Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, today (Thursday, 10 March) launched the new improved bus service between Bangor and Aberystwyth, which completes a revamp of the national TrawsCymru services that has seen 46 new buses introduced on the six long-distance routes since 2011.
As well as four new Optare Metrocity buses with more comfortable seating, free WiFi and bilingual next stop announcement system, a new seven-day-a-week timetable for the T2 service has been introduced to improve access to employment, training and services.
Similar improvements have been made to all six routes of the Welsh Government funded TrawsCymru long distance bus network, which carried a record 1.5 million passengers in 2014/15.
Mrs Hart said: “Today’s launch of the new T2 service between Bangor and Aberystwyth completes a comprehensive upgrade of the TrawsCymru service providing modern vehicles with improved accessibility, comfort and access to the internet. The Welsh Government recognises the importance of bus services in Wales, particularly in rural areas, for providing access to jobs and services. We have now implemented all of the recommendations made by Dr Victoria Winckler in her review of the TrawsCymru network.
“We are also investing in providing over 720,000 passes for free bus travel for the over-60s, disabled and members of the armed forces and recently introduced MyTravelPass offering discounted fares for 16-18 year olds. This demonstrates the Welsh Government’s commitment to ensuring our bus networks meet the changing needs of our communities and increasing the number of passengers using those services.”
Since 2011, 46 new low-floor environmentally friendly buses have been introduced on all six routes of the TrawsCymru network, with improved frequencies and better connections at key hubs.
Robert Drewery from UK bus manufacturer Optare, who have supplied the new Metrocity buses for TrawsCymru, said: “Optare design our buses with the environment in mind and we are proud to be supplying these new fuel efficient Metrocity buses for the T2 service.”
There are more than 720,000 concessionary pass holders in Wales, including armed forces personnel and veterans. In September last year the Welsh Government also introduced MyTravelPass which provides 16-18 year olds a third off fares on all local buses and TrawsCymru journeys throughout Wales.