Leeds bus passengers worry about more travel disruptions

The recent announcement of plans to refurbish Leeds city centre bus station has caused a stir among passengers who worry that the work will disrupt buses coming in and out of the station.

By Katie Garrett

As part of the Connecting Leeds scheme, West Yorkshire Combined Authority are working alongside Leeds City Council to refurbish the bus station, spending £4 million on making it a more modern, efficient and safe place for passengers.

The refurbishment will begin once the plans are confirmed with hope that it will be completed by March 2021. It will see new entrance ways on Dyer Street and York Street, more functional seating, waiting areas realigned with improved bus stands and much more.

But some passengers are worried about the disruption that this will cause within the station and with the bus services.

“Place will be mayhem”

Image showing the inside of the station featuring signs, retail stores and the seating area
Credit: Katie Garrett
The current bus station is in need of better signage, more organised seating and a new modern look

Peter Watson, who is a regular commuter with FirstBus said, “The work definitely needs to be done. The layout of the station can already make it difficult for people to navigate their way round the station, but if there is a lot of building work going on it will just be made harder to find which stand to go to.

“If it’s busy, like after work and in the morning the place will be mayhem, all the building work will get in the way.”

Janet Crowe, who uses the bus services to get between work and home, said: ” I think they could have waited to start all this work till everything else is finished, like the Headrow. There’s already so much disruption in the city, I just hope that it doesn’t affect the bus services any more than they already have been.”

“Minimal disruption” – pledge

West Yorkshire Combined Authority have confirmed that there will be no further disruption to the services. Clare Davies, Consultant and Engagement Manager for the company said: “It won’t affect the bus services as it is all internal work so it should not affect the movement of the buses through the bus station. If there was any, it would be minimal when they are replacing the glass.”

WYCA are keen to communicate with passengers and the public about any concerns or views they have on the renovation so are holding drop-in sessions to open up the discussion.

Last Monday they held a session at the Corn Exchange to hear what the public wanted to see in the station and what their thoughts were. These meetings will continue until 4 November.

Online forms are also available to fill out with feedback and suggestions for what they want to see in the station.

ZeroWasteLeeds have taken the oppurtunity to propose water refill stations being put in place, and encouraged others to do the same.

What will be changing?

  • Improved entrance ways
  • Modernised environment – clutter removed to free up the concourse, improved lighting and signage
  • Modified retail frontages
  • Better passenger waiting and boarding facilities
  • New bus stand automatic doors
  • Travel centre facilities which will include new self-service facilities
  • Solar panelling to make the station more energy efficient
Artist drawings of plans of what the entrance on Dyer Street will hopefully look like when it is completed.
Credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Dyer Street entrance will have a new lightweight translucent canopy, cladded front walls using high quality materials
Artist drawings of plans of what the entrance on York Street will hopefully look like when it is completed.
Credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority
York Street will also have a translucent canopy using the same materials as those on Dyer Street. There will also be a rearrangement of steps and ramps.
Artist drawings of plans of what the inside of the new train station will look like
Credit: West Yorkshire Combined Authority
The station will be more modern and decluttered with bus stands being much more clearly signed for passengers to see

“Make it as sustainable as possible”

In the current climate emergency, WYCA and the council are keen to ensure that the station is sustainable. Clare Davies said: “The solar panels are an important aspect with the current climate emergency, we have got to make best use of our assets and make them as sustainable as possible.”

About the Author

Katie Garrett
Katie Garrett is a third year journalism student at Leeds Beckett University

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