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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Reason for closure of Bradford Interchange bus station

A spokesperson said surveys could take “several weeks” and the bus station would remain closed throughout that period.

A new report has finally shed more light on why Bradford Interchange has been shut since early January – revealing that “a degree of concrete fall” led to the closure.

The report says the concrete caused safety issues “in the basement area” of the city centre station.

Bradford Interchange Bus Station was closed on 5 January, with West Yorkshire Combined Authority saying the closure was a “precautionary measure” that followed “some damage believed to be linked to recent extreme weather.”

Temporary measures were put in place, including a temporary bus station and stops in the city centre.

The rail station at the interchange has remained open.

But as the days passed and the closure remained in place, there were few details of what the damage was.

In: the following days WYCA added: “The closure will allow contractors to survey the damage and report back on the next steps to ensure it is safe before reopening.

“We will know more once the survey work has been fully completed and will not be commenting further on speculation until we know the facts.”

On Friday, 12 January, WYCA issued an update to say contractors began work at the bus station that day.

A spokesperson said surveys could take “several weeks” and the bus station would remain closed throughout that period.

This past Friday (19) Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe, who is also chair of WYCA’s Transport Committee, spoke of her concern, saying: “This matter is urgent.

“Commuters have been massively inconvenienced during this time.

“I’ve spoken to the Mayor (Tracy Brabin) and she and I have tasked officers in WYCA to work quickly to assess the extent of the damage.

“I’ve asked for an urgent paper to come to the West Yorkshire Transport Committee next week to make sure that councillors across West Yorkshire are able to scrutinise the steps taken so far.”

The agenda for next Monday’s meeting has now been published and finally gives some detail of what led to the closure.

It says: “On Friday 5 January 2024 the Combined Authority took the precautionary measure to close Bradford Interchange Bus Station to safeguard public safety, following a degree of concrete fall into the basement of the facility.

“At the time of report publication, this remains the case.

“The Chair of the Committee has requested the Executive Director of Transport to bring an urgent item to the meeting, which will provide the most up-to-date information on the position at the time of the meeting.

“Contractors have begun work on-site to establish the extent of the damage and what remedial works are required before it can be safely reopened. It is anticipated that these surveys could take several weeks to complete and the bus station will remain closed throughout this period.

“A temporary bus station solution has been established to limit disruption for passengers, operators and the city centre during this time. These arrangements will develop to ensure that current highway work in the city centre can progress, traffic congestion minimised and all preparations can continue for the 2025 City of Culture programme. Bradford Council is supporting us with this to help minimise disruption to transformation work that is happening in the city centre.”

Councillor Matt Edwards, Leader of the Greens on Bradford Council, has pushed for WYCA to brief local Councillors about the issue at the interchange.

After the agenda was published he said: “The way the Combined Authority is drip feeding information to the public is outrageous.

“It’s been a week since I asked the West Yorkshire Mayor and WYCA bosses to urgently brief councillors here in Bradford and so far I’ve had no response at all.

“It’s not good enough that councillors from Leeds, Huddersfield and Wakefield will be getting answers before the representatives of Bradford.

“There are some really serious questions that need to be answered about how the combined authority has been maintaining Interchange. Much more work needs to be done to make sure the temporary measures are working for passengers.”

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