A LOCAL councillor has called for temporary bus services after news the Arriva depot in Wrexham was forced to closed due to a small COVID-19 outbreak.

The Leader reported on Tuesday evening that it was confirmed that the town’s depo would be closing and just five services would be in place to cover the town after almost 30 Wrexham-based drivers had contracted the virus.

Since then, Plaid Cymru's councillor Carrie Harper has made a plea for essential services to the town’s industrial estate and hospital to be maintained.

She said: "Councillors were informed at 7pm tonight (Tuesday) that Arriva services were suspended on all but a few routes. That leaves key workers, including hospital staff, as well as those who have to attend hospital with very little alternative.

"As this firebreak at Wrexham depot is likely to last at least 10 days, I am calling on the Welsh Government and Wrexham Council to work together to provide an alternative temporary service with another bus company.

"A shuttle service to the industrial estate and to the hospital from King Street is a bare minimum to ensure that workers and hospital staff can get to work safely.

“The timing of this announcement is very unfortunate, to say the least, but hopefully some services to these key destinations can be reinstated quickly."

An Arriva spokesman said that the facility was closed as of 8pm on Tuesday, January 12, and this could last up to two weeks.

They added: “This is due to a number of employees being diagnosed with COVID-19. This decision has been taken in full consultation with Wrexham Council and Public Health Wales, to ensure the safety of our staff at this crucial time.

“The decision will affect our services over the next few days and we are advising all customers to check the Arriva website or Arriva app before they travel.”

Arriva says they are prioritising routes that their key worker customers require for their essential journeys including services 1, 5 and X51.

All other services are currently suspended and our Wrexham staff have been placed on furlough during the closure.

They add: “We are activating contingency plans so that we can safely redeploy resources which may allow us to re-introduce some routes over the coming days.

"We will continue to support Public Health Wales and local authorities whilst following all the latest COVID-19 guidance, as the priority remains keeping our colleagues and customers safe.

“We wish a speedy recovery for our colleagues who have been affected by COVID-19 and will be supporting them in a safe return to Wrexham Depot in the future.”