CHANGES to local bus services begin on Monday, with some routes discontinued and others running under new operators as a result of a shake-up to bus funding.

From April 1, the funding provided directly to bus operators by Welsh Government to keep services going post-Covid stops.

Instead Pembrokeshire County Council will be provided with more than £3 million in support for bus services in Pembrokeshire during the coming year.

As part of this process, all Pembrokeshire’s local bus services have been re-tendered, resulting in changes to the county’s local services, providers and routes.

A public consultation, which received more than 300 responses, helped to inform decisions about which services should be prioritised.

“I am delighted to be able to report that we are able to maintain the whole of Pembrokeshire’s current local bus network in the coming year,” said Councillor Rhys Sinnett, the council’s cabinet member for residents’ services.

“We have also secured key improvements such as reinstating an hourly service on the 349 route between Haverfordwest and Tenby via Pembroke Dock, and the popular Strumble Shuttle and Puffin Shuttle coastal bus services during the summer.”

The changes will also see two key services, the 302 Haverfordwest to Milford Haven and 349 Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock, brought under council oversight for the first time to give the authority greater oversight of service operations and fares.

Pembrokeshire residents will also benefit from a new fare structure on all First Cymru services, due to be introduced from April 1.

This will use a tap on-tap off system to allow passengers to pay the cheapest fare depending on the number of journeys they make or distance travelled. It will cap the maximum adult fare at £3 single and £5.40 return. More information about these fares can be found on the First Cymru website.

The changes have already started to take effect.

Last week the Celtic Coaster (403) on the St Davids peninsular restarted for the 2024 season and will run until Sunday 29 September. This is an hourly service, increasing to half-hourly during the Whitsun half term and school summer holidays. There will be no service departing Caerfai Road at 13.00 and 13.30.

The 351 (Tenby to Pendine via Amroth) has also returned to its summer timetable.

From Monday, April 1 the following bus changes in Pembrokeshire take place:

  • An hourly service will return on the 349 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock) service (April to September only).
  • The 356 (Milford Haven to Monkton) service will no longer call at Waterston and Hazelbeach due to operational issues caused by the narrow lanes in this area. The Fflecsi service will still be available.
  • A Saturday service, between 07:30 and 18:30, will be reintroduced in the Fflecsi Mid Pembrokeshire zone (formerly known as Bwcabus). This zone covers the area between Letterston, Crymych, Clunderwen and Wiston. Passengers can also travel from this zone to Fishguard and Haverfordwest.
  • The 302 (Haverfordwest to Milford Haven) and 349 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock) services operated by First Cymru will come under Pembrokeshire County Council control, giving the council greater oversight of service operations and fares.
  • The 322 (Haverfordwest to Carmarthen) and 381 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Narberth) services will be run by First Cymru. The 322 timetable will remain the same. The 381 timetable will remain the same from Haverfordwest to Tenby but journeys from Tenby to Haverfordwest will depart slightly earlier (37 past the hour instead of 45).
  • The X22 and X61 services which provided journeys at the start and end of the day between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty, and Pembroke Dock and Haverfordwest will be withdrawn.
  • The 410 (Fishguard Town) and T11 (Haverfordwest to Fishguard via St Davids) services will be operated on a commercial (T11 part commercial) basis by Richards Bros. An improved connection with the ferry at Fishguard Harbour will be provided at 12.30.

From 19 May 2024

  • The Tenby Coaster service between Tenby and Saundersfoot will return for the summer season.

From 25 May 2024

  • The 400 Puffin Shuttle and 404 Strumble Shuttle services will return to the coast between Marloes and St Davids, and St Davids and Fishguard. These services will operate 7 days a week until 29 September 2024. The Fflecsi service is also available in this area throughout the year.
  • The 387/388 Coastal Cruiser service around the Angle Peninsula will also return to its summer timetable, operating 7 days a week until 29th September 2024.

Further information about all Pembrokeshire bus services can be found on the council’s website.