The launch of a smart fleet of new vehicles on Arriva’s principal route in North-west Wales was a chance to relaunch a service which has been confusingly presented since EU regulations on drivers’ hours affected routes of over 50km.
The short-term response of Arriva and other operators was to register longer routes as separate ones, while in practice the vehicles maintained through services. Arriva’s Llandudno-Caernarfon service 5 became two services (sometimes with suffix letters) each side of Bangor, where people in the know would stay on the bus. The vehicles displayed “Connect for Caernarfon” or “Connect for Llandudno” alongside Bangor. To the uninitiated, it implied a change of bus and the possibility of missed connections.
Caernarfon and Llandudno are two of the biggest tourist destinations in North Wales, a region where tourism is a primary economic sector. Caernarfon lost its passenger trains in the 1960s.