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Frustration at the lack of consultation for changes to T3 bus service

20 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Image: Transport for Wales

Emily Price

A Plaid Cymru MS has raised concerns at the lack of “meaningful” consultation with communities about changes to the T3 bus service between Barmouth and Wrexham.

Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS, Mabon ap Gwynfor voiced the frustrations of his constituents at a public meeting he led with operators this week.

People living along the route of the T3 say recent changes to the bus service have left out communities such as Llanuwchllyn and Llandderfel from the new timetable.

In addition, the revised T3 service no longer calls at Llandrillo and Cynwyd in the Dee Valley.

Communities

Mr ap Gwynfor met senior officers from Transport from Wales (TfW) in Llandderfel along with councillors representing communities living near the T3 bus route.

Councillors at the meeting included Cllr Elwyn Edwards (Llandderfel) Cllr Alan Hughes and Cllr Gwyneth Ellis (Corwen, Cynwyd and Llandrillo), Cllr David Robinson (Llandrillo Community Council), Cllr Delyth Lloyd Griffiths (Brithdir, Llanfachreth, Ganllwyd and Llanelltyd).

Some of the concerns voiced at the meeting included the impact the revised timetable is having on people trying to access work and education centres, alongside the real inconvenience caused for elderly commuters.

Mr ap Gwynfor said: “Recent changes to the T3 bus service are not only a real inconvenience for my constituents, but it means that many people now face additional barriers when trying to get to and from work and attending school or college.

“Local people are finding it increasingly difficult getting to the doctors or do their grocery shopping. I share the immense frustration voiced locally at the lack of meaningful and timely consultation surrounding these changes.

“I am pleased that TfW officers finally acknowledged that communication surrounding these changes had been poor to say the least.’

‘Had communities been properly consulted at the start, then some of the issues causing the greatest concern might have been factored into the proposed changes.

“We were told that our concerns would be ‘taken onboard’, with TfW now looking at what can be done to improve the situation. We eagerly await a response in early January.

“We live in a time of acute financial constraints with public money continually being squeezed.

‘The Tory UK government doesn’t believe in public services and is abysmally failing to provide sufficient funding to maintain essential public services such as buses in our rural communities.’

‘The Welsh government is diverting the lion’s share of public transport cash to prop-up train services. But public transport in rural areas like mine cannot be sacrificed at the expense of improving one service over another.’

“We need joined up thinking to maintain all essential services at a time of extreme financial pressure.

Opposition

Councillor Elwyn Edwards (Llandderfel) added: ‘The fact that the T3 bus route has been removed, despite the clear opposition from the residents of Llandderfel, and the surrounding areas, is disgraceful.

“Many residents in rural areas like this rely on public transport to go to work, to shop and to socialise. Removing the bus route means that it is the most vulnerable people who will suffer the most if this decision is not reversed.

“And with the government pressuring everyone to do their part in order to protect the environment, what hope is there for rural communities without a public service in order to travel? The situation is a tragedy for many people.”

Lee Robinson, Executive Director for Regional Transport and Integration, said: “Following a constructive meeting with local representatives, we have agreed to look at what changes can be made to improve the reliability of the T3 and T3C services and will provide an update in January.

“We had already started dialogue with the operator to assess performance and they have agreed to put in place some measures to address issues.

“The changes to the T3 and introduction of the T3C were made to improve connectivity based on passenger number data and to optimise the service with the funds available.

“We always welcome feedback and look forward to on-doing discussions with local stakeholders.”


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Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
2 months ago

The T3 has also been removed from Johnstown, the second biggest population centre on the old route, which will do little in any drive to boost passenger numbers as lots of people did use the service. It also avoids the centre of Ruabon and only calls at the railway station.
If you wanted to save money and time on the route why not make calling at villages like Llanderfel, where the bus had to do a U-turn, a book online or by telephone, or requested on the bus, so that it only called when required.

Michael Cridlanf
Michael Cridlanf
2 months ago

The problem with this and others is no thinking out of the box, organizing regional transport authorities might help. The current situation has frozen from 1985, time it thawed

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