Posted: Wed 13th Sep 2023

Petition Launched Against Cardiff Bus’s Decision to Scrap Main Bus Route Serving St Fagans Village /
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 13th, 2023

A petition has been launched against Cardiff Bus’s decision to scrap the main bus route serving a village on the outskirts of Wales’ capital.
St Fagans resident Louise Van Laere launched a Change.Org petition calling for a solution to the removal of Cardiff Bus’ number 32 service between her village and Fairwater. She said it risked isolating the entire community.
The bus service also takes visitors and staff to St Fagans National Museum of History.
Cardiff Bus announced in August that it was cutting and making changes to a number of its services due to funding difficulties and recovering passenger numbers.
Lousie said: “The comments that have been received on the petition are worldwide and that was a really shocking thing for me.
“Why are we not [capitalising] on what Wales has to offer? Why are we cutting services and why are we not making it more accessible to people?”
“St Fagans Museum got museum of the year in 2019 and that is a world recognised accolade.
“To then not make it accessible to people just seems barmy.”
The Change.Org petition which Louise set up has so far gained more than 540 signatures.
Louise stated in the online petition that the Cardiff Bus 61 service which runs between Pentrebane and Cardiff via St Fagans makes about 55 round trips per day and that one of those buses could be routed through the village and to the museum each hour.
The petition continues, calling on Cardiff Council to “either reinstate the 32 bus service, or to consider adjustments to existing services so that the residents and community of Fairwater and St Fagans are not disenfranchised”.
There is an Adventure Travel bus service which operates in St Fagans according to Louise, however she said this is a limited service which runs every two hours and is prone to cancellation.
She also pointed out that parking can be a major issue in the village and that reducing public transport there will exacerbate the issue.
People turned up in their droves to St Fagans National Museum of History’s annual food festival last weekend.
Louise said: “A lot of them said they were a good hour queueing to get into a car parking space.
“One of the first couples I spoke to, there was a lady in a wheelchair, and they said they had to go and park in the overspill car park and this was about 11am.
“They hadn’t been open very long and they were already in the overspill car park with their wheelchair, so you are walking down that quite hilly field.”
On top of the concern that people with reduced mobility could be prevented from accessing the museum, Louise fears fewer buses could leave people in the village facing similar issues feeling more cut off.
Louise, who has had a hip replacement and is herself registered disabled, said: “People want their independence a little bit, and it just takes it away.”
Cardiff Council Ward member for Pentyrch and St Fagans, Cllr Rhys Livesy, said the number 32 service was essential to residents and museum staff.
Cllr Livesy said: “At a time when we are looking to encourage people back on to buses or participate in active travel it appears that the council and Cardiff Bus is encouraging the exact opposite in Cardiff West.
“St Fagans village is about to be increased by 6-10,000 houses as part of the Plasdwr development which overshadows it.
“Yet we are so poorly served by connections to the city.
“The link for walking or cycling towards Fairwater and the city is barely suitable even for pedestrians.
“Parents pushing prams have to step into the busy Cardiff Road where pavements narrow or crumble.
“And the link towards Cowbridge Road West and Culverhouse Cross is non-existent.
“The village is repeatedly denied extra crossings, despite Section 106 money being provided in a 2012 planning application.”
A gardening project run by Innovate Trust called the Secret Garden is already being affected by the cancellation of the 32 bus service.
Cllr Livesy added: “The 32 service provided an essential regular service not just to villagers and residents but for staff at the museum, where working shifts have been designed around the bus arrival times over the years, for attendees at projects such as the Secret Garden run by Innovate Trust for vulnerable people with learning disabilities, now facing large taxi bills and falling attendance for the interim, and for visitors we see in high numbers from outside of our city.
“Elderly residents say they would face six hour round trips to complete their food shopping if using the only other (320) service available.”
“I welcome the council’s efforts in working with Adventure Travel to try to extend its 320 service into the museum but there is already growing concern about the reliability and cost of services run by private providers: tickets are more expensive that Cardiff Bus; Cardiff Bus day-tickets or weekly passes cannot be used on Adventure Travel buses; services are less regular and the village of Gwaelod y Garth can testify that the buses often fail to arrive or take detours to the depot unannounced.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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