Mid Wales

33 jobs lost as bus depots close in mid and north Wales

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Media captionThese passengers say they rely on buses

The closure of a bus company depot and three bus stations in mid and north Wales has led to 33 job losses, it has been confirmed.

Arriva Buses Wales axed three services and shut a depot in Aberystwyth and bus stations in New Quay, Lampeter and Dolgellau at the weekend.

Three other bus firms have taken over the three Welsh government-funded routes until June 2014.

Arriva blamed cuts in public transport funding and rising fuel costs.

Some of the staff that lost their jobs have been employed by the other companies.

Arriva Buses Wales has been in consultation with the 46 drivers, bus engineers, administration workers, managers and cleaners based in mid Wales since they were handed redundancy notices in October.

A spokesperson for the company said: "Due to the closure of Aberystwyth depot and New Quay, Lampeter and Dolgellau outstations, it is with regret that 33 staff were made redundant on 21 December 2013.

"Nine staff will remain to operate the 585 service, which will run until 15 February 2014.

"Four employees have left or transferred to other parts of the business."

The 40, 40C and 50 routes were all placed under threat following Arriva's announcement on 1 October.

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Media captionBBC Wales Charlotte Dubenskij hears from passengers and the new operators

In response Transport Minister Edwina Hart said local operators could take over the routes in the short term while longer term solutions for a sustainable network of services were sought.

Last month it was announced that contracts for the routes had been awarded to Llanrhystud-based Lewis coaches, Cardigan-based Richards Brothers and First Cymru, which is based in south Wales.

These routes are being funded by the Welsh government and started operating from Sunday.

Lewis coaches transport manager Paul Hodge said the company, which will be involved in providing the No 40 service, had taken on one member of Arriva staff.

A Richards Brothers spokesman said the firm had employed five former Arriva workers, while First Cymru said it had taken no Arriva staff but the company did have job vacancies.

BBC Wales has asked the Unite union to comment on the job losses.

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