Anglesey council cuts 34 bus services after reduction in grant

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A council says it has no option but to cut 34 bus services after a reduction in a Welsh government grant to support public transport.

From April some services on Anglesey will be dropped altogether, while others will have the times changed.

The council said everything was being done to minimise the impact.

The Welsh government said there were "significant pressures" on transport budgets, but called on Anglesey not to make "premature decisions".

Dewi Williams, the council's head of highways services, said: "Whilst it is inevitable that there will be some inconvenience caused to the passengers who depend on these services, we've made every effort to minimise the impact of the changes.

Start Quote

This unexpected reduction to the grant... has unfortunately left us with no option but to reduce the number of bus services we provide”

End Quote Dewi Williams Anglesey council

"We want to maintain connectivity for Anglesey communities, especially our rural areas," he added.

He said this was being done by withdrawing services where there are alternatives already available, or those which are least used.

"This unexpected reduction to the grant, which was used to supplement the county council's own funding, has unfortunately left us with no option but to reduce the number of bus services we provide."

"After withdrawing the 34 contracted journeys we will still continue to provide a total of 408 contracted journeys, out of a total number of bus journeys operated in Anglesey of 555.

"To put it in context, we are withdrawing less than 8% of the journeys currently provided," he added.

The bus companies which have had minor changes to their contracts as a result of the changes are Arriva Buses Wales, Eifion's Coaches, Goodsir Coaches, Gwynfor's Coaches, and Padarn Bus.

Carl Sargeant, the minister with responsibility for transport, said: "I face significant pressures on my transport budgets resulting from the financial settlement from the UK government.

"It is clear that with less money to go around, we simply cannot carry on in the same way as in the past."

"However, negotiations with local authorities and bus operators are under way.

"I would urge Anglesey not to make premature decisions on service cuts but to engage in these constructive discussions which are aimed at protecting services and, in the longer term, producing a more effective bus financing scheme for Wales".

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