Welsh infrastructure secretary Ken Skates has acknowledged the variable quality of the country’s bus stops and suggested that local authorities could help produce a code of practice.
Bus operators say vehicle quality has improved over recent years but potential passengers are deterred by poor bus stops in many areas.
The 'main bus stop' in Llandrindod Wells, county town of Powys
Speaking to Transport Network at the Welsh Bus Summit this week, Mr Skates said: ‘Right across Wales, we need a more consistent approach to bus stops and shelters. I would urge local authorities to work together in developing better infrastructure that includes the places where people wait for buses.’
Asked whether minimum standards for stops should be defined, he said: ‘If that consistent approach requires a code, then it’s something that I believe local authorities would be willing and perhaps enthusiastic to work with me on.’
Real time information is absent from most Welsh stops, including many with pre-2008 electronic screens. Mr Skates said technology had improved since then. ‘Moving to real time information isn’t the huge leap that it once was. It should be an expectation rather than a luxury.
‘This year we’re providing £450,000 for Powys County Council to provide consistent, high quality shelters and information on the T4 [Brecon-Newtown route]. It should include real time information.’
Tim Peppin, the Welsh Local Government Association’s director of sustainable development, said that in principle local authorities would wish to improve bus stops. ‘It all comes down to resources,’ he said. ‘In Cardiff they’ve been able to do it through advertising, but that won’t be an option everywhere.’