It’s excellent news for residents of Gower, visitors to the peninsula and for Gower’s rural economy; the success of the three year project returning buses to Gower on Sundays and Bank Holidays has prompted an extension into 2014 by the Rural Development Partnership.
The news came as the results for the 2013 season showed an increase in passengers of 42% compared with last year and a massive 56% increase over 2011!
The project was originally conceived as a means of combating rural exclusion at weekends in Gower and of bringing income to bolster the
rural visitor economy. On the latter, it is confidently estimated that visitors by bus spent over £50000 on Sundays over the season on food
and drink, souvenirs and gifts. More than 30% of passengers on this year’s Gower Sunday Explorer buses were overseas visitors. That was one of the key findings of the on bus surveys carried out in August backed up by informal surveys at Swansea Bus Station on subsequent Sundays with evidence of visitors from at least 28 different countries. The top destinations for the majority of passengers were Three Cliffs Bay and Rhossili Bay with significant numbers opting to do both in one day! Many opted to travel out via the north Gower route and back by the south or vice versa so touring in the whole peninsula.
Project Officer for the buses, John Davies of sustainable transport partnership BayTrans is ‘delighted with the continuing growth of users and
eagerly looks forward to another successful season next year’. He also paid tribute to the high quality of service provided by the contract
operator First Cymru throughout the season. Managing Director of First Cymru Justin Davies said ‘how very proud he and his staff were in providing this service to the satisfaction of the promoters and customers alike and looked forward to the additional year’s operation. Our team of drivers who provide Gower services deliver an excellent service and the rise in customer numbers is a credit to everybody concerned with the Gower Sunday Service operation’.
Swansea Rural Development Partnership This project has been developed by sustainable transport partnership BayTrans and is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and funding by the Welsh Government through the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-13; further funding comes from BayTrans and bus operator First Cymru.
Sunday & Public Holiday Bus Services
The services operated this year from Easter Sunday to 29th September on two main routes:
2014 services are expected to start again at Easter and operate through to 28th September
Is a Partnership dedicated to supporting greater use of public transport and is financially supported by City & County of Swansea, Neath Port
Talbot County Borough Council for Wales and First Cymru. Its principal objectives are to encourage greater use of public transport associated
with healthy outdoor activities; aimed at residents and visitors, it concentrates its activities in the rural and tourist areas of Swansea Bay.
BayTrans is owned by Tourism Swansea Bay, Contact John Davies on 07967 389329 for more information.