Cardiff Airport shuttle bus from Cardiff centre to attract more traffic averages 4 passengers per journey
A shuttle bus to transport passengers from Cardiff centre to the airport has carried on average fewer than 4 passengers a journey since its launch in August 2013. The service is funded by the Welsh government, with the cost suggested to be around half a million ££s. The bus runes every 20 minutes and has so carried an average of 2,778 passengers a week. Last month the Conservatives said the service was “unsustainable”. A review of the service has been carried out by Prof Stuart Cole from the University of South Wales. Cardiff airport was bought by the Welsh government for £52m in March 2013 and the bus service is part of the strategy to reverse a slump in passenger numbers.A local MP said: “At almost half a million (pounds) in Welsh Labour government subsidy, that’s an exceptionally expensive service to support and on current passenger numbers is simply unsustainable.” But a Cardiff Business School transport expert said such services were needed to convince airlines there would be passengers available. “Airlines planning cycles are such that they’re not just going to start routes instantly. It’s going to take [6 – 12] months, to attract routes into the airport and, therefore, it’s a bit like the chicken and egg.”
Cardiff Airport shuttle bus averages four passengers a journey
The bus goes from the airport into Cardiff Central station
A shuttle bus to transport passengers from Cardiff to the airport has carried on average fewer than four passengers a journey since its launch, figures show.
Funded by the Welsh government, the bus has carried on average 2,778 passengers a week since August.
It runs every 20 minutes from the airport at Rhoose to the centre of Cardiff.
Last month the Conservatives said the service was “unsustainable”.
The figures for the shuttle bus were released by the Welsh government on its Freedom of Information (FOI) log.
A review of the service has been carried out by Prof Stuart Cole from the University of South Wales.
Previously, the Welsh government said it was always intended to carry out the review to see whether changes were needed,
The airport was bought by the Welsh government for £52m last March and the bus service is part of the strategy to reverse a slump in passenger numbers.
Last month Welsh Conservative leader and South Wales Central AM Andrew RT Davies described the service as a “publicly funded ghost train” .
“As a local resident I regularly see this bus invariably empty, except for the driver.
“At almost half a million (pounds) in Welsh Labour government subsidy, that’s an exceptionally expensive service to support and on current passenger numbers is simply unsustainable,” he said.
In a statement, on Thursday, Economy and Transport Minister Edwina Hart said she had now received Prof Cole’s report.
“Professor Cole has made a number of short term and longer term recommendations on how we can improve the service,” she said.
“I am now considering the review’s findings and will update (assembly) members in due course.”
Mrs Hart said the review “identifies that the objectives for a fast and frequent service between the city centre and the airport have been met”.
She added that the report “also confirms that reliability and punctuality has been and remains good, and that the service has very quickly established a high profile and strong identity”.
Express bus service for Cardiff Airport under review
10 January 2014 (BBC)
The bus service runs every 20 minutes from Cardiff to the airport
….. much the same as the article above, then …….
“Reliable transport links are integral to the success of Cardiff Airport, but at present this route simply isn’t providing value for money,” he added.
‘Chicken and egg’
But Cardiff Business School transport expert Dr Andrew Potter said such services were needed to convince airlines there would be passengers available.
“Airlines planning cycles are such that they’re not just going to start routes instantly,” he said.
“It’s going to take six months (or) 12 months, to attract routes into the airport and, therefore, it’s a bit like the chicken and egg.
“You need the bus routes to attract the airlines and you then get the airlines to get the passengers onto the buses.”
“At certain times of day you do get more people on the buses anyway, because the flights come in in peaks and troughs, there are busy times and quiet times.
“But you can’t have the bus service at the busy times and stop it at the quiet times because you’ve still got to use the asset somehow, it’s still costing you money.
“So you may as well run it for a small number of passengers than have it sitting around, still with the cost.”
Dr Potter warned changes to the service, such as making it available for people living near the airport could slow the service down and make it less attractive to air passengers.
“If you look at a lot of other airports, they actually have a mix of services going to an airport, express ones that take you to the city centre and then more local buses, that then feed into that, and serve the local community.”