March 05 2024

Today, Transport for Wales and Welsh Government have set out the next steps towards franchising in a document entitled Our Roadmap to Reform: Towards One Network, One Timetable, One Ticket.

The document sets out the key steps Transport for Wales intends to take to deliver franchised bus services in Wales, including:

  • Adopting a “whole product approach” to deliver services, based on ten key principles, similar to those used in developing the Sherpa’r Wyddfa service
  • Designing the network based on nine networking principles, including planning a single, unified network that is integrated with other forms of public transport. These have already been used in the development of the bus network in Gwynedd; and
  • Deploying an incentive based gross-cost model whereby Transport for Wales pay operators a fixed sum to run specified services

The roadmap also includes details on the geographical rollout, plans for fleet and depot management, outlines the measures of success they will consider under a franchised system.

CPT Cymru has been engaged closely with Transport for Wales as they have developed their roadmap, and offered constructive challenge and feedback based on the concerns members have raised with us. We remain concerned at the lack of detail in many parts of the roadmap and the continuing uncertainty around the funding position in relation to franchising.

Responding to today’s announcement, CPT Cymru Director Aaron Hill said:

“This roadmap is a welcome signal of intent from Transport for Wales and Welsh Government, recognising the importance of a strong bus network to the wellbeing of Wales. 

"However, bus operators across the country have faced huge challenges in recent years, and regulatory change alone will not change the economic reality of this.

"Our own research published last year shows that a minimum subsidy franchise – as used in Jersey - could strike the right balance between Government control and using the skills and expertise of commercial operators to deliver maximum benefit for the public.

"Whoever controls bus services in Wales, we need carefully managed long-term investment and policies which encourage people to choose the bus over a car.” 

Notes to editors

  • Download the full report: Y Ffordd Gymreig (The Welsh Way)
  • CPT Cymru is the leading trade association for the bus and coach sector in Wales
  • CPT Cymru Director Aaron Hill is available for interview upon request
  • With nearly one in five of the Welsh population having no access to a car, buses are a lifeline to many people.
  • As the most popular form of public transport in Wales, our industry helps around 100 million people every year to get to work, to visit friends and family, and to do their shopping and access vital services.