QUESTIONS are being asked of the operators of Bradford Interchange after it was announced the bus station would remain closed for at least another three months.

Yesterday, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) said the section of the transport hub would be shut until June.

More detailed surveys are to be undertaken and they will determine the viability of its future.

The bus station has been shut since January 4 after some concrete fell in the basement - making it unsafe for public use.Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Work is also said to be ongoing with Bradford Council officers to consider alternative locations for a temporary bus station.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “This is further frustrating news. Whilst everyone understands that the safety of bus passengers and Interchange staff must remain paramount, passengers want to see a resolution as quickly as possible.

"We have asked the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to consider all options when looking to the future.”

Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, said: "I’m concerned by a lack of communication that’s denied passengers the clarity they need to plan their journeys.

“I urge West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Bradford Council to secure as soon as possible a temporary location for bus services that is accessible and within easy reach of the interchange’s rail station."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford East MP Imran Hussain Bradford East MP Imran Hussain (Image: Other)

Mr Hussain added: “Ultimately, we also cannot overlook the fact that much of the interchange is now up to 50 years old and that what was once a pioneering design for the time is outdated.

"I therefore also urge the Government to recognise that the interchange will not be a viable option forever, and to get on with their promise to build a new rail and bus station to take over from the interchange as part of Bradford’s regeneration.”

Leader of the Green Group Councillor Matt Edwards said: "There are some really serious questions the combined authority and the Labour Mayor of West Yorkshire need to be answering about how they've been maintaining the building - or not as the case may be. The whole situation is just not good enough."

Arnold Craven, Conservative Party Candidate for Mayor of West Yorkshire, said it is a "ridiculous situation" for Bradford to be left without a bus station for six months.

He said: “The Labour Mayor of West Yorkshire needs to explain how her Combined Authority has allowed this to take place.

“Last week the Mayor and West Yorkshire Combined Authority voted to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayer pounds to franchise buses. How can we trust this Mayor to create a franchised bus system from scratch, never mind building a new West Yorkshire mass transit system, if her authority can’t even maintain a bus station properly?”

The Telegraph & Argus approached Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin for a comment on the update and was referred to a statement made by Mayor Brabin at last month's Combined Authority meeting.

At that meeting, she said: "The Combined Authority has been working closely on a daily basis with Bradford Council to mitigate the impact on passengers, with an emergency plan kicking in and Jacobs Well car park quickly introduced as a temporary layover.  

"I’d like to thank bus users in Bradford who have adapted brilliantly to the temporary measures that have been put in place, and also for their patience whilst we are urgently addressing the problems at the Interchange.  

"I’d also like to thank the officer teams at the Combined Authority and Bradford Council who have been working incredibly hard to put the emergency measures in place.  

"I’ve tasked the team to continue to improve public facing communications and information about the temporary measures – as I know that things that were stood up in haste could have been improved."

Yesterday, a spokesperson for WYCA said: "Since the interchange closed in January, initial surveys have been undertaken with a focus on the areas of concern identified.

"The feedback received was that while the surrounding structures were found to be generally in a fair condition, repair works will be required to address areas of defective concrete above the basement car park area, and to address significant issues of drainage and water ingress.

"Surveyors have recommended that further, more extensive surveys need to be carried out in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the condition of the interchange and to inform the future management and operation of the structure.

"This work will progress over the coming weeks, however, given the scale and the nature of the structure, completion of those surveys will be a significant undertaking.

"It is therefore anticipated that the interchange will need to remain closed for at least a further three months to allow surveys to be completed, following which we will take a view on the future operation of the facility.

"In the meantime, work is also ongoing with Bradford Council officers to consider alternative locations for a temporary bus station."