Cardiff Bus Station delayed until after Olympics

July 5, 2011 6 Comments »
Cardiff Bus Station delayed until after Olympics

cardiff bus station

The construction of Cardiff’s new bus station will not take place until after the Olympics, the Echo can reveal.

Major roadworks to complete the city’s network of priority bus lanes will also wait until after the event.

The Millennium Stadium will host eight London 2012 football matches and Cardiff council doesn’t want the city to be a “building site” during the world’s greatest sports spectacle.

The authority’s transport bosses said lessons had been learned after criticism of disruptive roadworks on Castle Street during last year’s Ryder Cup.

New details of the next phase of works to improve the capital’s public transport network will be outlined today when Cardiff Bus unveils its strategy for the next five years.

With demand for public transport forecast to rise 25% over the next decade, Cardiff Bus managing director David Brown said investment was vital to stop traffic “strangling” the city.

“The city is now at full capacity in terms of traffic and as it continues to grow the priority has to be towards bus and other modes of public transport; otherwise we will come to gridlock,” he said.

Key to a more reliable service will be a new bus station linked to the rail network and the completion of a continuous bus lane around the city centre. Design concepts for the new station are being considered by the council and a masterplan is expected to be revealed in the autumn.

Mr Brown said the priority was now for gaps in the city’s bus lanes – at Custom House Street, Westgate Street and Bute Terrace – to be completed ahead of the creation of the new station.

No schedule has been set for the works. However, neither the makeover of Westgate Street nor construction of the bus station will begin until after the Games in August 2012.

“Doing major roadworks or building projects does not help us gain support for public transport measures,” Mr Brown said.

“We would like to see them done as soon as possible, but with the Olympics next year we realise that might not be the case.

“What we would like to see is an agreed timetable where we can all see where we stand.”

Consultation with residents and businesses along the busy stretches will take place.

It is expected disruption will not be as severe as during last year’s controversial £4m roadworks to create a new bus lane on Castle Street.

Cardiff council’s Lisa Ford said: “Works are not planned to commence until after August 2012 to allow Olympics events to take place at the Millennium Stadium. By 2014, we want to see 50%of people travelling to work by sustainable transport on a daily basis.”

Cardiff Bus fares have been frozen for a third consecutive year.

Mr Brown said no decision had yet been taken on bus fares for next year.

Cardiff Bus’ vision for the next five years includes:

– A state-of-the-art bus station north of Cardiff Central station;

– new bus priority lanes on Westgate Street, Custom House Street and Bute Street;

– new powers for the council to fine motorists caught driving illegally in bus lanes;

– extra bus stops along busy Churchill Way and Westgate Street;

– extending the Baycar route north and south in the autumn to the new Porth Teigr development and Cathays Park to service the BBC drama studios, the Norwegian Church and National Assembly. North of the city centre, it will stop at City Hall, Cardiff University and the Welsh Government offices;

– iff card online top-ups;

– a revamp of 108 buses, as well as the purchase of new vehicles next year.

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6 Comments

  1. Rob July 5, 2011 at 10:23 am - Reply

    If Barratts can build an entire housing estate in 6 months why can't we have a clean, respectable bus station? The other costs (new buses, etc) can come later but as far I see it, Cardiff Bus Station is already like a "building site".

  2. IanP July 5, 2011 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Why is the story duplicated? One story, two articles:
    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/cardiffonline/cardif

  3. IanP July 5, 2011 at 11:29 am - Reply

    What is " A state-of-the-art bus station north of Cardiff Central station"? Cardiff Council rolls out impressive words everyday, yet does not explain what they mean – and nor do they deliver impressive projects to match!

    The council has partly demolished the old bus station, after seeing an opportunity to raise money by selling off land, then realised it needed a bus station – and now has no idea what the bus station should be like or who will use it, when and why.

    Maybe by August 2012, there will finally be a plan – how many years is it since demolition began?

  4. Jen July 5, 2011 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    @IanP – the other link is to the online version of the SW Echo article. This page is the YourCardiff blog version.

    I hope they really stop and think about bus routes as they're doing this. The time is ripe for a complete overhaul rather than the patchwork expansion we've seen in the last few years. I live in a new development in the Sports Village and we have a 'stick a plaster on it' style bus provision which means we can't get to the bay in the evenings and are supposed to spend 47 minutes on a bus to town when we could drive (and park for less than the bus tickets) in 10 minutes. I love the idea of using public transport but more confidence, vision and actually caring about the users is needed here.

  5. andrew July 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    What a complete joke, the Olympics are ages away and we are only holding 8 games. The bus station is the gateway to Cardiff and Wales and needs developing now and not in a year or so time.

    This development will not cause any more disruption than it currently does now and I would prefer people seeing it being developed than not. also by the time the Olympics are held surely this development would nearly be complete, how long does a bus station take to build? 20 years?

  6. peoplefirst July 15, 2011 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Olympics, 6 Nations, Football, Concerts, Summer Festival………. it is easy to find time line excuses… harder to commit to time and finance locked projects. Or is the delay a wait for changes in land values.

    If the Council and Bus Users of the central station are being true, and the only delay is because of the olympics then remove the building hoardings from central square fins a new home for the "temporary" cement mixers and water tanks and other plant and either tarmac the area [no fancy cobble stones] or turn the closed bus stops it into a taxi rank

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