The “futile” extension to the No 91 bus service was launched by Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) – here seen wearing giant gloves with Town Mayor Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines) immediately behind her  – on Sunday July 5th 2016. It was subsidised with Council-Tax Payer’s money of up to £145 a day – but attracted absolutely no passengers.

Penarth Town Council has deferred a decision on  providing financial support for the Comeston extension to the Cardiff Bus No.91 Summer Service.

The service was launched by Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Auigustines) Deputy Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council with considerable fanfare – but has turned out to be a total – and embarrassing flop .

A Penarth Town Council report informed councillors than not a single passenger boarded  the bus at Cosmeston Country Park throughout the entire summer of 2016 .

The No. 91 service is run on a commercial basis by Cardiff Bus on summer Saturdays and Sundays only – but originally only ran from Cardiff to Penarth Esplanade – and didn’t  run to Cosmeston until Cllr Burnett got involved.

In July 20126 she launched an extended service for the No.91 Bus, –  so that after calling at Penarth Esplanade,  the buses  continued-on to Cosmeston Country Park and then returned to Cardiff. That extension was subsidised with Council Tax Payers’ cash to the tune of £145 PER DAY – the only snag was that there was zero demand for such a service. 

The No 91 service from Cardiff drives past the Pier Pavilion bus stop without stopping for non-existent passengers and heads for Cosmeston – where there will again be no passengers waiting to board.

Council reports say that throughout the summer absolutely no one boarded the service at Cosmeston.

Penarth Town Cllr Anthony Ernest

Cllr Anthony Ernest thas old Penarth Town Council’spolicy committee the problem with the service was that it only ran at weekend and ran at times when the established 88 and 89B buses did not run – giving rise to   a “question of identification”.  The whole thing- he said “is a bit of dog’s breakfast” . 

Cllr Ernest said that what was needed was an overall rational look at all the bus services serving Penarth, the Marina, the Barrage,  the Esplanade and other parts of the town rather than” putting in ad hoc services and then funding them “.

Cllr Gwyn Roberts (Labour St Augustines)

Cllr Gwyn Roberts said he agreed entirely with Cllr Ernest and suggested Penarth Council officers held discussions with the officers of the Vale Council and report back.

Cllr Martin Turner (Conservative Plymouth Ward)

Cllr Martin Turner ( Conservative Plymouth Ward)  – who normally supports the Labour Group on the Town Council –  had no words of comfort for the committee.

Cllr Turner said    At the risk of stating the obvious – it seems to me futile actually running the bus  to Cosmeston Country Park. There’s no demand for it at all”.

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell)

Cllr Mark Wilson (Labour Stanwell) said that although it was a disappointment that the bus would be no longer running to Cosmeston, he nevertheless agreed with the idea of carrying out a survey to find out  “would there be people prepared to travel to Cosmeston in a more sustainable way than using their car” – particularly amongst the “more infirm” population  .

Cllr Wilson also pointed out that people were becoming more aware of the various footpaths linking Cosmeston with other Stanwell and other wards.

In the chair Cllr Mike Cuddy (Labour St Augustines)  said that – as with all transport transport issues – it was a matter of reinforcing what he called “behavioural change”.

There are now to be discussions between Penarth Town Council and the Vale of Glamorgan Council to take a holistic view of local bus services.







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  1. Daft o dull says:

    Perhaps the question to ask Coun Burnett is on what basis was the decision made to extend and heavily subsidise this route extension.

    Was it based upon market research and statistical analysis with a sound financial plan that would accompany such a decision to spend £145 per day of rate payer’s money, or was it based upon a whim and dogma?

  2. Penileaks says:

    I suggest the latter…….as usual !

  3. Frank Evans says:

    Yet another bad desicion by Lis Burnett.
    Yet another reason not to vote for Lis Burnett.

  4. whatsoccurin says:

    Transport policy is a mystery-the rarely used “airport bus” still goes on it’s way and yesterday I travelled from Barry to Culverhouse on the top road which now has new bus lane.-did not see any buses-saw lots of cyclists-no cycle lane but vehicle lanes are now quite narrow so motorists trying to give the cyclists plenty or room have to drift into the oncoming lane-the road is therefore far more dangerous than it was previously.

  5. BigPooPski says:

    The taxpayer is like the golden goose we keep laying just wanting to see what she does next to waste our money

  6. LJS says:

    Get the railway line back in action and raise the money from Sully hose developers. I am sure a railway line will be used.

  7. andrewsketty says:

    It’s a pity our local elected representatives weren’t as passionate about saving our Pavilion and cinema

  8. Ian Perry says:

    Important knowledge and skills have been lost as the council has cut costs by reducing the number of council officers, and politicians have stepped in with their own ideas… We need a return to evidence based decision-making, supported by thorough research.

    When challenged, many of the candidates for May’s elections cannot support their stated policies with facts and figures.

  9. snoggerdog says:

    my grandson & i hope the open top is on for this coming summer season (sundays only) the only gripe last summer was it was unreliable,there was a plan b catch a 94 stay on at barry square & the summer 94 takes you over to the island,for my grandson & myself its the journey (wind in my toupe,glued on with british rail glue) more than the destination,my grandson swears its not the ice cream,chips candy floss or the rides (honest grandad).i,ll believe him!

  10. Steve says:

    I only even realised there was a bus stop inside Cosmeston literally last week!! Had never noticed it there before, and never seen a bus go around the car park, so maybe thats why noone ever used it?!
    Also all good and well saying the 88 and 89b routes go there on the weekdays, but those of us who use cardiff bus’s ‘iff’ cards cannot use other companies busses, and I have no idea what the costs of the others are, nor their timetables or routes even!

  11. Max Wallis says:

    Publicity for the 91 was bad and it was unreliable. 6 of us waited for the 4.25 from Cosmeston one day, it never turned up and we stayed for the 5.25. Their statistics of zero passengers from Cosmeston park is nonsense. And some catch it just outside and of course others get on at the Pier. But the Vale Council (Lis Burnett) are responsible for promoting the service, displaying information at bus stops and checking the bus actually runs. The Town Council was paying only for the route section from the Pier to Cosmeston – were they not ripped off at £145 per day – a local cab could have done the 8 trips at under a tenner each.

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