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MS calls on Welsh Government to work on restoring axed Conwy valley bus service

An MS has called on the Welsh Government to commit to working towards restoring an axed bus service in the Conwy valley.

Llŷr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, reminded Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, that it has been a year since the T19 service between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno was scrapped.

Speaking in the Senedd, the Plaid Cymru politician said the train that local residents have been told to use is “unreliable” and “doesn’t run anywhere near as often”.

He also said that the loss of the service has left older and vulnerable people struggling to access services such as going to the hospital or to see the GP.

Llŷr Gruffydd MS said: “It has been a year since the T19 bus service between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Llandudno was lost.

“It served communities across the Conwy valley, from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Dolwyddelan, Betws-y-coed, Llanrwst, and down the valley to the coast. When that service was lost, local residents were told to use the train, which, of course, doesn’t run anywhere near as often and which has been very unreliable recently because storms have washed the railroad away.

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“We’re now in a position where elderly and vulnerable people are finding it difficult without the bus service to access services, such as going to Conwy or Llandudno to see their GP, or to hospital, or to access other services. 

“To mark a year since the loss of that service, three Plaid Cymru councillors—Councillor Elfed Wyn ap Elwyn from Blaenau Ffestiniog, Liz Roberts from the Betws-y-coed ward, and Nia Clwyd Owen from Llanrwst—walked the 30 miles route that the bus would have followed until a year ago.

“The fact that that’s happening a full 12 months after the loss of the service, for me, reflects what a great loss it was.

“So, can I ask you, Deputy Minister, whether you will commit to working with the relevant local authorities and with possible providers to try and restore that service, because there is no doubt that it is greatly needed in the Conwy valley?”

In response, Lee Waters MS, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change admitted “that the current bus network is not what we would like it to be” and that “there are patches that are not served”. 

He added that the Welsh Government has a “finite amount of support” that it can give, but that he would “check” with partner organisations in North Wales to “understand what provision can be made.”

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