TrawsCambria / TrawsCymru

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by Rhydgaled, 12 Oct 2011.

  1. harz99

    harz99 Member

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    14 Jul 2009
    If it had been the case that the Commuter came to the TrawsCymru services you would have had the best possible vehicle for the job in my personal opinion - I speak as a regular user of the two (not 3) that Stagecoach Western operate on the 500 alongside their standard (and rubbish) Profiles.

    They are an ideal combination with well spaced seats, coach levels of comfort, wheelchair access and sensible bus fittings such as handrails, bells and deep windows. They are probably overspecified in some areas such as the safety systems (which have interlock micro switches on the luggage access flaps), but that is easily rectified.
     
  2. Sun!

    Sun! Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    13 Nov 2010
    Really good news from TrawsCymru website:

    Service TC1 Aberystwyth – Aberaeron – Lampeter – Carmarthen

    A comprehensive package of improvements has been identified for this key corridor including:-

    Standard hourly service be reintroduced with regular clock face times at all key points along the route;
    Better connections with other services including rail services at Carmarthen and Aberystwyth, other longer distance bus services;
    Better integration with the proposed expanded Bwcabus project at Lampeter and Pencader;
    Faster travel times by re-routing the service between Lampeter and Aberaeron onto the A482 and then serving the smaller settlements of Cribyn and Llanwnnen by the expanded BwcaBus;
    Improved passenger interchange facilities at Carmarthen and Aberystwyth rail stations; and
    Introduction of a dedicated fleet of six new low floor coach style vehicles featuring more comfortable coach style seating, greater luggage space, real time information and WiFi.

    This will apparently start in phases from March 2012
    http://www.trawscymru.info/about-us/

    Also info on the Newtown Cardiff service which will have 'wi-fi, low floor coach style vehicles'
     
  3. Flying Snail

    Flying Snail Member

    Messages:
    700
    Joined:
    12 Dec 2006
    What exactly is a "low floor coach style vehicle" in plain english? The only thing I can think of that would fit that description is the aforementioned Wrightbus Eclipse Commuter and apart from the few mentioned above no others have been built AFAIK.

    We had one of the demonstrators on trial but no orders came from it. I never got to drive it myself so can't comment on the quality of it however it is a good alternative to standard low-floors or our solution; a fleet of coaches with wheelchair lifts and removable rows of seats that need to be taken out in order to accomadate the wheelchair.

    For the TrawsCymru, anything is bound to be an improvement on the current fleet. They aren't awful for a bus but the seats are unsuitable for a lengthy journey. Last summer I did the trip from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen and although it was an interesting enough trip I was very happy to get off the thing, I jumped on a pacer in Carmarthen and was relieved to have a more comfortable seat which says it all. Must say I was also very surprised at the very cheap fare for such a long journey.


    I was also surprised in general by the widespread use of low floor buses on cross country services throughout Britain that IMO they are not suitable for. Apart from Stagecoach it appears that the use of coaches outside the NatEx/Megabus type pre-book services has pretty much been eradicated in recent years. This has left some very long services in the hands of what are essentially city buses (The X1 Peterborough-Lowestoft being a good example) which are fine for the local traffic but very poor for long trips.
     
  4. mbonwick

    mbonwick Established Member

    Messages:
    6,046
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2006
    Location:
    Milnthorpe (Nr. Kendal)
    I believe the "coach style vehicles" mentioned are simply coach-seated Optare Tempos.

    Due to the very late delivery of these, Stagecoach have applied to postpone the timetable changes until March.
     
  5. Sun!

    Sun! Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    13 Nov 2010
    Ahh not so good news then.

    I think the big thing these will lack are on-board toilets which came very high in the survey the WAG carried out.
    - Source- TrawsCymru

    Also dropping the route to Cardiff is going to anger many passengers as this section was well used, and has at times seen people turfed off at Carmarthen due to lack of seats. Selling a joint ticket with the train to Cardiff will also increase costs greatly for passengers.
    An off peak period return CMN to Cardiff is £22.40 added to the return bus fare AYW to CMN which is around £10 meaning a charge of ~£32.40. The current fare to Cardiff £20.80, which would mean a large increase. The cheapest advanced single between Cardiff and Aberystwyth is £16 and could see many go to the train.
     
  6. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    I wish coach travel wales ran their Aberyswyth - Cardiff service 701 Trawscambria coach more often that just 1 or 2 days per week with 1 trip in each direction that could run together with the TC1 route and offers those traveling from Aberyswyth - Swansea/Cardiff a more comfortable journey on a coach which is fitted with a toilet

    I wonder if stagecoach could perhaps take a look at running a joint service with coach travel wales I remember once travelling on the Porth - Cardiff - Carmarthen - Aberystwyth service 701 service good 10 years ago.
     
  7. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

    Messages:
    2,889
    Joined:
    25 Nov 2010
    I agree. A seperate TrwasCymru Aberystwyth - Swansea - Cardiff coach service (what happened to Arriva's specially liveried coach for the route which I have seen on Google images?) twice a day (and limited stop the whole distance, not just south of Carmarthen) alongside the hourly TrawsCambria TC1 Aberystwyth - Carmarthen hail&rail service with upgraded Tempos. That would be much better than stretching the Tempo fleet by adding some longer jouneys (to Cardiff and Swansea) to the TC1.

    Also, remember that the X40 via Swansea to Cardiff takes as long as the train. If they ever introduce a regular express service via the Swansea district line that could knock 15-mins off Carmarthen - Cardiff, which could make up for the need to change from Tempo to train at Carmarthen to reach Cardiff (provided the bus arrives at the right point of the hour of course, which it might not be able to do and still make everything else work).

    However, I have read some information from a source I expect is trustworthy. Reading between the lines, this suggests the TrawsCymru plans for Aberystwyth - Carmarthen - Cardiff could have been written off.

    Here's what I've found and read:
    So a completly unsubsidised Arriva service Cymru Express might emmerge instead of the WAG funded TrawsCymru service. That would leave a hole in the Traws network, on one of the network's key routes. This could have many problems, Arriva appear to be unwilling to make decent connections with other operators' services, and are less likely to listen if their service is not subisied at all (currently I think both 550 and X40 are commertial between Aberaeron and Aberystwyth, but not the rest of the route). Also, the operating hours of the service are unlikely to be improved now they have refused any subsidy (I think it may have been the TrawsCymru website that gave hours it would operate between (doesn't now though, so maybe it was somewhere else), which should have given a later departure from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen than the current 17:20).

    Will Arriva be given the new Tempos WAG ordered to run their commertial service, or will WAG order all the Tempos they paid for (inc. the old ones) to be used on services they are subsidising, such as X32 and X94 which could use an upgrade to Tempos. Will Arriva be buying their own new low-floor buses?

    Interestingly though, the VOSA have an application from Arriva for 550 Aberystwyth - Cardigan via New Quay Effective from 26-FEB-2012 which has status CANCELLED, so maybe Arriva's plans have not been fully succesfull in gaining approval.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2012
  8. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    I have had an interesting email this morning about service X40 & 550 these are to be repalced by new service 40 & service 50.

    New VDL double deckers have been ordered for these routes which will have leather seats.

    Arriva have also registered an additional service 20 which will run between Aberystwyth & Cardiff (not via Swansea) which will use coaches which will have onboard toilets. Service 20 and some journeys on the new service 40 will be operated commercially by Arriva.

    Arriva will also run 1 or 2 trips in each direction between Aberysytwyth & Swansea during the university term times.

    The new vehicles for service 40 & 50 will not arrive til the summer sometime in july so until then single deckers will be used.

    Also we can expect some changes to service X63 from august I have heard so expect an annoucement about that soon.
     
  9. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

    Messages:
    2,889
    Joined:
    25 Nov 2010
    They've ruined Traws livery! They get the last few buses of what in my opinion is probablly the best-looking bus design, and then ruin them with a livery that is far less smart than the one carried by the 704/T4/TC4 Tempos at the moment.

    More importantly though, it looks like WAG has repeated their mistakes, I only count 7 windows down the side. That suggests a 12m vehicle, rather than the 8-window, 12.6m, Tempos on X50. That in turn suggests that these new vehicles, like the X40 and 550 fleets, will have insufficent legroom (esspecially now the service has been extended from the orriginal Newtown - Brecon).

    What happens to the Tempos for X40 and 550 if Arriva continue with their plan to commercialise the services and buy new double deckers for them instead?
     
  10. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    Some or all of the Tempo's I believe are owned by the WG so it is likely they could be cascaded to other routes or used on new trwscambria services if any are created
     
  11. trawscymru27

    trawscymru27 Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    29 Jan 2012
    Arriva have added the new timetables to their website:

    10/20/40/40 here: http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/uploadedfiles/Services/Wales/WAAB10,20,40,50_260212_220112.pdf

    41 here: http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/uploadedfiles/Services/Wales/WAAB41_260212_220112.pdf

    It appears that Richards Bros will have to re-time some services again to ensure connections to/from Cardigan can be met, especially northbound. The new 41 service is pleasing, and provides more buses from Llandysul, though the new Bwcabus journeys replacing service 551 will now be surplus. Also, the 20 (Aber - Cardiff) still runs via Pencader (and Llanwnen according to the map!?), depsite this having at least an hourly service on the 40 and 41, so is not much quicker even though Swansea has been left out. Work is still needed...

    On another note, there are more pictures of the Stagecoach Tempos on Flickr, here http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcbp/6776197875/

    and here http://www.flickr.com/photos/gcbp/6776197549/in/photostream/

    I think the livery is rather underwhelming.
     
  12. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

    Messages:
    2,889
    Joined:
    25 Nov 2010
    I think I found the 40/50/10/20 timetable as well...

    It appears Arriva have been watching Johnny English Reborn (the scene where they fly a helicopter along a road) and decided to use a helicopter on the 40 and 50 (how else will they get from Carmarthen station to the bus station in 2minutes and knock 4 minutes off the jouney time between Aberystwyth and Aberaeron?) Seriously, how do they expect to keep time, esspecially on the 07:20 from New Quay to Aberystwyth University which is pretty close to getting stuck in the morning traffic jam (which at it's peak stretches back as far as Llanfririan)?

    The Richards Bros services certainly look like needing ajustments. Unfortunatly the northbound 40 timetable has reversed the current problem (making the southbound Richards services wait an extra 5 minutes) and now appears to be going to force the Richards X50 through services to depart Aberystwyth nearer the hour (the last one is 6pm at the moment, which is too early if you finish work or university at 6, the old 6:15pm departure time was much more useful, and the 16:10 could do with being retimed to depart a little later (at 16:15) too in my opinion). Whatever happens, it looks as if (b leaving at 16:00 dead instead of (supposedly, it is often late) 16:10 at present) all the college students (rather than just some of them) will be bundled onto the frequently overcrowded 16:10 X50.

    The 41 (and Bwcabus fixed service 551) doesn't seem to really replace the old 551 that stopped on 5th Dec (that came all the way from New Quay).

    So the TrawsCambria consultation responce said improved legroom (and access to toliet facilities) were priorities, so how come it appears WAG have ordered the same X1200 Tempos as X40 (yes, I'm aware of the two X1260 Cardiff buses, but they only have decent legroom at 4 seats I think), 704 and 550 (which have insufficent legroom, unlike the two X1260 Tempos for the X50)?
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2012
  13. mbonwick

    mbonwick Established Member

    Messages:
    6,046
    Joined:
    26 Oct 2006
    Location:
    Milnthorpe (Nr. Kendal)
    Don't forget that legroon depends on the number of seats fitted.
    I wouldn't be surprised if WAG have specified one or more rows to be removed and a toilet fitted.
     
  14. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    No toilets on the tempo's.

    As for the Trawscambria livery this has been discussed on the welsh bus news group and the majority of the opinions are that it is a bit plain and could have been a lot better.
     
  15. Sun!

    Sun! Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    13 Nov 2010
    I am quite confused about this Arriva thing as surely WAG have bought new Tempos for what would have replaced the X40, when Arriva are going to use their own buses, so what will happen with the new buses, and all the buses that now run on the X40 currently as the WG and Ceredigion Council own them?? Also Arriva currently operates Aberysywth-Aberaeron and Carmarthen-Cardiff commercially, so will they operate this new service entirely commercially or have Councils agreed to subsidise? (Service 41 surely must be subsidised by Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire)

    What have they also done to the timings?Aberystwyth-Lampeter will now take 64 minutes rather than 80 as current. And Lampeter the Carmarthen Railway Station 52 minutes instead of 62 as current. And McArthur Glen- Cardiff will take 26 minutes instead of 40. Are the new VDL Arriva buses rocket propelled? Arriva also have form in Aberystwyth of changing bus timetables to unrealistic levels where you'd struggle to do the route in the car during rush-hour with practically no layover time.

    The loss of the X40 for the Traws network will give it a major blow as it will leave a large rural part of the country unversed. Richard Bros will also have to re-jig their route to better connect with Arriva services, I do however wonder if WG will want Richard Bros to run all their services Cardigan-Aberaeron-Aberysywth with TrawsCymru buses.

    Some good news is the new Arriva 10, 20, 40, 50 service is vastly improved on the old X40/ 550 services. Far better earlier and later times and incomparable Sunday timetables due to the vast improvement. The old/ current timetable- http://www.arrivabus.co.uk/uploadedfiles/Services/Wales/WAABX40_051211_211111.pdf
    I do however wonder with all the extra services, how do Arriva think they are going to make money on the route? I know the buses are well used and many are full with standees, which isnt ideal on a long distance route with long windy roads, but it seems to much to me.

    The new TrawsCymru livery is vomit inducing foul. It also got so much written on it, and it's confusing to read.
     
  16. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    Arriva are taking over the service commercially.

    I do think that the services to Cardiff should serve Swansea as they seem to save less than 5 minutes and have more than 2 trips in each direction per day maybe at least 4 direct services between Aberystwyth & Cardiff.

    New new vehciles will be low floor double deckers with coach seats which should help encourage more passengers especially with the reduced journey times. I am not sure what coaches Arriva plan to use on the services which run beyond Carmarthen Railway Stn - Cardiff.
     
  17. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

    Messages:
    2,889
    Joined:
    25 Nov 2010
    Of course, that's why the Cardiff X40s (X1260 Tempos) have only 4 seats with ample legroom while the X1260 Tempos on X50 have 4 rows of 4 seats with ample legroom. I think the Cardiff X40s have an extra row of 4 seats, while the X50s have the same number of seats as the 550s and Carmarthen X40s (and taking out a whole row of seats on those would have too much impact, removing one of the folding seats on each side might provide additional legroom without too many negatives though).

    The TrawsCymru livery is plain and disapointing, Richards Bros' and Stagecoach's TrawsCambria liveries are much smarter.

    I've tried to make up (in Photoshop) a smarter & neater livery for the TC4, based on the current Stagecoach TrawsCambria livery but without the Arriva-isum. Unfortunatly my logo doesn't really work very well when put on the bus (or a WAG express 57 for that matter, which is what I initally made the logo up for).
     

    Attached Files:

  18. tnwbb

    tnwbb New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    2 Feb 2012
    Location:
    Wallasey
  19. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

    Messages:
    5,166
    Joined:
    19 Aug 2008
    Location:
    South Wales
    Nice I look foreward to taking a trip on 1 of these as well as the new deckers
     
  20. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

    Messages:
    2,889
    Joined:
    25 Nov 2010
    I think the will buses will have to be able to fly, or drive through solid objects (eg. cars) without damage. As I said earlier, I don't think Carmarthen station to Carmarthen bus station can be done in the two minutes they have timetabled, or achive their claimed reductions in journey time between Aberystwyth and Aberaeron.

    Also, take a look at the 07:25 New Quay - Aberystwyth 550 service. It is currently timetabled to be at North Parade, Aberystwyth at 08:30, which it rarely manages. In the new timetable, the equivelent service 50 is 07:20 from New Quay, but timetabled to reach Aberystwyth station (not all that far from North Parade) at 08:13. Let's allow 2 minutes to go from the station to North Parade, that's a claimed 15 minutes earlier arrival than the current service, despite the new service only leaving New Quay 5 minutes earlier.

    I really, really, want to see the Richards Bros X50 extended to Aberystwyth all day. They don't even need more buses, YJ55BKE and YJ55BKF are sufficent for a 2-hourly X50 service (and a lot more comfortable than Arriva's current Tempo fleet on X40/550). They could use an extra comfortable Tempo or two (or refurbish their third Tempo (YJ55BJK) to make the legroom match YJ55BKE/BKF) though to operate the 19:45 and 20:55 services (550, though as the 20:55 only goes via New Quay I think (not Aberporth as well) I think it should be re-numbered 50) from Aberystwyth though (currently these seem to be operated by YJ55BKE/BKF, but they wouldn't be able to if they ran all X50 services).

    There are some improvements yes, including later evening services from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen, but there is no service 40 arriving in Aberystwyth before 9am (currently there is an X40 (from Pencader I think though) arriving at the station at (I guess) about 08:50, but I suppose that is a bit late to get to work/college/university by 9 anyway). Also, they appear to be closing the Pencader and New Quay outstations, since there are really early services down from Aberystwyth arriving at Syond Inn/New Quay/Carmarthen in time to run the first morning services from those places to Aberystwyth. The only strange thing there is the 23:20 from Aberystwyth to New Quay, which arrives after midnight and doesn't appear to have a return working. A mistake perhaps?
     

Share This Page