Passengers will be able to enjoy a greater travel experience as Stagecoach in South Wales has announced gold buses will operate on 2 services from Blackwood to Newport and Cardiff.
The £4m fleet will hit the roads on Monday 13th May, 15 buses will operate on Service 151; Blackwood to Newport via Crosskeys, Risca, Rogerstone, Bassaleg Rd and 9 buses will operate on Service 26; Blackwood to Cardiff via Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, Caerphilly, Whitchurch. The vehicles are all fitted with environmentally-friendly Euro VI engines with low carbon emissions, start/stop technology and the most up to date CCTV equipment.
They also feature the latest tracking technology, allowing customers to access the Stagecoach mobile app to track their bus live wherever they are. Customers will ride in comfort with high-backed e-leather seats, increased legroom, free Wi-Fi and can charge their phones with multiple on board USB charging points. Bilingual audio and visual next stop announcements provide passengers with additional information on their journey.
Services 151 and 26 join the 1/2/5/6/7 gold services in Cwmbran town centre which were introduced in 2018. Service 132 gold was launched in 2016 and operates from Maerdy to Cardiff. The first gold service, X24 was launched in 2015 and operates from Blaenavon to Newport via Pontypool and Cwmbran.
Nigel Winter, Managing Director of Stagecoach in South Wales commented: “Buses are critical to our region’s economy and communities. They take people to work, bring customers to our high streets, help young people access education and bring families, friends and communities together.
As well as providing better travel for local people, with contactless and mobile payments on all services, these vehicles will improve local air quality and help reduce congestion in Newport by providing a high quality alternative to the car”.
Cllr Sean Morgan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy, Infrastructure, Sustainability & Wellbeing of Future Generations said: “We warmly welcome this significant investment, which as well as providing enhanced public transport for our residents, commuters and visitors, will also help deliver real environmental benefits. We must commend our partners Stagecoach for their on-going commitment and investment to providing genuine alternatives to travelling by car in order to access employment and leisure opportunities”.
Nigel Winter continued: “32% of Stagecoach buses that operate in Cardiff are Euro VI standard, which will increase to 47% in the summer when new buses are introduced on Services T4 and T14. By the New Year this will increase to 54% as new electric buses and Euro VI buses enter the fleet. We are keen to do even more and introduce further ultra-low emission buses in the Cardiff area but we need targeted funding support as well as the long term market stability delivered through partnership to bring together multi-million pound investment.
It’s also important that there is proper strategic approach to tackling the air quality problem. With 41% of emissions from road transport coming from diesel cars and 30% from diesel vans compared with 6% for buses and coaches and bus policy maker action should be focused on the biggest polluter ‘the car’ and not the easiest target which is too often ‘the bus’.
We continue to significantly invest in our fleet to improve the passenger experience. In the last 10 years we have invested over £30m in new buses with cleaner engines. Our Gold buses have been designed with our customers’ needs in mind, we hope the touches of comfort will make a real difference to a more enjoyable as well as productive journey with free Wi-Fi and USB charging points”.
To celebrate the official launch today, a gold liveried bus was on display at Blackwood Market Square for passers-by to view and try in advance of going into service. The 151 route operates up to every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and hourly on Sunday and the 26 route operates up to every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and hourly on Sunday.
The Stagecoach Gold buses are equipped with low floor access to make it easier for wheelchairs, pushchairs and customers with limited mobility to board. All vehicles can carry a wheelchair safely and drivers are trained and able to provide assistance if required.
In addition to the service enhancement, a new bus route is now available for passengers travelling between Caerphilly and the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport. From 12th May Stagecoach has amended its existing bus route 50 as follows:
The new route has been introduced in response to requests received by Caerphilly County Borough Council from residents.
About Stagecoach in South Wales: