Yesterday (30th September 2015) was the final day of the Blue Bus Service 701, a former TrawsCambria service linking the Seaside town of Aberystwyth with the Welsh Capital through Aberaeron, Lampeter, Carmarthen, Swansea and Port Talbot.
The Service initially launched back in 2007 following the rebranding of the former Arriva 701 into the X40 (Now known as TrawsCymru T1), although the service used to operate on certain days a week, it quickly grown and in April 2012 the service operated daily.
The service continued to grow and in 2013 the service transferred from Coach Travel Wales to Bryans Coaches (Both Companies owned and registered at the same address) here an additional 09:40 ex Aberystwyth and 13:00 ex Cardiff Bay services were launched, alongside a short-lived 12:40 ex Aberystwyth and 18:00 ex Cardiff Bay service and the 750 service linking Aberystwyth and Cardiff via New Quay and Llandysul on Thursday and Saturdays only.
The Service fought well even though competition from Arriva (Service 10 to Swansea, Service 20 to Cardiff) alongside Stagecoach Megabus Serivce operating from London Victoria via Cardiff, Swansea, Carmarthen and Lampeter on Thursday – Sunday Evenings. Friday – Monday Mornings for Return Services. ( A boost was the acceptance of Welsh Concessionary Passers throughout)
Having operated the Service for eight years under both Coach Travel Wales and Bryans Coaches registrations, the owners decided to retire in June 2016 and therefore decided to withdraw the 701 service from the 1st October 2015
Luckily though Aberystwyth wouldn’t be without a direct coach service to the welsh capital with Llanrhystud based Lewis Coaches taking over the 701 and using ex Greenline Vehicles
Passengers numbers on today’s observation seemed the same as the former Bryans operations, although the improved coaches by Lewis Coaches hopefully will increase patronage
The Bws Cymru Bus Blog would like to wish Lewis Coaches all the luck with their new venture, and would also like to wish George Bryan a happy and long retirement
The New 701 timetable