Cardiff bus station officially opens – what you need to know

By Rosie MercerStephen FaircloughBBC News

grey placeholderBBC The new bus station inside including benches and information screensBBC

Transport for Wales has described the new bus station as “modern, clean and safe”

Cardiff’s new bus station officially opens on Sunday, nine years since the old one was demolished.

Passengers in the Welsh capital have gone without a bus station since 2015, instead having to use various bus stops located in and around the city centre.

Originally planned to open in 2017, the development faced a series of setbacks over the years, including the Covid pandemic.

The now-finished interchange, which is located opposite Cardiff Central railway station, has 14 bus bays as well as public toilets, and will soon house a number of shops.

The site is run by Transport for Wales (TfW) which hopes it will improve connectivity as part of the South Wales Metro development.

Twenty-five services will operate every hour from the interchange, with the ambition of reaching 60 per hour by the end of 2024.

grey placeholderCardiff bus station bus bays

The new bus station has 14 bus bays

Which bus routes will operate out of Cardiff bus station?

Cardiff Bus will begin to operate a number of its routes out of the new bus station from Sunday.

These routes are:

  • Route 13 City Centre – Ely – Drope
  • Route 17 and 18 City Centre – Ely – Drope
  • Route 25 City Centre – Llandaff – Whitchurch
  • Route 32 City Centre – Canton – St. Fagans
  • Route 61 City Centre – Fairwater – Pentrebane
  • Routes 62 and 63 City Centre – Llandaff – Rhydlarfar (62) or Radyr (63)
  • Routes 92, 93 and 94 Cardiff – Penarth – Dinas Powys (93)/Sully (94) – Barry
  • Routes 95 Cardiff – Llandough – Dinas Powys – Barry
  • Route 96 Cardiff – Barry

Full details on all of Cardiff Bus’s routes, including where they depart from, is available here.

There are plans for additional bus services – Newport Bus and Stagecoach – to operate out of the station later in the year, according to TfW.

Coach firms operating inter-city services across the UK, such as National Express or Megabus, will remain in their current locations elsewhere in the city.

What is the bus station like inside?

grey placeholderSigns inside Cardiff's new bus station read "welcome to your new Cardiff Bus Interchange"

Twenty-five buses will operate each hour from the new bus station, increasing to 60 per hour by the end of the year

The new bus station is a “modern, clean and safe” way for passengers to catch a bus, according to TfW.

The large hall inside the bus station provides live updates for the train services operating from the nearby Cardiff Central railway station.

Staff will be on hand to help point people in the right direction to make their connections.

There are public toilets, benches, and eventually there will also be four shops.

grey placeholderCardiff bus station inside showing benches

There are benches for passengers to sit on and screens with the latest travel information

In at attempt to make the interchange as accessible as possible, there is also tactile paving linking the bus bays with the toilets.

Marie Daly, chief customer and culture officer for TfW, described the facility as “amazing”.

“We’re operating as one team across rail and bus to make sure we can offer customers a seamless experience,” she said.

“We would have loved for it to be open sooner, but what we are focusing on is what a great facility it is.”

Why was Cardiff’s old bus station demolished?

grey placeholderGetty Images Black and white photo of Cardiff's former bus station. It shows buses lined up in the bays in the stationGetty Images

Cardiff’s former bus station in 1966

The old Cardiff bus station was built in the 1950s.

By the 2010s, following the construction of the St David’s Dewi Sant shopping centre, the bus station and the wider Central Square area was earmarked for redevelopment.

Demolition of the old bus station got under way in 2015.

A number of nearby office buildings and a former NCP car park were also knocked down.

Plans for the new bus station, to the east of the old site, were approved in 2018.

In the meantime, a number of new office buildings were built in Central Square.

BBC Cymru Wales moved into one of the new office buildings, on the site of the former bus station, in 2020.

Cardiff’s Central Square – its transformation over the years

What do people think of the new bus station?

“I think it’s a good thing,” said Cardiff bus passenger Tracey Roberts.

“It will definitely improve things that people have somewhere to go and get the bus.

“I’ve gone past when I’ve gone to the train. It looks great.”

But another passenger, Steve Tribble, was less impressed.

“It’s poor, it’s just too small,” he said.

“It’s in the wrong place. The congestion along here is ridiculous. They took a perfectly good bus station away and we’re left with that.”

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