Who are the real winners in our Public Transport System committees or Consultants? As RCTC answers part of the FOI on our Buses in Cynon Valley

AberdareOnline reported on the lack of commitment by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to answer a few questions about our bus services in Cynon Valley they have answered a few questions but not all, something odd as to why they cannot answer as two prominent RCT Cabinet members make up part of the Cardiff Capital Region Regional Transport Authority Andrew Morgan and Ann Crimmins.


I would assume they would know exactly what was going on with public transport not just Cynon Valley but all of RCT. In September 2021 Stagecoach had raised an issue that they could not get drivers the DVLA was taking between 4-5 months to issue provisional licences, and 12 months on there is still a problem obtaining bus drivers, I believe the main difficulty obtaining bus drivers is the wages Stagecoach is prepared to pay.



Regional Bus Update 14th July 2022


The Regional Transport Authority on 14th July 2022 agreed to recommend to the Regional Cabinet to provide funding of £75k to enable KPMG consultants to provide an independent assessment of the Regulatory Impact Assessment and White Paper, which will be used to inform the CCRTA response;



40 Bus services were cut yesterday 5 December in Cynon Valley why have the RCT Council who are part of the City Deal not answered all of the questions?



Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Reply.

We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the above.   The Council’s response is set out below:


  • It is reported the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal itself rather than Welsh Government that is establishing a subsidiary Regional Transport Authority (RTA), has the RTA been set up?


Yes – The Cardiff Capital Region Transport Authority (CCRTA) is a subcommittee of the CCR Cabinet.


a) What bus service routes are subsidised in Cynon Valley?


Bus Routes subsidised in Cynon Valley:


     Service 3 Penrhiwceiber – Cefn Pennar Mon-Saturday

Service 91 Abercwmboi – Penywaun Aberdare Locals Mon-Saturday

Service 600 Merthyr – Cardiff via Aberdare, Pontypridd Sundays only

Service 25 Fernhill -Pontypridd Monday – Saturday Evenings Only

Service 8 Hirwaun – Cefn Rhigos Monday – Saturday certain journeys

Service 172 Aberdare – Porthcawl Monday – Sunday certain journeys

Service 60/61 Aberdare – Pontypridd Evenings only Cilfynydd diversions

Service 2 Aberdare – Ty Fry Monday – Saturday

Service 25 Fernhill – Mountain Ash-Cefnpennar Monday – Saturday Evenings only 

Range Rider Demand Responsive Service Cynon Valley to Prince Charles Hospital Monday -Saturday

Range Rider 2 Abercynon – Aberdare Friday only two journeys


b) What bus PSV company operators receive public funding for bus service routes in Cynon Valley from the council or by way of the Cardiff Capital Region?


The operators who receive public funding from the Council for contracted services in Cynon Valley are :- Keepings Coaches and Stagecoach in South Wales.


c) How many private bus companies receive funding from the council or by way of the Cardiff Capital Region?




Stagecoach bus services registered under RED &WHITE BUS SERVICES LIMITED at Company House and with the Welsh Traffic Commissioner, the company cancel a number of bus journeys in Cynon Valley especially early mornings plus throughout the day.

d) Has the council or in their role as Cardiff Capital Region made any contact with the company (A) to try to improve the public transport (B) request the reason why more cancellations happen in Cynon Valley than in the adjoining Valley of the Rhondda? (C) Made representations to The South Wales Traffic Commissioner concerning the number of bus journey cancellations in the council's role, as being responsible for passenger transport coordination within its area?




e) Please can you explain why Cynon Valley has no Gold Bus Services operating unlike Rhondda Caerphilly Pontypool Cwmbran Newport and many more towns and villages all within the Cardiff Capital Region with the residents of Cynon Valley contributing towards the City Deal?


The question above is asking for an explanation, therefore it cannot be considered in accordance with the FOI Act.  However, this is a commercial matter for the bus operator – Stagecoach in South Wales.  


f) As well as having a Gold Standard bus service in the Rhondda, 12 other locations in Wales as well as Rhondda Valley have a fflecsi service operated by Transport for Wales in partnership local bus operators. Will this service be available in Cynon Valley in the near future?


Fflecsibws is a Transport for Wales/Welsh Govt concept therefore you will have to redirect your query to those bodies directly.


g) Within the South Wales Metro System will you be operating a direct bus service to Swansea?


The above query should be redirected to Transport for Wales.


h) Stagecoach is the main PSV operator in Cynon Valley today they have advertised for just 2 qualified bus drivers at £10 per hour that’s just 82 pence above the minimum wage compared to the Average Transport for Wales Driver's yearly pay in the United Kingdom is approximately £50,696, which is 113% above the national average. If both driver buses and trains operate the Metro System as commuters have to get to a railway station by a bus operator. Is this a fair way to operate the system for both parties with such a disproportionate wage structure who both have the responsibility of passengers?


The question above is asking for an opinion, therefore it cannot be considered in accordance with the FOI Act.  However, this is a matter for public transport operators. 


i) As the Metro system operated both train and bus services will there be an integrated bus pass for both rail and road, this would take many vehicles off the road if OAPs knew they were allowed to use the bus pass for both forms of transport?


This is a policy matter for Welsh Government.

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