Changes to bus services could cut ‘lifelines’ for residents in Wrexham’s outlying villages, say an MP and AM.
Susan Elan Jones and Ken Skates have written to Arriva, Wrexham Council and the Traffic Commissioner about the company’s plans to restrict some of its routes from June 25, which have been heavily criticised by disgruntled service users.
Ms Jones, who was recently re-elected as Clwyd South MP, said: “I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are extremely upset about these changes, particularly older people who see these services as a lifeline connecting them to their communities and essential amenities such as their doctor, pharmacy or post office. A lot of people will be affected.”
Mr Skates said he’d made representations on behalf of residents in areas including Coedpoeth, Penycae, Rhostyllen and the Maelor villages.
“In Penycae, these changes will see key areas such as the Afoneitha estate hugely affected, and people fear they will be completely cut off,” he said. “Arriva has stated that long-running parking issues hindering access to the estate have contributed to its decision, so I would implore Wrexham Council to act as a matter of urgency.
“Residents in the Maelor villages successfully campaigned for their 146 service to be reinstated, now it’s up in the air again. Their last bus would leave Wrexham at 4.45pm, so how are those who commute there every day for work supposed to get home?”
Mr Skates added: “Susan and I have made urgent representations to Arriva, the council and the Traffic Commissioner and hope to hear back in the very near future.”
Ms Jones added: “At the end of the day, Arriva is a private company and it’s entirely their decision ultimately. But we have urged them to think about those who rely on their services, reconsider the changes and put people before profits.”
In December, the Welsh Government announced a £300,000 cash boost to help councils including Wrexham to restore key bus services lost following the demise of GHA Coaches and to build resilience in the services already provided.