New threat to Cardiff's municipal bus operator


An intensive new bus route will be launched on 11 May in competition with council-owned Cardiff Bus, which was previously reprimanded for ‘predatory’ behaviour against a rival.

Cardiff-based New Adventure Travel (NAT) has acquired 10 new buses for its east-west cross-city X1 service, which will operate every 15 minutes throughout the day. Fares will be cheaper and drivers will give change, unlike on Cardiff Bus’ services, but NAT claims the service is designed to grow the market rather than undermine Cardiff Bus.

Kevyn Jones, NAT’s managing director, said there was untapped demand for cross-city travel because having to change buses in the city centre was a deterrent. Cardiff Bus declined to comment but has launched a spring sale, reducing some fares.

Cardiff Bus was formally warned on future conduct in 2009, following its response to competition from Swansea-based 2Travel in 2004.

Bus industry analyst Chris Cheek, of the TAS Partnership, said Cardiff Bus was vulnerable because it was not making much money but suggested the new competition could improve the company, as Nottingham City Transport had improved in response to a local competitor.

The Bus Users Cymru watchdog welcomed the new X1 and said passengers at its Cardiff surgeries had asked for cross-city services.

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