Bus routes axed over passenger numbers
A GWENDRAETH Valley bus company says it has been forced to axe some services because they are no longer profitable.
Tumble-based Gwyn Williams and Sons Ltd has stopped its services to Carmarthen and Swansea.
Director Graham Williams said while the routes made a profit during December and January, during the other 10 months of the year the company was making a loss.
He said: "There was nobody going on them, people were just using them just before Christmas and just after.
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"We had regulars, of course, old age pensioners with their free passes.
"Between the wages for drivers, fuel and bus wear and tear, it was just not paying."
The company ran buses to Carmarthen on Wednesdays and Saturdays and services to Swansea on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Mr Williams said the decision to stop the services was also to do with cuts in funding.
Carmarthenshire Council has warned it faces cuts of 25 per cent to its transport funding from April.
Mr Williams said he believed the cuts would also have an affect on other bus companies in the county.
"It will affect other companies big time. I know there are a few bus companies in the county thinking about finishing services because of this."
Gwyn Williams and Sons Ltd is continuing its school contracts across Carmarthenshire, and its day trips and tours.
Mr Williams said the firm had not had to make any redundancies. He added: "I am very grateful to the people who have phoned or written in and to the people who have supported us over the years.
"The bus drivers were brilliant, they were really very good."
Tumble county councillor Emlyn Dole said: "It definitely will be missed.
"They have been generous with their prices over the years. They have been an excellent service.
"Unless the service is paying for itself it's not going to last."
Mr Dole said he also feared other routes in the county would be hit.
"It will affect not only Gwyn Williams but other bus companies in the county.
"I am concerned about a lot of bus routes in rural areas, where a lot of people depend on the buses. But it is a sign of the times."