A BUS service in Wrexham has been given a short term future after the Welsh Government stepped in to fund it.
Arriva Bus Wales announced last week the closure of a number of depots, bringing an end to the X94 service between Wrexham and Barmouth.
Transport Minister Edwina Hart said the majority of the services are scheduled to end in December and discussions are ongoing with local authorities to award contracts under emergency procedures to local operators, while longer term solutions are explored for a sustainable network of services.
She said: “Funding for the X94 service from Wrexham and Barmouth, which forms part of the Traws Cymru Network, will be provided by top-slicing the Regional Transport Services Grant.
“We are continuing our discussions with the local authorities about the funding mechanisms for the remaining services.”
She added local authorities had powers to subsidise services that they consider to be socially-necessary, using their own budgets as well as the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Services Grant funding.
Llyr Gruffydd, North Wales AM for Plaid Cymru, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “Regular users of the X94 bus service are fed up with an inconsistent service that keeps chopping and changing.
“While this is good news in the short term, we need a long-term future for this and other rural services across the north.
“It’s high time we had a long-term strategy for our rural bus services that ensures an improved integrated public transport plan for the region.”
l ARRIVA Bus Wales has pledged it is making reliability improvements on a route serving the Penycae area.
The announcement has come after the Leader was contacted by Cllr Paul Pemberton, who represents Ponciau ward on Wrexham Council.
Cllr Pemberton has been highlighting the problems experienced by passengers using Arriva’s Service Three.
Among the villagers who have been complaining about the record of the service is 73-year-old Jack Harris.
Mr Harris, of Oak Road in Ponciau, said he was feeling deeply frustrated at how often buses which were scheduled to arrive failed to turn up.
“It happens on a regular basis and it is not fair to passengers,” said Mr Harris.
In response to the concerns raised, a spokesman for Arriva Bus Wales said the company was seeking to improve the service.
He said: “We take punctuality and reliability extremely seriously as we realise that this is key for our customer.
“We are looking closely at the Three Service and we are currently making improvements to provide and maintain a reliable service for our customers.”