Bus provision faces critical two weeks
7:33pm Tuesday 18th February 2014 in News
A BUS company providing a large number of services to, from and within Barry, has said the next two weeks are critical for a future operation.
Cardiff Bus operations and commercial manager, Peter Heath’s comment came in the wake of negotiations attempting to save the Cardiff Bus 98 Highlight Park service from a permanent stop.
The fight to save the 98 Highlight Park service has been subject to a high profile campaign by Barry resident Elwyn Toozer and Vale MP Alun Cairns, who have so far collected more than 2500 names of people supporting its retention.
Mr Heath told residents attending the FocusBARRY AGM on Friday (February 14), at the West End Club, Barry, that these were “troubled times” and the 220-fleet company needed to operate at a small profit and it was facing a significant reduction in Welsh Government re-imbursement for carrying concessionary pass holders.
Mr Heath told the meeting the X91 service would stay as it is, following the introduction of the Welsh Government-funded T9 Airport bus, but other Barry services were subject to review with the 97 and 97A circular bus being studied on Tuesday (February 11).
Mr Heath said: “If a bus service can’t be provided commercially it can provide one through financial support. We will probably arrive at a conclusion within the next two weeks.
“The Cardiff Bus services supported in the Vale are the 94 and 96A in the evening. All other Vale services are commercial. We don’t get other support from the Vale and there are certain times of the day in certain areas where support for the bus services could be better, but we struggle on.”
He said the company needed to raise its profile with the public in Barry and with concessionary pass holders at 35 percent in Cardiff and more like 50 percent in Barry it was also vital to attract full fare paying passengers to make journeys.
He said, although new buses were on its 95 route, it was not yet possible to make a business case for Wifi on buses and the real-time information available on some bus stops in Cardiff was impossible in Barry as the Private Mobile Radio (PMR) system coverage did not work.