Cardiff Airport Express’s ‘good start’
An independent report has said the Cardiff Airport Express bus service is ‘providing the fast and frequent service to the city that passengers expect and has made a good start in securing its share of passengers’. The statement comes after criticism that bus service was running what the press described as a ‘ghost train’ during the winter months. Launched in July last year, the service was reviewed by Professor Cole of the University of South Wales under the commission of the Welsh Government. The study found that despite a number of challenges it has achieved all that was expected of it in delivering a fast and frequent service between the city centre and airport. It also found passenger numbers appear to have exceeded the initial estimates and that the service is already attracting more passengers than the more established train link.
However, the service is to be scaled back to better reflect the airport flight schedule. Its 20 minute frequency will remain so during daytimes in the summer, but it will be reduced to every 30 minutes at other times. The Welsh Government has agreed that research to identify key passenger markets for future growth of the service should be carried out. It has also accepted that work to evaluate the benefits of extra stops and revised routes must also be made.
Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, said, ‘This service was introduced in response to public demand and passengers expect a fast, frequent public transport link between the city centre and an airport. I am pleased that this report recognises the need for this service. As with any new venture like this, monitoring and evaluation is key and this report is part of that process. Professor Cole has made a number of recommendations for improving the service in both the short and long term and I am minded to accept most of them. I have already asked the Vale of Glamorgan Council to begin the process of tendering for a revised service, to deliver some of those changes. I want to see Cardiff Airport thrive and having quality public transport links is vital to that aim.’
Visit http://wales.gov.uk/topics/transport/aviation-home/cdfair/cae/?lang=en to see the report.