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‘Inaccessible’ Bramley bus station shelters to be replaced – project still not completed after over a year

By John Baron

Transport chiefs are having to rip out or modify ‘inaccessible’ bus shelters at the revamped Bramley Bus Interchange.

Four shelters were installed as part of a £495,000 revamp funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority – but bus users have said they are not wide enough, claiming they are inaccessible for disabled people and parents with buggies and are difficult to navigate for able-bodied people.

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As reported by WLD last month, mobility scooter user Amy Francom, 35, from Bramley, said: “I really struggle getting on the buses with my scooter; the gap is way too small.” 

Bus user Carol Mann, 67, from Bramley also mentioned the size of the shelters was an issue. She said: “These bus shelters – you have no chance… people just can’t get past, especially wheelchairs.”  

The verges are still unfinished and shelters will be midified or replaced

But this week West Yorkshire Combined Authority have confirmed they will tackle the problems.

In a letter to local councillors, they said: “Further to previous conversations about the inaccessible shelters. Two of the shelters are on a narrow footpath with no space to replace them with a wider shelter. On these, one of the back panels of the shelter will be removed, giving direct access from the back of the shelter through to the front and onto the bus. This will be done within the next few weeks. 

“The other two shelters will be replaced altogether with a wider shelter. I don’t have a date for this yet – but will keep you updated.”

Real-time bus displays were installed at Bramley Bus Interchange in September but weren’t operational until November. Photo: Liam O’Sullivan

The works on the Bramley Bus Interchange were originally scheduled to be completed on New Year’s Eve 2021, following a £495,000 revamp funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority. 

But work severely over-ran, with real-time screens only becoming live in November 2022 and some of the planting carried out last month. Further planting and a further bus shelter are still to be installed.

Concerns: Cllr Kevin Ritchie

Councillor Kevin Ritchie (Lab, Bramley & Stanningley) welcomed the moves and said: “I’m pleased WYCA have agreed to rectify the faults with the bus stops in Bramley and hope the necessary improvements are delivered as soon as possible.

“Accessibility is vital to ensure everybody is able to use public transport. Hopefully lessons will be learned from this experience and future projects ensure accessibility is the primary consideration both for manufacturers and project deliverers.”

The works were originally approved in June 2020 as part of a £7.4 million package of city-wide transport improvements, with work originally scheduled to start in February 2021. But work was delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic and workmen didn’t start on site until November 2021.

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