North East Wales

No takers for bus from Wrexham to HMP Berwyn super-prison

Berwyn visitors centre Image copyright Nick Dann/Twitter
Image caption HMP Berwyn has a capacity of 2,100 inmates and is currently less than half full

A new provider to run a bus route to Wrexham super-prison is yet to be found two months after the firm running it collapsed.

In December, D Jones and Son, which provided school transport and local services, ceased trading.

Wrexham council said it had struggled to find interest for "less attractive routes".

It acknowledged the "important role" the network has in accessing work, education and essential services.

Lead Member for Environment and Transport Cllr David A Bithell said: "The demise of D Jones & Son Ltd has been a very difficult and challenging time for many people and I am extremely pleased with the work that has been done to secure replacement and alternative services to those communities impacted."

But MP Ian Lucas said he was getting a lot of complaints about buses in the town.

"HMP Berwyn is only half full, this is something that is only going to intensify," he said, adding better services were needed for workers at the industrial estate, where the new prison is based.

A report to the authority said: "Whilst officers remain hopeful that solutions will be found and services restored to those areas currently unserved, vehicle capacity within the local bus industry is extremely limited and levels of funding afforded to subsidise non-commercial services is likewise limited.

"Therefore, no definitive assurances can be given that all services will be restored and certainly not to the same level of service routing and frequency previously afforded."

Labour MP Mr Lucas said the town was not getting the infrastructure it needed to deal with the increasing demand placed on services like new housing developments and the building of the new prison.

He said that the large bus companies would only take on commercially viable routes, leaving other areas without a service.

"The whole situation is very unsatisfactory and very frustrating," he said.

Wrexham council said the number 42 to Wrexham Industrial Estate and 44 Garden Village which were previously operated by D Jones & Son Ltd had been covered by a variation to two existing Town Link services operated by Valentines Coaches and would operate from Monday.

It said people affected by the cessation of the number six Wrexham to Ruabon service would benefit from an alteration to the X5 Corwen-Llangollen-Wrexham service operated by Coastline Taxis from 12 March.

It added from 11 March the number five service between Wrexham and Llangollen, operated by Arriva Buses Wales, would revert to serving Rhostyllen.

More on this story