Gower Explorer bus service to be operated by Veolia
TRANSPORT operator Veolia has been signed up to operate an award-winning rural bus service for the next five years.
Swansea Council has awarded the latest contract for the popular Gower Explorer to Veolia, who have been running the service since 2004.
The Council launched the successful service after securing transport grant funding from the Assembly, which it used to purchase six purpose-built buses.
Chris Vinestock, Head of Transportation in Swansea Council, said: "The service was launched to help provide an efficient and frequent bus service to parts of Gower.
"Having a transport operator on board such as Veolia means we can continue to operate this service.
"Since its launch in 2004, the Gower Explorer service has significantly increased visitor numbers to the area and has also enabled residents in Gower to have a bus service they can use to access Swansea city centre."
Charles Lewis, Managing Director of Veolia Transport Cymru, said: "Working in partnership with Swansea Council, we have a developed a reliable network of services which not only serve the local community but also carry both commuters and tourists to and from the Gower area."
Some of the key features of its success have not only been frequency and choice of routes but also the fact that purpose-built narrow buses are used to help negotiate some of the narrow roads throughout Gower.
In December 2006 the Gower Explorer Network won the Guardian Public Service Excellence Award as well as getting the Royal seal of approval from Princess Anne when the service also won the award for passenger transport at the Excellence Awards run by the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport (UK).
John Davies, Project Officer for public transport partnership BayTrans, welcomed the news.
He said: "BayTrans has valued the relationship with Veolia Transport Cymru in recent years and together with Swansea Council has transformed the marketing of this iconic bus service- and this has led to great benefits for residents and visitors.
"We look forward to continuing to work with Veolia to achieve even greater success in the next few years."
The new contract will last for five years and starts on August 31 this year.
Gower Explorer is operated by Veolia Transport Cymru on behalf of Swansea Council with financial assistance from the Welsh Assembly Government.
Veolia Transport Cymru is part of Veolia Transport UK.
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