Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire bus services restored with local operators

Cyngor Sir
County Council
Datganiad ar y cyd gan Gyngor Sir Ceredigion a Chyngor Sir Gâr.

Mae Cyngor Sir Ceredigion a Chyngor Sir Gâr yn falch o gyhoeddi, yn sgil penderfyniad Arriva i ddileu’r gwasanaeth 20 rhwng Aberystwyth a Chaerdydd, y gwasanaethau 40 a 40C rhwng Aberystwyth a Chaerfyrddin a’r gwasanaeth 50 rhwng Aberystwyth, Ceinewydd a Synod Inn, ein bod wedi dyfarnu contractau i Lewis Coaches o Lanrhystud, First Cymru a’r Brodyr Richards i ddarparu gwasanaethau yn eu lle hyd at ddiwedd Mehefin 2014. Mae’r ddau Gyngor yn ddiolchgar i Lywodraeth Cymru a’r Gweinidog Trafnidiaeth am gyfrannu’r arian sydd wedi ein galluogi i roi’r trefniadau hyn ar waith. Byddant yn awr yn edrych ymlaen at gydweithio â Llywodraeth Cymru wrth ddatblygu gwasanaeth Traws Cymru a fydd yn cadw’r bysus ar y ffyrdd ac efallai’n cyflwyno rhagor ohonynt ar ôl mis Mehefin nesaf.

Meddai’r Cynghorydd Alun Williams, Aelod Cabinet Cyngor Sir Ceredigion dros Drafnidiaeth:

“Mae wedi bod yn gyfnod anodd i ddefnyddwyr y gwasanaethau bws yng Ngheredigion a Sir Gâr, ar ôl i Arriva gyhoeddi eu bod yn tynnu allan o’r ddwy sir. Ar ôl trafodaethau dwys, rwy’n eithriadol o falch o fedru cyhoeddi y gallwn ddal i ddarparu’r gwasanaethau 40, 40C a 50. Bydd y gwasanaeth 40/40C rhwng Aberystwyth a Chaerfyrddin yn debyg iawn i’r hyn sydd eisoes ar gael, ond mae’n rhoi pleser arbennig i ni fedru cyhoeddi y bydd y gwasanaeth 50 rhwng Aberystwyth ac Aberteifi yn un llawer gwell, ac ni fydd angen mwyach i bobl gyfnewid bysus yn Synod Inn. Rydym hefyd wedi sicrhau y bydd modd defnyddio tocynnau’r gwahanol gwmnïau ar bob bws 40, 40C a 50.

“Fe wnaethom ddewis gweithio mewn cydweithrediad â’r gwasanaeth 701 i Gaerdydd, yn hytrach na chystadlu ag ef, a dylai pob gwasanaeth elwa ar hynny.

“Mae pobl oedd yn arfer mynd ar y bws 20 i Gaerdydd yn awr yn medru defnyddio’r 701, neu fynd ar y 40 neu’r 40C i ddal y trên yng Nghaerfyrddin. Bydd y gwasanaeth 701 hefyd yn cludo teithwyr ar ddydd Sul.

“Rwy’n arbennig o ddiolchgar i’r holl gwmnïau lleol a gyflwynodd dendrau ar gyfer y gwasanaethau hyn, i swyddogion y ddau Gyngor sydd wedi bod wrthi mor ddiwyd yn y cefndir, ac i Lywodraeth Cymru am y cymorth ariannol.”

Diweddariad: amserlenni bws newydd ar gael yma
Joint statement by Ceredigion County Council and Carmarthenshire County Council.

Ceredigion County Council and Carmarthenshire County Council are very pleased to announce that, following Arriva's decision to terminate the 20 service between Aberystwyth and Cardiff, the 40 and 40C services between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen and the 50 service between Aberystwyth and Synod Inn, via New Quay, that contracts have been awarded to Lewis Coaches (Llanrhystud), First Cymru and Richards Brothers to provide replacement services until the end of June 2014. Both authorities are grateful to the Welsh Government and the Minister for Transport for their financial contribution to enable these arrangements to be put in place. We hope to be working with the Welsh Government to develop a Traws Cymru service which will further develop and solidify these routes beyond June.

Councillor Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

“This has been a difficult time for the bus service users in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire following the announcement of the Arriva pull-out. After a period of intense negotiation, I am delighted that we can announce replacement services on the 40, 40C and 50 routes. Whilst the 40/40C service between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen will be very similar to the current service, I am particularly pleased to announce that the 50 route between Aberystwyth and Cardigan will now be a greatly enhanced through-service that will avoid the need to change in Synod Inn. We have also negotiated through-ticketing between the different companies operating the 40, 40C and 50 services.

“We have taken the opportunity to work in co-operation with the existing 701 service to Cardiff rather than in competition and all services should benefit as a result.

“The 20 service is currently being covered by the 701 service or by using the 40 and 40C services and connecting to the rail service at Carmarthen. Sunday services will be provided by the 701. 

“I am very grateful to all the local companies who tendered for the routes, to the Council officers who have been working very hard behind the scenes and to the Welsh Government for its financial assistance.”

Update: New bus timetables 

available here


Funding agreed for Ceredigion bus routes

The Welsh Government  has agreed to fund alternative contracts for the Ceredigion bus services due to be lost when Arriva pulls out on 21st December.

The routes involved are:
  • The 40 service from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen  via Lampeter
  • The 50 service from Aberystwyth to Synod Inn
The announcement that £162,000 revenue funding will be made available to the end of June comes after several weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations during which Ceredigion Council made a very strong case for the vital economic role the services play in Ceredigion.

The 40 and 50 services run on previously unsubsidised commercial routes and it was very difficult to see how the Council could be expected to take on their funding at a time when it is being asked to make huge savings in the next financial year due to grant money being lost from central government.

The news will be a great relief to the many people entirely dependent on these bus services to get to and from work who had been viewing the planned pull-out with trepidation. Transport Minister Edwina Hart has also pleased campaigners by saying that in future the routes will be regarded as nationally strategic.

Ceredigion Council will now proceed with the tendering arrangements for the routes. 

The 585 service from Aberystwyth to Lampeter via Tregaron, which Arriva has announced it will pull out of on February 15th, is already subsidised by the council and new tenders for this will also be sought.


By-election to Aberystwyth Town Council - The Result

Bronglais Ward
Lucy Huws (Plaid Cymru)  204 (58%)
Bryony Davies (Lib Dem)  128 (36%)
Huw Fox (Independent)  17 (4%)

Turnout 35%

The story of this election is how Plaid Cymru emerged unscathed after their main opponents poured astonishing resources into this Town Council by-election caused by the forced retirement through illness of a sitting councillor.

The Lib Dems who, like Plaid, had selected a likeable, committed candidate, saturated the area with no fewer than eleven different General Election-style leaflets during the four weeks of the campaign compared to the three produced by Plaid. To place this in perspective, even for the nationally crucial Assembly By-election in Ynys Mon this summer, Plaid produced a total of seven leaflets. 

During what remained a good-natured election at the personal level despite the ferocity of the leafletting, residents in many streets became used to receiving nightly repeat visits by senior Lib Dem politicians whilst the more modest Plaid campaign simply concentrated on the candidate talking to each household once. 

The result is given all the more credibility by the relatively high turnout for an election at this level where no polling cards were published by the Town Council in order to save money. 

The outcome is a tribute to the quality of Lucy Huws (below) as a candidate and to the resilience of the Plaid support in the ward.


Bronglais ward by-election to Aberystwyth Town Council

There’s a by-election taking place this week in the Bronglais ward of Aberystwyth Town Council. The election has been caused by the stepping down of Cllr Chris Griffiths due to illness.

Plaid’s candidate - one of three contesting the election - is Lucy Huws, pictured above in the Buarth area of the ward where she lives. Lucy was brought up in the area and is a gifted language teacher, being fluent in Welsh, Mandarin, German, French and English

Already a community activist, this year she has been spearheading the campaign to save St Winefrides Church in Queens Road and has spoken out against Royal Mail privatisation. More recently, as part of her election campaign, she has distributed survey forms to every house in the ward in support of an hourly rail service to Aberystwyth. The returned forms have contributed to the record 6,500 that have been completed across the central Wales region.

Town and Community Councils are the lowest level of government in Wales and, in contrast to similar sized communities in much of Europe, have very little power. Nevertheless they do have a voice. In recent years Aberystwyth Town Council has campaigned successfully for tighter regulations on HMOs in order to help both their tenants and neighbouring residents. It was the first organisation to install recycling banks around Aberystwyth and was successful in registering Aberystwyth as a Fair Trade town, eventually leading to Ceredigion becoming a Fair Trade county. The campaign for the Rheidol and Ystwyth cycle paths we're now used to also started in the Town Council. All these campaigns were led by Plaid Cymru councillors.

Aberystwyth Town Council makes scores of donations each year to local community groups, many of which would be greatly restricted or not survive at all without this help. It’s also been a starting point for local activists who have gone higher in the political process, most notably our Assembly member, Elin Jones.

Lucy Huws says:
“As someone who lives in Bronglais ward, I know many of the issues that concern us locally such as parking, hospital services, improving student housing, protecting our green spaces and maintaining the unique character of the area. This election campaign has allowed me to knock on every door in the ward, talking to people and sharing ideas about how to improve our fantastic community.”

The Town Council By-election in Bronglais ward takes place on Thursday November 7th in the Buarth Hall, Stanley Road 7am-10pm. Voting cards have not been distributed by the Council as a cost-saving measure but anyone on the electoral roll can turn up and vote.