THERE might be some good news for beleaguered bus users after operator First revealed its latest round of cuts to services in Wales.

Bus services in the Vale have been taking a bit of a battering of late.

There was the announcement the 88 service between Barry and Penarth, which ran crucial routes past county institutions including Ty Hafan and Beechwood College, and took one man on his trips to Penarth Pier, was coming to an end.

Then staff at Llandough Hospital were left aghast when they found out their bus, which had taken them from Barry Island to the hospital for 20 years, was to have its route shortened and would no longer go to the island, meaning staff would have to get multiple buses to make it to work and wouldn’t be able to get in on time.

Then there’s the Vale Council’s brand spanking new transport interchange, which is currently being slightly underserved with no buses using it.

Barry And District News: Tony Price, right, with driver Steve Lloyd, won't get to enjoy Penarth pier anymoreTony Price, right, with driver Steve Lloyd, won't get to enjoy Penarth pier anymore (Image: Newsquest)

Bus companies have had to look at slashing back services due to the end of funding from the government’s “Bus Emergency Scheme”, which was launched to support bus services during Covid.

This has been replaced by the "Bus Transition Fund".

Deputy climate change minister Lee Waters - the man behind the controversial 20mph speed limit rollout and the man in charge of this scheme - said the revised changes would protect the majority of services, but acknowledged some services would change.

Barry And District News: Llandough Hospital staff furious about bus service changesLlandough Hospital staff furious about bus service changes (Image: Supplied)

Cardiff Bus described how cuts have affected them.

In a message on its website, the company said: “For the last few months all bus operators across Wales have been working with Welsh Government, regional authorities and local authorities to work through the funding challenges that are coming to the fore as pandemic support is being withdrawn.

“These challenges mean the current levels of support being made to all bus operators cannot be maintained.”

Barry And District News: Councillors' anger at Barry bus interchange issuesCouncillors' anger at Barry bus interchange issues (Image: Supplied)

Barry And District News: First are making cuts, but not in the ValeFirst are making cuts, but not in the Vale (Image: First Bus)

First Cymru’s managing director, Doug Claringbold, assured customers that the majority of First services would be unaffected.

The company has revealed some services have been affected, but none in the Vale, with the majority hit in Swansea (a full list of First services hit by cuts is at the bottom of this article).

On the bus situation in the Vale and across the country, Mr Claringbold said: “We recognise the Welsh Government has had some tough decisions to make as it changes the way it funds bus services.

“At the same time, we share the disappointment customers will feel from the knock-on impact that will have on some routes.

“We are committed to getting more people to use the bus, and adequate levels of funding are essential where passenger numbers are below the cost of operating services.”

Changes coming into effect on First Bus Wales services from October 29

  • Nine services are being withdrawn: services 11, 23, 32, 44, 110, 2B, and 2C in Swansea, and services X28 and X29 in Carmarthenshire.
  • Service 56 in Neath Port Talbot will not operate Monday to Saturday, but will operate to the existing timetable on Sundays and Public Holidays.
  • The Saturday timetable will be removed from service 29 in Swansea.
  • A Sunday service will no longer operate on service 28 in Swansea, and services 38, 87 and X1 in Neath Port Talbot.
  • Service 2A in Swansea will not operate Monday to Saturday, but will instead be covered by service 2. The Sunday timetable will continue to operate.
  • Reduced bus frequencies will affect services 3A, 4, 6, 12, 13, 16, 20, 20A, 21, 25, 33, 34, 36, 111, PR1, PR2 and X6 in Swansea; services 81, 82, 87, X1 and X3 in Neath Port Talbot; service 349 in Pembrokeshire; and services L1, L2, X11 and X13 in Carmarthenshire.