First Cymru says it has been tasked by local authorities to reduce its bus network in accordance with reduced public funding, saying that passenger numbers remain well below previous levels, particularly for concessionary card holders.
The company said that the majority of it’s services will not be impacted, and where possible, frequencies and hours of operation will be reduced in order to avoid routes being withdrawn. However, some services will stop operating.
First Cymru’s Managing Director, Doug Claringbold, said some changes to the network in south and west Wales were inevitable after the Welsh government announced the lower levels of support, which is essential given the significant, ongoing drop in passenger numbers.
He said: “The majority of services are unaffected, but despite our efforts to protect our customers from the impact of this reduced funding, we have no option but to reduce or stop operating some services.
“We recognise the Welsh government has had some tough decisions to make as it changes the way it funds bus services. At the same time, we share the disappointment customers will feel from the knock-on impact that will have on some routes. We are committed to getting more people to use the bus, and adequate levels of funding are essential where passenger numbers are below the cost of operating services.”
These changes in Cymru come three months after the Welsh government published details of its Bus Transition Fund (BTF), which replaced the funding available through the Bus Emergency Scheme and was set up to provide financial support to operators in response to lower bus use as a result of the pandemic.
In announcing the BTF scheme, Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters said the revised scheme would protect the majority of services, but acknowledged that some services would change.
Mr Waters recently survived a vote of no confidence in the Senedd after complaints about his handling of the introduction of controversial 20mph rules across Wales.
Bus Service Changes from 29 October 2023
Nine services are being withdrawn: services 11, 23, 32, 44, 110, 2B, and 2C in Swansea, and services X28 and X29 in Carmarthenshire.
Service 56 in Neath Port Talbot will not operate Monday to Saturday, but will operate to the existing timetable on Sundays and Public Holidays.
The Saturday timetable will be removed from service 29 in Swansea.
A Sunday service will no longer operate on service 28 in Swansea, and services 38, 87 and X1 in Neath Port Talbot.
Service 2A in Swansea will not operate Monday to Saturday, but will instead be covered by service 2. The Sunday timetable will continue to operate.
Reduced bus frequencies will affect services 3A, 4, 6, 12, 13, 16, 20, 20A, 21, 25, 33, 34, 36, 111, PR1, PR2 and X6 in Swansea; services 81, 82, 87, X1 and X3 in Neath Port Talbot; service 349 in Pembrokeshire; and services L1, L2, X11 and X13 in Carmarthenshire.
Service 349 will operate every 90 minutes instead of every 60 minutes. Service X49 will depart Haverfordwest Bus Station 10 minutes earlier at 07:10 instead of 07:20
Service L1 and L2 will now operate 4 times a day, with little used morning and evening L3 services cut.
Service 110 will be withdrawn, with Service 111 now operating every 30 minutes instead of every 40 minutes. Service 111’s route will also change operating via Havard Road (Llanelli) on every other trip from 29th October 2023. Service X11 will operate every 60 minutes instead of every 30 minutes with it’s route changed to operate via Loughor and Garden Village. It will no longer call at Gorseinon Bus Station at peak times.
Service X13 will operate every 60 minutes instead of every 30 minutes and operate revised journey times to Llandeilo.
Service X28 and X29 will be withdrawn.
Service 2 will operate to a new timetable and route calling at Thistleboon and Limeslade on journeys inbound heading from Newton to Swansea Bus Station. Service 2A will no longer run between Monday and Friday. Services 2B and 2C are being withdrawn.
Service 3 will operate every 60 minutes and will now run via Singleton Hospital, Lower West Cross, Norton, Oystermouth and Bracelet Bay. Service 3A will operate every 60 minutes on Monday to Sunday) instead of every 30 minutes from Monday to Saturday and every 60 minutes on Sunday.
Service 4 will operate every 20 minutes instead of every 15 minutes and will not continue onward to Singleton Hospital on Saturdays.
Service 6 will operate every 90 minutes and will operate via Grenfell Park to replace Service 44 which will be withdrawn. Kinley Street, Margaret Street, Union Inn and Barretts will no longer be served.
Service 11 to Mayhill will be withdrawn. Services 12 and 13 will operate every 30 minutes combined and will operate via Cadrawd and Mayhill (anticlockwise) resuming the current route through Townhill at Lady of Lourdes. Service 13 will operate the current clockwise circular route through Townhill before starting its revised route at Lady of Lourdes via Mayhill and Cadrawd.
Service 16 will operate every 60 minutes instead of every 30 minutes, with all journeys operating to Pontarddulais via Gorseinon.
Services 20, 20A and 21 will operate every 20 minutes combined. Service 23 will be withdrawn.
Service 25 will operate every 20 minutes from Monday to Saturday instead of every 15 minutes and every 60 minutes on Sunday instead of every 30 minutes.
Service 29 will operate on Monday to Friday only.
Service 31 will see some minor timetable changes, however service 32 will be withdrawn. Service 33 will operate every 90 minutes instead of every 60 minutes.
Service 34 will operate every 60 minutes instead of every 30 minutes, but will not call at Landore Park and Ride, which will be served by a new Service PR2.
Service 36 will operate every 20 minutes instead of every 15 minutes.
Some Service 38 journeys are being withdrawn, along with Sunday services.
Service PR1 to Fabian Way Park and Ride and new Service PR2 to Landore Park and Ride will both run every 20 minutes.
Neath Port Talbot
Service 56 will no longer be operated by First Cymru on Mondays to Saturdays, with South Wales Transport’s Service 256 operating instead. Sunday journeys will continue to be run by First Cymru.
Service 81 and Service 82 will both operate every 2 hours instead of every 60 minutes.
Service 87 will operate every 30 minutes on Monday to Saturday instead of every 20 minutes Monday to Fridays, every 30 minutes on Saturdays. Sunday services will be withdrawn.
Service X1 will operate every 60 minutes on Monday to Saturday instead of every 30 minutes, with Sunday services withdrawn.
Service X3 will operate every 90 minutes instead of every 60 minutes.
Service X6 will operate every 30 minutes instead of every 20 minutes from Swansea to Pontardawe and will alternate to operate from Pontardawe to Ystradgynlais via Allt-y-Cham and from Pontardawe to Alltwen on every other trip.
New timetables can be found on First Cymru’s website.
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