RESIDENTS across Wrexham are facing the prospect of losing bus services, including nearly all buses on Sunday.
Thirty-six early morning, evening and Sunday services across the county are under threat as the council consider the proposal to withdraw all funding for subsidised bus services in order for the local authority to save £495,000 in 2014-15.
Sunday services could be cut, while weekday early morning services (arriving in Wrexham before 8am) and evening services (leaving Wrexham bus station after 6.30pm) also face being scrapped.
Bus services which face the axe in the county include services to both Wrexham bus station and the Wrexham Maelor Hospital, as well as to and from towns further afield like Chester, Mold and Whitchurch.
County councillors across Wrexham have spoken out against the proposals and believe the withdrawal of services is especially going to affect people travelling to and from the Maelor.
Rural communities such as Rhos, and the surrounding villages of Penycae and Johnstown, face being “isolated”, says Pant councillor Kevin Hughes.
Speaking at a meeting of Rhos Community Council on Thursday he said: “It’s completely unfair to the people of rural communities. It will leave those who rely on public transport cut-off from everywhere.
“Rhos will be isolated after 6pm and on Sundays if people can’t drive.”
Llay councillor Terry Bolland said: “If these proposals take place it is going to be absolutely horrendous.
“People in Llay are going to struggle to get around with the 32, 33 and 34 services on Sundays. I’m particularly concerned for people who need to get to the hospital – I appreciate we’ve got to make cuts but this is worrying.
“Other people in the area work late – how will they get home? They can’t spend all their money on a taxi.”
Brymbo councillor Paul Rogers said: “There is anger and concern over these proposed cuts.
“People have no alternative transport. I’d like the council to halt these cuts and seek alternatives.”
Ponciau councillor Paul Pemberton said rural communities were being “victimised” by the cuts.
“People are going to be out on a limb in this community”, he said.
“You’ve got pensioners who need to get to hospital on Sundays or get back from Wrexham in the evenings – they can’t afford to pay £15 for a taxi.
“Rural communities are being victimised. It’s a case of the council cutting the head off to save a toe – they have got to be more flexible.
“Why can’t we maybe halve the number of Sunday services instead?”
Edward Reid, intergrated transport manager at Wrexham Council, said: “These services will no longer operate if the proposal goes ahead, unless some other sources of funding can be found, of which there is no guarantee.
“These services are potentially going to be lost, however persons are free to express their views.”
A Wrexham Council spokesman said people can have their say on the proposals before the December 11 deadline, by visiting www.wrexham.gov.uk/budgetproposals and completing the online feedback form at www.surveymonkey.com/sReshapingServices.
Alternatively Wrexham residents can send their views via email to email@example.com (marking it ‘budget consultation’) or writing to 3rd Floor Annexe, The Guildhall, Wrexham LL11 1AY (mark your letter ‘budget consultation’).