A COUNCIL has reacted to a county council decision to "scrap" bus schemes in the area.

Flintshire council's recently announced community bus scheme has received backlash from Holywell Town Council, who are extremely concerned about how the elderly, disabled, and those living in rural areas will cope without an adequate bus service.

The shift in bus routes came after a review of the county’s subsidised bus services over the coming months to "establish a sustainable and effective transport network for the future."

The purpose of the review was how to best to prioritise increasingly limited public funding where there is most need and ensure local bus service delivery is sustainable, affordable and equitable across the county.

A spokesman for Flintshire Council said: "The consultation feedback has now been collated and assessed and the preferred option is to support bus routes on the core bus network and introduce local travel arrangements in areas off the core network."

Holywell Town Council however disagree that the council's aim to "connect communities to key hubs, such as town centres" while "increasing passenger access to commercial services" is not sustainable for the people of Holywell.

Cllr Barry Scragg, head of the community transport sub-committee, said he is disappointed that Flintshire council are discussing an eight seater minibus to replace existing public buses despite large-scale commuter demand.

Cllr Scragg said: "For two years we have been talking about a bus scheme running in tandem with the current bus services. The only bus that will run under the new scheme will be there number 19 from Prestatyn to Flint which they say is commercial - all the other buses will stop.

"That is a completely different scheme that we have been talking about.

"There are a lot of local people in our village who depend on our bus service. Flintshire council has never come to us and asked us to talk about the scheme that is going to run."

Town mayor, Cllr Rosetta Dolphin said the bus routes are not just "cosmetic" but are "vital" to the people in the area.

She said the new scheme will be "dismaying" for people relying on the current services.

Cllr Karen Davies said: "If the local bus that goes around here stopped, that means there are one hell of a lot of old people who will not be able to get in to town.

"We are trying to regenerate the town and saying to people 'I'm sorry there are no buses,' is just stupid. We really have to fight for this one."

The council resolved that the community engagement officer, Martin Fearnley, is to arrange another meeting with Flintshire council to clarify what will happen to Holywell's bus services following their decision to go ahead with the subsidy scheme.

Town clerk Jason Baker said: "On wider consideration of the bus network review, we have expressed our choice of option to continue with local routes and facilities have at the moment.

"Cllr Scragg is concerned with what happens next if no subsidy is available or if subsidies are reduced."