Cardiff’s much anticipated bus interchange has been confirmed as part of a deal between Welsh Government, financial giant Legal & General and Central Square developer, Rightacres Property.
The bus interchange, to be operated by Transport for Wales, will have bays for 14 buses and coaches on the north side of Cardiff Central railway station, and there are plans for future developments to the south, which will see the creation of an additional 4 bays within the Cardiff Central station complex.
As part of the development, on street bus stands for local services which do not terminate at Cardiff Central, and which would otherwise have their journey times extended by entering the station, will also be upgraded so that they have the same look and feel as the bus station, for example by including the bus station’s information services, wayfinding and design.
The bus interchange is the first phase of a wider redevelopment of the whole Cardiff Central public transport interchange. The bus interchange will benefit from a further £15m of Welsh Government funding for fit-out works, on top of the £15m which Welsh Government paid to acquire the underlying land.
Combined with the £58m announced this week by UK Government for the railway station, the £40m already pledged by City Deal partners and £15m from TfW Rail, this amounts to a funding package of around £150m from the public sector and transport providers for the new interchange.
Matched by significant funding from the private sector, not least of all Legal and General, hundreds of millions of pounds will be invested in creating a multi-modal transport interchange at the core of the Metro.
At more than 500,000 sq ft the new bus interchange is the largest privately funded development in Wales and will comprise not just the replacement Bus Station but also 318 Build to Rent apartments and 100,000 sq ft of grade A office development.
Announcing the deal, Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates said:
“Bus, Rail and Active Travel are core components of our bold ambitions for the Metro. This Welsh Government supported investment in the Cardiff Central bus interchange will be developed alongside, and work seamlessly with, Wales’s busiest railway station to form a fully integrated passenger experience at the heart of our capital city.
“And this is only the first phase of the redevelopment of Cardiff Central. Our partners in the City Deal have set aside £40m for future developments, with our continued partnership with the private sector marrying transport, residential and work spaces and developing a new identity for this crucial entry point to Cardiff.”
Paul McCarthy, Chief Executive of Rightacres, said:
“Unlocking this development has been a complex process but we are pleased that the various stakeholders in this project are now aligned and this vitally important development can now get underway. Cardiff Central is the key gateway to Wales and as more businesses and people move into Cardiff city centre the transport hub will provide ever increasing economic, environmental and social value.”
Tom Roberts, Head of Strategic Investment at Legal & General, said:
“Rising to the challenges faced by modern cities requires a next level approach to transit-hub development. To meet the expectations of modern city-dwellers and to improve their quality of life, these hubs must be genuinely mixed developments, offering a range of residential and work space. Legal & General is committed to funding and delivering this kind of sustainable development.”
Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council, said:
“The building of a new bus interchange has been a number one priority for the council since day one of this administration, reflecting our commitment to delivering more and better jobs for the people of Cardiff and beyond. This will be the final stage of the completion of Central Square, which is the biggest regeneration project in Wales. The Council’s original masterplan for this part of the city is now a reality and we are delighted that through it, thousands of jobs are being created in the Welsh Capital.”