IT'S not in fact improvements, but a deterioration to services, with changes supplying less bus trips to a Vale hospital, that’s according to a Penarth town councillor.

Councillor Richard Cox says Penarth is being “forgotten” after Cardiff Bus announced changes to their services which they labelled as “improvements”.

Those “improvements”, according to Cardiff Bus, include running more journeys on the 92, 93 and 94 on Saturdays, and increased frequency between Cardiff and Penarth.

However, Cllr Cox, Labour for the Stanwell ward, says bus routes serving Penarth are being eroded and he highlighted the number seven service – something he described as a crucial link between Penarth and Llandough Hospital.

The number seven runs from Penarth to Llandough Hospital then on to Cardiff.

On proposed changes released by Cardiff Bus in the middle of February, Cllr Cox said: “As far as Penarth is concerned the improvements are trivial and we have lost an important service (the number seven) getting from Penarth to Llandough Hospital.”

Cllr Cox went on to question how people are meant to get to Llandough Hospital now.

“When we’re going to hospital we are talking about appointments for outpatients and visiting for inpatients.

“What are people supposed to do? Take taxis? Or use their cars? Then there are parking issues.”

Behind the scenes, local bus services in the Vale and in wider Wales have been under increased pressure after Welsh Government removed the Bus Transition Fund (BTF) support scheme – brought in to plug the gap lost by bus users during Covid.

Now, a new bill is set to go through the Senedd said to “reform the failed system of deregulation” of the bus service in Wales. The crux of it? To offer funding for routes instead of directly to bus companies to create a more stable service, say the Welsh government.

Penarth Times: Cllr Richard Cox has concerns about buses in PenarthCllr Richard Cox has concerns about buses in Penarth (Image: Newsquest)

Penarth Times: Is Penarth losing a bus service to Llandough Hospital?Is Penarth losing a bus service to Llandough Hospital? (Image: Google Maps)

Welsh Government’s new £39m ‘Bus Network Grant’

In the latest announcement, released by Welsh Government on March 14, the administration described a “£39m boost for bus passengers in Wales”.

The ‘Bus Network Grant’ will be made available to local authorities to secure services once the Welsh Government’s Bus Transition Fund comes to an end on March 31.

The new Bus Network Grant will begin on April 1 and run for 12 months. 

Local authorities will be required to meet specific conditions to receive funding. These include ensuring routes and timetables support improved journey times, deliver opportunities for greater connectivity where possible, and provide improved information about the times of bus services.

On the grant, the man behind the 20mph rollout, deputy climate change minister Lee Waters said: “The Bus Network Grant will act as a bridge from the emergency funding that has been provided towards bus franchising.

Penarth Times: The man behind the 20mph roll out Lee Waters has announced a new bus grant for servicesThe man behind the 20mph roll out Lee Waters has announced a new bus grant for services (Image: UGC)

“It will include specific conditions that will encourage improved regional co-ordination of bus services; network ticketing and the need to ensure accurate and up to date information about the bus services provided.”

Cardiff Bus refused to comment on Cllr Cox’s concerns.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has been contacted for an update on the number seven service.

What’s the bus service like for you in Penarth? Happy with it? Frustrated with it? Can you get about the town and beyond easily on public transport? Let us know, emailing

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