There’s confusion today over an announcement made by Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) who is Vale ‘cabinet’ Member for “Regeneration” (which apparently includes public transport).
Cllr Burnett and later Vale of Glamorgan Public Transport both announced on Twitter today that NAT Buses (a.k.a. New Adventure Travel) would be taking over the Penarth 89a and 89b services (currently both operated by Watts Coaches) with effect from tomorrow February 22nd 2015 “until further notice”.
The contract for these two council-subsidised services is understood not to be due to expire until 2018. It’s therefore not clear why the last-minute change has been made necessary.
It’s a change which has not yet percolated through to the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s website. Timetables for both the services are also still being displayed on the Watts Coaches company website.
The announcement that NAT was going to be operating the 89a and 89b from tomorrow (February 22nd 2016) seems to have come as a surprise not only to passengers – but to NAT itself .
NAT’s Controller in Cardiff said this morning she knew nothing about the change – but after checking with the firm’s managing director it was later confirmed that the change WILL be taking place as from tomorrow morning.
Insiders say that if a bus company relinquishes a service then six days’ notice has to be be given to enable other companies to tender for the contract – but local bus operators say no such tender documentation has been circulated in respect of the 89a and 89b Penarth services .
The 89a operates from Dinas Powys via Penarth Town Centre to Cardiff via Penarth Marina and the 89b operates from Llandough via Penarth Esplanade and Penarth Town Centre to Cardiff – also via the Marina.
One report says Watts Coaches withdrew service at short notice – but PDN has not been able to verify this yet and no one was available for comment at Watts Coaches today.