A NEW Bwcabus service is being launched in Pembrokeshire, thanks to a grant of almost £1.8million under the LINC project.
It will operate mainly in the T5 section between Fishguard and Haverfordwest serving the villages to the east and west of the A40.
Expanding Bwcabus into Pembrokeshire will also allow villages such as Trecwn, Puncheston, Maenclochog, and Little Newcastle to benefit from increased opportunities to travel and greater flexibility than is currently available.
Bwcabus allows people to travel between local towns and villages within the zone or connect to the main line bus services to travel to places such as Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Cardigan and Narberth.
In addition, it offers opportunities to connect rural communities into the rail network with hubs at Clarbeston Road and Clunderwen on the Milford Haven / Fishguard branch line.
Bwcabus also has a number of timetabled fixed routes, which do not need to be booked, just turn up and catch the bus as with a regular service. These routes, which will replace and improve the market day services on offer throughout the zone, have been designed to improve journey times and offer improved opportunities to connect into the T5 service.
Timetable improvements have been made on the T5 and by feeding in passengers from the surrounding rural area will support the growth of the T5 service as well as make local services more accessible for local communities.
The LINC project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 (RDP), which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: "I am pleased we have been able to provide a grant of almost £1.8million of funding to expand the Bwcabus service in more rural communities in Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Transportation and Major Events Cllr Rob Lewis said: "This will provide residents with exciting new travel opportunities and will link to the already successful T5 and other local bus services.
"The service will be operated with a new high quality low floor accessible bus providing passengers with an enjoyable travel experience."
Carmarthenshire's Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: "The project aims to build upon the success of Bwcabus and TrawsCymru to pilot an integrated transport network across South West Wales, responding to the needs of rural communities and reducing social exclusion.
"I am delighted that the Bwcabus service is being expanded into Pembrokeshire offering more rural communities an improved quality of service with more buses more often and in response to local demand.
"It will give residents easier access to healthcare and other key local services, employment and training opportunities and help them to connect better with mainline bus and rail services."
Bwcabus is a partnership between Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire county councils.
It will be launched in Pembrokeshire on February 20 and the service will operate Monday to Friday 7am to 6.30pm and Saturdays 9am to 5pm.
For more information and to register for the service visit www.bwcabus.info or call 01239 801 601.