Local bus operator First Cymru has won the contract to provide express bus services to and from Cardiff Airport from 1 August, following a competitive tender process. The development means that First Cymru has been able to create additional 18 driver jobs in the area, providing an additional welcome boost to the local economy.
The new express bus service, funded by the Welsh Government and developed together with the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils, will be known as the Cardiff Airport Express. It is part of the Traws Cambria network.
Five buses – Optare Tempo single deck vehicles with coach style seating, climate control, WiFi, extra luggage space and improved on-board information – are being provided by the Welsh Assembly Government (four vehicles will be used to provide the service with one spare). Collectively they will be used to offer a 20 minute frequency, seven days a week – from early morning until late evening – giving travellers an easy way of getting to and from the airport terminal and Cardiff city centre.
Talking about the new service, Economy and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, said: “The Welsh Government’s vision for the development of Cardiff Airport includes making it easier for passengers to travel to and from the airport using public transport. This service provides a modern, convenient and comfortable link to the city centre at a competitive price.”
Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, Cllr Lis Burnett, said: “The Vale council is pleased to support the Welsh Government in the delivery of this new service. We feel strongly that high quality, public transport at affordable prices is essential to securing a positive future for Cardiff Airport.”
Jon Horne, Chief Executive at Cardiff Airport, commented: “It is great to see the new Cardiff Airport Express service launched. This new service greatly enhances the airport’s public transport offer, something sought in the feedback we receive from our customers. It will play an important part in the overall process of improving connectivity to the airport.”
Justin Davies, Managing Director of First Cymru, said: “We are pleased to have won this contract. It is perhaps one of the most high profile contracts in Wales at the moment and it is an honour for us to be involved in the delivery of these services. Our Cardiff depot team has again expanded in winning this work and the creation of 18 new driver jobs is also very positive news for the local economy too. Turnaround time between the announcement of the contract win and the beginning of the service is short but we are confident that all the elements will be place for the 1 August, and we’re looking forward to working closely with the Welsh Assembly Government and Cardiff Airport to deliver the high standards that both we, and they, expect.”
Tickets on the new service will cost £5/€7 single or £8/€10 return for adults, with reductions for children. Concessionary bus pass holders resident in Wales will be able to travel for free on the service. Buses will pick up at Cardiff Bus Station Stand D1 and Cardiff Bay.