THOUSANDS of bus passengers will be hit if plans to axe vital services get the green light, it has been claimed.
Flintshire Council has recommended the withdrawal of a number of Deeside Shuttle services and the scrapping of a shuttle bus to Theatr Clwyd Cymru.
Executive members are due to discuss the plans today but some councillors fear the move will leave many residents unable to get to work.
Sealand councillor Christine Jones said: “It is ridiculous. Deeside Industrial Park is one of the biggest in the UK.
“I am very angry at the plans because this is a vital service for lots of people.
“We should be improving transport links not cutting back. How are people who use the service expected to get to work?”
A report by Flintshire’s director of environment, Carl Longland, said the shuttle is generally used by low income workers who would struggle to find suitable employment without the service.
The report recommends introducing a fixed timetable service between 5am and 9am Monday to Friday with passengers continuing to pre-book outside of these times.
Under the plans put forward, the Deeside Shuttle will no longer run on a Sunday and will operate a reduced service on Saturdays.
Passengers living in Buckley, Ewloe and Queensferry will be transferred onto an alternative service but the service will no longer serve Hawarden.
Cllr Bernie Attridge, who represents Connah’s Quay Central ward, said: “I’m very disappointed that it could be withdrawn.
“Some people don’t drive so they rely on this service. I think it’s appalling in these economic times as they are and jobs are hard to come by.
“People who are working are now going to be denied travel to their workplace and it is shameful."
Hawarden Cllr Clive Carver added: “Those who have come to rely on the service will obviously have to make other arrangements which may not be that easy.
“If you live in an area which is served by a bus, they might have to consider moving home if they want to stay in the same job. Or they may have to work elsewhere.”
The Deeside Shuttle provides a door to door service from homes to the Deeside Industrial Park and is currently available from 5am to 11pm seven days a week. It carries around 147,000 passengers a year.
But the report states that as the shuttle is funded by the council officers have reviewed the service to see whether any “efficiencies” can be made.
If the changes go ahead, the estimated annual cost of operating the service will be £438,000.
The report adds Flintshire Council intends to carry out periodic reviews of the service.
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