Conwy Valley line

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topydre

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This line will become more important from the end of April onwards:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/bus-chiefs-pull-conwy-valley-10875789
Arriva Buses Wales will no longer run Conwy Valley number 19 service from May 1. Bus passengers in the Conwy Valley have reacted angrily after Arriva Buses Wales announced they are dropping a vital service.

Arriva Buses Wales have informed Conwy County Council they will stop running the number 19 bus which runs between Betws y Coed and Llandudno.

The move comes on top of the Conwy Valley losing its train service because of flooding.

Arriva insist the number 19 is not commercially viable and will stop the service at the end of April.

Rita Jones whose elderly mother uses the service regularly said she could not believed the service was being withdrawn.

She said: “My mother uses the bus service regularly to go to her hospital appointments, to visit her family in Llandudno and to do her shopping.

“And what about the tourist attractions? I know that many of the Surf Snowdonia staff use the service.”

Trefriw Councillor Hilary Rogers-Jones described Arriva’s decision as “terrible news”.

Cllr Roger-Jones said: “It’s been an awful week for the Conwy Valley as it was only announced the other day that Ysgol Dolgarrog, Ysgol Talybont and Ysgol Trefriw will close.

“And now this. Who will come and live here? What will people do?”

Cllr Philip Evans, Cabinet Member with responsibility for public transport said he disappointed to hear the service has not been sufficiently patronised.

He said: “It is now important that we look at options to deliver a stable and sustainable service for route 19.”

An Arriva spokesman said: “Sadly, even with the current financial support provided by Conwy County Borough Council, route 19 is not carrying enough passengers to be financially viable, and we will be withdrawing the service at the end of April.

“We understand that the local authority will be considering what alternatives, if any, can be provided.”

The council wants passengers who use the service to send their comments here about the withdrawal of the service and their transport needs.

Passengers can also write to Public Transport Section, Community Services, Library Building, Mostyn Street, Llandudno, LL30 2RP.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Bletchleyite

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ISTR roughly similar. It was mainly creaming off pass revenues until the local authority made passes valid on the train, much to the bus company owner's dislike.
 

Dr_Paul

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It seems that this line gets serious wash-outs every year. Much as I dislike thinking it, I don't think it would take much for the powers-that-be to decide that it's not worth patching it up each year, especially now that one of the reasons that it was kept open, the nuclear traffic from Trawsfynydd, has long gone.
 

krus_aragon

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This line will become more important from the end of April onwards:
http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/bus-chiefs-pull-conwy-valley-10875789

Not again ...

For context, this comes on the back of:
Arriva cutting the 19 to a two-hourly service two years back, with an X19 service operating hourly down the eastern side of the valley (via the very touristy Bodnant Food Centre!).
Protests from Dolgarrog etc. at the lack of connectivity, with some unable to make connections to travel to school etc.
After negociations with the council, an hourly 19 service is reinstated, but now terminates at Conwy, rather than Llandudno. (Lots of buses available for onward connections.)
End of last summer, the X19 is withdrawn.
This winter, the 19 service is combined end-to-end with the 15 (which also terminates in Conwy), giving through journeys to Llandudno again.

With regards to Express Motors' predatory actions with their X1 to Blaenau Ffestiniog, most of their daytime services are curtailed to Betws-y-Coed for the winter, as it doesn't pay at this time of the year.
 

furnessvale

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It seems that this line gets serious wash-outs every year. Much as I dislike thinking it, I don't think it would take much for the powers-that-be to decide that it's not worth patching it up each year, especially now that one of the reasons that it was kept open, the nuclear traffic from Trawsfynydd, has long gone.

However, there are plans for slate waste traffic which could produce some serious freight flows.
 

Rhydgaled

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It seems that this line gets serious wash-outs every year. Much as I dislike thinking it, I don't think it would take much for the powers-that-be to decide that it's not worth patching it up each year, especially now that one of the reasons that it was kept open, the nuclear traffic from Trawsfynydd, has long gone.
Flood damage certainly seems to be a problem on the line, is there any scope for works to increase the resilience of the infrustructure? I seem to recall the track was raised at Dovey Junction when they added the passing loop there to reduce the risk of the Cambrian lines being blocked by floods...

And wouldn't it be an idea to extend the Conwy valley line to Trawsfynydd, since most of the track is still in place (though in need of heavy maintenance I expect)?
 
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Bletchleyite

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In what way are Express Motors predatory nasties? There doesn't seem to be much overlap between the Arriva 19 and the X1.

Against the railway as well as some end to end journeys on the 19.

The sensible thing for them to do is to run in the gaps in the train timetable, then everybody would be happy.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And wouldn't it be an idea to extend the Conwy valley line to Trawsfynydd, since most of the track is still in place (though in need of heavy maintenance I expect)?

Low demand, and I guess might require a second unit.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Flood damage certainly seems to be a problem on the line, is there any scope for works to increase the resilience of the infrustructure? I seem to recall the track was raised at Dovey Junction when they added the passing loop there to reduce the risk of the Cambrian lines being blocked by floods...

Last time they built some extra culverts and bridges, I believe. This time it was I think in different places.
 

ChiefPlanner

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However, there are plans for slate waste traffic which could produce some serious freight flows.

Correction - there were plans for slate waste traffic ....:( - I believe the RT / NR quotes for track improvement and bridge works went way against the potential revenues - now the line is /was largely DMU operation and track mtc is geared accordingly (categorisation now changed) - not much real chance of this happening with other less awkwad sources of crushed stone , nearer consumption markets.
 

furnessvale

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Correction - there were plans for slate waste traffic ....:( - I believe the RT / NR quotes for track improvement and bridge works went way against the potential revenues - now the line is /was largely DMU operation and track mtc is geared accordingly (categorisation now changed) - not much real chance of this happening with other less awkwad sources of crushed stone , nearer consumption markets.

Sad! So much of this idea depends on the level of aggregates tax (which does not apply to recovered spoil heaps) and the desirability, or otherwise, of tidying up Blaenau Ffestiniog!
 

Bald Rick

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Caveating all the below with "I don't know the area that well", but it would be interesting to know how much cash NR has spent maintaining and repairing that line in the last decade. Given the number of washouts it must be tens of millions, possibly £50m or more.

One has to ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayers cash, particularly when it seems an alternative, such as a much improved bus service, could be provided for substantially less.
 

Bletchleyite

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One has to ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayers cash, particularly when it seems an alternative, such as a much improved bus service, could be provided for substantially less.

If the UK was actually capable of running a properly integrated bus service, I'd agree. As we're not, keep it.
 

Gwenllian2001

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One has to ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayers cash, particularly when it seems an alternative, such as a much improved bus service, could be provided for substantially less.

Billions of taxpayers' cash are being spent on such things as Cross Rail and HS2, neither of which will be of any use to me but I am a Tax Payer and have no choice in the matter. The money spent on the Conwy Valley Line, which I do use from time to time, is a drop in the ocean by comparison.
 

Rhydgaled

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One has to ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayers cash, particularly when it seems an alternative, such as a much improved bus service, could be provided for substantially less.
If the UK was actually capable of running a properly integrated bus service, I'd agree. As we're not, keep it.
Bus usage hasn't been seeing the boom that the rail network is experiencing. At a guess, I'd say buses (sadly) generally just aren't considered an attractive alternative to the car, whereas rail sometimes is, and the reasons for that can't just be a matter of intergration. Buses have no hope of being faster than driving, for example. That said, in the Conwy Valley even the train doesn't seem to be competitive against the car for journey time.

And wouldn't it be an idea to extend the Conwy valley line to Trawsfynydd, since most of the track is still in place (though in need of heavy maintenance I expect)?
Low demand, and I guess might require a second unit.
I should invoke
Caveating all the below with "I don't know the area that well",
myself, but wouldn't 'low demand' apply to the whole line, and the Cambrian Coast and Heart Of Wales too, at least compared to railways in more populated areas. That said, if you only extended towards Trawsfynydd as far as Manod, you might increase the population served by the line for only a small increase in running distance, but getting to Trawsfynydd would allow it to meet up with the TrawsCymru T2 and hence to the Cambrian lines (although you still have the bus intergration problem to contend with). I suppose linking north Wales to the Cambrian would be better served by reopening Bangor-Caernarfon-Bryncir with a new line thence to Porthmadog though, but Blaenau-Trawsfynydd would probably be the cheaper option by far.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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I suppose linking north Wales to the Cambrian would be better served by reopening Bangor-Caernarfon-Bryncir with a new line thence to Porthmadog though, but Blaenau-Trawsfynydd would probably be the cheaper option by far.

I cannot understand how the word "cheaper" can even be thought to be a suitable word to use in terms of any of those particular aspirations. With regards to any Conwy Valley line extension, there is still the existing matter of line flooding to be brought into the equation.
 

Rhydgaled

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With regards to any Conwy Valley line extension, there is still the existing matter of line flooding to be brought into the equation.
That is a good point. Ignoring required improvements to the existing line though the work required to extend the Conwy Valley line to Trawsfynydd is obviously going to be far less than building a Bangor-Porthmadog line, a fair bit of which would be an all-new alignment, so I still feel justified in saying that Blaenau-Trawsfynydd would be less expensive than Bangor-Porthmadog.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Caveating all the below with "I don't know the area that well", but it would be interesting to know how much cash NR has spent maintaining and repairing that line in the last decade. Given the number of washouts it must be tens of millions, possibly £50m or more.

One has to ask if that is a sensible use of taxpayers cash, particularly when it seems an alternative, such as a much improved bus service, could be provided for substantially less.

Devolution of Welsh NR to the Welsh Government would concentrate minds.
Currently the line is "free issue" and NR has to keep it going.
Local pensioners get to ride free, like the buses.
 

Dr_Paul

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I can't see much point in reopening the line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd, as the latter is a very small place, and has a bus service not merely to Blaenau Ffestiniog but to other places as well. Llan Ffestiniog is a bit bigger, but would that merit the cost of reopening, especially taking into consideration what we've discussed above in respect of the overall cost of keeping the entire line open? There is always the option for the Ffestiniog Railway to extend southwards, but that's for another discussion.

As for removing the waste slate tips from Blaenau Ffestiniog, would that not ruin the unique atmosphere of the town and reduce its attraction to tourists, even if there is a few bob to be made from doing it?
 

SeanG

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The old slate quarries actually have a tourism use.

Antur Stiniog Downhill trails and the zip slide things are often booked up
 

Rhydgaled

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I can't see much point in reopening the line from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Trawsfynydd

Trawsfynydd [snip] has a bus service not merely to Blaenau Ffestiniog but to other places as well.
Which is precisely the reason I suggested it, Trawsfynydd has buses to Porthmadog and Machynlleth, ie. linking up with the Cambrian lines. Thus reopening Blaenau-Trawsfynydd potentially gives passengers from Llandudno and places along the Conwy Valley line better bus connections to the Cambrian than are currently available at Blaenau Ffestiniog. I say potentially since, as has been noted in this topic, we don't seem to be able to do bus/rail integration in Britain, but there's a first time for everything.
 

30907

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Without checking the bus timetables:

1. Is there not a reasonable bus service from Blaenau to Minffordd/Porthmadog anyway?

2. What is the traffic potential for Llandudno etc to Dolgellau and beyond, and what would be the time saving via Trawsfynydd compared with via Bangor?
 

PHILIPE

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Line will re-open Monday 22nd February but with a 20 mph Speed Restriction for a 6 mile stretch pending further work to be carried out. As a result, there will be an amended timetable to reflect this lengthy restriction. The timetable can be downloaded from ATW Journey Check.
 

6Gman

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Without checking the bus timetables:

1. Is there not a reasonable bus service from Blaenau to Minffordd/Porthmadog anyway?

2. What is the traffic potential for Llandudno etc to Dolgellau and beyond, and what would be the time saving via Trawsfynydd compared with via Bangor?

1. Yes.

2. Small, on the second there might be a time saving but the cost in relation to the numbers who would benefit would surely be unreasonable.

If I'm doing the sums correctly the typical loading on a train arriving at/ departing from Blaenau is under 20. Which would scarcely pay the cost of a bus never mind a 150 and all those infrastructure costs.
 
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