'Vital' X19 Blaenau Ffestiniog bus service given lifeline

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image source, Llew Jones Coaches
image captionThe X19 service is essential to people without a car, Gwynedd councillors have said

A "vital" bus service in north Wales facing being cut from six services a day to one has won a partial reprieve.

Llew Jones Coaches said the X19 route between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno was losing money.

Gwynedd councillor Glyn Daniels was concerned children from Blaenau attending school in Llanrwst may try to walk five miles over the Crimea Pass.

A deal has been struck to keep two services a day running until Christmas while a long-term solution is sought.

News of the cuts prompted an outcry when they were announced at the end of October, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Llew Jones Coaches' managing director Steve Jones told passengers the firm had been "forced to make this difficult decision because passenger numbers and associated income has failed to cover the significant costs of running the service".

Under the plan, all but one of the daily bus services heading south from Llandudno had been due to terminate at Dolwyddelan, five miles short of Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Disruption

However, a short-term deal has now been struck with funding from Gwynedd Council to maintain a schools-only second service.

It will ensure sixth-formers from Blaenau Ffestiniog can get home from Ysgol Dyffryn Conwy in Llanrwst, in the neighbouring county of Conwy.

Gwynedd Council's deputy leader Dafydd Meurig said the temporary arrangement until Christmas would "avoid disrupting children's journeys mid-term".

He said Gwynedd was in discussions with Conwy council "in the hope of securing an alternative arrangement for the new year".

Councillor Annwen Daniels, who represents part of Blaenau Ffestiniog, said she was pleased with the temporary solution.

"To some local people - especially older people, non-driving residents and school pupils - this service is essential," she said.

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