NAT Cardiff X1 bus - launching 11th May 2015

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by DanTrainMan185, 2 May 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,964
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Cardiff/Bristol
    I noticed earlier this evening that NAT (New Adventure Travel) are introducing a new service, the X1, in Cardiff on 11th May. It's a Cross City service that will run from Culverhouse Cross to Pontprennau Asda via Ely, Canton, Cardiff city centre, Albany Road, Llanedeyrn and Pentwyn.

    Running every fifteen minutes from 0600 to 2030, it will be operated with branded 15-reg Optare Versas. With a single journey priced at £1.60, a day ticket at £3 and a weekly ticket at £12, they are really going for the competition with Cardiff Bus (currently at £1.80 a single, £3.60 a day and £12 a week) and even at a slightly less but still respectful fifteen minute frequency compared with Cardiff Bus, I would even use them instead, although of course Cardiff Bus have been/will be the dominant operator in the capital.

    This new route will go right past my house, and I shall be making use of it! Interesting bit of competition; I look forward to seeing what CB think!

    More info here: http://www.natgroup.co.uk/crosscity
     
  2. 317 forever

    317 forever Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    21 Aug 2010
    Location:
    North West
    As I shall be in the area in July, I hope to ride one. I am optimistic that I shall be able to use my Freedom of South Wales Flexipass on it!
     
  3. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    12 Dec 2011
    Location:
    England
    Very interesting. The bus shown on the front page of the X1 link is, however, an Optare MetroCity and not a Versa.

    A search elsewhere on NAT's site (under the 'Latest News' section) reveals they have recently taken delivery (or are in the process of doing so) of 15x Optare buses on '15' plates including - it would seem - some Solo SRs.

    Dave
     
  4. iantherev

    iantherev Member

    Messages:
    390
    Joined:
    3 Apr 2011
    Location:
    Axminster
    Running time of 68 minutes end to end crossing Cardiff City Centre? Best of luck with that....
     
  5. extendedpaul

    extendedpaul Member

    Messages:
    474
    Joined:
    11 Nov 2010
    Location:
    Caerphilly and Kent
    Must say I like NAT Travel and they are continually expanding. Nice buses and generally friendly drivers.

    I recommend a ride on their route 303/304 Cardiff to Bridgend via Barry, Llantwit and Ogmore. Takes about an hour longer than the X2 First service but worth it if you have the time.
     
  6. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,964
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Cardiff/Bristol
    I did think it was slightly different to a Versa as it has a slightly more squashed appearance on the front!

    I thought the same, especially in the peaks. Could be achieved at the more quieter times, however.

    The X2 already takes over an hour as it is, can't be more appealing going all round Barry and The Vale!
     
  7. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    The issue about the running tiems has already been raised particulary how the services are going to cope during the peaks. The buses which will be launched on 8th May in Cardiff with be the new metrocity models now optare versa's.

    Their 303/304 are generally quiet leaving Bridgend however soon start to pick up as they leave town One thing I have noticed recently is that their last service from Bridgend at 2337 arrives into Cardiff at 0205.
     
  8. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2013
    Strange how the destination on the 304 includes the word "express" perhaps NAT should buy themselves a dictionary?
     
  9. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    7,664
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    To be fair, the poster was saying its a nicer ride if you've the time. (I.e. Scenery is more important than time such as twirlies on a day out or someone just fancying a trip out). Surely you must concede that the scenery, esp. around Ogmore, is more picturesque than the "quick" route?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I almost hear the words of Neil Hannon......
     
  10. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,964
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Cardiff/Bristol
    Indeed but I haven't been down there since I was a baba, so I wouldn't remember.

    Now that I finish uni on Wednesday, that can be a plan for the summer!
     
  11. TheGrandWazoo

    TheGrandWazoo Established Member

    Messages:
    7,664
    Joined:
    18 Feb 2013
    Location:
    Somerset with international travel (e.g. across th
    First time I did it was when it was the 145 (?) and operated by Golden Coaches with a Willowbrook bodied Leopard on loan from Rhondda Buses. The old Bridgend bus station and depot were still standing but derelict - indicates how long ago it was. It is a nice run out.

    As for NAT, that's quite an outlay for a relatively small firm in a competitive move?
     
    Last edited: 4 May 2015
  12. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    NAT do seem to be expanding quite rapidly across south wales and Kevin Jones has made no secret of his plans to expend nationwide including bidding for contracts in London.

    The rise of NAT has worried other operators including the big boys like Stagecoach & first.

    Mind you I remember another welsh operator having similar ambitions back in 2000 and look what happened there. I do hope fate doesn't strike again
     
  13. Envoy

    Envoy Member

    Messages:
    699
    Joined:
    29 Aug 2014
    I understand that Cardiff Bus (Council owned) have had so called 'consultants' hired in to help them plan routes. Here we have NAT who keep coming up with innovative new routes such as linking Dinas Powis with central Cardiff via the Bay (Mermaid Quay) and now this cross city route. It also looks like NAT are undercutting the Cardiff Bus fares - well, at least they don't have to pay for 'consultants'!.
     
  14. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    12 Dec 2011
    Location:
    England
    I also hope NAT don't suffer a similar fate as the operator referred to.

    Dave
     
  15. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    I do think NAT have done their homework have been very careful with what they are taking on.


    Cardiff Bus will have to be careful this time as eyes are going to be watching them. NAT do seem to be having a good few passengers on the X1
     
  16. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,964
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Cardiff/Bristol
    The only problem with the X1 is that for those who have a weekly ticket for Cardiff Bus, they'll obviously stick to what they know. Furthermore, despite generally being cheaper, they only operate one route, whereas Cardiff Bus operate all over the city. Ideal if you live on the route, as you can limit yourself to that route, but if you need to get several different buses across the city then Cardiff Bus obviously have that in their favour.

    I've yet to use the X1 yet, purely because I haven't had time, but I do think it'll go far and a respected company such as NAT may even bring out new routes. Best of luck to them.
     
  17. Bwsbro

    Bwsbro Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2013
    How are the numbers on service X1 these days also how is the timings on this service as I will be heading down to Cardiff in August

    Aski with the company stating that they are opening a new Newport Depot, the company have registered a new N1 service in Newport

     
  18. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    12 Dec 2011
    Location:
    England
    This doesn't surprise me. The VOSA bus service registrations for Tuesday 14th July included a number from Newport Bus, all wef 01-Sep-2015, and it sounds to me as if some considerable changes could be afoot. The registrations from NB were, in summary:

    New Services:
    125 Newport (Market Square) - Llanwern High School

    Changes:
    TT: Timetable changes
    RT: Route & Timetable
    RST: Route, Stopping Places & Timetable

    2A, 2C Newport - Gaer (TT)
    8A, 8C Newport - Ringland (TT)
    15, 16 Newport - Bettws (TT)
    17, 18, 19, 19E Newport - Malpas (TT)
    27, 28, 28B Newport - Caerleon (TT)
    29, 29B Newport - Cwmbran (RST)
    34, 35, 36 Newport - Celtic Springs (TT)
    42, 43 Newport - Moorland Park (RST)
    73, 74 Newport - Chepstow (TT) (wef 19-Jul-2015)
    121, 158, 159 School Services (TT)
    146, 148, 150-153, 414 School Services (TT)
    160, 161 School Services (TT)

    Cancelled:
    1, 1A, 1C Newport - Rogerstone
    5 Newport - Baneswell
    11A, 11C Newport - Brynglas Drive
    140-144, 147, 149, 150, 154, 155, 156, 157, 415 School Services

    And that, as far as I know, is that. I reckon that NAT will move to replace routes 1, 1A, 1C, 5, 11A & 11C and that the N1 is the replacement for the first 3 of those. The NAT Twitter feed also mentions that they held a recruitment day in Pontypool (16th July) and also says "17 new buses on order for delivery later this year for bus services throughout South Wales" so it may be that the new Newport depot gets some of those.

    HTIOI,
    Dave
     
    Last edited: 16 Jul 2015
  19. DanTrainMan185

    DanTrainMan185 Established Member

    Messages:
    4,964
    Joined:
    25 Jul 2011
    Location:
    Cardiff/Bristol
    It's not doing too bad actually. I caught an X1 out of Cardiff the other day at about 5.45pm and it was almost full!

    I can't comment on the loadings on the eastern part of the route, as I have only used it between Culverhouse Cross and the city centre, but it seems to be doing really well! I always catch it because it stops right outside my works, whereas other buses stop in Wood Street, about a 10 minute walk away.
     
  20. 317 forever

    317 forever Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    21 Aug 2010
    Location:
    North West
    These MetroCity single-deckers are quite classy with blue and black leather seats. The fare from Pontprennau to the city centre was just £1.60. I was therefore willing to pay this fare even though I had a Flexi Rover which was not valid here.
     
  21. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    I did a few trips on the X1 on Saturday and the buses were carrying full loads from Pentwyn into Cardiff although most got off at Queen Street before more passengers were picked up close to Central station.

    There is local talk of this route being expanded with buses running every 30 minutes after 8pm until 2330.
     
  22. DaveHarries

    DaveHarries Established Member

    Messages:
    1,361
    Joined:
    12 Dec 2011
    Location:
    England
    Hmm. I know NAT have an order for 10 more Optare MetroCity buses for later this year - http://www.optare.com/news/2015/7/2...venture-after-impressive-fuel-economy-results - but with NewportBus having recently registered withdrawl of routes 1, 1A, 1C, 5 & 11 (see my earlier post above) it could be that these new MCs will go to Newport.

    As for the school services around Newport that NB registered cancellation of, the VOSA registrations for today (27/07/2015) contained a number of school service registrations from NAT, all wef 01-Sep-2015.

    Dave
     
  23. Bwsbro

    Bwsbro Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2013
    Nothing exiting in Newport.

    The N1 are only School Buses along with a large group of new School Buses for the company
     
  24. Bwsbro

    Bwsbro Member

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    7 Oct 2013
    Just seen this story on the Internet

    http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/ne..._in_to_take_routes_axed_by_Newport_Transport/

    It seams that NAT Group will be operating services to Brynglas and Allt yr yn from Newport Transport when they get cancelled in September. These services will be operated in co-junction with the tendered school runs, the same policy Newport Transport Operated.

    With NAT now expanding in Newport alongside the X1 in Cardiff could this be a turning curve in the future of the two municipal bus operators, Cardiff Bus and Newport Transport???

    T9 Update
    Also following the closure of Cardiff Bus Station, NAT Group are operating a shuttle service every 30 mins between Sofia Gardens (For National Express Coaches) and Customhouse Street (For T9) for connecting passengers on the National Express Network to Cardiff Airport
     
  25. Teflon Lettuce

    Teflon Lettuce Member

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    22 Aug 2013
    shame the T9 wasn't extended to sofia gardens... a much more sensible idea than expecting passengers to decant from a coach, haul luggage on a shuttle bus only to offload and reload in Cardiff City centre!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page