Wales could lose a quarter of its bus services due to lack of funding, operators warn
The Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT), which represents bus companies, estimated that between 20 and 25 per cent of the country’s services are at risk of closing without further long-term government funding.
CPT Cymru director Aaron Hill estimated nearly 10 per cent of Wales’s bus routes have been axed this summer following the end of the government’s £150 million emergency funding scheme.
He told the BBC:
“We could [see] 20-25 per cent of the whole network in Wales cut as a result of this most recent funding ended. We don’t want to be in that position in March and April.
“The industry wants to be able to grow to run new services and to reach places that they are not able to at the moment, but the level of funding isn’t there.”
Public transport campaigners urged the Welsh government today to protect services with a long-term funding pot.
Paul Tuohy from Campaign for Better Transport said:
“Losing bus services means cutting communities off from jobs, education, services, and family.
“To prevent further cuts in Wales, the government must change the way buses are funded and replace the multiple and competitive funding sources with a single, long-term funding pot.”
Transport Action Network director Chris Todd told the Morning Star:
“While we understand funding is tight, the Welsh government has to find a way of safeguarding and improving bus services.
“Buses are an essential lifeline for many people connecting them to job, services and friends and family. Even small cuts can have devastating impacts on people’s lives if they can no longer get to work or back, for example.”
“While the Welsh government funds local authorities and buses and therefore has a responsibility in this area, it has been hit by Liz Truss’s disastrous mini-budget and high inflation.
“That has made an already difficult situation even harder. Now we are seeing the real and damaging impact this is having on many people’s lives.”
The Welsh government said it was working on funding to start after April, but “our priority up until now been ensuring services continue to run and that we are not facing wholesale collapse of the industry.”
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