Six battery-electric buses will come to two new routes in North Wales that are to form part of the interurban country-wide TrawsCymru network, the Welsh Government has announced. The £3.6m investment, which will include associated charging equipment, is part of a wider £11m spend on the North Wales Metro integrated public transport scheme that will also see rail improvements.
The battery-electric buses will be used on new TrawsCymru services T22, between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog via Porthmadog, and T19 between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno.
The latter service will be branded as TrawsCymru Connect, the Welsh Government says. Both routes and the associated investment in buses and infrastructure follow detailed planning work with Gwynedd County Council “to strengthen the quality and attractiveness of key bus services in the area.”
No date has been given for the planned entry into service of the electric buses. The most direct route between the three towns on the T22 route is around 32 miles in one direction and a journey on route T19 is approximately 30 miles, suggesting that the buses may need charging during the working day. Neither Blaenau Ffestiniog nor Llandudno currently form part of the TrawsCymru network.
Announcement of the funding came two days after Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters said that the Welsh Government will look at how Transport for Wales could become a direct provider of bus services if the favoured “strategic partnership” approach does not deliver the reform of provision in Wales that ministers want to see.