First Cymru to withdraw bendy buses from Swansea

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Articulated Wrightbus Streetcar-bodied Volvo B7LA buses operating in Swansea are to be scrapped after First Cymru said the ftrMetro is too expensive to run, the BBC has reported.

Major roadworks costing about £10m were carried out in the city to accommodate the buses and the road layout was criticised by a coroner earlier this year for having a ‘serious design issue’ after two people died. Businesses on the road claimed that the works had a greater impact on trade than the recession.

Swansea council said the decision would help it improve traffic flow along with its plans to regenerate the city centre.

Justin Davies, Managing Director of First Bus Cymru, said: “The ftrMetro has worked well since it was introduced in 2009, but more efficient buses will now be used.

“Since their construction, engine technology has improved considerably with improved fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs.

“In light of these factors, coupled with reduced fuel rebate and reductions in the funding for concessionary customers, the decision has been taken to withdraw the ftrMetro articulated buses from service.”

A Swansea council spokesman said: “It allows the council to incorporate these changes into the redesign of the city centre to improve traffic flow and the overall offering for traders and visitors.

“In the shorter term it helps us to redesign traffic flows with greater flexibility so that we can address the current issues along The Kingsway.”