A RESIDENT who was forced to leave Newport bus station due to those smoking around her has expressed her horror at discovering smoking is permitted in the new station.

Helen Crimmins of Bassaleg, was at the city bus station taking shelter from the rain last Friday.

She said: “I couldn’t wait there because of the smoking. I looked around for the no-smoking signs but couldn’t see any.”

Ms Crimmins has lived in Newport all her life and “cannot stand” smoking. After her experience, she contacted the council and received a response from senior trading standards officer Pete Luff.

Mr Luff referred to the Health Act 2006 and the Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) Regulations 2007, which prohibits smoking in public areas and places of work that are enclosed or predominantly enclosed.

In his response, Mr Luff said: “I have visited the new Newport City bus station and determined the area undercover, does not meet the definition of substantially enclosed and therefore is not smoke-free premises as defined by the regulations and therefore the smoke-free regulations do not apply to that area.” But this did not appease Ms Crimmins who said: “Whether it’s a legal requirement or not – it’s a public area so it shouldn’t be that way. It’s such a shame. I won’t go to the bus station while it’s like this.”

Newport train station is a no-smoking area – as was the previous bus station.

Newport Council has said it, “fully supports and understands” the views of non-smokers and the concerns of Ms Crimmins, but said they cannot legally prohibit people from smoking as it is not classed within government legislation as a substantially enclosed space.

A council spokesperson said: “While the council cannot legally prevent people smoking there, it in no way supports smoking in public spaces and will do what it can to actively discourage smoking in the area. It is exploring what it can do within its legal powers to prevent people smoking there.”