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First Cymru confirms changes to X1 and X3 bus routes

Credit: First Cymru

Following the recent announcement by First Cymru that it will be introducing changes across a range of south and west Wales bus services, Bridgend County Borough Council is advising local residents that both the X1 and X3 services will be affected.

The X1 service will move from a half-hourly timetable to an hourly one, and the X3 will move from an hourly service to running every 90 minutes. The changes will apply between Monday and Saturday across both services, and are set to begin on Sunday 29 October.

In a statement, First Cymru has cited reductions in the amount of Welsh Government funding support for buses and passenger numbers which remain well below previous levels as being the reason for why the changes are necessary.

Welsh Government’s Bus Emergency Scheme fund, which ended in July, was followed by the £46m Bus Transition Fund. This is currently in place, and is intended to support bus provision until 31 March 2024.

Doug Claringbold, Managing Director at First Cymru, said: “The majority of services are unaffected, but despite our efforts to protect our customers from the impact of this reduced funding, we have no option but to reduce or stop operating some services.

“We recognise the Welsh Government has had some tough decisions to make as it changes the way it funds bus services. At the same time, we share the disappointment customers will feel from the knock-on impact that will have on some routes.

“We are committed to getting more people to use the bus, and adequate levels of funding are essential where passenger numbers are below the cost of operating services.”

This remains an extremely difficult situation, especially when passenger levels remain too low to make some routes viable without heavy subsidies.

Bridgend County Borough Council is continuing to work alongside providers and Welsh Government to find ways of promoting bus travel as an alternative to using the car, and we are committed towards efforts for developing a sustainable, viable public transport system.

Councillor John Spanswick, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change