A new temporary mini bus service is being introduced by Swansea Council to help transport residents between Gorseinon and Pontarddulais.
The council has stepped in to fund the new shuttle service following confirmation by Network Rail that they are closing a bridge to carry out maintenance.
The bridge, along Pentre Road (B4296) usually carries First Cymru and Adventure Travel bus services between the two communities, however, the existing bus services will terminate at Grovesend during the works and not continue on to Pontarddulais due to the lengthy diversion route involved.
The council has since been in talks with Network Rail in a bid to secure some funding to operate a replacement service to fill the gap, but Network Rail have confirmed they are not able to provide any assistance with this. As a result the council has chosen to operate a service linking the communities using one of its own mini buses.
The new council-run 16x mini bus will operate on an hourly basis between Gorseinon bus station and Pontarddulais and will link in with First Cymru and Adventure Travel’s no.16 service which travels from Swansea to Grovesend.
Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement & Infrastructure Management, said: “Members of the public have raised their concerns with the council since the announcement of the bridge closure, knowing that they would have no way of travelling between Grovesend and Pontarddulais if using public transport.
“Alternative routes during the road closure are either not suitable for larger buses or involve a lengthy diversion and because of this, the normal bus service is stopping short of going to Pontarddulais.
“Whilst Network Rail understand the implications of the closure and the impact on public transport, they have chosen not to support the council is providing an interim service so we felt we had no choice but to introduce one of our own mini bus services to help residents.”
The new 16x service will commence on 10 November and operate until 12 April 2021.