Cardiff Bus reducing services
As a result of funding cuts to the All Wales Concessionary Travel Scheme by the Welsh Government, Cardiff Bus has announced reductions to several bus services across its network and changes to a selection of prices in its ticket range. From 20 April 2014, the operator is to reduce the frequency of several of its early morning, late evening and weekend services and a number of services are also being withdrawn. Earlier this month, the Welsh Government confirmed a three year funding package of £189m for its free bus travel scheme across Wales, which is a cut of over 11% from the £213.3m package provided over the past three years.
Fare changes include a single journey in the ‘Cardiff to Go’ area increasing by 10p, while day tickets will increase by 10p if purchased via the iff app and by 20p if purchased on the bus. In the ‘Cardiff to Go Plus’ area single fares will increase by 10p and day tickets will increase by 30p if purchased on bus or 20p if bought via the iff app. The decision to reduce services comes after Cardiff Bus confirmed it is in consultation with union partners regarding job losses because of the impact Welsh Government cuts are having on the organisation.
Additionally, Cardiff Bus is to close its customer service centre in Wood Street on 29 March 2014. The decision was taken as a result of a business review and in light of impending developments to the city centre. Services provided by the centre, such as ticket sales and passenger information, are now available from the company’s head office or on line.
MD of Cardiff Bus, Cynthia Ogbonna, said, ‘The result of the latest cut in funding is that some of our routes will not cover their running costs, which means that these services are not sustainable. We have been careful to ensure that the impact on users is minimal and tried, where possible, to ensure that no area of the city is without a bus service within a reasonable distance. Most of the reduction in frequency relates to early and late services, especially at weekends where travel habits have evolved. We are also having to increase fares for the first time in two years. While a large proportion of our tickets will not be affected, the cost of single and day tickets will be increased. We have introduced cost cutting measures across the whole organisation, which includes job cuts. Withdrawal of services and reducing frequencies are taken as a last resort. These are unfortunate, but necessary, measures to safeguard the long-term viability of the company and the comprehensive network of services we offer. We remain fully committed to providing a high quality bus service to the citizens of Cardiff and surrounding areas.’