South Wales Travel & Transport

The transport system in South Wales offers visitors a number of ways to get around from public transport such as buses and trains to using the road with car hire, coaches and ferries.

Local bus services in South Wales provide services to local areas and across the region, with a number of routes covering the City of Cardiff, Swansea, Newport, Tenby, Pembroke, Llanelli, Cwmbran, Pontypool, Merthyr, Caerphilly, Blaenavon and more. Buses provide a good cost effective way of travelling around the region.

Details of local bus services and timetables can be found at Stagecoach Bus

Trains in South Wales serve a number of routes across the region and to other areas. There are several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services. Cardiff Central Station has services to London Paddington station, the journey time is 2 hours 15 minutes. There are services to destinations in Wales including Swansea, Carmarthen, Newport, Bangor and Milford Haven and further to Reading, Swindon, Nottingham, Birmingham New Street, Cheltenham Spa, Gloucester and Manchester Piccadilly.

Train services are provided by a number of train operators including Arriva Trains Wales and Cross Country and First Great Western

Other railway stations in South Wales include Newport, Port Talbot, Swansea, Neath and Bridgend.

For more information please see National Rail Enquiries

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in South Wales that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars.

South Wales is connected to the road network via the M4 and A470. London to Cardiff by car via the M4 is a drive of approx 3 hours depending on traffic and time of day. Other major roads around the region include the A40, A48, A483 and A449.

Parking in Cardiff city centre includes a number of pay and display and pay on exit car parks. Car parks in and around the city centre include Castle Mews, North Road, Sophia Gardens, Havannah Street and the Barrage car parks.

For more information please see: Cardiff Parking

There are Park & Ride schemes in operation in Cardiff at various sites including Cardiff East Pentwyn Interchange, Cardiff West at Cardiff City Stadium Leckwith and Cardiff South at County Hall where drivers can park in designated areas in the outskirts of the city centre and get a bus in to Taunton town centre. For more information please see: Cardiff Park & Ride

Drivers should note there may be driving restrictions in and around the city and town centres. It is recommended visitors ensure they fully understand the local parking rules before parking and help avoid unnecessary fines and worry.

The ports of Holyhead in North Wales and Fishguard and Pembroke in South Wales offer ferry access to Wales. Holyhead is located approx 5 hours drive from Cardiff, there are also train services available between Holyhead and Cardiff. There are ferry services to and from Ireland available with routes including Dublin in Ireland to Holyhead in Wales and Rosslare to Fishguard and Pembroke in South Wales providing good access to Southern Wales. Journey times vary between 2 hours and 4 hours. Ferry services are provided by Stena Line Ferries and Irish Ferries

South Wales is accessible by coach with regular coach services available to South Wales from London Victoria coach station; the journey time from London to Cardiff is approx 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes depending on the service, time of day & traffic. There are also services from London to Swansea, Newport, Steynton for Milford Haven and Llanelli. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Megabus have services from London Victoria coach station to Cardiff, with a journey time of 3 hours 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on traffic and time of day. There are also services from London to Newport, Swansea, Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock.

Whilst travelling by coach to South Wales is usually more time consuming than using rail and road, it is usually more cost effective.

Cardiff Airport is located approx 30 minutes from Cardiff city centre by car, there are also train and bus services operating between the airport and the city centre. The airport gives good access to South Wales and caters for both domestic and international flights.

Bristol Airport is accessible from South Wales, the airport is located 1 hour from Cardiff.

For more information on public transport in South Wales including information on public transport and timetables please see: South Wales Transport from Traveline Cymru.

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