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Sherpa’r Wyddfa shines at UK Bus Awards

Credit: Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales (TfW) in partnership with Cyngor Gwynedd, Eryri National Park and Conwy County Borough Council have celebrated success for the revitalised Sherpa’r Wyddfa bus service at this year’s UK Bus Awards.

Sherpa’r Wyddfa relaunched in July last year offering more services and better integration for passengers travelling in Eryri National Park (Snowdonia) and received a silver award in the Buses for Leisure category at the UK Bus Awards in The Troxy, London on Tuesday 28 November. The service was also highly commended as part of the Going for Growth category.

With thousands of visitors to Eryri National Park every year, Sherpa’r Wyddfa operated by Gwynfor Coaches, supports the national park socially, economically and environmentally by linking the main walking paths, car parks, villages, and attractions in the area.

TrawsCymru, fflecsi, rail and active travel also support the Sherpa service, linking Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Bangor and Betws-y-Coed, substantially reducing the number of vehicles in the area.

The new Sherpa’r Wyddfa service has delivered huge improvements by offering a regular service for over 12 hours of the day in peak times connecting directly to main rail stations, delivering a consistent cost approach for customers and a fresh re-branding that identifies with its surroundings and celebrates the Welsh language.

Following the rebrand and relaunch of the new and improved service, patronage has increased by 64% for April 2023, compared to April 2019 (pre COVID).

Lee Robinson, Executive Director for Regional Transport and Integration at Transport for Wales, said: “We’re incredibly proud of the success of the Sherpa’r Wyddfa service since its relaunch and to have this recognised at the UK Bus Awards is a testament to the hard work and collaboration between TfW, local authorities, the national park authority and the operator.

“Sherpa’r Wyddfa is an important part of the transport network in Eryri National Park and is key to our ambitions of driving sustainable tourism in an area which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Our partnership with Cyngor Gwynedd, Conwy County Borough Council, Eryri National Park and the operator Gwynfor Coaches has seen us improve the frequency, routes, and integration of the service, which has delivered better connections for communities in the national park as well as visitors to the area.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the team who’ve delivered the Sherpa’r Wyddfa service in such a short space of time and I’m looking forward to us building on this success in the coming years.”

Edward Jones, Head of Property at the National Park Authority said: “Receiving the prestigious Silver Award in the Buses for Leisure category is a testament to the value and impact of Sherpa’r Wyddfa in Eryri and also highlights the importance of working in partnership.

“This achievement not only celebrates sustainable transport but also our commitment towards providing visitors with alternative ways to visit Yr Wyddfa region and surrounding communities.”

Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Cyngor Gwynedd Cabinet Member for Environment said: “This recognition for the Sherpa’r Wyddfa shows what can be achieved when we work together to modernise a service to meet the needs of the customers.

“Cyngor Gwynedd’s transport team have work closely with our partners to transform the service. The new Sherpa’r Wyddfa combines journeys that enable Gwynedd residents to make important day-to-day journeys, with a useful travel resource for people visiting the area.

“Thanks to that careful planning, many more people are now making the most of an excellent network of bus services to transport them around Eryri in a sustainable way.”

Cllr Goronwy Edwards, Conwy County Borough Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Roads and Facilities – Infrastructure, said:  “We’re delighted that the Sherpa bus has been recognised with this award at the UK Bus Awards. The Sherpa is an important service to the region and offers improved public transport access in Eryri National Park for visitors as well as the communities in the south of Conwy County.”