A BUS service will be restored for the Bendricks, and the number of services that use Barry Docks Interchange will increase say Vale Council after allocating bus funding for the forthcoming year.

A total of £470,000 will be allocated from next year’s budget and Welsh Government funding has also been secured, which the council hopes will be enough to preserve all existing routes and offer improved services in certain areas.

It’s estimated 0.5 per cent of proposed council tax rises for the forthcoming financial year – set to be around 6.7 per cent – was attributed to keeping rural services going.

Vale leader Lis Burnett recently said the council was not being forced into hard decisions, but “impossible decisions” because of the amount of funding lost over the last 14 years.

And there’s another change on the horizon for the future of buses in Wales, with a new bill set to go through the Senedd that would “reform the failed system of deregulation”. The crux of it seems to be offering funding for routes instead of directly to bus companies to create a more stable service.

We heard from some of these bus companies at a meeting held by MP Alun Cairns in November.

Cardiff Bus’ Gareth Stevens and Alex Corsi, commercial support officer at Adventure Travel, explained how companies base their funding allocations on passenger numbers and if the passengers aren’t jumping on the bus the bus will be taken away.

It’s estimated 20 per cent of bus users were lost to the pandemic and it’s never recovered.

Bus companies in Wales were incredulous when the Bus Emergency Scheme (BES) Covid support funding was removed – however it has remained in England.

Barry And District News: Service 88 will start serving the interchange in April. The B3 already serves itService 88 will start serving the interchange in April. The B3 already serves it (Image: Newsquest)

Also in November, transport minister for the Senedd Lee Waters – the face behind the 20mph speed limit law imposed on the majority of roads in Wales – released an 820-word statement on cabinet reform of the buses in Wales. The key line was the last 18 words, with £6 million available for 2023, and £5 million available for 2024 to encourage local authorities to bid for grant funding.

Barry And District News: In a recent bus meeting in the Vale, bus companies explained their thinking behind running routesIn a recent bus meeting in the Vale, bus companies explained their thinking behind running routes (Image: Newsquest)

On preserving funding in the Vale with the £470,000, the council say Adventure Travel will be responsible for the 88, 100 and B3 services, which run between Penarth and Barry, Barry and Colcot, and within Barry, respectively.

Service 93, travelling from Cardiff to Barry; 305, connecting Cardiff to Dinas Powys; and the B1 and B2, operating around Barry and Barry Island, will be operated by Cardiff Bus.

First Cymru will run the 303 service from Llantwit Major to Bridgend, the 304 service between Llantwit Major and Cardiff; and the 320, which travels through Hensol, Pendoylan and Peterson-Super- Ely on its route between Talbot Green and Cardiff.

It will also operate the 321 between Llantwit Major and Talbot Green, and the X2, which stops at various points along the A48 on its route from Porthcawl to Cardiff.

Barry And District News: We've met many a disgruntled bus user in the Vale in the past monthsWe've met many a disgruntled bus user in the Vale in the past months (Image: Newsquest)

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Cllr Bronwen Brooks, cabinet member for sustainable places, said: “These plans involve preserving existing bus routes and improving the service on offer in some cases.

“As well as underlining our commitment to look after the Vale’s most vulnerable residents, this move also aligns with the Council’s Project Zero initiative to make the organisation carbon neutral by 2030.”

Services will mostly operate in line with current schedules, though there may be some minor changes to journeys after March 31.

Saturday timetables will mirror weekday schedules for services 93, B1 and B2, boosting the service offered on this day.

The 94 and 96 evening services remain unchanged, while Service 7 is being tendered by Cardiff Council and its future will be determined by Cardiff Council in due course.

Good news? Still need more services? What do you think about bus companies saying they base their routes on passenger numbers? Let us know all your thoughts about the buses in the Vale, emailing harry.jamshidian@newsquest.co.uk.