Bus Routes & Public Toilets “Under Review” (Again)

(Pic: © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.)


Amongst the items on the agenda at next week’s Bridgend Council Cabinet meeting are proposals to make possible cuts to bus services totalling £188,000 (pdf).

Local authorities subsidise bus routes that are deemed “commercially unviable”. In 2017-18 this support totalled £318,000 from BCBC itself, though the total budget – once Welsh Government grants are included – was £614,000. The £188,000 would be found from the BCBC contribution.

BCBC undertook an exercise where they scored supported bus routes based on passenger use, the impact on shift workers, access to healthcare facilities and access to education.

As a result of the exercise, the following routes came up short:

Discussions have started with the affected bus operators (including First Cymru, Easyway, Peyton Travel) on whether they might be able to operate these services without a grant. Bridgend Community Transport could also fill the gap in some circumstances.

A 12-week consultation on the bus services will likely start soon if the Cabinet gives the go ahead.

The Cabinet are also due to discuss the launch of another public consultation on the future of public toilets in the county (pdf), about two years after the last consultation.

The Public Health Act 2017 will require local authorities to prepare public toilet plans though it hasn’t come into effect yet as far as I can tell. The consultation and its results will also form part of a contribution towards £150,000 of cuts in next year’s budget.

At the moment, BCBC’s strategy is to hand responsibility for public toilets to town & community councils via Community Asset Transfers. Where this can’t happen, alternative options could be considered such as pay-per-use or closing toilets and replacing them with a business-led “comfort scheme”.

Owen

  • Anthony Powell

    I have heard that the 73 is being withdrawn next year. Its lost so many users over the years because of its limited operation and the fact it goes all over the place. Theres no need for it to go via coity and should serve the pyle inn way estate as theres many cut off from the main road. The 63b early morning services do get well used as do the evening services however it has long been said that it should be run hourly in the evenings.

    Cefn glas could be served by smaller minibuses after 1800 which can run at a higher frequency and make the route ore attractive. a more regular timetable should be made for the 81 and the 51/52 should run more frequency and to a clokface timetable

    • I suspect nearly all routes have been drawn up so they call at the PoW Hospital (which makes some sense) but I agree that some of the routes are far too complicated to really be of any use other than to those who have no other option but to go by bus.

      I suspect if any one of these services get “saved” it’ll be the 63B for the reasons you give. I’d be surprised if it couldn’t be run commercially.

      Whenever I’ve seen the Cefn Glas buses they’ve been full (though that’s usually in the mornings). Broadlands and parts of Brackla are badly served considering their populations so maybe there’s room to tie them into the Cefn Glas services as a “figure of 8” style route.

      And after all the fuss in getting bus stops put outside the Rec, it would be ridiculous if no buses stopped there. I suppose some of the buses going via Park Street could be re-directed that way.

  • Anthony Powell

    A figure of 8 route with the cef glas route sounds like an excelltn idea although first would require an extra 2 buses on the route. The 51 & 81 need better clockface timetables and as for running more buses past bridgend rec the issue is getting back onto park street which will be very difficult for the larger buses used on the X2 & 172.

    An hourly service to Oaklands should suffice I would have thought.

    The 63b could be run commercially between Bridgend & North Cornelly. I had a good chat with some customers on the 70/71 to cymmer yesterday regarding the services after 1800 which do not connect with rail services in maesteg. I agree with the customers saying the services should be retimed to leave Bridgend at 55 minutes past the hour and 54 minutes past from cymmer this way the provide connections with trains at Maesteg and the rail link tickets should be better advertised