Saturday, 29 January 2022

Cardiff Bendy Bus to be Preserved

On 29th January 2022 Cardiff's bendy buses will operate on their final day of service.

A group of friends are preserving one of the fleet of bendy buses after it was announced the vehicles will be axed from roads the city.

Cardiff Bus 604 Preservation Group have made the decision to preserve one of the vehicles and are preparing to collect the bus which formerly ran the 17 and 18 routes in the city.

Bendy buses are now rare in the UK having been used in the past in many major towns and cities, including London, Manchester, York, Sheffield and York.

"Operation of these distinctive vehicles will finally come to an end, with the last day of operation being January 29 In the short-term services 17 and 18 will be operated using double-deck buses that can carry up to 99 customers and around three or four pushchairs," an article on the Cardiff Bus website said.

The 18m-long vehicles, capable of holding 135 passengers at a time, launched in the city in 2006 when Cardiff Bus spent £4.5m on 19 bendy buses made by Scania. They have mostly been used on the 17/18 Ely route and the city link to Cardiff Bay.

The team behind preserving the bus is made up of five close friends – Kieron Jones, Russ Petty, Ben Gleeson, Michael Preston, Aaron Cartwright. Four of the friends grew up in Greater Manchester, with one growing up in Yorkshire, and all still currently live near there.

"We had the idea several months ago when other companies began withdrawing their vehicles but unfortunately they were not well looked after so we took the decision to wait for something better," Kieron said.

"Then it became apparent Cardiff Bus were to withdraw their bendy fleet so we approached David Conway [service delivery director for Cardiff Bus] and began liaising with him we then viewed the vehicle and we came to a decision on a price."


The vehicle is a Scania Omnicity CN94UA which was new to Cardiff Bus in 2006 primarily for use on their BayCar services. As well as operating on the 17 and 18 services between Cardiff and Ely, the vehicle appeared on MET services within the city.

"It takes a lot of time and patience along with a considerable amount of communication along with the relevant funds," Kieron added.

The group said that they have "quite a few plans and ideas" for the bus but are keeping them under wraps and asking people to follow their social media pages for updates.

They are set to collect the bus at the end of the month where it will be transported to the north west of the city to begin its preservation journey.

"By this time we believe 604 will be the last or one of the last to leave Sloper Road depot," Kieron said.

Cardiff Bus recently launched their new electric buses this month. See here