A new bus line is getting ready to take on all comers in the increasingly-competitive scheduled passenger-bus market in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The new bus line – Vale BusLine Ltd – will be aiming to oust established competitors like Harton Coaches and the New Adventure Travel (NWT) – which recently took over services in the Vale operated by another independent firm – Watts .
A handpicked fleet of 20 ex-Cardiff-Bus buses has already been selected and authorised for operation by the Traffic Commissioner with further vehicles to be added as the services expand . The buses to be used have all racked up a fair amount of previous mileage – but, as they’re all Cardiff Bus maintained, reliability shouldn’t be a problem.
A new livery and logo will be painted on the buses shortly . The board of directors of Vale BusLine is surprisingly similar (in fact identical) to the board of Cardiff Bus, the transport undertaking which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cardiff Council.
Of course any brand new bus line faces a formidable battle to win new routes – but it seems Vale Busline (VBL) already has this problem sorted. The company plans to take over lightly used suburban services currently operated by Cardiff Bus – although both companies will have to give the requisite notice of proposed transfers to the Transport Commissioner.
Cardiff Bus staff – who went on strike last year – have terms and conditions which entitle them to refuse to give passengers any change – and passengers don’t like it – because they often don’t have the exact money.
The idea of Vale Busline is to set up a no-frills lower-cost operation than Cardiff Bus itself . Cardiff Bus chairman Cllr Ben Thomas, says the move is a response to Cardiff Bus losing passengers – citing the bad winter weather and the demolition of the bus terminal outside the General Station.
However, Passenger Transport magazine says it understands that Vale Busline Ltd is likely to recruit staff “on different terms and conditions from those applying to Cardiff Bus staff”.
The Vale Busline Company was set up as a subsidiary of Cardiff Bus years ago but has been dormant until now.