Posted: Thu 11th May 2023

The state of bus services locally high on agenda for Flintshire Councillors transport meeting

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, May 11th, 2023

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Flintshire councillors are to have their say on the future of transport links for the county, with bus services likely to be high on the agenda.

The authority’s environment and economy scrutiny committee meets next week to discuss the council’s Integrated Transport Strategy.

The strategy maps out what the county’s transport priorities for the next five years, ranging from road links to walking and cycling routes and bus services.

And later this year all councillors will be asked to give their views as the strategy is put together.

A report to be read by councillors on the scrutiny committee underlines that the council’s plans sit beneath and take direction from Welsh Government transport strategy.

One of the areas covered by the report is bus services with a network review currently being undertaken by the Welsh Government, including potential franchising to its own Transport for Wales company.

In Wales, a Bus Emergency Scheme (BES) was set up to help keep bus companies afloat and ensure that vital bus services kept running throughout the pandemic.

That funding has now been extended to the end of the school year in July to ensure that there is no disruption to school transport services.

But the report warns there is no further funding from this scheme for bus companies beyond this date.

It is expected that bus companies will be making decisions on the future of their commercial routes soon, with a knock-on effect on subsidised bus networks expected.

The report also notes that Flintshire, along with all north Wales authorities, is required to jointly fund the setting up of a Corporate Joint Committee (CJC) and development of a Regional Transport Plan (RTP).

It states: “In order to ensure that Flintshire is best placed to feed into and shape the Road Transport Policy (in line with the aspirations of local members and the communities that they serve), it is now proposed to undertake a review of the council’s own Integrated Transport Strategy which will help to determine the council’s transport priorities for the forthcoming five years.

“This approach will ensure that our local strategy will continue to build upon the foundations laid by Welsh Government, whilst also emphasising and reflecting local needs and aspirations.

“It is proposed to undertake an all-member workshop later in the year to allow members to provide their input on the strengths, weaknesses, and further opportunities for transport within Flintshire.

“Early engagement at this stage of the process will ensure that Flintshire specific strategic transport requirements are fully recognised and incorporated into the forthcoming regional review.”

The scrutiny committee will meet to discuss the strategy on Tuesday (May 16).
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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