HALF a million passengers have ridden Carmarthen’s Park and Ride service in three years. Now many more are set to continue to do so.
Demand for the shopper and commuter special shuttle bus service has proved so popular it is to continue and users have indicated they are prepared to contribute to running costs. There have been more than 500,000 passenger journeys since the service started with 161,946 riding in the last 12 months averaging 536 passenger journeys a day.
Thousands have been taking advantage of the twin shuttle bus service some weeks delivering them into the town centre after leaving their cars at the traffic and hassle free out of town Nantyci site.
The service was initially introduced in December 2007 on a temporary basis whilst the number of parking spaces in the Town Centre was reduced during construction work of the St Catherine’s Walk development.
County executive board member for transport services Cllr Philip Hughes said: “The shuttle has proved invaluable in reducing traffic at Carmarthen’s heart and making access to the town easier for thousands of people.
"While the service was criticised in some quarters when it was launched the good news is they are now determined it should be retained.”
The service is to be re-launched from June 13th. The timetable has been revised so that the service now runs every 20 minutes. The first bus will leave the car park at Nantyci at 7am and from the bus stop at Lammas Street at 7.10am. The last bus will leave Nantyci at 6.40pm and Lammas Street at 6.50pm. In addition to the 20-minute frequency, there will be an extra journey at 8.30am from Nantyci to the town centre in order to provide a more convenient service during the morning peak.
A passenger survey indicated that users would be prepared to pay £1 each for a day return ticket. The Nantyci car park will continue to be free, passengers only contributing to their bus travel.
The bus fare has been kept to a minimum in order to encourage continued use of the service.
Wales Concessionary Travel Pass holders will be able to travel free of charge on production of a valid Travel Pass. Children (under 16) will also be allowed to travel free of charge if travelling with an adult.
The service is available for anyone to use, and is not restricted to those using the car park. In addition to parking and riding, passengers currently use the service from the Town to access the Veterinary Centre, show ground and other facilities at Nantyci.
The service will continue to operate on Mondays to Saturdays and the bus operator, First Cymru, will continue to use a low floor easy access bus which is fully accessible to wheelchairs, baby buggies and shopping trolleys.
For further information please county transport press officer Ron Cant on 01267-224923 or 07811101531.