NX to take over Cardiff – Bristol Airport service

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National Express (NX) is to take on the operation of the Cardiff to Bristol Airport coach service after First Cymru announced it planned to cut back its Greyhound service to focus on the Swansea to Cardiff corridor (CBW1174).

The NX journeys, which perhaps appropriately took to the road o St David’s Day, are being run by Llantwit Fardre-based Edwards Coaches, which already runs a plethora of services on behalf of NX.

In a nod to Bristol’s role in aviation history, the service will operate with the route number 216 – the number of last Concorde to ever be built. Running 12 times a day in each direction, the service offers a journey time of 1hr 20 minutes – 20 minutes faster than the outgoing service. It also calls at Cardiff University and Newport Rail Station. Single fares start at £13 and a 25% discount is available to those who book a return ticket. The 216 will  run direct to the airport – NX’s route 202 already connects Cardiff and Bristol city centres.

Two Caetano Levante-bodied Volvo B9Rs are being dedicated to the 216, which carry ‘Bristol Airport Express’ branding.

First Cymru confirmed to CBW that it will continue to operate its Greyhound services to the airport until March 18 – meaning it will run alongside the National Express journeys for two and a half weeks. First has also told CBW of a revised timetable, which will see Greyhound journeys run on a broadly hourly frequency, pulling off the M4 to serve Port Talbot and Bridgend Designer Outlet village.