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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting:  1 December, 2014

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Bus Service 320 and New Bus Service 321

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To seek Cabinet's agreement to introduce a new Bus Service 321 which will link with existing Supported Bus Service 320.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet agree the timetable and award of New Supported Bus Service 321 contract to New Adventure Travel, commencing 5th January 2015 and initially until 31st March 2016.

 

2.         That Cabinet agree the enhancements to the timetable for Supported Bus Service 320 commencing 5th January 2015, initially until 31st March 2016.

 

3.         That Cabinet agree the Greenlinks Community Transport Service G1 flexible timetable is amended to operate from Cowbridge and surrounding villages to Bridgend, with effect from Monday 2nd March 2015.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To seek Cabinet's agreement of the commencement of new bus service 321 running hourly between Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and Pontyclun, Monday to Friday.

 

2.         To seek Cabinet's agreement to the proposed amended timetable for existing bus service 320 which runs between Cardiff-Talbot Green via Llandaff Fields, Fairwater, St Fagans, Peterston-super-Ely, Pendoylan, Clawdd Coch, Hensol and Pontyclun.  This will link New Bus Service 321 with existing Bus Service 320 without the need to change vehicles and offer more journey options.

 

3.         To seek Cabinet's agreement to amend Bus Service G1 to ensure that the rural villages around Cowbridge not served by New Bus Service 321 still have a public transport option to travel.  To direct passengers wishing to travel from Llantwit Major to Cowbridge to new bus service 321.

 

Background

2.         Cabinet will recall from previous reports and press statements that the Village Bus Group of Services which operated in the rural Vale of Glamorgan ceased operations in July 2013 following termination of the contract by the Operator.  In addition, commercial Bus Service E11 which operated between Talbot Green and Cowbridge via Ystradowen was terminated by the Operator at the end of August 2013.

3.         Since that time your Officers have been successful in securing some replacement bus services for the rural Vale.

4.         Since 10th June 2013, transport award winning Bus Service 303/304, has operated hourly Monday to Saturday and two hourly on a Sunday by New Adventure Travel. It is running commercially (with no subsidy from the Council) from Llantwit Major via to Cardiff Bay via St Athan and Rhoose.  It is supported by the Council from Bridgend to Llantwit Major Monday to Friday and is also supported on a Sunday.  Service 303/304 is a success, having been and still currently carrying some 28,000 plus passengers per month.  In addition, the operator has recently indicated that it intends to increase service provision to/from Llandough Hospital on this route with effect from April 2015, following ongoing meetings with Officers and Llandough Hospital.

5.         Since 20th January 2014 the Council's Greenlinks Community Transport Service has been operating Bus Service G1, Monday to Friday daytimes between Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and Bridgend.  This service is "on demand" and only runs when passengers request the service in advance.  It typically runs 3 return journeys per day and carries on average 450 to 500 passengers per month.  Generally most passengers are transported from Cowbridge and the surrounding villages to Bridgend.  Takeup of the bus service from Llantwit Major to Cowbridge and onward to Bridgend has been poor, mainly because the service is not that frequent and the fact that passengers have to book journeys in advance.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         There is still a clear need to establish a frequent regular reliable daytime south / north rural Bus Service operating Monday to Saturday between Llantwit Major via Llandow to Cowbridge and onward to Talbot Green via Ystradowen to plug more of the gap left by the demise of the Village Bus Group of Services and Commercial Bus Service E11.

7.         The flexible demand-led Greenlinks Community Transport Service, G1, operating Monday to Friday has, since January 2014, offered a fully accessible bus facility between Llantwit Major, Cowbridge and surrounding villages to Bridgend.  However, Bus Service G1, although an extremely successful service operated by the Council with a mix of paid and volunteer drivers has a limited seating capacity, has to be booked in advance, offers only a few journeys a day and, because of resourcing and timetabling issues, it does not operate north of Cowbridge.

8.         As a consequence of the need for a more regular south/ north Vale rural service your Officers tendered for a new Supported Bus Service to operate between Llantwit Major via Llandow Business Park (Llantwit Major Road B4270), Cowbridge, Aberthin, Ystradowen and Pontyclun to Talbot Green.  The results of the tender process are attached at Appendix 1.  It should be noted that the tender exercise allowed the option for service suggestions from operators themselves with regard to service timetable, route, fares and connectivity with other services.  

9.         The most economically advantageous tender was from New Adventure Travel at a cost of £140 per operational day.  Their proposal for a new Supported Bus Service 321 would operate hourly Monday to Fridays and two hourly on a Saturday from Llantwit Major via Llandow Business Park, Cowbridge, Aberthin, Ystradowen and Pontyclun to Talbot Green (See Appendix 2 for map of route and Appendix 3 for 320/321 timetable and Appendix 4 for fares). 

 

10.      This new Service would link with existing supported Bus Service 320 which currently operates from Cardiff-Talbot Green via Llandaff Fields, Fairwater, St Fagans, St Georges (certain journeys only), St Bride's-super-Ely, Peterston-super-Ely, Pendoylan, Clawdd Coch, Hensol and Pontyclun.  As a result of the proposal Bus Service 320 would be enhanced, with passengers being able to travel to more destinations such as from Peterston-super-Ely/ Pendoylan to Cowbridge and serve St George's on all journeys.  These links do not currently exist. 

11.      New Bus Service 321 will also offer passengers opportunities to link (generally with a minimal waiting time) to Bus Service 303/304 (Bridgend to Cardiff Bay via St Athan, Rhoose, Barry, Dinas Powys and Cardiff) at Llantwit Major, Bus Service X2 (Porthcawl to Cardiff via A48) at Cowbridge and Bus Service 404 (Pontypridd to Bridgend) at Talbot Green.  This would be the first time these links and potential connections would be timetabled and available to passengers in a clear and regular format.  It also offers an opportunity at a future date for Bus Service 321 to link with the proposed new development at Renishaw M4 just off Junction 34.  The timing and implementation of this link would be dependent on the development proceeding and the cost of diversion being fully funded through S106 obligations.

12.      In terms of the Greenlinks Community Transport Service G1, it is proposed to amend its registration so as to complement New Bus Service 321.  From Monday 2nd March 2015 it is proposed that Greenlinks Community Transport Service G1 will continue to operate flexibly, on demand, when booked in advance from Cowbridge (rather than Llantwit Major which will be served by the New Bus Service 321) and the surrounding villages to Bridgend. 

13.      As part of the Welsh Government funded Integrated Pilot Project, Officers have been asked to look at possible reduced travel costs for young people. New Adventure Travel have agreed to trial a scheme on Bus Services 320 and 321 whereby those aged between 16 and 21 years old, on production of a Vale Young Persons (VYP) card, will be charged child fares. Currently, those aged 16 and over are charged adult fares. This scheme will be trialled on these Services once “back office work†on necessary forms and agreement on how the VYP cards will be produced has been agreed with Welsh Government.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

14.      Bus Service 321 will be funded from the Council's Supported Bus revenue budget and from contributions earmarked from Section 106 planning contributions.  Cabinet will recall that the setting aside of a proportion of S106 contributions for Greenlinks and Supported Bus Services was agreed at Cabinet on 27th January 2014.  In view of the uncertainties surrounding bus funding beyond 31st March 2016 it is proposed to initially run the New Bus Service 321 to 31st March 2016.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

15.      Bus services aid sustainable accessibility and the reduction of single occupancy car movements, therefore having a positive impact on sustainability and climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.      Any local bus services registered are run in accordance to the paperwork submitted to the Traffic Commissioner under the terms of the Transport Act 1985, until a withdrawal of service notice is issued to the Traffic Commissioner providing 56 days' notice.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      A safe and accessible public transport network will have a positive impact on crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of this Council's policies.  Enhancing Bus Services enables people who do not have access to a car to travel. By offering  the opportunity for 16 to 21 year old to travel at the cost of child fares makes New Bus Service 321 and existing Service 320 more affordable for younger travellers.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      Public transport, provides alternative means of travel to the car and ensures good accessibility for those without access to private transport. This links with the Council's objectives for social wellbeing and tackling disadvantages.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.      This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.      Ward Members have not been consulted as this report concerns a number of bus routes in the Vale of Glamorgan and therefore affects all Wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Appendix 1: Results of Tenders for New Bus Service 321

Appendix 2: Map of New Bus Service 321 and Bus Service 320

Appendix 3: Timetables for Bus Services 321 and 320 with effect from 5th January 2014

Appendix 4: Fare Chart for Bus Service 321 from 5th January 2014

 

Contact Officer

Emma Reed, Operational Manager Planning and Transportation Policy - Tel. (01446) 704673

 

Officers Consulted

Committee Reports Legal

Head of Finance and Accountancy

Finance Support Officer

Principal Planner responsible for S106 agreements, Development Management

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas Director Development Services

 

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