring zenithal lighting on the station axis, without interruption. The slab is accessed by lifts and two-way escalators.
Openings to the tracks ensure easy visual communication between the different levels of the station and highlight the legibility of the spaces, making the passageways for users all the more reassuring.
The mobility study is in progress. It takes into account all the modes of transport by giving priority to public transport and light modes of transport. The project provides for a grid of public spaces including green areas interconnected by appropriate traffic.
The conclusions of the feasibility study will be supplemented by the results of a study commissioned by the City of Namur from Transitec.