Bus travel in Newport to be free throughout March

Free bus travel in Newport during March

Bus travel within the Newport local authority area will be free of charge throughout March in a scheme that is being facilitated by the Burns Delivery Board.

The free bus travel, which will be available all day, every day throughout the month, follows a similar offer in Newport between 1 and 24 December 2021. That was funded by Newport City Council, which drew praise for not offering any free pre-Christmas car parking at the same time.

In its Chairs’ Annual Report, the Burns Delivery Board says that the offer of free bus travel is part of a culture of developing sustainable travel. The Delivery Board was established to deliver the 58 recommendations of the Burns Commission, which focused on providing people in South East Wales with alternatives to private car use.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters says that he is confident the free travel will boost both the bus industry in Newport and the city’s economy, and encourage more people to switch to sustainable modes.

Mr Waters adds: “After a year of close work between Transport for Wales and local authorities, we are now starting to see our plans for an integrated public transport for South East Wales become a reality. There is still some way to go, but I am assured that within the next 18 months we will start to see some significant improvements in bus travel, cycling and walking.”

Leader of Newport City Council Cllr Jane Mudd says that the December trial received positive feedback from both residents and businesses, with a “marked increase in the number of bus passengers compared to the same month in 2020.”

Scott Pearson, Managing Director of municipally-owned operator Newport Bus, has welcomed the further free travel offer. He describes it as “another fantastic example of incentivising customers to try the bus as a viable alternative mode of transport.”

Mr Pearson adds: “This builds on the local authority’s free travel scheme before Christmas, and demonstrates a determined effort to improve bus patronage. In addition, Newport Bus has 32 battery-electric vehicles in its fleet to help our customers make a defined environmental choice.”