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Coedffranc council demands answers from bosses over bus changes

By RachelSWEP  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

By Neath Port Talbot Courier

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MEMBERS of Coedffranc Community Council are calling on senior executives of First Cymru buses to attend one of their meetings, because of changes to certain routes in Skewen.

Dozens of members of the public turned out to the council’s second meeting of the month last week, when local firm Select provided them with information on what additions they would make, when the First services change on March 2.

Last week, First announced that the 158 service would change to the X58 and the route amended to miss Skewen and Elba Crescent, with buses travelling via the A465 and Jersey Marine.

The 159, which picks up at Cresci’s, will increase in frequency to every 20 minutes.

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Select will continue its number 30 service, which picks up on New Road every day — but it can only provide a service to areas such as Caewathan, Pen-yr-Alley and Llandarcy on a Saturday.

The changes are part of a wider reorganisation of First Cymru buses across the South West Wales area.

But bus users in Pen-yr-Alley and Caewathan say they will lose out on services, because they will have to catch a bus into Neath and then to Swansea, rather than going to the city directly.

Councillors said they wanted the company’s operations director to attend their next meeting.

Councillor Ian Whitehead- Ross, said: "We should ask if the operations director could come to the next meeting and explain himself.

"I doubt he will be willing to face the music."

He added that for him, the walk to New Road, where buses will still be running, would not be so bad — but added that elderly people, or those living further away from the main highway, would be unable to make the journey.

One resident at the meeting said: "Our main concerns are from Pen-yr-Alley down to Jersey Marine — 98 per cent of it are BP workers, OAPs, they need their transport, they can’t walk over to the dual carriageway to get a bus."

Resident, Rosemary Morris, who submitted her letters to and from First to the council, added: "I consider myself fairly able bodied, and it would take me at least half an hour to walk from where I live to Cresci’s.

"It’s not fair."

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