A BUS company has been accused of upsetting passengers after they were told of a potential service withdrawal by drivers.

People using the 12 and 13 services through Flintshire, which are operated by Arriva Buses Wales, have been informed that the routes will soon be stopped or altered.

However, Flintshire Council said it was not made aware of the changes until calls were received from concerned residents.

The local authority said people had been put in a difficult position because of the announcement that the number 12 service will stop operating from 28 April 2019 because it is no longer commercially viable

Meanwhile, the number 13 will only run between Chester and Mold via Buckley and Nat Mawr Road in future.

The issue was highlighted in a meeting to discuss how public transport in the area can be improved.

Speaking at County Hall in Mold, the council’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation said bus operators were increasingly looking to reduce non-profitable routes.

Steve Jones said: “One of the concerns is we’re relying on the commercial operators and they’re only looking at the profitable routes and that’s what we’ve been a victim of over the last few days.

“Operators can remove services if they so wish just by providing notice to the commissioner.

“They don’t even have to let us know and that’s what happened last time.

“We were the last to know and we found out about yourselves about buses being withdrawn.

“That’s not a good position to be in when you’re trying to co-ordinate the scheme.”

A public meeting is being held to discuss the changes on Wednesday 13 March at Mancot Village Hall.

Flintshire Council said it has now been informed of the company’s intentions and its officers are reviewing the potential impact.

Bus services in the county have previously taken a hit following the collapse of GHA Coaches in 2016.

Connah’s Quay Golftyn councillor Paul Shotton (Lab) said the latest news had ‘disturbed’ residents.

Meanwhile, chair of the environment scrutiny committee Ray Hughes (Ind) said he was also concerned about alterations to routes in Leeswood.

He said: “I’m worried sick about Leeswood at present.

“If they say they’re going to stop it, most of my pensioners are going to be isolated.

“If they take that off, I’ll be coming to the county council looking for putting something on in my area to take people to the shops.

“Don’t isolate people just for the sake of money.”

At the end of the meeting, backbench politicians approved the council’s response to a Welsh Government White Paper on public transport.

The consultation document outlines potential new powers for local authorities, including the ability to either franchise bus services or run their own on a larger scale than is currently possible.

In response to the concerns raised, an Arriva spokesman said: “We can confirm that from 28th April 2019, the number 12 service will be withdrawn and the number 13 will only run between Chester and Mold via Buckley and Nat Mawr Road in both directions.

“Despite giving much thought on how to save the service, due to low passenger numbers it is no longer commercially viable to operate, and we would like to sincerely apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused.”