Ftrmetro Swansea

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ftrmetro Swansea
FTRmetro.svg
Ftr bus in West Way, Swansea city centre, 19035 (S40 FTR), 2 October 2009.jpg
An FTR bus travelling south from Ffordd y Gollewin
towards the Civic Centre
Overview
Locale Swansea
Transit type Bus Rapid Transit
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 27
Operation
Began operation September 2009 (2009-09)
Operator(s) First Cymru
Number of vehicles 10

ftrmetro Swansea is a bus rapid transit route in Swansea, Wales. The route was served by FTR articulated buses in an attempt to relieve traffic congestion and provide alternative transport to cars, before they were withdrawn in 2015 in favour of smaller-capacity buses.

The Welsh Assembly Government provided £2.2m in funding to help launch the scheme.[1] and the local bus operator First Cymru paid for the fleet at a cost of £300,000 per vehicle. The buses, built by Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus, each have 37 seats.[2] Stops are placed approximately every 500m[3] and passengers pay for tickets on-board from a conductor rather than from the driver.[4]

The bus runs along a route from Morriston Hospital to Singleton Hospital, via Morriston, Swansea railway station, Kingsway, Swansea bus station, Civic Centre and Swansea University. The off-peak journey time between Morriston Hospital and Swansea University is timetabled to take 50 minutes. [5]

Alterations were made to a number of roads to provide a dedicated bus lane. Orchard Street and The Kingsway were converted to a one-way streets for cars with a separate two-way bus lane. West Way has been altered to accommodate a two-way bus lane and new access roads have been developed near the Civic Centre. Further road developments include a bus lane along parts of Oystermouth Road and a bus bypass road past the Hafod area.[6]

Phase 1 of the road development scheme, for Orchard Street and Kingsway, is complete. The service between Morriston Hospital and Singleton started on bus route 4, using a single ftr vehicle, on 1 June 2009 with official launch of service in September 2009.[7]

Critics of the scheme attacked the disruption caused by roadworks to accommodate the vehicles[8] and the impact of changes to the road network.[9]

On 24 June 2015, First Cymru announced that it was to remove all FTR articulated buses from service on 28 August 2015, replacing them with standard single deck buses.[10] Later in 2015, the dedicated two-way FTR bus lane on the Kingsway was removed and replaced by a standard one-way system, in response to high profile accidents.[11]

Subsequently, three 'bendy buses' were brought back into use, transferring students from the main Swansea University campus on Oystermouth Road to the new Bay Campus.

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