Tensions flare as groups meet to discuss Wrexham routes

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A MEETING aimed at clearing the air in a row over a disputed bus route ended up sparking new tensions between people on either side of the argument.

But Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, who chaired the summit, said the search to find a solution will go on.

Arriva’s number 13 service, between Brymbo and Wrexham Industrial Estate, started just after Easter.

One group of residents in Wrexham’s Garden Village area claims this means up to 300 buses a week are having to negotiate their quiet residential area, mounting pavements to squeeze through a number of tight junctions, such as that at Balmoral Road and Sandway Road.

These residents say it is a safety hazard and want the service re-routed.

But their opponents claim the bus is a welcome lifeline to many people in the area who do not have the use of a car.

Both sides say surveys they have done of local residents support their respective points of view.

In a bid to hammer out a solution both parties were invited to a meeting at the Guildhall last Friday.

Mr Lucas was in the chair and representatives of Arriva and Wrexham Council also attended.

Miriam Cooke, one of the residents supporting the retention of the service, said:
“We had a lively and often heated meeting, which ended with nothing being
resolved.

“Arriva still have more than half of their 12-month contract to prove this service is viable so I would ask everyone to make an effort to use what is a lifeline to many people.”

On Saturday morning at least two cars were left parked close to the Balmoral Road and Sandway Road junction.

The pro-bus group claims this was done deliberately by their opponents to cause an obstruction for the buses.

Sharon Griffiths, one of the residents against the buses, said: “Myself and a friend left our cars at the junction outside our own homes for most the day.

“But it wasn’t done to be provocative. We did it to slow the buses down because the slower they go the less likely they are to cause serious injury if there is an accident.

“Friday’s meeting did get a bit heated at times and we now feel we are just going round in circles with this one, but we will carry on with our campaign.”

Ian Lucas said: “The aim of the meeting was to try and find a solution that is acceptable to both groups. That is a difficult task but we will find a way forward.”

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