The first buses will depart Merthyr Tydfil’s new £12m state-of-the-art bus interchange next week, on Sunday, June 13.
The station is the first in Wales that allows for the charging of electric vehicles on site. It has no gas or other fossil fuel supplies, with its heating and hot water provided through green renewable sources. The buses using it will initially be diesel-powered, but the aim is to eventually make them all electrified, with charging stations for electric taxis ready for use now.
In the running for a 2021 Constructing Excellence in Wales Sustainability Award, the interchange also has a rainwater harvesting tank for the public toilets in what will be Wales’s third busiest bus station.
All bus services including operators Stagecoach, First Call Travel, NAT and Peter’s Minibus will transfer from the current station in Victoria Street to the new site in Swan Street, which will also feature a base for South Wales Police, independent café Bradleys and takeaway coffee kiosk Milk & Sugar.
The Victoria Street station will be closed and have hoarding erected around it in preparation for its future development.
Construction work began in July 2019 and despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, was completed on schedule in 91 weeks. The interchange was funded by Welsh Government, and more than 95% of the supply chain businesses used in construction were based within 25 miles of the site.
“We are thrilled with the building and know that our residents and visitors will be too,” said Council Leader Cllr Lisa Mytton. “It looks absolutely fantastic and will provide a modern, clean and impressive welcome to people arriving in the town centre.
“It’s located closer to the town’s railway station with the aim of creating a new transport interchange hub facility and link-up with the South Wales Metro. With its striking roof design and sustainable design approach, this is truly a 21st century transport interchange, providing a catalyst for future redevelopment of the town centre.
“The Council is very grateful for Welsh Government’s funding of the project to complement its significant investment in the Core Valley Lines Rail Network. We must also say a big thanks to main contractor Morgan Sindall for completing it to the highest standards and within the timescale in such difficult circumstances.”
Project Manager Ross Williams said: “We at Morgan Sindall are excited to see the building we’ve worked so hard on with the County Borough Council being used by the people of Merthyr Tydfil.
“The bus interchange has been an intensely challenging and equally rewarding project, generating many firsts and new innovations that we are very pleased will now be put to great use.”
Nigel Winter, Managing Director for Stagecoach South Wales said: “We welcome this investment in the building of a new Merthyr Tydfil bus station. Such a prestigious public building project helps to build customer confidence as restrictions ease and they start to travel by bus again.
“Bus stations are customer facilities that provide the opportunity to greatly enhance the customer experience for both existing and new customers. Giving our customers confidence to travel has never been more important to passenger transport as right now.”
Cllr Huw David, Chair of the Cardiff Capital Regional Transport Authority (CCRTA) said: “I’m so pleased that the Authority has been able to play a key role in the development and delivery of such an outstanding new facility for Merthyr Tydfil as part of the County Borough Council’s wider Metro Plus aspiration to create a first class bus, rail and active travel regional interchange hub.”