Friday, 3 July 2015


Coun Patel, the Cabinet
member for transport,
planning and sustainability, 
"Now, however, Coun Patel, the Cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability, has intervened to pledge that contrary to what is said in the report, passengers WILL be able to board and get off buses in the bus station. He said: “I can assure Cardiff residents, visitors and commuters that the new development will significantly improve public transport services in and around Cardiff. Currently the majority of buses interchange in the city centre and this will continue but additional facilities will be available to travel across the city to ensure better connections."  BUT what he means is that fewer buses will go into the city centre and the bus station!! This is why Ramesh Patel USES THE WORD INTERCHANGE INSTEAD OF bus station.

What Councillor Patel isn't telling you, that he alludes to in his comment from the Echo article 2nd July above is that the majority of buses go to the city centre NOW but that will change - is all in this document kept secret until obtained by the LDP inquiry after our persistent inquiries after mentions of Area BUS HUB/INTERCHANGES.
Cardiff Council denies its agreed by them.  There has been no consultation or scrutiny on it.  Yet the Council is justifying an over-small bus station on its basis – which is not to provide for ‘core’ bus services and to set up cross-city routes serving several interchanges (like at Waungron Rd). 
140 per hour is less than present daytime (~160).  This is not  such a strong point as the number of dedicated stands needed for the ‘Core’ services.  The officers are clearly expecting to implement the Transforming the Bus Network without consultation and without showing it’s practicable, while pretending the Core services will be able to use the tiny bus Station.

Cardiff Council in conjunction with Cardiff Bus, Transforming the Bus Netardiwork, Cff Bus Network Study Issue 3 | 6 November 2014  
The secret report states "For a bus strategy based on core services operating cross-city, it is proposed that the bus station’s future role would be modified as follows:
 Main use would be as a terminating point for regional (‘out of town’) services operated at relatively low frequencies. 
 The bus station would provide space for operational layover for both regional bus services and local city services 
 The bus station would provide a location for city bus services to turn around (but not to pick-up/drop-off) In respect of city bus services, these would stop (with short dwell times) at onstreet bus stops in the vicinity of the bus station."
The data in the report shows the city has 11 “Core Bus Routes” with under 12 minutes headway.  Such routes need a dedicated stand.  There are 25 routes with 15-30 minutes headway, plus a dozen less frequent services.  Some services are omitted (eg. the 30 minute X2 service to Bridgend) while the T4/X4 to Merthyr now operate a 15 minute service. Thus the present services to the city centre need 11 dedicated stands dedicated to each service, others require at least 10.  The Ove Arup study proposed excluding these 11 dedicated ones and operating the Bus Station only for the less frequent  services, with stands allocated flexibly.   It would be problematic to fit just those in the planned 13/14 stand bus station, with 3-4  stands for  express coaches, as promised (one for T9 Cardiff Airport, one for X4/T4 Merthyr/Newtown).
Transforming the Bus Network was publicised by the Echo Plans reveal Cardiff's long-awaited bus station will not serve passengers wanting to travel within the city

Immediately denied by Ramesh Patel 

A council spokesman told us that the Ove Arup report’s proposal of a bus station where vehicles simply turned, without allowing passengers to board or get off, had not been approved by the council or by Cardiff Bus. He said decisions about the exact nature of the new bus station were expected be taken “in June or July”.

 Cardiff Council in conjunction with Cardiff Bus, Transforming the Bus Netardiwork, Cff Bus Network Study Issue 3 | 6 November 2014  7.4 Improved Orbital Services 
Improvements to orbital services, linking key interchange hubs to allow transfer across the city without the need to transfer in the city centre. These services would also increase the connectivity from the major development sites in the north west and north east of Cardiff. These orbital services would be best operated as a series of shorter ‘diagonal’ services, rather than full 360o orbital services (to avoid scheduling problems caused by long and unreliable journey times). Interchange hub locations would be located where frequent cross-city radial services can connect with orbital services as follows: It is relevant that Cardiff County Council is considering closing the Waungron Road recycling depot (directly adjacent to Waungron Park rail station, and some 300m from Ely Bridge). The depot land could provide an opportunity to create an interchange hub, serving three ‘core’ public transport corridors:  North West Cardiff – City Centre – East Cardiff  City Line Rail Services from Radyr to Central Station (at 4 trains / hr in future), and  West Cardiff – City Centre – East Cardiff Conversion of the core bus services to cross-city operation would result in a highly accessible interchange facility, reachable by public transport from all parts of the city (and beyond, due to the rail connection). An interchange hub at Waungron Park would also be ideal as a stopping point (or terminus) for ‘orbital’ services along Western Avenue, as well as for an interchange hub for other infrequent services from / to West Cardiff. Establishing an interchange facility would be likely to require infrastructure in the form of bus priority measures, bus turning lanes, pedestrian access routes, as well as provision of an attractive waiting area (with high quality shelters, real time information, within a safe environment). ..............

For a bus strategy based on core services operating cross-city, it is proposed that the bus station’s future role would be modified as follows:
 Main use would be as a terminating point for regional (‘out of town’) services operated at relatively low frequencies. 
 The bus station would provide space for operational layover for both regional bus services and local city services 
 The bus station would provide a location for city bus services to turn around (but not to pick-up/drop-off) In respect of city bus services, these would stop (with short dwell times) at onstreet bus stops in the vicinity of the bus station. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

New Bus Station Questions Cllrs should ask

Dear Cllrs, 

We suggest some questions to the Cardiff Council Cabinet meeting TODAY Thursday and would appreciate your feed-back.
Cardiff Bus-Users group – statement on the Bus station plans
PAPERS Cabinet Item No 10 and Cardiff's new bus station vision as 'uncosted aspiration' 
We welcome the use of the Saunders Road entrance to a new Bus Station.  This lessens the bus loading across the main pedestrian route between St Marys Street and Central Square. This change in plans also importantly allows the Bus Station to operate through street closures on Match Days and  weekend evenings. How could we claim a “liveable city” when bus services are frequently shut down?
But there is a conflict with the new underground car park entrance being from Saunders Road. No other modern city centre would introduce a new car park to a public transport hub. 
Questions to Cabinet
Buses to exit via Saunders Rd (S-E corner of Central Sq)
Very welcome change, allowing Bus Station operation on  Match days.
Introducing parking into public transport hub - lunacy
The difficult-to-read AECOM report shows road options (changing lower Westgate St to two-way buses, etc.)  which presume buses exit  the bus station onto Wood St.  Yet the chosen system appears to exit via Saunders Rd, which the bus operators sought (meeting in March). So is the AECOM work redundant and are AECOM considering the Saunders Rd option instead? 
AECOM said Match-day operation of the bus station had still to be considered (from a study in Dec.2014).  Has this been done?   
Fitting in a future metro-tram line and station
 “to not compromise the proposed metro system” is stated as objective.  Routing along Wood St and lower St Marys St will require some compromise with the new Bus Station entrance, the Wood St segregated cycleway and high pedestrian flows between St Marys St and the bus/rail stations.  Which side of Wood Street would a metro-tram run and where would its station-stop be sited on this option?
What about the alternative routing for a metro-tram via Saunders Rd to meet the Cabinet’s objective of July 2014: enable the delivery of an Integrated Transport Hub?  Where have the implications been considered?
Funding a new Bus Station
The report S.25 mentions the Council’s land assets, existing income streams (such as departure charges) and potential new income streams associated with the new bus interchange (such as rental income from retail units).  Surely inadequate!
Plan for new Cardiff bus station more fantasy than reality 
The Council purchased the NCP carpark for £9 million; what is to happen to that asset?
Is no funding sought from the development itself, as community benefit from the huge office and hotel developments, either directly in the developer providing the building or via S.106 payments?  Can the Council now seek such funding? If not, it appears that the public is getting a very raw deal.
What about the Railtrack-owned land
No mention that Railtrack own the key taxi-rank and surface carpark areas off Saunders Rd.  Will they sell the carpark area or will Compulsory Purchase be used?  Will Rightacres as developer meet the costs?
Is the 300-space underground carpark acceptable?
If Saunders Road is to be used for bus station exit (and bus entry on match-days), cars would impede efficient bus operation; also queuing for the car park might block Bus access.  Can and will buses be given absolute priority?  Why cars at all - what about reserving Saunders Road for buses and for limited taxi pick-up (for disabled access to the transport interchange)?
Squeezing an already cramped bus station
Because of an underground water main on Saunders Road, it appears that the bus station site will be squeezed to give space for a ramp down to the underground car-park.  Why not compel the carpark providers to pay to re-site the water main?
 Risk of  Dynamic Stand Allocation (DSA)
The April 2012  AECOM report shows DSA is not used (effectively) in the UK except for Heathrow and Victoria Bus Station.  It says “DSA is in its infancy”, “effectiveness is highly variable”, mentions costs and inherent risks and recommends work “to enable a better informed decision.. .  merit of proceeding further..”   Much of the Appendix is about DSA, but no updated work: has it not been done?
Is it prudent for the Council to rely on implementing DSA, when it might have little effectiveness?  The new Bus station could be designed to use DSA, to cater for future unpredicted expansion, as recommended for Taunton Bus Station, but why not first plan for current services and moderate expansion to go into the planned Station without DSA? 
If one goes for DSA, separate drop-off and pick-up points are recommended (as Victoria Coach Stn) to separate streams of people, or a bus waiting area to enable buses to keep to timetable with quick in-and-out (4-6 minutes dwell time, says AECOM).  Are these being  considered, as it’s surely incorrect to disregard as ‘layover’ time the minutes needed to allow for congestion delays and to meet timetable departures.
Security (the Police report on the BBC/Central Sq was not considered at Planning Committee)
DSA depends on electronic systems that can break down; will non-electronic  back-up be required?
An enclosed bus station needs speedy evacuation in the case of a bomb threat;  will the concourse have several wide exits to the streets?
Public Consultation
Will these wider issues be up for the planned consultation over a new Bus Station ?

The Bus Station shouldn't have been left to the developers to decide but plans for a new bus station along with a design should have come first by workrking with the people of Cardiff and Bus Users.

Objectives (AECOM March ’15:
“to not compromise the proposed metro system”
to facilitate clockwise operation of buses (up Westgate St to the Castle) has been dropped.
Admits cycle-route on Wood St is affected, say manage by full segregation (!) Admits “threaten the delivery of the metro”   “it is possible that traffic will re-route”.  Admits nothing for pedestrians crossing Wood St and WestgateSt, just that combined access and egress for buses is better than separate.
AECOM Technical Note  Dec. 2014, approved Mar 2015; ignoring Steer Davies-Gleave of Mar 2015
No use of Saunders Rd.  Both in and out from Wood St is rejected by bus operators, though AECOM proposes operating Westgate St two-way for buses.
AECOM model Bus dwell time between 4 and 6 minutes.  But still 35% of buses cannot use ‘correct’ stand.  If 8-10 minutes dwell time as at present, no stands left after 20 Mins.  No mention that 4-6 min dwell time does not allow for running to timetable (given typical congestion delays).
Event day modelling “would need further analysis”.  Unclear if they allow sufficiently from buses from St Marys St, queuing to the Bus Stn exit.  No consideration of pedestrians on this confgested route, increased air pollution in the AQMA or Metro routing here.
“Improvements and efficiencies” are needed: ”could include optimised timetabling, use of dynamic stand allocation, re-allocation of layover to other parts of the road network (yet that worsens things with extra bus movements) and bus priority improvements to increase bus journey time reliability (yet that’s set to worsen with increased central congestion
DSA Report is April 2012  AECOM
To assess the feasibility.  “Use of DSA is in its infancy”  “effectiveness is highly variable”
“costs involved and whether the inherent risks in deploying a relatively novel approach…” (and breakdowns of the electronic system)
Further work “to enable a better informed decision.. merit of proceeding further..”
Chatham has 6 platforms, 16 stands; switching only on same platform… hardly works.
High Wycombe similar, others Plymouth, Barking, Hanley, Bristol. Burnley not proceeded with.  Only t Heathrow and Victoria Coach Station in the UK.
Netherlands review of many yrs.  Separate set-down and pick-up areas.  “physical needs of those with reduced abilities”  Visibility of departure information from the waiting area.  In fact the dutch document says “serious problems for the disabled”
A buffer area for waiting buses is required (for timetable-keeping).  Not fail-safe – requires staff on hand to direct people when buses enter wrong platform eg’ if departures are delayed
Somerset CC study for Taunton (DSA dropped)
Should be a) in open air, b) a layout with no reversing.   Recommend including provision for future DSA, to cope with possible expansion of buses.
Only Christchurch NZ claims success (by Parsons Brinkerhoff who designed it). Have a building for 3 platforms plus adjacent street with two platforms (15 bus stops), not separated as far as St Marys St and Westgate St would be in Cdf.  37 in/out plus 5 through routes  (Pop 340 000 like Cdf).
With service frequency <15 each="" minutes="" own="" p="" requires="" service="" stop.="">

Saturday, 6 June 2015

@CardiffCouncil falsified picture of site for 'new bus station' June Capital Times #clowns

  falsified picture of site for 'new bus station' June Capital Times  

Cardiff Labour Council continue to tell you fibs - the truth here - Everything you need to know about Cardiff Council and the 'bus station' 

Deliberate removal of bus shelters in advance of any consultation with bus users - we want a NEW BUS STATION NOW - before the BBC and offices 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Illegal FOI refusal on Cardiff Bus Station

Please find attached a response to your Freedom of Information request -  FOI06724. Yours sincerely
Improvement & Information - City of Cardiff Council Room 401, County Hall, Atlantic Wharf 
Which clearly doesn't answer the question contrary to the law. 
All we wanted to see is the specification given to the architects for the promised new bus station. Cardiff Council - Phil Bale and Ramesh Patel should share this information and the designs and let the people of Cardiff decide the winning submission.   Illegal 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Cardiff Labour Council ignore residents wishes in second community poll

Cardiff Labour Council ignore residents wishes
in second community poll 
Cardiff Labour Council and its leader Phil Bale and deputy leader Sue Lent run  - the council that never listens to its residents 

Cardiff Cabinet meet tomorrow to reject the results of the Llandaff community poll overwhelmingly in favour of asking them to reconsider the proposed housing developments in North West Cardiff.

They will also again reject the plea to reopen Waugron Road recycling centre.recycling, 

And of course the wishes of residents who value the bus station are ignored completely too. 

Cardiff Labour Council ignore residents wishes in community poll 
Cardiff Labour Council ignore residents wishes in community poll

Monday, 25 May 2015

No Blue flag for Barry Island - parents beware

No 'Blue Flag' for Barry Island; no beach awards for other VoG Beaches
Parents will be especially concerned that their favorite resort Barry Island doesn't have a blue flag - who wants to risk allowing their children to  swim and play in shitty water?  Who wants to go surfing in dirty water.++ 
No Blue-Flag award for Barry**; despite meeting the bathing water guideline standard over the summer of 2014; the Vale Council did not submit Barry’s Whitmore Bay for approval, perhaps because they missed the standard in 2013 (better weather in 2014) [1] and didn't want to risk failure again.
None of the Vale Beaches gets a beach award (Blue Flag or Green Coast or Seaside award) because the Council did not submit them. 

Jacksons Bay beach failed the guideline water quality standard in 4 of the 20 samples (taken weekly), as Enterococci data indicate sewage pollution.  However, Whitmore Bay failed in just 2 of the 20 samples, so could qualify overall.  Likewise, Cold Knap and Southerndown both qualified but were not submitted for awards.

The Vale Council also discontinued monitoring at Fontygary, Llantwit Major and Ogmore beaches, so the public cannot know the water quality.

Under half of the Euro-designated bathing beaches in Wales are nominated under the Blue Flag scheme (47 of the 102 total) because facilities like lifeguards and toilets are needed and dogs excluded.  But the only ‘resort’ beach in Wales omitted is Barry’s Whitmore Bay – astonishing when the Vale Council claims to be promoting Barry as a resort, say Friends of the Earth.

We believes the omissions relate to the continuing sewage problem. The failures at Jackson’s Bay (four water samples) and Whitmore Bay (two samples) relate to sewage overflows from the Cog Moors works.  This sewage works is overloaded and discharges untreated sewage during high rainfall [2].  Welsh Water added UV treatment of the overflows in 2011/12 but this proved inadequate in 2013.

The Vale Council is not objecting to the sewage failures as it chooses to permit more housebuilding (as at Wenvoe and Culverhouse Cross) that loads Cog Moors works even more.  The Council and Dwr Cymru do not require these developers to contribute towards upgrading sewage treatment facilities, in order to comply with standards.

The Vale Council’s LDP (Local Development Plan, delayed for public inquiry) wants excessive house building (10 000 homes compared with the 5700 of government projections), mainly in Rhoose and east of Barry in the ‘green belt’, all of which feed the Cog Moors sewage works.  There are no new or expanded sewage facilities in the Ofwat-approved plans to 2020; instead of pressing for these, FoE accuse the Vale Council of favouring its housing development ambitions above Barry’s bathing water and Blue Flag status.

[1] 'Blue Flag' failure at Barry Island = inadequate sewage works at Cog Moors

**  WalesBathing Water Report 2014
Note the NRW reporting uses the old Bathing Water standard, whereas Euro-Blue Flags are awarded on the revised standard (rBWD) which is compulsory from 2015
Table 8 shows Jacksons Bay is likely to fail the IE (Enterococci) standard, while Whitmore Bay and Southerndown have a risk of failure.
Table 9 indicates Whitmore Bay like Jacksons Bay failed in 2013 (‘good’) but met the Blue Flag (rBWD) standard in 2014.
Tabled 10 shows Blue-Flag qualifying Euro-beaches,with Whitmore Bay not qualifying in 2013 and 2014. 

++ Wales  Surfers Against Sewage 

Friday, 22 May 2015

NRW stops Cardiff Council who have no permit for their incinerator ash operations

Scam over Viridor’s Incinerator Ash is ending
Cardiff Council’s efforts to make money from Viridor’s incinerator ash appear at an end.
The metal screening equipment was yesterday taken down off the tip and is now parked up next to the buildings on the tip.   Ready for press photographs if you hurry.

Viridor was forced to install metal separating equipment at its incinerator from end April.  Temporary plant has been brought in, operating within the building, so without the dust-blow at Lamby Way.  They are installing modern magnetic and eddy current separators for long-term use.
Cardiff Council was forced to submit a “Risk Assessment” of its metal screening operations on Lamby Way tip.  The NRW has not accepted it, as “not provide sufficient detail in their assessment of potential impacts of dust generation”. 
CATI points out that it’s a poor, amateurish document that in no way measures up to the NRW’s guidance, or to the similar operations in England by Raymond Brown Ltd (Andover) who call themselves ‘specialist’ in incinerator ash processing.
CATI has pressed NRW (Natural Resources Wales) to take action against Cardiff; they were found to have no permit for their incinerator ash operations.  Eluned Parrott has likewise pressed for action to stop the toxic dust from incinerator ash spreading to residential areas of Rhymney/Rumney and Tremorfa.
The NRW has been slow in taking action, but at last !

UPDATE on Ash Tip operations stopped
The ash screening equipment and conveyors have now been covered over, to protect from Press photographers. 
Cardiff Council's JCBs and dumper trucks are now spreading the mounds of ash over areas of the site (claiming for 'engineering' or 're-profiling' the site), raising clouds of dust blowing in today's strong winds.  This incinerator dust is toxic, but the Council (with collusion of the NRW) ignore the harm to health and environment, pretending it does not get off site.

Splott incinerator campaigners hit out at Cardiff council for 'breaching duty of care' over Lamby Way recycling site​