Local bus operator, South Wales Transport announced it was cancelling it’s 202 and 204 routes serving communities between Neath and Port Talbot from 23 July.
The bus operator said that “both services have been heavily supported by Welsh Government since the Covid pandemic and passenger levels have failed to return to pre-Covid levels.
It added that “Welsh Government’s reduced support has created further uncertainty for the future of many bus services in Wales, and the Government has acknowledged that some further bus services will be reduced or withdrawn this financial year because of a shortage of funding.”
Now, the council has stepped in to provide a temporary solution to some communities between the counties two key towns that would have seen bus services removed altogether.
The move comes a week after Council leader, Steve Hunt warned of the “impact of continuing uncertainty over Welsh Government bus funding for residents, learners and businesses”.
Briton Ferry to Baglan free shuttle
To replace the cancelled 202 a free shuttle bus will be provided by Forge Travel between Briton Ferry, Old Road Melyn Park and Lodge Cross Crown Inn where it will connect with First Cymru’s route 87 bus towards Port Talbot, calling at Neath Port Talbot Hospital.
The shuttle will then continue to Shelone Terrace, Heol Morfa, Glan Y Mor Street, Llansawel Primary School and Briton Ferry Old Post Office where it will again connect with First Cymru Service 87 to Port Talbot via the hospital.
The shuttle then heads towards Baglan, calling at Mayberry Road shops, Baglan Library, Blaenbaglan Library, Baglan Spar, Baglan railway station, Village Road, Morrisons and Neath Port Talbot Hospital where it connects again with First Cymru service 87 to Port Talbot.
Running every two hours between 8.50am and 4.50pm on Monday to Fridays, the temporary free shuttle will operate from Monday 24 July to Friday 1 September.
Caewathan to Neath Abbey Free Shuttle
To replace the cancelled 204 service a free shuttle bus will be provided by Select Coaches between Caewathan and Neath Abbey where it will connect with Select’s route 4 bus towards Neath.
The shuttle will run every 2 hours between 8.30am and 2.30pm for outbound journeys and between 9.25 and 4.25 for return journeys to Caewathan, operating Monday to Friday’s from 24 July to 1 September.
Council looking for longer term solution
The council says it is continuing to work with local bus operators to find a longer term solution.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt, explained: “Together with Chief Executive Karen Jones and other council representatives I attended a packed public meeting in Briton Ferry on the evening of Friday, July 14th to find what this would mean to our residents.
“A number of them were in tears as they told us of their fears about not being able to attend hospital appointments, not being able to visit friends, get to work or go shopping – residents, learners and businesses will all be severely disadvantaged.
“We worked hard to come up with the temporary alternatives in a short space of time and we will continue to work with local transport companies in search of a permanent solution.
“I have spoken publicly about the need for more certainty from the Welsh Government about its continued funding of public bus services and will continue to lobby for this while being grateful for the funding for this temporary arrangement from Welsh Government.”
Young Mumbles woman aims to break cystic fibrosis barriers with half-marathon run
Ospreys confirm signing of Fricker
Council appoints new Copr Bay contractor
Enforcement officers issue 600 penalty notices in just over a month targetting environment crime
Housebuilder launches consultation on 500-home zero-carbon ready scheme in Pontarddulais
Landmark anniversary for club which provides support for young burns victims
Former Penlan district housing office transformed into flats
Council issues ‘call for sites’ as it looks to build new development plan
Triple injury blow for Swans ahead of Millwall clash
Baked beans lead the way as the favourite kitchen staple in Wales but items once found in grandparents’ cupboards are dying out
New Trade Park set to open in Llansamlet
Rhossili named among world’s best beaches
Port Talbot and Morriston Wilko stores first to shut as administrator announces 52 closures
Administrators announce closure dates for Wilko stores in Bridgend, Maesteg and Llanelli
Closure dates announced for Wilko stores in Swansea, Neath and Carmarthen
Poundland to buy 71 Wilko stores – including Pembroke Dock and Ammanford
Melyn Musical Theatre Company celebrates 100th anniversary with spectacular, sold-out Centenary show ‘Kinky Boots’
Poundstretcher to open new Llansamlet store
Swansea Ex-Royal Navy Engineer celebrates first year in business after return to city
Car parking to get more expensive in Neath Port Talbot after councillors agree raft of increases
Arts and Entertainment4 days ago
Bronze statue of entertainer Max Boyce is set to be unveiled at his beloved Glynneath
South Wales Police4 days ago
Man charged with murder after Sketty Lane car fire incident
Rugby5 days ago
Wales 40-6 Australia: Wonderful Wales hammer Australia to seal last eight spot
Business5 days ago
B&M’s ‘bigger and better’ Llanelli store a hit with shoppers on opening weekend
Glynneath5 days ago
Council asks for views on Pontneddfechan development at gateway to waterfalls
Music3 days ago
Shaun Ryder – rock’n’roll wild man heads to Port Talbot as part of major UK tour
Football7 days ago
Swans ease pressure on Duff with Sheffield Wednesday victory
Rugby3 days ago
Gilpin cast’s doubts over Rugby World Cup free-to-air future coverage