Thursday 2 June 2022

Cardiff v Sheffield Contrast and Compare

The two conurbations are similar; the Welsh Capital has a population of just under 560,000 ( including Barry and Penarth) whilst greater Sheffield is 580,000. Both were historically developed round heavy industry, Cardiff trading in King Coal and Sheffield being the city of Steel.

A council-owned company

A "partnership" - First & Stagecoach

So let's start with "new" technology:-



27 buses to be delivered.

An excellent map. It is too big to show in its entirety, but below is a chunk showing fbb's favourite Cardiff suburb, namely Splott.
Also included are routes in Penarth and Barry ...
... and a large scale city centre graphic.
There is a very simple frequency guide ...
... and a good sample of fares information.
Ordinary fares are covered, showing that a £2 flat fare applies in Cardiff with variations elsewhere.
The panel above is an extract. The table also also shows weekly and monthly options, zone by zone. But there is this interesting little note:-
We will meet the "short hop" in due course.

There is even a brief history of the undertaking BUT ...
... although a trolleybus is pictured, these joys of past times in Cardiff get not a mention in the historic timeline. Disgraceful - although, to be fair, the omission is unlikely to affect ridership in 2022!


Five area booklets with just a touch of the Beardef Bus Beautifier of the Bush about them (a k a Stunning by Stenning?). But before our readers slaver too excitedly, it is worth noting that these are timetable books "lite".

All you get for your money (no money actually, they are free!) is a pretty front cover ...
... a list of contents ...
... and the timetables. Note that the Summer bus guide returns again this year - another excellent piece of PRINTED publicity.

There is no index, no maps and no colour coding. fbb does wonder whether things are a little too "lite". For example, the X45 is only headed X45 on the first page of the service. 
In the case of this service, the Monday to Friday panels are very different ...
... from the Saturday schedule.
Could the lack of a route number cause confusion. It did for fbb!

But, joy of joys, Cardiff folks now have proper printed timetables!



ONLY ON-LINE - Cardiff
Because the printed books are "basic", some useful information does require adherence to the "It's All On Line" brigade. The interwebnet has a PDF route map for each service.

The X45 shares its map with the 44, 45 and 45B which do not penetrate the "South" timetable area.
Of particular interest is that the "short hop" fare for Trowbridge and St Mellons is show by a pale orange shading. Nowhere could fbb find out how much the "short hop" fare was - but obviously cheaper that the not quite so flat fare of £2.

Readers may wish to amuse themselves as they try to work out which route goes where!

There is also a "short hop" fare in the city centre.

... unless you want day, weekly or monthly tickets. Individual one-trip fares are simply not provided. But those that are promoted on-line are ...
many, various and baffling; and that's only tickets for ONE DAY.

And a question. Which operation stands the best chance of increasing passenger numbers and "Building Back Better"?

Many thanks to correspondent Mike for sending map and South Cardiff leaflet.

70 Glorious Years
The Southern Vectis Jubilee bus is a very splendid paint job - one of the best.

But thank you Ma'am for the record number of years of glorious reign and or a clear and very personal upholding of your Christian faith!

 Next Causing Confusion blog : Friday 3rd June 


  1. Andrew Kleissner2 June 2022 at 06:13

    As the holder of an over-60s pass, I don't pay - but I think the Cardiff "Short Hop" fare is £1.20. There are also return fares on our route 57/58 as it's in competition with Adventure Travel's C1. BTW the "Short Hop" isn't that short: in our zone it can be up to 18 stops long!

    1. Stagecoach have short hop fares in Plymouth where they operate on same main road corridors as Go Aheads Citybus. On some corridors the short hop is 11 or 12 stops covering 2.5 miles and costs £1.60 single or £2.40 return

  2. So where can the Cardiff information be picked up by the general public? Cardiff Bus anticipated the trend for closing enquiry offices years before it became fashionable, and neither library nor tourist info - two of the alternatives listed - had anything available.
    The operator has also had to be rescued by its shareholder, selling to it the freehold of its depot, while the shiny electric buses are, I understand, similarly financed by a "loan" from the shareholder, which has been converted into extra shares, because no commercial finance was available to the almost insolvent company.

    1. Picked up a full set of Cardiff timetables and map in Cardiff library a couple of weeks ago. They also have a rack in Cardiff Central station which was reasonably well stocked.

  3. Not printed at the moment (sadly seems covid support funding doesn't stretch that far) but there are excellent all operator maps for Sheffield available to download from Stagecoach provide information on single fares in their journey planner available on their app and website.