Newport Fflecsi pilot ends

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The Fflecsi DRT pilot scheme for Newport will be coming to an end on 25 September after a what Transport for Wales called a ‘successful’ 12-month period of trialling demand responsive travel in an urban environment. The Transport for Wales (TfW) and Welsh Government pilot project, supported by Newport Council and Newport Transport, provided substantial data that TfW says will now be analysed and used to improve future public transport route planning in the area.

The pilot has also provided useful information on how customer travel habits have changed through the Covid pandemic, said TfW, demonstrating that fewer people are commuting to work since the introduction of working from home, and that leisure journeys have increased. Newport Transport introduced new scheduled services on 4 September to replace the demand-responsive operation, giving passengers a three-week transition period before the Fflecsi service comes to an end.

Andrew Sherrington, TfW’s Head of Bus Network and Service Development said: “At TfW we are continuously looking at ways to improve public transport and provide a network that meets customers’ needs. The Fflecsi pilot in Newport allowed us to implement and develop demand responsive transport in an urban setting and has provided us with a wealth of useful information on the journeys being taken around the city.”

Scott Pearson, Managing Director of Newport Transport added: “Newport Transport was pleased to be selected to operate the pilot urban Fflecsi service for TfW, the outcome of which has meant that we have been able to develop our network using the data gathered during this pilot period.

“Newport Transport will be making a number of service enhancements from Sunday 4 September designed to mitigate the Fflecsi pilot coming to an end. Our operations team will continue to monitor and gather customer feedback to ensure our service is accessible for our customers in the city of Newport and our wider network.”

Newport Transport was operating Mercedes-Benz Sprinter-based EVM Citylines on the Fflecsi pilot. RICHARD SHARMAN