Passengers travelling between Blaencwm and Blaenrhondda in the Rhondda Fawr Valley to Caerphilly will be able to travel in greater style and comfort as Stagecoach in South Wales officially launches its latest fleet of luxury Gold buses today.
Stagecoach’s over £4 million investment means travellers using the Stagecoach Service 120/130 bus route, which passes through the Rhondda Fawr valley serving Tonypandy, Porth, Pontypridd and Nantgarw towards Caerphilly, will be treated to a five star luxury service as they enjoy the comfort of e-leather high back seats, increased leg room and free WiFi and USB charging. Bilingual audio and visual next stop announcements have been introduced which provides passengers with additional information on their journey.
The latest launch of Stagecoach Gold buses is the third fleet of its kind to be introduced in South Wales. Service 120/130 joins the 132 gold service which was launched in 2016 and operates from Maerdy to Cardiff. The first gold service, Service X24 was launched back in 2015 and operates from Blaenavon to Newport via Pontypool and Cwmbran.
Nigel Winter, Managing Director of Stagecoach in South Wales commented: “We continue to significantly invest in our fleet to improve the passenger experience. Investment in new buses since 2007 (10 years) has reached over £30m with 263 new buses, with over £4m of investment this year adding to a consistent pattern of investment in passenger transport in South Wales. Our Gold buses have been designed with our customers’ needs in mind. We appreciate that on journeys, such as the Blaencwm to Caerphilly service, our customers value the use of free WiFi and USB charging so they may spend their time commuting productively, and welcome greater comfort and more environmentally friendly engine in the latest Euro 6 stop/start technology.
“As part of our Gold service we ensure that each one of our drivers is trained to provide a five star customer service experience. Our team of regular, enthusiastic drivers will help customers, whether it’s their first time travelling by bus or they are a frequent traveller, and the touches of comfort will make a real difference to a more enjoyable as well as productive journey with free wifi and USB charging points”.
To celebrate the official launch today, a new gold liveried bus was on display at Coleg y Cymoedd, Nantgarw Campus for learners to view in advance of going into service on Tuesday 12th December. Learners were invited to try out the new bus, Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans commented: “This investment by Stagecoach is very welcome, our learners need good, reliable transport to access the college campuses. Our learners will have access to enhanced facilities which allows them to study as they travel and they will be able to monitor bus times so that they can travel safely and arrive on time.”
Ken Skates, Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport said: "These vehicles represent a significant investment by Stagecoach, the latest of several in the South Wales Valleys in recent years. I am sure passengers will be just as impressed with these new buses as we are.
At Wales’s first annual Bus Industry Summit earlier this year we discussed not only the challenges the bus industry faces now, but also to begin to map out the longer term, sustainable future of what is a vital public service.
We all want a world class, sustainable transport system in Wales. Local bus services make a tremendously important contribution to the fulfilment of our ambitions for local transport and the improvement of air quality."
Each one of the single deck Stagecoach Gold buses comes with a Euro 6 stop/start engine, environmentally friendlier, designed to cut exhaust emissions. The fleet also runs on a greener mix of up to 30% recycled biofuel and 70% low sulphurdiesel to reduce C02 emissions.
There will be twenty four brand new Stagecoach Gold buses in operation along the 120/130 route which will operate up to every 10 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes and hourly throughout most of the day on Sundays and evenings.
The Stagecoach Gold buses are equipped with low floor access to make it easier for wheelchairs, pushchairs and customers with limited mobility to board. All vehicles can carry a wheelchair safely and drivers are trained and able to provide assistance if required.