Description

Thomas J. Wheeler

I will start of by saying that, this is not an issue that is in any way caused by Richards Bros. At least as far as I know, they are completly blameless.

Two buses have been purchased specifically for the TrawsCambria X50 service. These are significantly more comfortable than most of the other buses ordered for the TrawsCambria network since they provide a decent amount of legroom at 16 seats rather than none on most buses and I think 4 seats on the two TrawsCambria X40 (Cardiff) vehicles. When these are both available, the service has to be among the best equipped in Wales.

So what’s wrong? The X50 Aberystwyth – Cardigan is too infrequent, running only 4 times a day each way. These trips are 05:45 and 07:20 from Cardigan to Aberystwyth (both buses then return to Cardigan) and 16:10 and 18:15 from Aberystwyth to Cardigan (plus the corresponding journeys from Cardigan to Aberystwyth). There are two further Cardigan – Aberystwyth – Cardigan workings in the evening (route 550 via New Quay/Aberporth, taking 15 to 30 minutes longer), which mean neither of the good quality buses are available for the 18:15 Aberystwyth – Cardigan trip (or it’s corresponding outward working).

Apart from these few trips, service X50 runs between Aberaeron and Cardigan only, requiring passengers to change onto the Arriva X40 service to reach Aberystwyth from Cardigan or vice versa. At least, that was the plan. Arriva have changed the X40 timetable twice in under a year, without informing Richards Bros. The damage from the first set of changes was a few lost connections and the timetable change was reversed fairly quickly. However the second change broke northbound connections, with the waits in Aberaeron now between 25 and 35 minutes. The services used to take about 1hr 30mins, the long waits northbound have pushed that up to around 1hr 47mins.

Even without Arriva continually changing their timetables without giving Richards Bros a chance to amend theirs to maintain connections there are problems. The bus that runs the 08:50 Cardigan to Aberaeron service runs back to Cardigan out of service because the bus returning from the 07:20 to Aberystwyth is right behind it running a southbound through service. The afternoon service is even more problematic since, rather than run an empty bus to Aberaeron alongside the one going to Aberystwyth to work the 16:10, there are no southbound journey opportunities from Aberystwyth to Cardigan between 13:35 (which is a 550 service, taking about 2hrs rather than the 1hr 30mins of an X50 service, with a dangerous change of bus across a busy trunk road at Synod Inn) and the 16:10 through service. The last fast journey is before this gap is the 13:05 X40 to Cardiff (change at Aberaeron for the X50).

Richards Bros should be asked, or given permission, by the council to run the X50 as an every two hours direct service between Aberystwyth and Cardigan all day long, to eliminate the connection woes at Aberaeron.

Problem History

  • 1 Thomas J. Wheeler reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 17:06 20 Nov 2011
  • 2 Julian Walker commented close 07:32 21 Nov 2011

    Hello Thomas,

    There ae two approaches you could take here.

    One is to write directly to Richards Bros direct and ask them to provide the service you suggest. If they think that the service could be commercially viable they can simply register the journeys and operate them.

    The other approach would be to contact the local authorities along the route and the Welsh Assembly (via your Welsh Assembly Member); both bodies provide financial support to the TrawsCambria network and are responsible for its development.

    Here is the website for TrawsCambria: http://www.trawscymru.info

    anorak
    admin
  • 3 Julian Walker advised Thomas to write to David Hall. close 07:36 21 Nov 2011

    Hi Thomas,

    Trawscambria has its own Network manager within the Welsh Assembly Govenment, David Hall. You can e-mail him at the address above, or you can write or phone. Here are his contact details:

    David Hall
    TrawsCambria Network Manager
    Welsh Assembly Government
    Sarn Mynach
    Llandudno Junction
    LL31 9RZ

    Tel 0300 062 5428

    David.Hall@Wales.gsi.gov.uk

    Good luck - I think you have a good chance of making progress with this!

    Julian Walker

    anorak
    admin
  • 4 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 16:20 21 Nov 2011

    Glad to see I have some supporters and some advice which could come in useful. I was planning to try and get hold of somebody at the council to talk to anyway, but didn't think of contacting David Hall so thanks for that.

  • 5 Thomas J. Wheeler added an update close 17:21 21 Nov 2011

    Wait... it gets worse... The connection at Aberaeron was not just a two-way connection (Cardigan - Aberystwyth and Aberystwyth - Cardigan), but a 4-way connection (there were Cardigan - Lampeter and Lampeter - Cardigan connections too). The Cardigan - Lampeter connections still work, but I'm glad I have no need to travel to Lampeter because the Lampeter - Cardigan connections are no more. The Aberaeron X40 arrivals from Lampeter (most of them anyway) were at xx:48, departure towards Cardigan on X50 was, and still is, at xx:55. However, now the X40 arrives from Lampeter on the hour, missing the X50s by 5mins. So, because Arriva's northbound X40 timetable breaks those connections, Richards Bros will retime their buses to depart on the hour (making a very risky connection, if the X40 is even 30ses late from Lampeter it could miss the connection). However this adds 5 minutes waiting in cold, wet, smokey Aberaeron to Aberystwth - Cardigan journeys. This means 15min waits southbound (almost breaking those connections) and the northbound X50s are not apparently being retimed to run later to fix the 30 mins waits. Another issue is the 18:15 Aberystwth - Cardigan direct service is being retimed to leave at 18:00, despite still reaching Cardigan later due to waiting for the on the hour departure from Aberaeron (a 20min wait in this case). That also leaves no chance for university students finishing at 6pm to reach the station to get the bus (thankfully I have no lectures finishing that late THIS SEMESTER). These changes to Richards services are due to start on December 5th.

  • 6 Daniel Newbould commented close 22:14 21 Nov 2011

    You stand a good chance of getting an improvement to the X50 operated by Richards Bros as passenger numbers are currently increasing, also passenger numbers are increasing on the 550 Aberystwyth-Synod.

  • 7 Myf Nixon commented close 13:31 05 Dec 2011

    Hi Thomas,
    The 5th of Dec is here: any progress on the issue as yet?

    anorak
    admin
  • 8 Thomas J. Wheeler added an update close 18:05 09 Dec 2011

    I wrote to the council near the end of November and am waiting for a reply. I copied this to Richards Bros (just to let them know I've written to the council) and, thanks to Julian's advice, David Hall. Despite only being sent a copy, Richards replied before the end of month saying they were governed by the council and WAG. They also said "No doubt the X50 would be ideal run every two hours direct to Aberystwyth." and commented that they expect to hear from the council about my letter and that they would write to me again when the council get in touch.

  • 9 Myf Nixon commented close 12:50 12 Dec 2011

    Thanks Thomas - it sounds hopeful.

    anorak
    admin
  • 10 Thomas J. Wheeler added an update close 18:04 19 Dec 2011

    Reply from the council: “Unfortunately we cannot run every X50 service all the way to Aberystwyth as the section between Aberaeron and Aberystwyth is run by Arriva on a commercial basis. Current legislation does not allow Local Authorities to support services where a commercial service is operating.”

  • 11 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 18:15 19 Dec 2011

    Where to go from here? Reading between the lines, it sounds like the only hope for the X50 now is the Welsh Assembly Government, who may in fact have the powers required to fund the extension. I’m thinking of writing to David Hall directly (rather than just copying him in as I did before) and perhaps trying to get an article in the local newspaper to try and increase the tally of supporters. Would that me a good idea, any advice?

    I’d be surprised if the growth in patronage on the X50 continues now Arriva’s timetable changes have effectively ruined the service. I was forced to accept a lift to university by car once in the last week of term due to the broken service, and it looks like I may have to resort to that occasionally next term also since WAG are unlikely to be able to act fast on this.

  • 12 Myf Nixon advised Thomas to write to Sue Lewis. close 11:11 20 Dec 2011

    Hello Thomas,

    I think you're right that the local press might be interested in picking the story up - no harm in trying, anyway.

    First of all, this is the email address for the Tivyside Advertiser. If you contact them through this form, it keeps all correspondence, including their replies, on this page. It'd be useful to link them to this page and alert them that there's also been subsequent debate.

    I'd also going to suggest that you send a note to your local councillor - you can find out who that is on www.WriteToThem.com if you're not sure. They have a responsibility for public transport within their constituency. I'm not sure from your original message where on the line you live, otherwise I'd also set it up for you to be able to contact them direct from this page.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 13 Myf Nixon advised Thomas to write to BBC Mid Wales. close 11:13 20 Dec 2011

    Here's another useful email - the BBC sometimes pick up stories with a very local interest.

    Good luck!

    Myf Nixon

    anorak
    admin
  • 14 Thomas J. Wheeler wrote to David Hall following Julian Walker's advice. close 15:56 23 Dec 2011

    Hello,

    The present arrangements on the X50 service are not user friendly. The service is supposedly Cardigan – Aberystwyth, but is mostly limited to Cardigan – Aberaeron.

    You have probably seen that I have written to the corporate passenger transport unit at Ceredigion county council regarding issues with this service. They have now responded, saying that “legislation does not allow local authorities to support services where a commercial service is operating” and that Arriva’s operations between Aberaeron and Aberystwyth are run on a commercial basis. Arriva are therefore able to ruin the Cardigan – Aberystwyth service by removing connections with X50 services and the council are unable to do anything about it.

    Here is a list of issues with the service:

    1. Northbound connections from X50 to X40 in Aberaeron (08:50, 10:55 and 12:45 departures from Cardigan) have been dropped by Arriva’s new X40 timetable, leaving passengers stranded for between 25 and 35 minutes in freezing winds.

    2. Southbound ‘connections’ from X40 to X50 (11:05 and 13:05 departures from Aberystwyth) have had waiting times at Aberaeron extended from 10 minutes (about right for a connection, 7 being ideal I believe) to 15.

    3. Highly risky same-minute ‘connections’ between 17:20 X40 from Aberystwyth and 18:00 X50 from Aberaeron (which should not be numbered X50, since it goes via Aberporth), and between northbound X40 services and southbound X50 services (for journeys such as Lampeter – Cardigan).

    4. Limiting the scheduled dwell time in Aberaeron on Aberystwyth – Cardigan through services to 5 minutes would mean the starting times from Aberystwyth would be later and the journey times shorter. For example, the final X50 (Aberystwyth – Cardigan without deviations to New Quay or Aberporth) service from Aberystwyth (currently 6pm) could be retimed to 6:15pm and still be in Aberaeron in time for the 7pm departure to Cardigan. This would help since the current 6pm departure is not late enough to allow for students/workers finishing at 6pm to walk to the station to board it.

    5. The X50 (Aberystwyth – Cardigan without deviations to New Quay or Aberporth) service should be run at least every two hours. At present there is a 3 hour afternoon gap between the 13:05 X40 departure from Aberystwyth and the 16:10 direct X50 to Cardigan. The two vehicles for the X50 are probably the best suited buses for long-distance services and would be sufficient to run the X50 service every two hours directly to/from Aberystwyth.

    If the X50 was operated over the whole distance from Cardigan and Aberystwyth, rather than stopping short in Aberaeron, many of these problems would disappear or become easier to alleviate. Addressing these issues should not be delayed because of any other possible changes to the TrawsCambria / TrawsCymru network.

    Thomas J. Wheeler

  • 15 Hall, David (LGC - Transport) responded to Thomas J. Wheeler close 15:59 23 Dec 2011
    Hello. I am on leave until Wednesday 4 January 2011. If you
    require any information on the TrawsCambria / TrawsCymru bus
    network in Wales please visit the web site www.trawscymru.info,
    or call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.

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  • 16 Hall, David (LGC - Transport) responded to Thomas J. Wheeler close 16:44 16 Jan 2012
    Dear Mr Wheeler;

    Thank you for your email dated 23 December 2011. I apologise for the
    delay in responding to you.

    Following your email, Arriva Buses Wales have registered a new service
    50 between Synod Inn, New Quay and Aberystwyth which will replace the
    existing 550 service, and a new 40 service which will replace the
    existing X40 (Aberystwyth - Lampeter- Carmarthen) service. Both these
    services will be fully commercial and are registered to commence
    operations on 26th February 2012. Arriva Buses Wales intend to use a
    dedicated fleet of low floor vehicles branded as Cymru Express on these
    new services

    I am currently liaising with colleagues in the local authorities
    affected by these changes, to ensure all the key connections with other
    services such as the X50 are maintained and improved. Your comments /
    suggestions are very useful.

    I will also consider your suggestions for improving the X50 service
    between Cardigan and Aberystwyth, and will explore opportunities to
    further enhance the quality of services on this route with local
    authorities and bus operators.

    In the meantime, if I can be of any further assistance, please do not
    hesitate to contact me.

    Regards

    David Hall

    show quoted sections
  • 17 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 23:35 26 Jan 2012

    The most recent update for the X40 service on the service updates pannel on Arriva Buses Wales' website was back in Febuary 2011, anouncing that, from Monday 21 February 2011, the X40 timetable (which they had revised on 30 January 2011, resulting in a few lost connections) would be put back to what it was before 30 Jan 2011. They stated that this was because "comments received since the revision have told us that the revised running times did not benefit the majority of our customers."

    I was not one of those who commented on that occasion, but I have heard romours from fellow passengers on the X50/550/X40 routes that Arriva received a fine for those changes. However, despite the lack of any more recent warnings of X40 timetable changes on Arriva's service updates webpage, Arriva have made major timetable changes (causing the lost connections that gave rise to my complaint here).

    There is also no warning from Arriva on their website (or anywhere else that I have seen) of further changes they are making to X40 and 550 services towards the end of Feburary 2012. David Hall's reply is the first I've heard about Arriva's plans to replace the X40 and 550 with fully commercial 40 and 50 services. I have since noticed a poster informing of the change of service numbers (but no indication of the timetables) from Ceredigion County Council on display at Aberystwyth bus station.

    The Council already seem to have their hands tied by Arriva's commercial operation of the Aberystwyth - Aberaeron section, the routes going fully commercial is likely to remove what little say they have. Where is Arriva's destruction of service going to end?

    There is also the TrawsCambria/TrawsCymru network David Hall is in charge of. Arriva's move seems to rip up that network. Not only will Arriva's brand name for the routes be different, but I have heard that Richards Bros drivers have been informing passengers that Arriva will no longer be observing some types of through ticket (potentially all except the Ceredigon weekly ticket and West Wales Rover day ticket). There is also the issue of the vehicles used, I have read on fourms that Arriva will be procuring double-decker buses for both routes. If this is true, what then happens to the Welsh Assembly funded fleet of Optare Tempos currently in use and the 6 new Welsh Assembly funded buses that were supposed to be introduced (under the TrawsCymru name) on service X40 (with the new number TC1) later this year?

  • 18 Thomas J. Wheeler wrote to David Hall close 15:18 28 Jan 2012

    Dear Mr Hall,

    Thank your communication dated 16th January 2012.

    I hope your discussions with the council and bus operators are successful in delivering an improved service between Aberystwyth and Cardigan. Emphasis is needed on delivering sensible connection times (5 to 10 mins, ideally 7) and the awkward departure times from Aberystwyth (eg. the 6pm departure is useless for a 6pm finish at the university, but the 6:15pm service which it replaced was just about reachable.)

    I await the new timetable in hope.

    Regards,

    Thomas J. Wheeler

  • 19 Thomas J. Wheeler asked for advice. close 03:07 12 Feb 2012

    I am starting to get concerned that a decent service between Aberystwyth and Cardigan is actually illegal. The council's hands are tied by leglislation since Arriva's operation is commertial, but I was hopeing the Welsh Assembly would have powers to subsidise services where councils can't. Anyone know if they do have such powers?

    Also, an update:
    Arriva's website now has a warning of the upcoming service number changes, and a new timetable for when the new services start. However, it looks to me like they might as well throw their timetable for route 40 away, as they have timetabled it to complete the Aberystwyth - Carmarthen route (with very few changes) 25 minutes quicker than the current X40 (service 50 is a bit quicker than 550 too). This includes reducing the journey time between the bus and rail stations in Carmarthen to just two minutes, something that would be hard to acheive even by car, and Aberaeron to Aberystwyth (ie. northbouth) in just 33 mintues (most services today are given 40 minutes, although some are given 37). I will be amazed if this service can run on time, and if you can't trust the timetable there's no way you can plan connections.

    I went to the Arriva depot in Aberystwyth where somebody (I think a driver) told me the drivers have voiced concerns but are not listened to, and advised me to call Arriva customer services (which I plan to do on Monday (I don't think they are open weekends)). I think the 0844 800 4411 will charge 5.1p per minute, so I plan to call 01582 587032 instead, which http://www.saynoto0870.com/companysearch.php tells me is a number for Arriva North West Customer Services (that website gives nothing for Arriva Wales, but I think Arriva Buses Wales is a subsiduary of Arriva North West and the 0844 number is the same for all regions anyway, and the 01582 number supposedly gets you the same call centre).

  • 20 Mark Jones advised Thomas to write to Carl Sargent AM. close 10:35 12 Feb 2012

    Thomas

    The next step(s) are quite difficult in this situation, as Arriva now won't respond to complaints made through FixMyTransport.

    What I can advise is you write to Carl Sargent, asking for him to raise objections to the timetable.

    Furthermore: Arriva have ordered new Double Deck vehicles for the 40/50 services, and the Tempo's have gone back to the Welsh Government for storage/sale.

    Good Luck, and do keep us updated!

    anorak
    admin
  • 21 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 23:51 01 Jun 2012

    I've not had time to persue this issue much lately due to my university workload and having other transport-related fish to fry (the Intercity Express Programme being my biggest concern). However, I've finally reached my university holiday and have time to look at more issues, so plan to review all your advice to find a good way forward.

    There are also issues with connections southbound, to Fishguard and the new station and train services at Goodwick. My suggestion to resolve this is to further extend the X50 down to Goodwick or St. Davids. That would require an extra bus or two, but I have been informed that Ceredigion council have transfered three vehicles to Richards Bros from the Aberystwyth - New Quay - Synod Inn service and the sadly dececsed Aberystwyth - Aberaeron - Lampeter - Pencader - Carmarthen TrawsCambria X40 service.

  • 22 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 08:38 18 Aug 2012

    Well, so much for my summer-holiday resolution of getting more involved with this. However, I did discover that bus users surgeries were taking place in Aberaeron, Cardigan, Fishguard and Haverfordwest during the week that just ended. Unfortunately, having run out of holiday, I was unable to attend in person. However, I did send an e-mail to David Hall, Richards Bros and Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire councils with an attached letter detailing a number of concerns about bus services in both counties. The following was the paragraph relevant to this particular issue.

    "The service for passengers travelling between Aberystwyth and Cardigan is very poor. There are just six through services that operate the full distance between Aberystwyth and Cardigan, including the indirect trips via New Quay/Aberporth. Outside these services, Arriva has shown a strong disregard for their connections with the Aberaeron – Cardigan fast service (X50), retiming the X40 twice in 2011 without giving Richards Bros a chance to make the X50 services connect. The optimistic timetable of Arriva’s new route 40 has also made the connections untrustworthy. The mix of Cardigan – Aberystwyth and Cardigan – Aberaeron services also leaves a 3-hour gap in fast journeys towards Cardigan in the afternoon. The direct (X50) service should run the full distance between Aberystwyth and Cardigan at least every two hours, all day. Also, as noted above the lack of waiting facilities makes connections involving waits over 10 minutes too long (as well as wind there is sometimes no escape from cigarette smoke while waiting for buses in Aberaeron)."

  • 23 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 19:39 05 Feb 2013

    Arriva's awkward commertial services are still in place, despite some comments on Flickr suggesting Arriva were on the way out of Aberystwyth. Arriva's commertial services are blocking both the necessary improvements to this route and the Welsh Government's planned upgraded TrawsCymru Aberystwyth - Carmarthen service, for which six new buses were ordered. Those new buses have not entered service and the TrawsCymru network has a hole in it where the service was meant to operate, but instead Arriva's 40 runs. The new double-deckers Arriva announced for their commertial service have not appeared either though, which suggests they might give up Aberystwyth eventually.

    I am not presently using the service regularly, as I am on a 1-year industrial placement in England as part of my university course (I do however come home on Friday evenings, using the second to last service of the day which is a through 550 service via New Quay and Aberporth).

    Is it worth writing to the Welsh Government to see if they are willing to use their lawmaking powers to find some way of improving the national TrawsCambria/TrawsCymru bus network despite Arriva's interference?

  • 24 J Holden commented close 12:21 11 Feb 2013

    Ten years ago when I first came to live on this route buses changed at Synod Inn and worked well as whichever bus arrived first allowed passengers to wait on board until the other came to transfer...even if they were a little late passengers were never left out in the cold, now as you say the overlong wait at Aberaeron is ridiculous! Moreover the ticket bought on either service saw you right through the entire journey.
    I am sad to say you will never get a half decent service whilst two bus companies operate this route.
    Another concern of mine is the evening service running out from Cardigan to Aberaeron...just doesn`t exist. Last bus out of Cardigan is just gone 6pm and that makes it impossible to visit cinema, have an evening meal or drink out, attend music venues, my poetry group or even take an evening job of work if you haven`t transport. I cannot imagine the business Cardigan town centre is losing due to this. Especially when summer visitors are here and want to go to town for a drink and night out. Also it is bound to encourage drink driving.....................disasterous!

  • 25 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 20:09 19 Feb 2013

    10 years ago? In 2007/2008 I seem to remember the 550 service being wholy operated by Arriva, running every two hours right through from Aberystwyth to Cardigan (you still had to change at Aberaeron if you used the faster X50 service though). The X40 service had a mix of Arriva and First buses back then too, which actually seems more sensible as it means a depot at each end, meaning you would be able to have a 6am service from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth (to reach the latter by 9am) without having to have a balancing working from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen at 4am.

    I then had two years travelling to Haverfordwest instead of Aberystwyth, and when I came back Arriva had started terminating the 550 at Synod Inn and Richards Bros had taken over south of there, so you had a choice of a 2hr journey on 550 changing at Synod Inn every two hours or infrequent faster X50 services changing at Aberaeron. Northbound the change at Synod Inn wasn't too bad, because Richards would either drop you on the right side of the road or let you stay on the bus to the turning point. Once though we missed the Arriva connection and had to wait some time for an X50 to get us to Aberaeron for a further wait. Southbound however Arriva would turf us out on the wrong side of the road, due to rules about not reversing buses with passengers on board. Coupled with it normally being a VERY tight connection, trying to cross the busy A487 with traffic travelling at 50mph this was a very dangourous suituation.

    It is for this safety issue I am glad Richards Bros have extended their portion of the 550 to Aberaeron, although I think an extension to New Quay would have been better (provided it connected with Arriva's 50 service there) as what we have now has removed connections between Cardigan and New Quay.

    As for evening services, even Cardigan to Aberystwyth is better than Aberystwyth to Carmarthen, last bus is about 5pm isn't it? Aberystwyth to Cardigan is quite reasonable, with the last bus at nearly 9pm. Unless you had a depot at the Aberystwyth end (as well as the Cardigan one) putting on later northbound services from Cardigan to Aberystwyth would mean the buses having to run back near-empty at a late hour, probably gone 10pm.

  • 26 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 23:55 30 Mar 2013

    Still not fixed... Back in Feburary, I wrote to Carl Sargeant AM, who at the time was the Welsh Government minister with responsibility for transport, with a series of questions about the TrawsCambria/TrawsCymru network. David Hall replied on his behalf, but did not satisfactorily answer some of my queries. I have replied, directly to Mr Hall, but am still awaiting a response.

    Some of the questions put to him, in summary, were:
    Has hope of introducing the proposed TC1 service (Aberystwyth - Carmarthen, intended to replace the X40 before Arriva introduced their 40 service) been abandonded (given that three of the buses ordered for TC1 have now appeared on the T4 route)?

    The minister (Carl Sargeant) mentioned a consultation regarding arrangements for a T5 service between Aberaeron and Haverfordwest. I have been unable to find any evidence of consultation. How can I comment on this proposal?

    Are the decisions made by Arriva, Lloyds Coaches and Express Motors not to operate TrawsCymru services/vehicles based on them not wanting to use the TrawsCymru livery?

    The possibility of the T5 service is of the most interest, but at face value I would guess it fails to address most of my concerns. A through service across Cardigan would be benifitial, but it seems Arriva continues to block extension through to Aberystwyth, and suggestion of extending to Haverfordwest probably implies combining with service 412 in which case Fishguard Harbour railway station will still be bypassed (and Fishguard & Goodwick station, though that is unsuitable for bus/rail interchange anyway).

    Admittedly details are scant, so they might be planning to route it via Fishguard Harbour. I had hoped the TrawsCymru website would carry up-to-date information on plans for the network when it was launched, but it has turned out just to be a facade to TravelineCymru as far as I can see.

  • 27 Thomas J. Wheeler wrote to David Hall close 21:44 29 Apr 2013

    Dear Mr Hall,

    Thank you for your reply, dated 17th April, to my letters regarding TrawsCymru services in Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. I have sent an e-mail to Bus Users UK Cymru regarding dates for bus users’ surgeries as you advised and am awaiting a response.

    Thank you also for letting me know that you plan to send a Traws Cymru forward plan to the minister in June. Will there be an opportunity for the public to comment then? If not, is the time for comments now, in which case could you please provide details of the proposals? To reiterate my key points, I feel it is important that:

    A: through services are provided from Aberystwyth to Fishguard Harbour, to provide a direct link between the stations and to provide connections with, and complement, the improved rail service at the latter and
    B: the 6am to 8pm TC1 TrawsCymru service, announced alongside the now operational (but not yet renumbered) TC4 service, between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen is delivered.

    Yours sincerely,

    Thomas J. Wheeler

  • 28 Thomas J. Wheeler added an update close 21:45 29 Apr 2013

    I've just sent an e-mail to David Hall, in response to his recent reply to my corospondance.

  • 29 Rhodri Price responded to Thomas J. Wheeler close 13:41 13 May 2013
    Dear Thomas J. Wheeler

    This is to confirm that we have received your correspondence to
    Edwina Hart dated 10/05/2013

    This is receiving attention and we aim to respond within 17
    working days i.e. by 07/06/2013

    Our reference for this correspondence is EH/01275/13 

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  • 30 Ben Milton responded to Thomas J. Wheeler close 15:05 03 Jun 2013
    Dear Thomas J. Wheeler

    Please see attached response to your letter to Edwina Hart of 
    10/05/2013.

    Please note that no hard copy reply will issue.

    Yours sincerely

    Ben Milton

    On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was
    certified virus free. Communications via the GSi may be
    automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal
    purposes.
    Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws
    yn gysylltiedig â’r neges hon. Mae’n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw
    ohebiaeth drwy’r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei
    chofnodi yn awtomatig am resymau cyfreithiol.
  • 31 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 00:08 05 Oct 2013

    Right, things are getting interesting. Arriva sounds like it will be shutting up shop in Aberystwyth by the end of the year. Is this an opportunity to fix this problem?

  • 32 Thomas J. Wheeler asked for advice. close 00:19 05 Oct 2013

    With Arriva looking like they are finally going to get out of the way, I am thinking about writing an open letter to the Welsh Assembly (WAG) and council, suggesting they use Arriva's departure to improve the bus network.

    As part of this, I've been trying to slot an extended X50 into a regular-interval timetable, to attach as a suggestion. One problem is, I'm not sure whether the Carmarthen service (which I hope will now get the new TrawsCymru buses and the TC1 tag promised by WAG some time ago, but thwarted by Arriva) should be retimed to connect with rail services (departing Aberystwyth at 35 minutes past each hour). That would put the Cardigan / New Quay services at 5 past the hour, a very awkward time for commuters out of Aberystwyth such as myself. Any advice? Is there a better tactic for optimal timetable design than trial and error on a spread sheet?

  • 33 Thomas J. Wheeler commented close 21:26 14 Dec 2013

    MAJOR NEWS! Arriva are pulling out of Aberystwyth, hurray!! That means we will not be changing onto Arriva buses in Aberaeron anymore. The replacment service runs through to Aberystwyth without changes.

    However I'm not sure the problem is actually fixed. The replacment service may have the route number X50, but really it is a combination of the 50 and 550 services, which takes a much slower route between Aberaeron and Cardigan, adding up to half an hour to the journey time.

    The 'real' TrawsCambria X50 (direct route) service has been cut to one journey each way. Should I mark this problem as fixed and start another or continue with this one?

  • 34 Thomas J. Wheeler added an update close 13:04 23 Dec 2013

    I haven't actually used the new service yet, but looking at the timetable this particular problem is fixed. It has only passed on a technicallity though.

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