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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Summit planned to discuss bus services

The Welsh Government will continue providing support to Wrexham and Denbighshire councils to help replace bus services in the wake of the area’s main operator going into administration.

That's the word from Clwyd South AM Ken Skates who has also set up a meeting with all three North East Wales authorities to discuss plans following the collapse of Ruabon-based GHA Coaches.

Mr Skates said: “The news of the demise of GHA Coaches came as a huge blow for our area, with more than 300 people being told their jobs had gone and thousands more who relied on their buses at risk of being stranded.

“People in some of Clwyd South’s most rural and isolated areas, places like Glyn Ceiriog and Penley, have been severely affected, and that is something that the council needs to address urgently. Some of my constituents are effectively trapped until alternatives are provided.”

Mr Skates has arranged a meeting with Wrexham, Denbighshire and Flintshire councils to discuss ways forward.

He added: “The Welsh Government has been working with councils to try to protect the bus network. We will continue to work collaboratively, including with the administrators, to minimise the effects of the firm entering administration.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said funding to local authorities under the Bus Services Support Grant, to help them to subsidise buses and community transport, has been maintained at £25m since 2013-14 despite ‘very challenging’ funding settlements from the Tory Government at Westminster.

Over that period, a number of councils cut their own budgets, the spokesperson added.

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