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MS accuses Transport for Wales of ‘disenfranchising’ communities along Cambrian Coast

24 Apr 2024 4 minute read
Train station in Carmarthen – Image: TfW

Emily Price

A Plaid Cymru MS has accused Transport for Wales of disenfranchising communities along the Cambrian Coast, as the train operator moves to cut four daily services from the timetable.

Raising the matter in the Senedd, Mabon ap Gwynfor accused the transport operator of overseeing a catalogue of cuts to public transport across his rural Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency.

This includes cutbacks to the T2, T3 and 32 bus services.

Mr ap Gwynfor called on the Welsh Government to bring forward an urgent statement and to clarify what is being done to address “chronic public transport problems” impacting those living and working in rural Gwynedd.

He says many of his constituents are fast becoming solely dependent on the generosity of family and friends to get them from A to B, because of such unreliable public transport.

Dependent

Speaking in the Senedd, the Plaid Cymru MS said: “Last week, we had an understanding that Transport for Wales intends to cut the Cambrian line services.

“There will be four services less a day, with services extended in the summer for visitors, disenfranchising those people who live in those communities who are served by this line and who are dependent on it for their education, for employment, for shopping and other essentials.

“This, of course, follows cuts to the bus services: to the T2, T3 and the 32, which means that people are now dependent on cars or lifts from family and friends.

“In all these cases, we haven’t received any kind of consultation – valid consultation or adequate consultation.

“In terms of the railway, it follows the fact that the Government has withdrawn the Llanbedr funding away, encouraging people to use public transport, and now the people of Llanbedr can’t use the railway as often.

“So, can you ensure that this isn’t going to happen, and ask the Minister for transport to give an urgent statement to us on these issues, and demonstrate how this Government is going to provide appropriate public transport for the people of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and rural areas?”

He added: “I’m afraid the Welsh Labour government seem indifferent to the lived experiences of people across Dwyfor Meirionnydd who are finding accessing public services, getting to work or school is exacerbated by unreliable public transport.

“The people in the communities that have been impacted haven’t had their voices heard, and nor have they been able to take part in a process to make these decisions.’

“So I ask the Minister what steps will he take to ensure that these bus services will be restored, and that we won’t lose rail services on the Cambrian line and the Heart of Wales line?”

‘Important’

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Ken Skates said the future of rural communities is “just as important” to the Welsh Government as the future of urban communities.

He said: “I’ve already spoken with Transport for Wales to ensure that, in the future, full consultations do take place with people in communities where service changes may have an impact.

“I think the point that the Member makes about challenges within rural areas is particularly important in respect of the work being taken forward by both Transport for Wales and local authorities on the regional transport plans.

“These are hugely, hugely important plans that will enable and empower regions to develop service patterns, service delivery, for the communities that they serve.

“I’m a firm believer that local authorities and councillors know their communities best, and so with them having the pen on regional transport plans, supported by Transport for Wales, I firmly believe that we will see a better network of public transport for the people of Wales across all communities.”

Transport for Wales were invited to comment.


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Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
1 month ago

And what about all the other bits of rural Wales that are affected? The Conwy Valley, the Heart of Wales, and the Borderlands line? All have abysmal services about to be made worse by cuts

All this is paying for Cardiff and the Valleys (core Labour areas, please note!) to have a Metro system.

As for full consultations? That’s politician-speak for we’ve already made our minds up and anything you say isn’t going to change matters.

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