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Victory for Swansea students over 'joke' bus service to new campus


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Overcrowded buses to the new Swansea University campus is down to blundering bosses underestimating student numbers.

First CwryuThe first day of term saw many buses full to capacity, with some students being stranded for up to an hour waiting for a bus with empty seats.

Several missed their introduction lectures because of the overcrowding, despite promises that transport would not be an issue.

The £450m Bay campus opened last week and is the second campus of Swansea University, seven miles from the original Singleton campus, in neighbouring Port Talbot.

There is no car parking for students on the new campus, so the thousands of students studying on the Bay campus but living in Swansea city have to commute by bus.

Justin Davies, Managing Director of bus company First Cymru, speaking to The National Student said: "We are sorry that some of our customers have experienced overcrowding on our Service 8. We worked very closely with the university authorities on the new bus services before the term started, but the actual journey times and student numbers have exceeded the joint predictions."

The new campus will play host to business and engineering students, with over 900 students moving into accommodation on site.

Joint honours students who need to study across the two campuses will be given a free bus pass (annual ticket sold up to £390 depending on the service and range) or a free bicycle.

Residents were unhappy with the opening of the new campus, with Neath worker Carly Stewart complaining the X55 route was so full, not everyone could board and she was late for work.

Timetabling is an issue raised, with the need for extra buses at the change of lectures.

Economics student Jamie Canavan commented: "The situation trying to leave the Bay campus is a joke, took me 45 minutes to get on a bus (not even the bus I needed). Did they not expect students to use buses at the end of lectures?"

Speaking to The National Student, First Cymru Managing Director, Justin Davies, gave assurances the issues would be resolved soon: “From next week a revised and increased service level timetable is being introduced with extra buses added in. The Saturday and Sunday service will also be increased in frequency.

"Brand new bigger buses for the Service 8 are now being delivered and will be in service by the second week of October. We are determined to make the bus services for Swansea students reliable and suitable for their needs and we apologise for any problems so far experienced."

Swansea University apologised for the teething problems, with a spokesperson saying: "We’re sorry for any delays in bus services that students travelling to the Bay Campus may have faced in the first couple of days of term. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the situation and on student feedback.  

"We’re working closely with the bus company, First Cymru, who are putting on extra buses and staff to meet the demand. We’re also continuing to publicise the full range of bus services that stop at the Bay Campus (8, 10, X1, X55, X58, 57, 58 and 224)."

A Swansea University Students’ Union spokeswoman said: "Our team of full-time Officers have met with the University Senior Management Team to discuss these issues. We will continue to ensure that the student voice is heard at every level within the University and that student welfare is the University's highest priority."

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