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Home / Latest News / Bus service to Cardiff Airport cancelled due to low passenger numbers

Bus service to Cardiff Airport cancelled due to low passenger numbers

A row has broken out over the future of bus services to Cardiff Airport.

As reported in Saturday’s Echo, Cardiff Bus will be introducing changes to 40% of its services from July 21, as part of the company’s first major review of its timetables in a decade.

One of the changes includes the scrapping of the X91 Sunday service to Cardiff Airport, although the two-hourly service on a Monday to Saturday will remain the same.

Gareth Stevens, business development manager at Cardiff Bus, said the number of passengers using this service on a Sunday has not been enough to cover the costs of running it.

And he said that, despite writing to the Welsh Government around nine months ago to discuss the issue of transport to Cardiff Airport and to present different options, the firm has yet to receive a response.

South Wales Central AM Eluned Parrot said she was disappointed to hear the service was being discontinued.

She said the X91 serves a number of communities in the Vale of Glamorgan who have little or no access to other public transport and said the removal of this route could have a “devastating effect” on the lives of many elderly and vulnerable people in the area.

Ms Parrot added: “With the airport now owned by the Welsh Labour Government, you would have thought improving transport links would be a priority. Yet now we hear the disappointing news that the Sunday X91 service is being cut. If we are to see an upturn in the airport’s fortunes, we need to be able to get passengers there every day of the week, particularly if we want to develop the important weekend break market from Europe.”

The Welsh Government acquired Cardiff Airport for £52m from Spanish group Abertis in March.

Mr Stevens said the “logical option” for passengers wanting to travel to Cardiff Airport would be by bus because of the 30-minute journey from the city centre.

But he said Cardiff Bus is a commercial service, meaning 95% of its services are paid for by the people who use them, and said there is not currently a “level playing field of competition” in terms of the bus and train services available to the airport.

He warned: “If their plans for the next 10 to 15 years are to come to fruition and it becomes a big attraction, they need to look at things now before it’s too late.”

He said Cardiff Bus is hoping to meet the airport’s chief executive Jon Horne in the future.

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said it is currently exploring the best options for an “express service” between Cardiff Central Station and Cardiff Airport.

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