Fears bus station will be a ‘building site’ during Olympics

July 21, 2011 1 Comment »

THE capital’s reputation will  be damaged if visitors during  the Olympics are confronted  by a “building site” at the  city’s bus station, a Cardiff MP  has warned.

Cardiff West MP Kevin  Brennan has launched an attack on the city council over its  failure to resolve the shambles  at the city’s main bus and train  gateway in time for the 2012  sporting extravaganza.

The criticism comes after  council leader Rodney Berman last week revealed construction of the long-awaited  station could start next year  and pause for two weeks during London 2012.

Coun Berman over-ruled his  own executive member for  transport, Councillor Lisa  Ford, who earlier said that no  building would begin until  after the Millennium Stadium  hosts 11 Olympic football  matches.

Mr Brennan said the  U-turn meant Cardiff’s transport infrastructure would be  highly disrupted when thousands of sports fans visit the  city in August 2012.

“Last year I warned the local  authority about the damage  the road works in Castle Street  would do to the image and  reputation of the city during  the Ryder Cup,” the Labour  MP said.

“Clearly the council hasn’t  learnt their lesson because to  leave a building site at the bus  station for two weeks during  the Olympics is ridiculous.

“No matter how poor the bus  station is at this present time,  surely it is better to have some  sort of infrastructure in place  for the thousands of visitors  who will descend on the  city?

“I am astonished by the  leader of the council’s statement that it’s fine to go ahead  with the building work because Olympic football won’t  attract as many visitors as the  Ryder Cup.

“Cardiff will be hosting the  men’s bronze medal match  which last time featured the  likes of Ronaldinho playing for  Brazil against Belgium.

“Although ticket sales have been slow, I’ve no doubt that they will pick up when people realise the quality that will be on show.

“The Olympics is the biggest  sporting event in the world  and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show visitors from around the world  how great our city is.”

Hitting back, Coun Berman  said Mr Brennan seemed to be  “rather confused” about what  he wants.

“On the one hand he is saying he feels a new bus station  is overdue and on the other  hand he is saying the work to  deliver it should be delayed. The suggestion of delaying it is  not something I am sure the  people of Cardiff would wish  to see happen,” Coun Berman  said.

“Work on the new bus station has been progressing, but  one of the delays we have  faced has not only been acquiring funding from the  Welsh Government but also  having to undertake a consultation first at the insistence  of the Welsh Government in  order to secure that funding.

“The consultation was essentially to only ask whether people wanted the bus station revamped or not which some might argue was a somewhat meaningless exercise.”

The Liberal Democrat councillor said work on the station  could not start until roadworks  are carried out to establish  alternative capacity for bus  services elsewhere in the city  centre first.

He said: “This is all about minimising inconvenience to passengers and doing what’s necessary prior to delivering a major construction project on the ground.

“As such, a series of enabling works will be undertaken starting this autumn in Churchill Way, Custom House Street, Lower Westgate Street and Callaghan Square, and these will also include significant improvements to public realm.”

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One Comment

  1. Anne Greagsby August 29, 2011 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    People are confused as Cardiff Councils states that their are plans to replace the bus station with an integrated transport hub within the next two years and I don't trust them. The Bus Box is a failure so – give Cardiff a full-sized modern bus station. Cardiff Council plans to replace the bus station with an 'integrated transport hub' within the next two years and leave us with an undersized Bus Station in Central Square. Meanwhile, the Bus Box has worsened conditions for bus users waiting and transferring buses, and doesn't work on event days and evenings. We demand a full-sized bus station not a “transport hub”, with covered waiting and information facilities, covered link to the train station, modern standard seating, toilets and cafe, that functions 24/7. Cardiff council's failures show we need genuine consultation on designs for the new station.

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