Firm slams charges for Newport bus station
A BUS firm has hit out at proposed charges for a new city bus station that is says are 48 per cent greater than ones at the one it will help to replace.
Newport council is intending to charge 75p for local bus services and £2.13 for coachs for each departure from its new Market Square bus terminus.
The council currently charges 50p for local buses and £1.42 for coaches at the city's existing bus station The new fees are expected to collect between £100,000 and £110,000 a year, and will fund maintenance and operation of the new terminus facility including toilets and the passenger info system.
Newport council says these fees are in line with similarly newly built facilities, and says Swansea city council charges £1.04 for buses and £3.63 for coaches.
But a spokesman for Stagecoach in South Wales said: "We have to question the reasonableness of this proposed change."
The spokesman for the firm said that, prior to the works at Upper Dock Street, no departure charges were levied at the location.
"It should be noted that current bus station departure charges are 50.6 pence per departure, therefore the authority is proposing to levy a charge which is 48 per cent greater than that charged at the bus station," he said.
A spokeswoman said: "It is normal practice to levy a departure charge on bus operators, the proceeds of which are used to maintain facilities. The council did not previously make charges at this site as no passenger facilities were provided.
"It will help to ensure that the facilities are modern, clean and cater for customers needs and meets their expectations when visiting the city."
The new 'North Terminal' is intended to supplement the new bus station in the Frairs Walk redevelopment plans, which will be smaller than the current station.
It is intended that fees at that station will be brought into line with the Market Square terminus.
The plans are being considered by the Newport cabinet member for infrastructure Councillor Ken Critchley.