DOCUMENTS requested by the Telegraph & Argus have revealed certain details about the closure of Bradford Interchange bus station.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has sent 122 pages of files in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, submitted by the T&A in January, over the closure of the station.

But the files - mostly consisting of emails - feature much blacked out text throughout, with WYCA stating this redaction is due to several reasons including confidentiality and to "protect the public from accident or acts of sabotage".

"This is specifically in relation to areas of weakness which has been identified within the building," WYCA said, quoting a regulation covering public safety.

After the T&A pushed for more transparency from WYCA on the situation - and just days before the files were released - the authority said the station, which closed in January, would stay shut until at least September to allow for "more in-depth surveys" to be completed to "determine if it can ever be safely reopened".

According to WYCA, the station was closed as a result of "damage caused by severe water ingress, and concrete falling" within the Interchange basement car park.

In 2022, WYCA - which runs the Interchange - appointed contractors to carry out works to resurface and re-waterproof the entire bus carriageway at the facility amid "ongoing issues of water ingress". The works, which are yet to be completed, are expected to total £8.5 million.

An email from WYCA, dated January 9, said "it was recognised that these works may give rise a risk of concrete falling beneath the slab (which forms part of the structure above the basement car park) and exclusion zones beneath the slab have been used accordingly".

However, the email revealed no such exclusion zone was in place at the location where the concrete fell "as no works have been undertaken above this area in the last nine months".

WYCA explained that these works were "taking place in phases as part of a planned programme".

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Another email from WYCA, dated January 5, said the "report of falling concrete" within the underground car park was received on December 22 last year.

The email said the entire car park was closed on December 23, with the whole of the station shut on January 4, and the situation was described as "complex and fluid".

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

On January 4, an individual at WYCA said in an email there was "a lot of activity here today trying to get a handle on the situation and come up with plans for keeping things operating", with the "impact on passengers" also acknowledged.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

Questions about timelines for the closure were also raised in some emails, with WYCA saying on January 12 that "contractors today began work on-site to establish the extent of the damage and what remedial works are required before it can be safely reopened".

A report released by WYCA said the bus station, built in the mid-1970s, is "reaching the end of its expected 50-year lifespan" and "the structure is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and operate safely".

In the last decade, WYCA has invested more than £13m into repairing and maintaining the facility, according to the report.

It added that the closure had led to additional costs and loss of income to the authority estimated to be up to £238,000 per month.

WYCA said additional costs for surveys had not been revealed "at this stage due to commercial confidentiality".

The T&A asked WYCA why several millions of pounds of taxpayers' cash had been spent in recent years on the Interchange which, by the authority's own admission, was "becoming increasingly difficult to maintain and operate safely".

The T&A also pointed out that a number of readers had urged WYCA to permanently close the facility now rather than "continuing to waste money" on it.

A WYCA spokesperson responded: "Public safety is our number one priority at Bradford Interchange bus station.

"We invested millions into the facility over the years to ensure it could continue to serve the people of Bradford safely.

"The efficient use of taxpayers’ money has quite rightly also been at the heart of our decision-making, but we need more evidence from the surveys before we can come to a conclusion about the future of the Interchange."