Two local authorities join forces with three bus operators to replace withdrawn routes in West Wales
Two county councils have joined forces to save bus services between Aberystwyth, Carmarthen, Cardiff Aberystwyth and Synod Inn.
When Arriva announced it was withdrawing its journeys on routes 20, 40, 40c and 50 there was an outcry from students and commuters because of difficulties the loss of service would mean.
Both Carmarthenshire and Caredigion councils have worked with Welsh Government and the Minister of Transport to find a solution resulting in contracts being awarded to Lewis Coaches of Llanrhystud, First Cymru and Richard Bros to provide replacement services until the end of June 2014.
Carmarthenshire Executive Board Member for Transport Services Cllr Colin Evans said: “We are grateful to Welsh Government and Minister for their financial contribution to enable these arrangements to be out in place. We are hoping to work with the Welsh Government to develop a Traws Cymru service which will solidify these routes beyond June.”
Ceredigion Member for Transport Cllr Alun Williams in a joint statement said: “This has been a difficult time for the bus service users in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. After a period of intense negotiation, I am delighted we can announce replacement services on both the 40 and 50 routes. While the 40 between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen will be very similar to the current service, I am particularly pleased to announce that service 50 between Aberystwyth and Cardigan will now be a greatly enhanced through-service which will avoid the need to change at Synod Inn. We have also negotiated through-ticketing between the different companies operating the 40, 40C and 50 services.
“We have taken the opportunity to work in co-operation with the existing 701 service to Cardiff rather than in competition and all services should benefit as a result.
“The 20 service is currently being covered by route 701 or by using the 40 and 40C services and connecting to the rail service at Carmarthen. Sunday services will be provided by the 701.
Cllr Williams added: “I am very grateful to all the local companies who tendered for the routes, to the council officers who have been working very hard behind the scenes and to the Welsh Government for its financial assistance.”