By Liam O’Sullivan
Work to modernise Bramley Bus Interchange is still unfinished nine months on from its completion date – but minor changes suggest progress is finally being made.
Improvements to Bramley Bus Interchange were supposed to be completed on 31 December 2021. WLD reported in June on growing concerns over the ‘mess’ left by the unfinished works.
The £495,000 transformation of the bus station included a new bus shelter is added to Bus Stop D, located on a newly built road off Town Street.
Plans suggested there would be improved facilities for customers waiting at the station, new bus stops and better travel information.
Despite these proposals, there is yet to be a bus shelter added to Bus Stop D, and the general state of the interchange is still unfinished, with large patches of dirt filling the tarmac next to the bus stops where the council proposed landscaping was to be added.
However, there are some signs of progress finally being made.
Josh King, from transportation technology provider R2P UK, spoke to WLD as work was carried out today. He saidd: “Today we’re adding display screens to each of the bus stops at Bramley Bus Station.”
The installation of real-time bus display boards will be a welcome addition to the interchange, with there being a lack of bus time schedules on display at each stop without them.
The current state of the interchange has created confusion amongst regular bus users. One bus user, who asked not to be named, said: “I have no idea what they’re trying to do. I thought there was going to be a shelter in the middle of the station but hardly any buses pass through there. And I wish they would fill in the dirt!”
Bus user Gary Lawton described what the improvement has been like over time: “It’s been slow, and we did notice while it was all being sorted it affected the traffic flow in the meantime.
“I’m not 100 per cent sure what the improvements have actually made to be honest, but it does look better than it used to do and that’s the main thing.”
He was also optimistic the landscaping could be complete soon and added: “It was this time last week [the dirt was added]. It doesn’t look impressive, but I’d imagine they’re going to plant some flowers. I think they’ll probably plant them around this time of year so then they’ll come out in the spring.”
A new loading bay on the site is still being used as a car park by people using the Old Unicorn pub opposite – and there are still accessibility concerns over the width of the newly-installed bus shelters.
WLD was contacted about the work by one Twitter user this afternoon, who said: “The real-time bus display boards are finally being installed at Bramley Bus Station. The first thing I noticed was a number 16 being cancelled…”
The interchange improvement plan was originally approved in June 2020 and was part of a £7.4 million package of city-wide transport improvements run by City Connect. This was originally scheduled to start in February 2021 but was delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Both West Yorkshire Combined Authority and City Connect apologised for the delays back in June, with a Leeds City Council spokesperson at the time blaming the delay on issues surrounding securing electricity power connections to the new bus shelters.
The spokesperson added: “On completion of these final pieces of work, our team will work with contractors to rectify any defects, missing work and water ponding to ensure a satisfactory finish.”
Not impressed. The workmen spread new soil across all the beds the other day. Ten minutes later the school buses arrived and the kids trampled all over them, as usual.
One of the biggest issues is that there is not enough space at the side of the shelter to unload a buggy or wheelchair without them having to trundle through the shelter itself. Watching the queue of people and prams shuffling back out to give them room – comedy gold!