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Budget cuts could result in closure of main bus station

11 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Bridgend bus station. Image: Google Maps

Lewis Smith Local Democracy Reporter

A cash-strapped local authority could close its main bus station and public toilets in an effort to save £16m.

The bus station and associated toilets on Quarella Road, Bridgend, have been named among the potential money-saving proposals, as the local authority begins its budget setting process for 2024-25.

It is a potential move that some have said could cause “lasting damage” to the town, and comes alongside a number of other proposed measures, such as a 5% cut in school budgets, the closure of Bridgend recycling centres for an additional day over the weekend, and a 9.5% increase in council tax.

‘Detrimental impact’

The proposed budget for Bridgend in 2024-25 is £359.725m, and although this is an increase in the overall figure in comparison to last year, council officers say it is still less than the rise in inflation, and does not cover the cost of increased service demands.

The report, which will be presented to members at a cabinet meeting this month, says the closure of the bus station could result in a saving of £100,000 for the 2025-26 budget, but adds that it could have a detrimental impact on residents and air quality in the area.

It read: “Impact on city region, connectivity hub, and potential impact on air quality due to relocation of buses. May have a detrimental impact on regional transport with no main bus station and impact on reputation of the council. Potential impact on Bus Services Support Grant.”

Nathan Deere is a town councillor for Bridgend and says if the closure was to go ahead, it would have a severe impact on residents who use the bus service, as well as traders in the town who rely on footfall to keep their businesses afloat.

He said: “This will severely impact the residents, as well as transport and access to the town. It’s going to create a barrier for people coming into Bridgend and will also impact on the traders who have already been struggling.

“At present we only have one public toilet in Bridgend which is at the station, so that will be an additional loss as visitors will be unable to use a toilet when they come into the town centre.

“It’s not really a great advert to say to people you can visit Bridgend on the bus, but we will drop you off somewhere outside of the town and when you get here, you can’t use the toilet. It’s also making it inaccessible to people with mobility issues, and I urge the council to reconsider these proposals.”

‘Lasting damage’

David Unwin is an independent town councillor for Bridgend who uses the bus station every day, and said: “Closure of the bus station will lose all comforts for travelling passengers, including information services and the all important last remaining public toilet in Bridgend town centre.

“Whatever savings they think they can make are totally insignificant to the lasting damage it will do to bus travel and the prosperity of the town centre.”

The proposal comes as residents in nearby Maesteg also spoke out about the lack of “lifeline” services that had left people cut off in the town, as well as across the wider area.

The budget proposals will be discussed at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 16, with a final decision expected to be made in February.

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Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

Utterly ridiculous that at a time when public transport needs to be promoted and made more accessible that there are local authorities considering closing bus stations, or, as in the case of Cardiff, closing and selling off the land for the central bus and coach station, and then seven years later still have not opened a new bus station. A bus station that was delayed whilst the local authority wrangled sufficient private sector moolah to build it, along with retail and loads of upmarket flats in a city crying out for a proper transport interchange where bus, coach and train… Read more »

max wallis
max wallis
6 months ago

Contrast Cardiff Bus Station passed (corruptly) to Transport-for-Wales to complete and manage. Will take only half the city buses and no coaches. TfW plan to open it at Easter, yet why shouldn’t they fund Bridgend (and other) much-needed bus stations, which, unlike Cardiff’s, are fit-for-purpose?.

6 months ago

Why not.cut.the.number polish the seats with their corrupt butts who lead the council first , those that have used and abused their positions to gain financial gains from thier fraglant abuse of their position. An investigation by and outside body should be instigated to trace where all the money spent has gone, like the carved stones, landscaping etc that has been wasted when it could have been better spent……

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