On the buses

Tenby Civic Society’s transport specialist Neil Westerman wrote to the Tenby Observer dated 25 February to make important points about Tenby’s transport provision. This is the text of his letter.

`Public transport essential in any sustainable community’

Dear Editor

Two articles stand on out in last week’s issue of the Observer (18 February). The two reports written by Paul Evans (‘Brynhir Scheme could help save Tenby as a sustainable community’ and ‘Tenby needs to act sooner not later on housing crisis’) prove without doubt the value of having a local newspaper able to highlight the major problems affecting the town.

Tenby Civic Society would like to add to this debate by highlighting the lack of public transport in the Tenby area. Public transport is essential in any sustainable community. Not everyone has access to a car.

When Silcox coaches ceased to operate, Tenby lost its town bus service. The plan to build 144 properties at Brynhir, on the outskirts of Tenby, does not appear to include any provision for public transport. For example there is no turning circle for buses in the road layout or any indication of where bus stops could be located on the new estate. The Welsh Government has declared a climate emergency and is investing heavily in public transport throughout Wales. It would be nice to see this investment repeated by Pembrokeshire County Council with improvements to existing bus services including the reinstatement of Sunday services.

When the full Brynhir application is submitted to the National Park planning committee let’s hope that they will consider the need for public transport and even place a condition in the planning approval to provide adequate bus services to the new estate.

Tenby Civic Society submitted a number of suggestions to improve public transport services in the Tenby area to Pembrokeshire County Council in January 2020 without any success. One of the proposals was to reinstate an hourly Tenby town service at no additional cost to the council by reducing the 352 (Tenby to Kilgetty) service to operate between Tenby and Saundersfoot only. This would enable the same bus and driver to then operate a circular town service similar to the one provided by Silcox coaches. It should be noted that Kilgetty would still benefit from an hourly bus service provided by the 381 service.

As the new service created would carry more passengers that the existing services both the environment and the bus operator would benefit with additional income making the services more sustainable in the future.

With the planned development at Brynhir the need for a Tenby town bus service to serve our local community is increased further. We wait to see what proposals are forthcoming from Pembrokeshire County Council.

Yours faithfully,

Neil Westerman,

Tenby Civic Society

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