Buses needed at weekends
3:37pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in Letters
It is great interest that I read in the Tivy-Side Advertiser about the success of the Bwcabus service in the county. I'm not taking anything away from its success in the last few years as it's been an abosulte godsend to those in the county that are unable to drive and where a service bus is currently unavailable. It was first introduced in the south of the county and later on in mid Ceredigion and the figures quoted would deem it to be a huge benefit for its users. The lady from Cribyn is no doubt thankful for its existence as the normal service bus was cruelly taken away from them a few years ago and a couple of meetings were held in the old village school to heated debates regarding the changes.
However, the success of Bwcabus doesn't paint the whole picture I'm afraid - especially in Cardigan and the surrounding area. My question to everyone reading this is how do you get from Cardigan to Carmarthen on the A484 road, and vice versa on a Sunday if you don't drive a car?
Before you all check the internet for timetables - you can't - unless you use an overpriced taxi service! Twice I've spent Saturday evenings at Newcastle Emlyn in the last year or so, but have had to depend on the kindness of a local resident and family members who went out of their way to ensure that I made the journey home on a Sunday instead of having to spend another evening's hotel fee.
The three towns of Cardigan, Newcastle Emlyn and Carmarthen are regarded as tourist destinations. They certainly have a lot to offer the tourist as well as locals. But if there was an event taking place at say Theatr Mwldan on a Saturday evening, the only way I could make my way home to Ciliau Aeron on a Sunday, after spending the night at a local hotel or guest house, would be the following:-
Bus from Cardigan to Fishguard at 12:00 to arrive at 12:38 Train from Fishgaurd to Carmarthen at 14:25 to arrive at 15:14 Bus from Carmarthen to Ciliau Aeron at 16:23 to arrive at 17:45
Bear in mind that there's no bus service from Cardigan to Aberaeron on a Sunday, therefore it takes nearly six hours for someone who doesn't drive to make what is effectively a mere 40 minute journey by car!
From Newcastle Emlyn of course is non existent and you're totally stuck
- unless you use those aforementioned overpriced taxis!
So, when Bwcabus is being hailed as the next best thing since sliced bread for non-drivers in the county, why isn't this service obtainable on a Sunday for those of us who want to enjoy a Saturday evening in the towns of the Teifi Valley? The local bus operators say that lack of usage and funding meant that the Cardigan-Carmarthen 460 service was unprofitable on Sundays so they pulled the plug on it. This is where Bwcabus could come in and provide some sort of decent transport service for those on that stretch of the road on Sundays.
With Sunday shopping now the trend in Carmarthen, and pubs opening for Sunday lunches and alas our chapels dwindling and closing, gone are the perception of Sundays being a rest day yet the public transport system would suggest otherwise.
E. A. JONES,