Last week, Welsh Government confirmed that the cut to Bus Emergency Scheme (BES) – originally due to end in March 2023 – would be extended to June 2023.
However, speaking in Questions to the First Minister, Leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price MS, said that this merely delayed the risk to services and jobs – a concern that has previously been raised by industry body Coach and Bus Association Cymru.
Leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price MS said,
“The cuts to bus services will decimate what is, for most people, in most parts of Wales, the only form of public transport they have.
“Three-quarters of all public transport journeys in Wales are made by bus, but buses get a fraction of the investment currently earmarked by the Government for rail. Cutting that funding further at a time of falling passenger numbers and rising costs will decimate the bus network; it will disproportionately disadvantage women, children, young people, the elderly, the disabled, workers on low incomes, and rural and Valleys communities.
“Cutting subsidy to bus transport in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis is among the most regressive acts this Labour Welsh Government has ever proposed.
“On the day that the Welsh Government announce the publication of the roads review, which apparently heralds its commitment to a historic shift in policy and priority from roads to public transport, we urge them to protect the existing bus network while that better, fairer, greener transport network is built.”
Picture used under Creative Commns licence - Secret Coach Park, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons