By Chris Young LDRS
The bus station at Bradford Interchange will benefit from a £1m project to improve three local bus hubs.
West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transforming Travel Centres scheme involves stations at Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield will see the creation of more retail space in the stations, more automated ticket machines and environmentally friendly lighting and heating.
At a recent meeting of the authority’s Investment Committee, members agreed to fund £169,000 for a business case to re-vamp the three stations, introducing new “travel centres” in the Bradford and Huddersfield stations.
Changes will also include the introduction of new digital information points, reducing the reliance on paper timetables, improved staff facilities and making sure the stations are “Covid compliant.”
The meeting heard that the changes would reduce carbon emissions by 30 tonnes over the lifespan of the scheme due to reduced heating, air conditioning and lighting costs.
The extra retail space would generate income that would more than pay for the scheme – members were told.
Explaining the reasoning of creating more retail space in bus stations at a time where bus travel has fallen, a report to the committee said: “It is anticipated that by the time the scheme is delivered, and the travel centres are in use, that mitigation taken to combat the Covid-19 pandemic will have proved effective so that Covid-19 will not remain a negative factor on passenger footfall for the duration of the 20 year lifespan of the product.
“It should be noted that retail space vacancy across Combined Authority bus stations is very low, at around 10 per cent, and the value of the retail space created has been independently assessed by a private sector retail letting appraiser. ”
Work is expected to start in March 2022 and end in August 2022. Members approved the funding, and a full business case, including details of what changes will be made in each station, is due to be finalised in February.