New date revealed for bendy bus start
THE controversial new bendy buses will hit the streets in May, a month later than expected, it has been revealed.
Roads across Swansea have been ripped up over the past two years in a £10 million scheme to accommodate the articulated single-decker buses.
In January, the Post reported comments from the council's transport group leader David Whitehead, who addressed a meeting of the council's environment and regeneration overview board on the buses, known as the Swansea Metro.
He said: "The new service will be starting in April this year."
However, Tony McNiff, managing director of FirstCymru, which will operate the new service, has now said the buses will not be seen on the city's streets until May.
He said: "The project is now at a stage where we will be on target for the planned phased introduction beginning in late May.
"We have been working to recruit a team of pilots for the Metro and very soon they will begin the specialised training which will be required for the sophisticated vehicles."
The 18.7-metre long, £322,000 buses have 12 CCTV cameras, crescent- shaped seating, room for 113 people and two types of futuristic stop bells — one of which is only for disabled people and alerts the driver that he needs to deploy a special ramp to enable wheelchair users to get off the bus safely.
"The vehicles are ready for delivery, and it is anticipated that the first of them will be arriving towards the end of next month," added Mr McNiff.
"This is as soon as the new servicing facilities now being constructed at Ravenhill Depot have been completed.
"We will shortly be selecting our service hosts and again, these will receive full customer service training in conjunction with local tourism organisations.
"Preparatory roadworks in Mumbles Road and in the Morriston area are progressing well."