Aberystwyth meeting in bid to save 46 bus jobs

Union officials have met in Ceredigion to discuss ways to save 46 jobs when bus services are scrapped.

A depot in Aberystwyth and stations in New Quay, Lampeter and Dolgellau will shut on 21 December with 46 Arriva Buses Wales staff being made redundant.

The Unite union met Joyce Watson, AM for Mid and West Wales, in Aberystwyth on Monday.

Arriva has blamed public transport funding and fuel costs for the decision.

Pension rights

The routes under threat are the 20, 40 and 40C services, which call at Cardiff, Swansea and Lampeter, as well as the 50 (Synod Inn to Aberaeron and Aberystwyth) and the 585 (Aberystwyth to Lampeter).

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Watson said she the Arriva staff "needed to be heard and listened to".

"When 46 people are threatened with losing their jobs on 21 December that's a pretty serious issue.

"We talked about what they have now and what they hope to retain," she said.

Once issue is that the drivers could lose out on pension rights if they lose their jobs, and some have been with the company for many years, she said.

Ms Watson added she will now be taking her findings back to the assembly.

Liz Lewis, regional officer for Unite, said jobs going would be a loss to the whole of the local economy, not just to the individuals involved.

She was hopeful that something would come out of Joyce Watson and the union's involvement.

"It's not just drivers (affected), it's supervisors, there are clearers, there are engineers who are time served mechanics, who can strip buses and put them back together.

"There's a chance these skills are being lost to Aberystwyth", she said.

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