CONCERNS have been raised that a decision to close the main waiting area at Wrexham bus station at night will leave passengers in a vulnerable position.

The move to block access to the main concourse after 8pm every evening and all day Sunday was recently announced by Wrexham Council in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour.

It came after senior figures said the town's image had been tarnished by images of drug use inside the station, which made national headlines in 2017.

Councillor David A Bithell, lead member for transport, said the installation of new roller shutters was designed to make people feel more safe following complaints from some travellers.

However, an opposition councillor has now voiced fears that it will result in passengers feeling less secure during the winter.

Speaking at a meeting to discuss crime and anti-social behaviour issues in the county, Labour's Krista Child's said: “I would like some clarification around the decision regarding anti-social behaviour at the bus station and the recent decision to close it.

“I know that there has been a lot of concern from residents on the decision as they feel that they’re going to be more vulnerable outside of the bus station than they would be within it.

“I’m just wondering how on earth we’re going to review that situation, particularly as it’s now coming up to the winter months and it’s going to be dark and cold.”

Funding for the shutters was provided by the Welsh Government as part of general improvements to the bus station and does not impact the opening times of businesses located outside the concourse.

The upgrades will also see work carried out to install new electronic information signs so passengers can access timetable details when the waiting area is closed.

In response to the concerns raised, the council's deputy leader said it was important that adequate police and security patrols were in place to provide reassurance.

Cllr Hugh Jones (Cons) also revealed the decision to reduce opening hours was partly taken in a bid to save money.

He said: “The external area of the bus station is all part of the whole town centre and the importance is to ensure with wardens and the police that we have adequate resources to protect people across the town centre.

“The decision to reduce the operational hours of part of the bus station was made for a number of reasons and some of it is financial reasons.

“The important thing is to ensure people who use the bus station and other facilities across the town centre of Wrexham feel safe and that doesn’t require the bus station itself to be open to ensure that happens.”

Members of the authority's crime and disorder scrutiny committee were also told on Wednesday that the arrangements would be reviewed after six months.