Arriva bus routes to be taken over by local companies

Aberystwyth bus station - Tomos Nolan

Aberystwyth bus station – Tomos Nolan

CEREDIGION AM Elin Jones is working with the Welsh Government to ensure that local companies can take over old Arriva routes.

Local Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones is leading the effort to help local bus operating companies to take over routes which will be abandoned by Arriva following their withdrawal from Ceredigion.

Following Arriva’s announcement on Tuesday, Elin Jones took up the issue with the Welsh Transport Minister and Ceredigion County Council. The Minister has set up a task force which is to meet for the first time today (4th October) and will make a further announcement to the Assembly in the near future. The local AM has also been speaking to Ceredigion County Council members and officials, and also with many bus companies.

Elin Jones, the Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion said, “with Arriva having given such short notice, it’s imperative that everyone works together quickly to make sure that passengers in Ceredigion aren’t left in the lurch. I’ve been impressed so far at the resolve of the Minister, the County Council and local operators to find solutions to the problem.”

She continued, saying that companies have already expressed interest in expanding their services; Bryan’s Coaches are to expand its 701 ‘blue bus’ service from Aberystwyth to Cardiff, and Mid Wales Travel, Lloyds, and other companies have expressed interested in taking over a number of former Arriva routes.

“I will be looking to meet with all interested parties in the near future. If we all work together, there’s a real chance we can achieve a service which was better than before. Everyone who uses buses in Ceredigion knows that there had been problems with the Arriva services and with tickets issued by other companies not being accepted by Arriva. With hard work, this could be the start of a drive towards really developing our bus network in partnership with locally-owned companies.

“I’ve been contacted by a wide range of people, including students for whom these services are very important. The Arriva announcement was a shock, but I’m determined to do everything possible to secure a fair deal for Ceredigion.”