Contracts have been awarded to Lewis Coaches of Llanrhystud, Richards Brothers, and First Cymru to provide replacement services for a six-month period, starting immediately after Arriva’s withdrawal. The 50 service along the A487 will be better than the previous service, with more through journeys between Cardigan and Aberystwyth. The 20, 40 and 40C services will be similar to the current services, and arrangements have been secured for through-ticketing. The services will complement the existing 701 service to Cardiff operated by Bryan’s Coaches.
This has been a long haul, but it’s great news that it’s proved possible for local companies to step in and provide the services following Arriva’s withdrawal. This follows a lot of hard work; at the Assembly where there have been intense negotiations to secure the financial support of the Welsh Government, by the county councils led by Ceredigion’s Alun Williams, and by the many local bus companies who put together tenders for these services at short notice.
People in Ceredigion can be reassured that these crucial strategic bus services will continue when Arriva pulls out in December. I will also be looking to put pressure on the Welsh Government to establish Statutory Quality Bus Partnership in the longer term, as part of a wider review of strategic transport across Wales.