The 63 bus stops in Radyr once an hour. Image: Bridie Adams.

Cardiff Bus ‘cutting people off’ as some services drop from three to one per hour

“Lonely” residents of Radyr and Morganstown are calling for improvements to their local bus service

PUBLIC transport users from Radyr and Morganstown have been left feeling “cut off” by changes to the bus service that connects them to the city centre.

In 2019, there were three buses from Radyr and Morganstown to the city centre per hour. That was cut to two buses per hour in January 2020.

Now, there is only one number 63 bus to the city centre per hour between 9:18am and 7:11pm.

The Radyr and Morganstown Women’s Institute president, Mary Pearce, from Dan-Y-Bryn Avenue in Radyr, has started a petition calling for more frequent buses. The petition carried 536 names when she handed it to the council, but she said that it now has closer to 600 signatures.

Mary, who is retired, said that “a lot of people who rely on the bus are very much alone” and the lack of buses is “cutting people off”.

Mary presented the petition at the council meeting on October 27, asking for a “regular and reliable service every 20 minutes.”

She told the council, “Many residents no longer drive and rely on public transport for shopping, doctor’s appointments and social events. The lack of this leads to isolation and loneliness.

“The present hourly service is underused as it has proved very unreliable with many cancellations leading to long waits. We need and deserve a regular and reliable service which would be well supported, reducing car use and helping the environment. A capital city should have a transport system it can be proud of.”

The 63 bus takes passengers from Radyr and Morganstown to Wood Street, Central Square once an hour. Image: Bridie Adams.

Mary used to go into town regularly and said that she remembers buses from Radyr to the city centre once being full of passengers. Now, she said, “people don’t go in [to the city centre] anymore.”

She usually only goes to the city centre for appointments, and she now travels by taxi: “It’s expensive and I’m not wealthy, but there’s no other choice. We’re a capital city and we have practically nothing.”

Mary has the company of her neighbours and family, but she said that “some people have no one” and not being able to travel into the city centre for social events “can be very lonely” for them.

Mary also highlighted that the bus stops in Radyr do not have shelters to house passengers waiting for the number 63 buses, which she says are often cancelled or late.

Jean Duncan-Farr, 73 from Radyr, said: “We are constantly being encouraged to use public transport, however it is really difficult when the bus schedule is limited to one bus an hour. In previous years, Radyr had two or three buses an hour. With that schedule it was reasonable to plan a journey on the buses.”

Jean added, “Because Radyr is now so poorly served, residents don’t use the bus at all. Last week I had a dentist appointment scheduled in the city centre. The appointment was for a 45 minute slot. I checked the bus schedule and from the time I left my house until I returned, this journey would have taken four hours. Needless to say we took our car.”

A 64-year-old woman from Morganstown, who has asked not to be named, has become reliant on the buses since she retired. She said: “With them running only once an hour we have regularly been late, soaked and miserable by the time we get to our destination!”

Calum Davies, the Welsh Conservative councillor for Radyr and Morganstown, commented: “Frequency and reliability of bus services was the biggest issue that came up when I spoke to residents during the election, and I’m determined to improve it.

“The council’s defence that usage is not up to pre-pandemic levels when three buses an hour ran through the area doesn’t stand up because if they were more frequent and reliable now, then more people would have confidence in using the service.

“Without better services, the council’s agenda for a greener Cardiff is undermined, where drivers are punished and those who are dependent on public transport are left adrift.”

Cardiff Bus has been approached for comment but not responded at the time of publication.