Grote Markt, Groningen’s city center, will become entirely bus-free as of the 17th of July. While new routes following freshly constructed stops have already been implemented, the change marks the end of a 100-year-long tradition of public transport in the city center.
Instead of traveling through Grote Markt, buses will now follow a route along the Diepenring, utilizing the newly constructed Kattenbrug in the process, reports the Groninger Internet Courant. For travelers looking to step off near the Grote Markt, a new stop called ‘Sint Jansbrug’ is your best bet, located some 300 meters away from the city center between the Provincial House and Stadsschouwburg.
For people with walking disabilities, the provincial government will be implementing a trial program with alternative transport for stops on the edges of the city center. Golf carts and rickshaws will, for the first six months, provide free transport to and from the Grote Markt on market days (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays).
The removal of buses from the city center is part of a larger plan to completely redesign the Grote Markt.
Some of the plans include a complete replacement of the square’s paving, the planting of over two dozen trees, and the construction of a fountain and play area.
According to Sikkom, the provincial government has assigned a budget of some 15 million euro to the project. The redesign will begin its operations sometime in September.
Despite the renovations, the provincial government is determined to ensure that enough space remains in the square for the hosting of the annual fair, weekly markets, and the celebration of Bommen Berend, reports the Groninger Internet Courant.
You can check out our previous coverage of the upcoming changes to the Grote Markt, here.