Network Rail Not Happy About Changes at Cardiff's Central Square.

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Envoy, 8 Mar 2015.

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  1. Envoy

    Envoy Member

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    The plans for the area north of Cardiff Central Station can be found in this planning application. Of most interest are the Masterplans. Click the link and then scroll to Masterplan & click 'View Document' for each part of 1 to 4. (A PDF will load for each part).

    http://planning.cardiff.gov.uk/onli...iveTab=documents&keyVal=_CARDIFF_DCAPR_110026

     
  2. Envoy

    Envoy Member

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  3. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Established Member

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    An extract from that link ...

     
  4. GrimsbyPacer

    GrimsbyPacer Established Member

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    BBC are going to make rail replacement buses and normal interchange very difficult. There must be other cheaper areas to build a studio surely.
     
  5. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'm sure that I've got on rail replacement buses at the south entrance. Maybe I dreamt it!
     
  6. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    Certainly didn't dream it. Don't think I have ever seen a rail replacement bus from the north of the station!
     
  7. Cardiffian

    Cardiffian Member

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    I'm surprised they've suddenly realised this. The artist's impressions of the new Capital Square project were doing the rounds last year, and the views of the front of the station showed there was no drop off area, e.g.:

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/cardiffs-new-central-square-development-8018417

    At the moment, private cars share the access with taxis and buses entering the bus station. With the buses moving to the site of the current NCP car park, my guess is that both taxis and private vehicles will be forced to use the area to the rear of the station.

    This is highly congested due to the work on the new entrance and additional platform. If the car park layout was redesigned then maybe taxis and cars could share a drop off point. However access to this end of the station is harder if you're driving in from the west side of Cardiff.

    I can see the rationale for stopping car access to the front but only if the rear gets properly sorted out.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It looks like the new bus station will be somewhat smaller than the present one and many services might not serve the railway station at all, terminating at different bus stops across the city centre. There are a lot of arguments over this at this the moment but I think you're right, the interchange will get more difficult.

    This graphic gives a rough idea of the change between the current and proposed bus stations:
    http://i4.walesonline.co.uk/incomin...S/s615/cardiff-bus-station-plan-420536038.jpg
     
  8. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

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    The NCP car park. Is this the one by where Burger King is?

    For some reason I'm thinking of the one on Westgate Street.
     
  9. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    Yes, it is; the BK on Westgate Street has closed.
     
  10. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    This is a real mess. Central Square is occupied by the Bus station with little or no room available to build anything else. Preparations in 2008 to re-furbish the Bus station and which started with the temporary re-location of a newsagents stall and toilets and signs of building site.
    Now, fast forward. That work stopped with eyesore ever since with "toing and froing" discussing what should happen. As we know now, Planning consent for BBC Building which allegedly had been promised long ago but unable to trace how this came about. Future of Bus station still up in the air.
    We know the latest from Envoy's posts which reduces the size of the bus station instead of the state of the art and rail integrated one with services to all parts of Cardiff and beyond and can only result in people, especially those arriving by train, running around like headless chickens trying to find a bus from wherever they can catch it somewhere in the city. A re-cycling site is being closed at Waungron Park to the north west of the city and be replaced by a Bus interchange.
    Of course, only the Council want this and, as far as I know, no citizens but of course don't listen to the people whose interests they represent.
     
  11. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I agree that a proper bus/rail interchange would be in the best interests of the city, its residents and its visitors. I don't really understand why the BBC building has to go in Central Square.
     
  12. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Is there money involved but won't make accusations. Most things new go to the Bay.
     
  13. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Indeed. It seemed strange to me when it was announced. I'm not against the BBC having a city centre location if that's what they want, but I'm not sure that slap bang in front of the station is the best option for the city.
     
  14. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    The strange thing about it is that the former Cardiff MP and AM / Rhodri Morgan has said publicly in his Western Mail column that when he was First Minister, the National Assembly approved the redevelopment of the Porth Tegid area of Cardiff Bay specifically for the BBC.

    This is now occupied by BBC Wales's production centre, and the impication is that the offices should have gone / were going there as well when they moved from Llandaff.

    I can't see the point in moving the bus station further away from the railway station and decreasing it's size. It always annoys me that we in the UK seemingly don't want to integrate public transport and, indeed, go out of our way to make it less integrated (I'll just in passing mention Newport to justify this view)! The contrast between Europe (certainly France, Belgium and the Netherlands is staggering, where many very small places have their bus station or the main bus interchange right outside the railway station.
     
  15. CapitalStar378

    CapitalStar378 Member

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    In fairness Central Bus Station has been pretty empty every time I've used it so I don't think decreasing the size is an issue. It's also a pretty ugly sight for those arriving in Cardiff.

    A replacement a hundred yards away is still integrated transport in my mind.

    The wider context is the redevelopment of the Central Square area which is much needed.
     
  16. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    I agree with the principle of what you are saying, but in reality the bus station will still be right next to the train station so that isn't an issue at all.
    And compared to other bus stations I often use (mainly Bristol and Bath), the one at Cardiff does seem to waste an awful lot of space.
     
  17. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'll admit I'm not a big fan of the current layout of the bus station and I;m sur eit could be improved.
     
  18. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    According to the masterplan the bus station is not being moved a significant distance. Although not directly visible, all the new bays will be within a couple of minutes walk of the station entrance and most of them are arranged in a single row directly accessible on the level from the new square through a gap between buildings without having to cross any roads. As long as there's good signage for the buses, I think there's benefit in creating a nice pedestrian friendly public square free of traffic immediately in front of the station.

    Newport by complete contrast in my opinion is a total disaster in which the needs of travellers parking in the Godfrey Road car park have been placed ahead of EVERYONE else: those accessing the city center; those interchanging with buses; even those changing trains there. An extraordinarily poor design concept also suffering from major build quality issues it appears. Whilst a better entrance on the Godfrey Road side was needed no doubt, that could have been built much more affordably with the old entrance retained for the city centre side.
     
  19. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    It is an issue when you have a smaller bus station thus getting less services running from there and have to try and find out where you can catach a bus to wherever. I think the Planning Decision on the BBC building is due to be made tomorrow but the new bus station is a separate planning application still to be submitted. Our newspaper today is full of letters from residents opposing the development. All against one !! The one being the Council.
     
  20. PaulHarding150

    PaulHarding150 Member

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    Personally I've never seen a pretty bus station and I think people forget what I bus stations purpose is when talking about these sought of things.

    Absolutely.

    Indeed, but a true master plan for the whole area is needed:

    How close for example will the BBC go to the front of the station?
    Will it leave enough room for Network Rails envisaged redevelopment of the front of the station?
    Will it leave enough room for the queuing system (during and after construction) which operates on match days?
    Will there be enough space for some sort of public space/square?
    Will there be room for drop offs and taxis - it would be bizarre if you cant do that at the front of the station.
     
  21. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Yes - much of UK is very poor for rail-bus coordination. Just a few examples:

    Birmingham - no city centre bus station for local bus services; long distance coach station about 10 minutes walk from New St. & Moor St.

    Leeds - bus station about 10 mins. walk from station.
    Wakefield - bus station about 5 mins, walk from either Westgate or Kirkgate station.
    York - no bus station; many stops a good 10 minute walk from station.
    Preston - bus station about 10 mins. walk from station.

    Bradford Interchange - bus & rail stations adjacent, but numerous local buses do not serve the interchange.

    Sheffield - bus station about 2 mins walk from station (across a busy road), but also not served by several local services.
     
  22. EbbwJunction1

    EbbwJunction1 Member

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    The key to it's proximity will be the signage as you won't be able to see it from the station.

    It is true that the current bus station does cover a larger area than maybe is necessary. However, I think that one reason is that there are often empty buses parked on the access side being made ready for use. I guess that if the new bus station is smaller, this won't happen.

    Sure, there is scope for improvement, but to move it completely is unecessary in my view.

    You've hit the nail on the head with your comments about signage. You will not be surprised to hear that I also agree with your comments about Newport!

    Newport has a new bus station - or, at least, part of one; the rest is still being built! Whilst this is happening, the buses that don't use the station are scattered around the city centre. However, although there are leaflets saying where to catch your bus in the office (which, of course, isn't open all the time and can't be seen from the street), there are no signs anywhere giving this information. The result can be chaos, and I've missed buses because I've forgotten where they go from!

    I don't want a pretty bus station, but I do want an effective one!

    I totally agree with your questions about the effect on the open part of the current Central Square.
     
  23. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I prefer a bus station to be in the style of the one at Swansea - level access along a line of buses, and no roads to cross. I'm no architect, but I'm sure such a station could be incorporated into the area in front of the station, and I agree that this would be better for bus and rail interchange than having one a little further away that is reliant on signage to let people know where it is.

    It seems there is quite a lot of opposition to the scheme. I remember being very surprised when I first heard of it, and while I'm in no doubt that the area could do with a bit of redevelopment, I'm not at all sure that this is the right way to go about it.
     
  24. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    You can add Bristol to that list. The bus station is a good 15-20 minute walk (longer if you aren't exactly sure of the way) away from Temple Meads train station. Although some of bus services do stop just outside Temple Meads.

    Bath is an example of somewhere that does it well. The Bus Station is a minutes walk away from the railway station, across a mainly pedestrianised square and across one road (sadly the exit road from the bus station - the only design mistake of it all IMO). Most services do serve the bus station, and where they don't they usually serve stops directly outside / opposite the bus station. Very handy!


    Oh I agree, signage is vital with this. But that is something that is pretty easy to get right (or at least fix if it is got wrong). The main problem Cardiff will have / does have is the number of services that will not / do not serve the bus station.

    As for the size, obviously it is hard to judge without actually seeing the area it as a bus station, but even small bus stations like Bath do have areas where buses can park up away from passengers to be prepped etc. Or could always do what normally actually happens in both Bath and Bristol, and prep the bus while it is waiting in the bay with the doors shut.
     
  25. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    Co0nservations have formally objected to the plan and have asked the Welsh Government to call the BBC Planning application in, at least until the Plans for the Bus station are submitted. As usual, the WG dithers.
     
  26. Llanigraham

    Llanigraham Established Member

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    One thing no-one has mentioned is the fact that the current bus station has caused concern to the HSE because the only access to the stands is across "open" roads, and there have been numerous incidents there. They have been pushing for improvements to the safety for a long time.
     
  27. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    The current bus station is only dangerous if you are either drunk and wandering about in the road, or if you are simply not paying attention or if you are rushing about and make a specific attempt to take shortcuts, willingly putting yourself in that danger. While I am normally not one of the people who complain about red tape and "Health and safety rubbish", in this case it is perfectly possible to safely cross those roads without putting yourself in danger.
    I have no issues with health and safety and making things safer when there are clear dangers, but this is just a case of being sensible and not being silly! Just use your brain surely. Or are we going to say the HSE has concerns about every road that someone has to cross?
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  28. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Established Member

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    There are pedestrian crossing markings on the roadway within the station.
     
  29. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

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    Just like trains, buses don't just disappear as soon as they have arrived at a terminus only to magically rematerialise 5 minutes before their next departure. Stance/layover space is needed as well as the passenger stands for a well running station.

    All too often new or rebuilt stations are squeezed into smaller spaces with just enough stands for current services and no additional parking spaces and then everyone is surprised when operators choose to use on-street stances instead.

    A proper parking area attached or very close to stations also means that the stands can be reliably used more intensively as arriving buses can drop off and leave immediately while departing buses can arrive on the stand just in time to load and depart.


    Is a station that is both too much to ask?

    It is not an option for Cardiff but I think Hull is a perfect example of how a bus station can be built to be both functional, integrated and aesthetically pleasing and an excellent example of what to do with a grand old trainshed that no longer has the train services to match it's size.

    True, however I do think that that style of station has long had it's day. They are cold depressing yokes that certainly do nothing to dispel the image of bus travel as being only for those who cannot afford anything better.

    A properly designed modern station with enclosed stances, waiting areas and well maintained facilities is the minimum a city the size of Cardiff should have. Nose-in bays are preferable as they make better use of space and keep the passenger side of a station to a more manageable size.
     
  30. quarella

    quarella Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree. But we are dealing with a city that decided closing the entire city centre area to traffic on Friday and Saturday nights was the way to deal with people unable to handle their drink and/or drug intake. A number of councils try to close bus stations (prime real estate land) on safety grounds while, at the same time promoting the creation of a "shared space". Cardiff haven't created that yet to the best of my knowledge but the elongated speed bumps on Duke Street outside the castle there is no definition between the road and pavement.
     
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