New Adventure Travel is increasing its crosscity network in Cardiff to three routes from 6 March when it launches a new north-south service and extends a third, emulating its original east-west service started in May 2015.
The new X8 will run every 15min between the suburb of Thornhill and the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay, via the city centre. NAT acquired 10 Optare MetroCity vehicles for the service last year but temporarily deployed them in other areas. They will receive X8 route branding. The service will use bus lanes recently installed by the city council, owner of Cardiff Bus.
On the same day, NAT will extend the operating hours of its X1 east-west service to start an hour earlier, at 04.58, and end an hour later, with final departures shortly after 22.00 from each end. The daytime 15min frequency will begin earlier and end later, with services every 20min for the first and last hours.
NAT’s X11 service, launched in January 2016, will be extended on 6 March to Grange town and Cardiff Bay, creating a third NAT cross-city route. Currently the X11 links the eastern suburb of Pentwyn and the city centre.
All three cross-city routes will intersect at Westgate Street in the city centre. NAT managing director Kevyn Jones says all of these enhancements are responses to requests from the public. The earlier start for the X1, for example, follows comments by cleaners at commercial premises that the buses began too late to get them to work.
‘We’ve considered running it 24hr a day, ’ says Jones. NAT is currently assessing the market for night buses and the operational requirements. ‘If you’ve got buses running at 03.00, you have to have enough back-up in terms of operational and engineering staff.’