A FLEXIBLE, on-demand bus service, which allows passengers to request a bus to pick them up for essential travel, will be trialled in part of Gwent later this year.

The two-year pilot project will start in the Ebbw Fach and Ebbw Fawr valleys in Blaenau Gwent, before expanding out to other areas of the county borough including industrial estates, another bus route to Abergavenny's Nevill Hall Hospital, and a link with rail provision to Cardiff.

The project forms part of Transport for Wales’ new ‘Flecsi’ service, which aims at improving access to employment.

Bookable journeys will also connect with rail and other commercial routes under the Integrated Responsive Transport (IRT) pilot project, which is also to be trialled in Pembrokeshire and Conwy.


The council’s head of regeneration, Richard Crook, said that it will create a lot of opportunities as transport is a key issue in the county borough.

He said: “Two buses would be procured by this process.

“They would be hosted by Blaenau Gwent but 100 per cent funded by the Welsh Government.”

Cllr Dai Davies, the council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, said "that this is something  a lot of people have moaned about for a long time”.

Cllr Davies said he hoped the pilot would be starting in November.

The council leader, Cllr Nigel Daniels, said it was important to handle the publicity right, so the right people hear about it.

He said: “I suspect a great many people who wish to take the benefit of this are people who are not IT savvy.”

A bus operator will run the service on behalf of Blaenau Gwent council, which is working with Transport for Wales, Welsh Government, Job Centre Plus and the Community Transport Association on the project.