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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Bus company asked to pick up "stranded" passengers

Community leaders have called on a bus company to pick up ‘stranded’ passengers in rural Wrexham.

Assembly Member Ken Skates (pictured) has written to Coastline Taxis urging the firm to address the shortage of pick-up points in Garth, between Ruabon and Llangollen.

The X5 Wrexham-Corwen service stops in Ruabon, Llangollen and Glyndyfrdwy, but the chairman of Llangollen Rural Community Council says many older passengers in Garth are not able to make it to the two bus stops on the A539.

Cllr Darrell Wright said: “The X5 service stops at two places on its way through, both of which are on the main road and are a long way for a lot of people to walk to. We have a high proportion of older people in Garth and a lot of steep hills, and many of them simply can’t manage it. They’re stranded unless something changes.”

Mr Skates, AM for Clwyd South, said the Welsh Labour Government had recently announced funding of £25m to help support vital bus services across Wales.

The Bus Services Support Grant (BSSG) is allocated annually to local councils by a formula that reflects their populations and their rural or urban characteristics.

The £25m grant will be shared between the 22 local authorities and will allow each to subsidise bus and community transport within their areas.

Mr Skates said: “Local bus services continue to be the foundation of our public transport system, so I ‘m incredibly proud that the Welsh Labour Government has been able to maintain the Bus Services Support Grant at the same level over the last five years.

“The National Transport Finance Plan says that local authorities should match the funding committed by the Welsh Government, so it is now up to Wrexham Council to ensure they are providing equivalent funding – as other councils have – to help support vital bus services in all parts of the county borough.”

The majority of bus services across Wales are run by commercial operators. When services are not adequately provided, it is for each local authority to determine which services to subsidise, using their own budgets and money from the Welsh Government.

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