13 Jun 2014
Stagecoach has welcomed confirmation that other commercial bus companies are to take over some of the routes in Wales that it is no longer able to operate from next month.
Wales’ biggest bus operator announced in April that it had been forced to cut the size of its bus fleet by 10% following recent and imminent bus industry investment cuts by the Welsh Government. A number of Stagecoach bus services are to be discontinued or reduced in frequency from 20 July. The biggest implications were in Monmouthshire, with services between Newport, Underwood and Chepstow being withdrawn.
Stagecoach held discussions with relevant local authorities early April, providing them with additional time beyond the statutory notice period for service changes, to allow sufficient time for alternative solutions to be found.
An alternative bus operator is to take over the operation of services between Chepstow and Newport, at no additional cost to local taxpayers. In addition, some of the bus routes that were due to be withdrawn in Caerphilly are to be taken over by another commercial bus operator in the area, as is the case for service 30 between Brynmawr and Cwmbran.
John Gould, Managing Director of Stagecoach in South Wales, said: “These replacement bus links are positive news for these local communities. We were forced to make some tough decisions to protect the long-term future of our business and the many jobs it supports, as a result of the scale of the impact of government funding cuts on parts of our service network. However, it was our objective from the outset to support moves to have other operators with different commitments fill the gap.
"In the past, we have stepped in to secure services that have been discontinued by other operators. Now other operators are helping sustain services for local communities. We are pleased at the positive response of the bus industry in Wales."