Buses axed as Neath Port Talbot Council sees transport grant cut
BUSES in Neath Port Talbot are being axed in the worst round of cuts for a decade.
Neath Port Talbot Council has scrapped some subsidised and poorly used routes after its transport grant was heavily reduced.
A survey found just one passenger used one of the routes — meaning it would have been cheaper to buy that person a car than carry on paying the subsidy.
The Welsh Government has reduced the all-Wales Local Transport Services Grant from £11 million to £8 million.
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It means £147,000 less for Neath Port Talbot, which is now making significant cuts for the first time in 10 years.
Following consultation, it has decided to withdraw subsidy from Sunday and bank holiday Monday services and some of the least-used services across the county.
Environment director John Flower said: "The survey revealed that the subsidy per passenger journey on one route was £20 — that's a £20 cost every time a passenger got on the bus, which is unsustainable.
"One route was actually only used by a single passenger. It could be argued it would be cheaper to buy that person a car."
Sunday and bank holiday Monday routes being scrapped are: Service 159 Neath to Blaengwynfi, via Pontrhydyfen and Glyncorrwg; service X5 Neath to Min yr Awel, via Tonna, Resolven, Cwmgwrach; Service 227 Port Talbot to Neath; Service X22 Pontardawe to Neath; and Service158 Banwen to Swansea. Other cancelled services are: Service 66 Goytre to Port Talbot, Mon to Sat early morning; Service X3 (Cymmer) Maesteg to Port Talbot, Mon to Sat early morning; Service X3 Maesteg to Port Talbot, Mon to Sat evening; and Service 66 Baglan to Swansea, Mon to Sat daytime.
Head of transport and engineering David Griffiths said: "We have sought to protect those weekday services which allow the public travel for work, health, education, shops and other services. We have contacted the bus operators to give them the due notice required."
The council said the service cuts would save £231,000, meaning there would be money to boost community transport and buses to Neath Port Talbot and Morriston hospitals.