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Rural routes set to be axed as bus services face funding cuts

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 31, 2012

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BUS services across West Wales face a possible 25 per cent cut in government funding from April next year.

This mean certain routes — particularly those in rural areas which reply on subsidies — could be cut back or axed altogether.

No dec- isions have yet been made and the proposed cut is still being considered by Assembly minister Carl Sargeant.

At a meeting of Carmarthenshire Council, councillor Linda Evans said: "The minister is considering a report which, if approved, would see major cuts to funding bus routes.

"This could be a disaster for the county, especially rural areas.

"Buses are scarce enough as it is in rural areas.

"Any cuts in service will affect us badly.

"We should start working on this now."

Councillor Colin Evans, responsible for transport at the council, said this would affect buses across Wales.

"The intention of the minister is to cut funding by 25 per cent," he said.

"That's £8 million of cuts in total. The mantra from Cardiff is always the same: deliver more with less.

"We will inevitably see some reduction in bus transport next year.

"It seems likely the authority (county council)] will lose control of networks because a new consortium will be making decisions instead."

He said the cuts were due to a lack of funding from Central Government with a knock-on effect felt by the Welsh Government.

Council leader councillor Kevin Madge said: "Let's be honest, we are at a crossroads of local government finance.

"Next year is pretty bleak. We can't fill the gap when Westminster and Cardiff pull their pots of money out because we don't have the finances. I am worried about transport. People will see the difference."

Mr Evans said they were waiting for more information from the transport minister, which is expected in the new year.

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  • Philosoraptor  |  December 31 2012, 10:38PM

    Lets be honest, they spent over £200m on a building when there was one available right here in Swansea. Poor financial management is the cause of this.

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  • brochadav  |  December 31 2012, 9:18PM

    I wonder what the true cost of bi-lingualism is in Wales and how many services wouldn't need to be cut if "we" stopped insisting on all our road signs and mail being in Welsh and English. Here's an idea, if you want your post in Welsh then request it that way otherwise just print in English and road signs would be far easier to read and probably safer if just in English. Then put any money saved to use on more important things. Preserving our native tongue is a wonderful ideal but should it be a higher priority than essential services.

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  • Einon  |  December 31 2012, 5:20PM

    It's got nothing to do with "lack of finance" and everything to do with "responsible finance". The Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff Bay apparently don't have £8 million to support bus routes (including rural bus routes) but apparently they had £3 million to pay to knock down the St. David centre in the middle of Swansea - to encourage car users. Why didn't they put that money towards a better bus service? So they subsidise car users while adopting a scorched earth policy towards everyone else. Their commitment to sustainability is nothing more than tokenism.

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  • brochadav  |  December 31 2012, 11:38AM

    Public transport is already a joke. My wife travels 4 miles to work but has to take a car as no bus service gets her there at a reasonable time without having to leave 2 hours before her start time. On the way home the only bus that gets her close either leaves 15 mins before her finish time or 45 minutes after. And she works 9-5. Why private business gets tax payer subsidies is a mystery to me anyway, we may as well re-nationalise and aim to run buses and trains at just above break even. We've all seen the effects of privatisation on our utilities. The cost of PFI on the NHS. Public money could be much better spent and maybe services could be improved.

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  • muld00ns  |  December 31 2012, 11:10AM

    what a half written bit of rubbish! Which routes and if they haven't been disclosed then First will know which ones are at risk. Without this knowledge this article is pointless!

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  • weslangdon  |  December 31 2012, 10:13AM

    We will never resolve the traffic problems in our cities if we cut public transport. And we won't make our cities desirable to live in, shop in, or invest in, unless we address their terrible traffic problems

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