Fears looming cuts to local bus services will leave communities disconnected
A senior councillor has called for a bus operator to reconsider cuts to its local services amid fears that some communities will be cut off.
Arriva Buses Wales are due to implement a changes to series of its routes across Wrexham County Borough at the end of the month. In some instances the services will be withdrawn altogether.
Such services include the withdrawal of the Service 42: Wrexham – Hightown and Service 44: Wrexham – Barkers Lane, both of which were only reinstated by Arriva Buses Wales in October 2018.
Services affected by the changes, include:
Service 4: Wrexham – Rhos – Pen-y-Cae
Service 4A: Wrexham – Johnstown – Afoneitha
Service 4B: Wrexham – Rhos – Afoneitha
Service 12: Wrexham – Brymbo
Service 26/27: Wrexham – Mold
Service 33: Wrexham – Llay
Service 42: Wrexham – Hightown (Service Withdrawn)
Service 44: Wrexham – Barkers Lane (Service Withdrawn)
Cllr David A. Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, has written to Arriva Buses asking them to reconsider their decision with regards these services.
Cllr Bithell said: “I have consulted on these changes with elected members and many residents have raised have voiced their concerns as to how these changes could leave their communities disconnected.
“Many of the changes proposed would leave residential estates currently served by buses cut off, meaning elderly, vulnerable or mobility-impaired individuals would have much further to travel before they reached a serviced bus stop.
“For many people, that would be the equivalent of completely cutting them off from bus travel, meaning they could no longer rely on the transport links they need in order to maintain their independence and day-to-day lives.”
Cllr Bithell added “While I understand these are commercial decisions of Arriva they also have to consider the impact that these planned changes will have on many of our communities.
“Even if the reductions resulted in a skeleton or reduced service this would still provide links for those people who rely on them.
“The Welsh Government is currently consulting on plans to improve public transport in Wales.
“Whilst I am fully supportive of the White Paper, it is my view that it does not go far enough and will not deliver the necessary improvements required to reverse the worrying decline in the Local Bus industry across Wales.”
More details on the changes coming into play and which services will be affected can be found on the Arriva Buses Wales website.
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