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Council pledges to keep local bus service running until March 2019

Swansea Council is stepping in to save a local bus service which has been withdrawn by First Cymru.

Bus station

The Council has pledged to provide financial support through the Welsh Government's Bus Services Support Grant, allowing service 15 to run until at least the end of March 2019.

The bus service currently runs between Waunarlwydd and the city centre and provides transport for students travelling from Waunarlwydd to Gower College Swansea's Ty Coch campus.

First Cymru recently announced it would be withdrawing the service at the start of November because it is not commercially viable. 

Surveys on the route have been completed by Council transport officers to establish who uses it and where they travel to. 

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure Management, said: "First Cymru have said that some services currently operating in the city do not make sense financially for them and they have therefore decided to discontinue them. However as a Council we are concerned that this leaves some regular users of those services without an alternative means of transport to get to and from work, education, shopping or medical facilities.

"Additional funding we received from the Welsh Government this year gives us the opportunity to step in and provide something to meet those passengers' needs until the end of March 2019. The subsidy provided by the Welsh Government is limited so being able to look further than March in terms of the service continuing is not possible at this stage. 

"There are many areas across the city that are not served by a commercial bus service but funding is limited so we look carefully at where the gaps are and invest the money where we can to give our residents the opportunity to travel."

The Council confirmed the subsidised bus service 15 would operate on an hourly frequency at peak periods and would change to two-hour frequency in off peak.

Some of the additional Grant funding is also set to be invested in a new service (service 30) which will operate between Winch Wen, Trallwn, the Morfa Retail Park  and the city centre.

Cllr Thomas added: "We often get requests to subsidise bus services and provide new ones where there currently aren't any. The extra Grant money this year has given us the opportunity to look at some of these requests - in particular, long-standing requests made by residents and local members for a service from the  Trallwn and Winch Wen areas. 

"This new service will be introduced at the beginning of November and hopefully will provide a useful link for some residents in the east of the city."

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