JUST months after they were welcomed by traders, buses on Newport’s High Street have been stopped because of gas works in the city centre.
But some shop owners seemed resigned to the move despite the previous boost from people getting off near Newport Market.
Bus services along High Street began last December on a trial basis. It was the first time services had used the road since the 1990s.
But Newport Transport has stated services will not operate along High Street until around December because of utilities work.
Gas firm Wales and West Utilities said the work is essential to ensure the safety and gas security of supplies to homes and businesses.
The utilities firm anticipates the work will be completed by the end of September but Newport Transport says that buses will likely not operate until around December. This comes after yesterday’s good news that the number of visitors to Newport city centre had risen in June by 7.6 per cent year on year, according to a report by the National High Street Index.
Jon Powell, owner of the Kiosk on High Street, said: “Things were hard before they came and it was a lot easier when we had the buses. We were easily 20 to 30 per cent up – and we are back down again.”
He said he appreciated that the works had to happen.
Annette Farmer, owner of X-clusive Jewellery in the market, said they were seeing 25 per cent fewer people coming through the market in the last two weeks.
“But hopefully in the long run it will be worth it,” she said. “I’m not upset because I know the work has got to be done.” Butcher Mike Turner, of AD Turner and Sons in the market, said: “Whether they liked it or not, passengers were dropped off in the city centre, and a lot of people hadn’t seen the market in years.
“It’s a pity they have had to stop but I do understand.”
But Tarek Samad, owner of Cafe Le Med in the Gallery part of the market, said: “Things went very quiet in the last two to three weeks.
“I didn’t know what was going on, I put it down to the end of the month but I realise that the buses have stopped.”
The council said last year if the service was successful a full-time operation would be introduced in 2012.
Prepare for summer of closures
THERE will be a series of road closures through the summer while Wales and West gas works continue in Newport city centre.
Commercial Street will be closed from the Vodafone shop to Corn Street from August 20 for around two weeks. Stow Hill will be closed on August 25 and 26.
It will reopen in the week for buses and will then close again between September 1 and 2.
Skinner Street will shut between Friday, September 7, and Sunday, September 9. It will reopen during the week for buses and close again between Friday, September 14, and Sunday, September 16.