Home » Transport Secretary accused of snubbing constituents ‘left in the lurch’ by curtailed bus service
Denbighshire North Wales Politics Wrexham

Transport Secretary accused of snubbing constituents ‘left in the lurch’ by curtailed bus service

Councillor Gwyneth Ellis

THE NEW Transport Secretary has been accused of “ignoring constituents” who have been left “in the lurch” after a bus service was curtailed.

Cllr Gwyneth Ellis, who represents Edeirnion ward on Denbighshire County Council, has hit out at Ken Skates, who is also Minister for North Wales, after he failed to respond to three requests for a meeting to discuss changes.

The Plaid Cymru councillor has branded the attitude of Mr Skates as “disrespectful” and “out of touch”.

Transport for Wales, which is owned by the Welsh Government changed the T3 Barmouth to Wrexham bus route to avoid the villages of Cynwyd, Llandrillo, and Llandderfel, adding a new T3C Service to link these villages to Corwen. Villagers have been particularly affected as a result of these changes.

Cllr Ellis has been contacted by several constituents who have been negatively impacted by the change, which include older people as well as students who are finding it more difficult to get to college. The new T3C Service is very irregular, and villagers must make a connection at Corwen which is not always guaranteed. The service has also been removed on a Sunday.

Plaid Cymru MS Mabon ap Gwynfor recently held a meeting with Transport for Wales about this issue but it has refused to reverse the changes.

Cllr Ellis said: “My constituents have been badly affected by the changes that have been made to the Barmouth to Wrexham bus route.

“Unfortunately despite Transport for Wales being aware of the negative impact on local people, it has so far refused to reverse the decision.

“Local people were not consulted when these changes were made and their wishes are continuing to be ignored.

“The bus service used to go through Llandrillo and Cynwyd and this was used by local people. The changes to the route and the timetable have left constituents in the lurch.

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“Now the bus goes from Bala to Corwen along the Glanrafon road. Though the new T3C service has been organised so that it goes from Llanuwchlyn to Corwen through Llandrillio and Cynwyd, it isn’t working properly for local people.

“For one thing the new service doesn’t travel very often and it often misses the connection in Corwen entirely.

 “This has badly affected older and vulnerable residents in particular. It has disincentivised them from going to Wrexham or Llangollen on the bus because they’re worried that they will have to wait for hours in Corwen to get a connecting bus on the way home.

“Students from villages such as Cynwyd, Llandrillo, and Llandderfel, who attend Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in Dolgellau are now forced to travel to and from Corwen for connecting buses, instead of directly, and this is making life more difficult for them.

“There is no direct bus back from the college site at Dollgellau to Cynwyd, Llandrillo, or Llandderfel, which I think is unfair to students who are essentially being forced to take the bus to Corwen, wait, and then have to catch the bus back from Corwen down to the villages.

“The Welsh Government says it cares about investing in the futures of young people but allowing Transport for Wales to change this bus route is evidence that it doesn’t.

“According to the Welsh Government’s own transport policy, there needs to be provision for transport services for rural communities that are sustainable, safe and dependable. But this clearly isn’t the case with the provision as it stands now.

“This is why I have tried to contact the new Transport Secretary three times to discuss these changes on behalf of constituents.

“Unfortunately, I have not had a response other than an automatic reply, which is very disappointing, to say the least. It’s his job to make sure that the transport system works for everyone in Wales.

“I think the lack of response shows a disrespectful attitude towards my constituents and it gives the impression that the minister is out of touch.

“My constituents don’t have the luxury of a ministerial car to chauffer them around like he does.

“I reiterate my request for a meeting to discuss this important issue. The Welsh Government has a duty to meaningfully engage.”