A NEW Bradford city centre bus route has caused mass confusion with many labelling the system an "absolute shambles".

Sunday saw the introduction of a new public transport loop and the closure of roads including Hall Ings and Market Street to traffic.

It means bus users have to use alternative stops which have appeared on Well Street, Vicar Lane, Bridge Street, and Nelson Street.

The closure of the Bradford Interchange until at least June is only compounding the issue.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Buses gathered on several roads in the city centreBuses gathered on several roads in the city centre (Image: Newsquest)When the Telegraph & Argus visited the stops on Monday morning, there were many flustered passengers attempting to use the services in the stormy weather.

The frustration came from the lack of information available on the stops themselves and the queuing of buses on the various streets.

On Bridge Street and Nelson Street in particular, the T&A witnessed six or seven buses all aiming to pick up passengers from one stop.

It resulted in many people having to flag them down to make sure they were able to board before the buses left.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Many bus users have been angered by the worksMany bus users have been angered by the works (Image: Newsquest)The West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which oversees the bus operation in the city, says it understands the works and the closure of the Interchange is "challenging" for people.

It adds that they have provided information to the public and are looking to "minimise disruption wherever possible".

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bridge Street is one of the most-affected roadsBridge Street is one of the most-affected roads (Image: Newsquest)“It's an absolute shambles,” Liam James said.

One woman said: "It's confusing. This is my first time using this stop. I usually catch the bus on Market Street."

Another added: "You'd think they would have had timetables up. I don't know where I'm going. I'll see if there's another bus stop over there (points towards Hall Ings)"

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The lack of information on the stops is evident to seeThe lack of information on the stops is evident to see (Image: Newsquest)Justine Allinson said: “All I know is it is a bloody long walk from town to Vicar Lane, with mobility problems to catch the 640/41 to get home to Eccleshill.”

One woman said: "I'm here waiting for the X6 (outside the Job Centre). I hope it's the right stop. This weather is horrible."

Another said: "It's a nightmare. I've been told to come here for my bus (Drake Street). I'm not sure when it's going to turn up. It doesn't help with the Interchange being shut."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Helpers and some signs can be seenHelpers and some signs can be seen (Image: Newsquest)The T&A also visited the city centre when the system first came into place on Sunday.

"People are a bit flummoxed with it all," said a First staff member. "Today is all right because it's Sunday services but tomorrow will be the test.

"We've been out helping customers," said the staff member, who pointed out that stops on Vicar Lane, Bridge Street and Nelson Street were busiest for customers.

"It's only opened this morning," said a Metro staff member. "We just took the barriers off last night."

One visitor from Ireland spoke in glowing terms about how it is all working for visitors. 

Helen Byrne, from Ireland, said: "We're quite happy with it. It's new to us and it's worked for us. 

"It's been quite easy for us as visitors. And the bus driver was very helpful."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A desolate-looking Market StreetA desolate-looking Market Street (Image: Newsquest)Work to reconfigure the city centre road network has been underway since last Summer and has included the creation of a new “loop” on which the city’s buses will now run.

Well Street, a quiet pedestrian street between the Broadway Shopping Centre and Little Germany, has now become one of the main bus hubs in the city centre.

Roads being pedestrianised include Bank Street, Broadway, Market Street, Hall Ings and parts of Bridge Street.

The junction of Little Horton Lane and Prince’s Way will also be blocked off to vehicles, creating a new “pocket park” near the city’s war memorial.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Buses are now stopping on Vicar LaneBuses are now stopping on Vicar Lane (Image: Newsquest)A West Yorkshire Combined Authority spokesperson said: “We recognise that city centre construction works, alongside the closure of the Interchange bus station, are challenging for people in Bradford. 

“This is a big change to the city’s bus network — we’re working closely with our partners to minimise disruption wherever possible and will continue to respond to feedback.

“We’ve provided information to the public to make them aware of the changes, and staff from the Combined Authority, the council and bus operators are on hand in the city centre to assist passengers.”