Pilots in Ceredigion and Vale of Glamorgan to find new ways to deliver public transport
22 Apr 2014 11:54 AM
Transport Minister Edwina Hart
has announced funding to trial new, more efficient methods of delivering public
transport to improve access to jobs and services, particularly in rural
The Vale of
Glamorgan council and Ceredigion council will each receive £100,000 in
2014-15 to test better, more efficient ways to co-ordinate conventional bus,
community transport and local authority services, including the use of council
vehicles to help people access health and social care. A further element of the
pilots will evaluate the costs and benefits of discounted travel for young
people to access jobs and training.
The trials will
run for a year and be evaluated by the Bus Policy Advisory Group, who will then
advise the Minister on what schemes could be rolled-out nationally.
“I want to
ensure everyone in Wales is able to access jobs and services via reliable
public transport. We must start looking at new and innovative ways of
delivering these services, particularly in rural areas, by means of a
sustainable and efficient network. I am pleased that the Vale of Glamorgan and
Ceredigion Councils are working with us to progress this vital piece of
already examples of good practice in Wales that could be rolled-out more
widely, like the Bwcabus scheme in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. But we could
also make better use of existing facilities and services in local authorities.
I look forward to receiving the Bus Policy Advisory Group’s advice on
which of these ideas could be used across Wales.”
The Vale of
Glamorgan Council will investigate a number of schemes, including:
- How to
encourage new fare-paying passengers to use rural public transport
- Establishing a scheduling and booking system for public
transport, with ICT support, reflecting the Bwcabus or Green Links
- Identifying on-road infrastructure improvements, such as
- Establishing a collaborative team to procure and manage
services to reduce costs.
the potential for discounted bus travel for young people and those not in
employment, education or training.
will also trial a number of new services, including improved public transport
in remote communities around Tregaron. This will include the use of the
council’s in-house fleet of vehicles to support local bus services and to
provide transport to health and social care. The council will work with Hywel
Dda Local Health Board to integrate patient appointment times with bus
services. They will also explore the scope for discounted travel for young
people, aged 16 to 21.
Both councils will
work together to share their findings and collaborate on ideas, also
identifying best practice from other local authorities.
The Bus Policy
Advisory Group will review the services based on an agreed set of criteria and
advise the Minister on the success of the various initiatives.
The Minister also
announced that the budget for the new Bus Services Support Grant will be
£25m for 2014-15, the same amount as in 2013-14 for the Regional
Transport Services Grant, which it replaces. The grant scheme is to enable
local authorities to support socially-necessary bus and community transport