Newport traders welcome 'long overdue' new bus station

South Wales Argus: OPEN, FINALLY: Market Square bus station in Upper Dock Street, Newport OPEN, FINALLY: Market Square bus station in Upper Dock Street, Newport

NEWPORT’S new bus station has finally opened, to a guarded welcome from passengers and traders who described it as “long overdue”.

Expected to cater for between two and three million passengers a year, the new station in Market Square was due to open back in October but delays held it up until December 28.

An investigation has now been launched to determine the cause of the hold-up, which has been attributed variously to design problems and to a delay in receiving a grant from the Welsh Government.

The old bus station on the Kingsway has now closed to make way for a multi-million pound regeneration of the city.

Newport City Council hope to see new shopping centre Friar’s Walk regenerate the city centre after much of the old landscape, including the old bus station, shops in John Frost Square and the old Capitol car park, is demolished.

As part of the new plans, another bus station terminal will open which will be linked to the one next to the indoor market. But traders in the market say delaying the opening for so long means they have missed out on the boost to trade over Christmas. Alex Rimola trades at Fruits of the World opposite the new bus station. He said: “Of course it’s a great relief, as it has been a long time coming. There have been a lot of promises that weren’t fulfilled. It would have been nice to have had it before Christmas, because it did affect our business not having it.”

Butcher Mike Turner welcomed the opening. He said: “It’s great that people can actually get off the bus and on again at the market now. We have been waiting long enough. We were promised it in September by Newport City Council but unfortunately that didn’t happen so we did miss the Christmas trade which we were really relying on, but now it’s here it’s brilliant news. It does give us a bit of hope for the future now it’s back how it used to be years ago.”

Rachel Haines, from Rachel’s Curry Kitchen, said: “People have gone out of business; it has been really tough times for everybody. But we have noticed a lot more footfall with the ticket office coming here.”

Terry Gay, from Negative Zone Comics, says the bus station opening is “long overdue".

"This is two Christmases we have lost now; someone needs to be brought to book.We have heard so many stories about why it was delayed." They have built the Admiral building in a shorter length of time.”

Trader Martyn Hugh, from Ron and Hugh pet supplies, said increased footfall from the bus station outside and ticket office inside the market itself may save traders from having to close in the new year.

He added: “It’s about time. There do seem to be a few more people milling about this morning. It has been like a building site, not a town centre and it wasn’t inviting. This might be a good start for the new year.”

Councillor Ken Critchley, the council’s cabinet member for infrastructure, said prior to the opening: “I appreciate that the delay to its completion has been trying. I have shared that frustration.”

Comments (10)

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11:35am Mon 30 Dec 13

VoiceOfDaPort says...

Worth noting that the new bus station is open but they still haven't finished it (I specifically mean market square) so when will that happen?

They have just got it to a stage where they can just stick the buses in
Worth noting that the new bus station is open but they still haven't finished it (I specifically mean market square) so when will that happen? They have just got it to a stage where they can just stick the buses in VoiceOfDaPort

11:43am Mon 30 Dec 13

johnny doh! says...

Really Ken, have you really 'shared that frustration' ??? has that 'frustration' negatively affected your earnings for the past two years of broken promises made by this council....I think not!
Really Ken, have you really 'shared that frustration' ??? has that 'frustration' negatively affected your earnings for the past two years of broken promises made by this council....I think not! johnny doh!

12:21pm Mon 30 Dec 13

SussyW says...

Yes but as far as I can see with the buses that are located there it still wont bring in that much trade!. There are x2 Cardiff stands and I am pretty sure most people using the Cardiff bus are commuters and not shoppers, and about three stands for Stagecoach buses again mostly commuters using these? Maybe they should have made NT buses a priority there as I know a lot of Bettws and Ringland residents (mainly the old and infirm) are not able to get to town now due to where their stops are located! These residents would actually have used the bus station to get off and go straight into the Market to do their shopping and are in despair that they are unable to do this. Once again certain estate's are effectively given the finger and told shut up and put up!
Yes but as far as I can see with the buses that are located there it still wont bring in that much trade!. There are x2 Cardiff stands and I am pretty sure most people using the Cardiff bus are commuters and not shoppers, and about three stands for Stagecoach buses again mostly commuters using these? Maybe they should have made NT buses a priority there as I know a lot of Bettws and Ringland residents (mainly the old and infirm) are not able to get to town now due to where their stops are located! These residents would actually have used the bus station to get off and go straight into the Market to do their shopping and are in despair that they are unable to do this. Once again certain estate's are effectively given the finger and told shut up and put up! SussyW

12:27pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Personally from a bus user's point of view, it was much better when you could catch all the buses going to all of the routes from the same station. Yes, it had its faults but at least at one time it provided shelter from bad weather whilst you were waiting for your bus and even boasted a digital clock a few years' back. Still, I doubt very much that either the bus passengers' or drivers' preferences and needs were put very high up on the list of priorities when the suits drew up their ambitious plan of action, eh?;)
Personally from a bus user's point of view, it was much better when you could catch all the buses going to all of the routes from the same station. Yes, it had its faults but at least at one time it provided shelter from bad weather whilst you were waiting for your bus and even boasted a digital clock a few years' back. Still, I doubt very much that either the bus passengers' or drivers' preferences and needs were put very high up on the list of priorities when the suits drew up their ambitious plan of action, eh?;) Katie Re-Registered

3:06pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

SussyW wrote:
Yes but as far as I can see with the buses that are located there it still wont bring in that much trade!. There are x2 Cardiff stands and I am pretty sure most people using the Cardiff bus are commuters and not shoppers, and about three stands for Stagecoach buses again mostly commuters using these? Maybe they should have made NT buses a priority there as I know a lot of Bettws and Ringland residents (mainly the old and infirm) are not able to get to town now due to where their stops are located! These residents would actually have used the bus station to get off and go straight into the Market to do their shopping and are in despair that they are unable to do this. Once again certain estate's are effectively given the finger and told shut up and put up!
It was a flawed approach from day one. There should have been a transport hub opposite the railway station. Instead we have the railway station in one place half the buses in one place and another 40% in another place and the rest at random stops around the town and taxis in yet another place
[quote][p][bold]SussyW[/bold] wrote: Yes but as far as I can see with the buses that are located there it still wont bring in that much trade!. There are x2 Cardiff stands and I am pretty sure most people using the Cardiff bus are commuters and not shoppers, and about three stands for Stagecoach buses again mostly commuters using these? Maybe they should have made NT buses a priority there as I know a lot of Bettws and Ringland residents (mainly the old and infirm) are not able to get to town now due to where their stops are located! These residents would actually have used the bus station to get off and go straight into the Market to do their shopping and are in despair that they are unable to do this. Once again certain estate's are effectively given the finger and told shut up and put up![/p][/quote]It was a flawed approach from day one. There should have been a transport hub opposite the railway station. Instead we have the railway station in one place half the buses in one place and another 40% in another place and the rest at random stops around the town and taxis in yet another place Bobevans

10:42pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Nptman2003 says...

If the increased footfall from this terminal helps the traders in and around the market area then thats positive news. However the fact still remains that for various reasons including passengers not being able to see through frosted glass to determine which bus is on the stands or approaching ,and the minimal facilities offered, I think we do need answers from the Council officials as to the rational . I was informed by a very helpful bus driver that he understood the frosted glass was so the visually impaired wouldn't walk into it. If this is the case surely some dots or other markings on clear glass would have sufficed!
If the increased footfall from this terminal helps the traders in and around the market area then thats positive news. However the fact still remains that for various reasons including passengers not being able to see through frosted glass to determine which bus is on the stands or approaching ,and the minimal facilities offered, I think we do need answers from the Council officials as to the rational . I was informed by a very helpful bus driver that he understood the frosted glass was so the visually impaired wouldn't walk into it. If this is the case surely some dots or other markings on clear glass would have sufficed! Nptman2003

11:04pm Mon 30 Dec 13

33daverave says...

An Alway bus has already reversed out up over the kerbs. You couldn.t make it up.
An Alway bus has already reversed out up over the kerbs. You couldn.t make it up. 33daverave

11:30am Tue 31 Dec 13

Bobevans says...

Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review
Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review Bobevans

1:43pm Tue 31 Dec 13

SussyW says...

Bobevans wrote:
Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review
Lol wonder what Mr Bright has as a contingency plan!
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review[/p][/quote]Lol wonder what Mr Bright has as a contingency plan! SussyW

3:45pm Tue 31 Dec 13

Mr Angry says...

SussyW wrote:
Bobevans wrote:
Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review
Lol wonder what Mr Bright has as a contingency plan!
A private company trades badly and its Bob Bright's fault, that's a new one
[quote][p][bold]SussyW[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: Debenhams have just announced a profits warning after very poor Christmas trading and have put expansion plans under review[/p][/quote]Lol wonder what Mr Bright has as a contingency plan![/p][/quote]A private company trades badly and its Bob Bright's fault, that's a new one Mr Angry

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