Deputy council leader handing in 3500 signature petition calling for local authorities to be given greater control over bus services
A petition calling for local authorities to be given greater control over the running of bus services is being handed to the Welsh Assembly today.
Deputy leader of Flintshire Council, Cllr Carolyn Thomas is in Cardiff to hand in the petition which gathered 3500 local signatures.
It calls on the National Assembly for Wales to urge Welsh Government to regulate commercial bus operators and give powers and funding to Local Authorities to run services that best meet the needs of local people
The petition comes amid concerns that the dwindling number of routes is causing social isolation.
Cllr Carolyn Thomas highlighted the collapse of GHA Coaches in 2016, along with changes to timetables made by Arriva last year as two of the main factors impacting travel in the county.
The Labour administration’s transport portfolio holder said she had attended public meetings where elderly residents had voiced worries about accessing health and other key services.
As a result, she is asking ministers in Cardiff to provide extra funding to ensure buses are run based on public need rather than profit.
Cllr Thomas said: “I am handing in the bus petition to the Senedd, there are over 3,500 signatures.
It will reaffirm what Welsh Government are starting to legislate but there also needs to be funding to support it.
The petition is called ‘Buses for People not Profit’ and calls upon WG to to regulate commercial bus service operators and give powers and funding to local authorities to run services that best meet the needs of local people.
As well as providing access to employment and education, public transport is a social, health and well being issue which is growing as bus services are being rapidly reduced, affecting the mental health and well being of many residents who will become socially isolated and unable to get to basic services.”
The Welsh Government has been consulting on how public transport will be run in the future.
Cllr Thomas said she would like councils to be able to work with bus companies to identify the key routes in the area with five-year contracts handed out to provide stability for passengers.
She also wants to see social benefit clauses included in contracts to fund services in rural areas.
Cllr Thomas added that authorities should also be able run their own services where necessary to plug any gaps. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com