11/11/2013

Funding agreed for Ceredigion bus routes

The Welsh Government  has agreed to fund alternative contracts for the Ceredigion bus services due to be lost when Arriva pulls out on 21st December.

The routes involved are:
  • The 40 service from Aberystwyth to Carmarthen  via Lampeter
  • The 50 service from Aberystwyth to Synod Inn
The announcement that £162,000 revenue funding will be made available to the end of June comes after several weeks of behind-the-scenes negotiations during which Ceredigion Council made a very strong case for the vital economic role the services play in Ceredigion.

The 40 and 50 services run on previously unsubsidised commercial routes and it was very difficult to see how the Council could be expected to take on their funding at a time when it is being asked to make huge savings in the next financial year due to grant money being lost from central government.

The news will be a great relief to the many people entirely dependent on these bus services to get to and from work who had been viewing the planned pull-out with trepidation. Transport Minister Edwina Hart has also pleased campaigners by saying that in future the routes will be regarded as nationally strategic.

Ceredigion Council will now proceed with the tendering arrangements for the routes. 

The 585 service from Aberystwyth to Lampeter via Tregaron, which Arriva has announced it will pull out of on February 15th, is already subsidised by the council and new tenders for this will also be sought.

4 comments:

  1. Newyddion gwych! Will the 40 include Cardiff workings, or will that be left to the 701?

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    1. I hope it will be left to the 701. The old X40 to Cardiff/Swansea, using service buses, was a mistake in my opinion, an hourly replacement for the 40 (hopefully run from both ends to allow ealier northbound morning services from Carmarthen and later southbound evening services to Carmarthen.

      I also hope that the 50 (and 550) services don't become branded as TrawsCambria/TrawsCymru, as they are local services not national strategic routes. On the other hand, the national strategic route between Aberystwyth and Cardigan should be strengthened by running the full X50 service during the middle of the day.

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  2. As the WAG is "top slicing" regional transport funding to keep the X94 Barmouth - Wrexham service running (in other words, taking money from the money already allocated to regional transport consortia), presumably they are doing the same with the West Wales services. It's money that has been already allocated for transport use and will just mean that there is less in the pot for other transport projects.

    What annoys me is that this lot in charge made great capital out of the fact that if you vote Tory, you'll lose your buses, your bus passes and all the rest. And what is the reality under Welsh Labour? Exactly the same, it would seem.

    I also wonder if Bus Users UK will be putting up a fight on behalf of those they claim to represent. I haven't been that impressed this far - I do wonder if the funding they get from WAG makes them something of a sheep in wolf's clothing (ie not biting the hand that feeds them....)

    As for Edwina Hart as Transport Minister, I think people need to look at the fine print. She wasn't much cop as Health Minister, and I dount she'll excel herself in this job either.

    Theres less and less reason to vote for this lot next time round. As I'm sure even people in their heartlands are now realising...!

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  3. Whatever the merits of Tories or Labour (or not as it may seem) the key is to vote for Plaid Cymru, which tends to provide hard-working local representatives who will get the best deal for us out of the available resources.

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