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Buses in Cardiff and West Wales 1998

Page last updated on 9th November 2013

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After the 1997 trip to Rome, the 1998 trip was a bit closer to home, a week spent in the Welsh university town of Aberystwyth with a day trip to Cardiff (or Caerdydd for those of you who speak Welsh) which among other claims to fame, has been the Welsh capital since 1955 and is the birthplace of Shirley Bassey and Charlotte Church.

For mid and north Wales, the main operator is Arriva Cymru having taken over and renamed the Welsh part of the long established Crosville company. Services further south are run by Stagecoach through its Red and White subsidiary, and a few municipal operators remain, including Cardiff Bus whose predecessor, Cardiff Corporation Transport, used to run one of the only two Welsh trolleybus systems.

Heading into the eastern side of Wales, "cross-border" services provided by Midland Red West can be encountered. Like rural Ireland, Wales has lost quite a large number of uneconomic railway branch lines, as witnessed by quite a number of redundant bridges and embankments. Most rural bus services are single deck operated, but the odd decker can be encountered in the most unlikeliest of places.

J722 CUM was one of a pair of Leeds registered Optares to be transferred to Wales to operate the then new 100 service, a joint sea-front/park-and- ride route in Aberystwyth. These buses carried bi-lingual signs on the bonnets.

TPD 126X is a former London Country Roe bodied Leyland Olympian, new in 1982. By August 1st 1998 it had migrated to the less demanding territory of West Wales and was seen passing through Aberystwyth, being one of only two deckers seen in the area.

MHJ 727V, seen near Aberystwyth railway station on August 1st 1998 is registered in Chelmsford in Essex, so was probably new to Eastern National. It's fleet number SNL727 (Single-deck National Leyland).

This privately owned Mercedes, E330 OMG is used on a scheduled service from Aberystwyth in an area otherwise dominated by Arriva Cymru. The photo was taken on August 1st 1998, outside the local railway station building.

Devil's Bridge terminus of the Vale of Rheidol railway, high up in the mountains above Aberystwyth. This scenic journey was made on July 30th 1998.

July 31st 1998 in the municipal car and coach park in Dolgellau was where I found this re-registered Van Hool coach. The age and chassis type couldn't be ascertained, but it looks like it's from the mid 1980s.

This preserved Bedford OB with a Plaxton body (instead of the more usual Duple) was seen in one of the coastal villages south of Aberystwyth, and has been beautifully cared for.

Seen at a small vintage display in the village of Llanrhystydd was this late 1950s Bedford SB with Duple coachwork, alongside the OB and a Scammell truck.

During my visit to Cardiff, Guide Friday was using this ex Eastbourne East Lancs bodied Atlantean KHC 814K, seen beside Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff's Mk.2 Leyland Lynx 262 seen working on route 19 near the central bus and rail station, with an older Mk.1 Lynx in the background.

Bws Caerdydd Volvo Ailsa - Alexander 443 seen from the lofty heights of Cardiff Castle.

Red and White Volvo - Plaxton 778 seen near Cardiff Castle on an express service.

South Wales Transport Dennis Dart - Alexander M983 KKG on the service to Pencoed in South Wales.

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