Rural routes set to be axed as bus services face funding cuts
BUS services across West Wales face a possible 25 per cent cut in government funding from April next year.
This mean certain routes — particularly those in rural areas which reply on subsidies — could be cut back or axed altogether.
No dec- isions have yet been made and the proposed cut is still being considered by Assembly minister Carl Sargeant.
At a meeting of Carmarthenshire Council, councillor Linda Evans said: "The minister is considering a report which, if approved, would see major cuts to funding bus routes.
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"This could be a disaster for the county, especially rural areas.
"Buses are scarce enough as it is in rural areas.
"Any cuts in service will affect us badly.
"We should start working on this now."
Councillor Colin Evans, responsible for transport at the council, said this would affect buses across Wales.
"The intention of the minister is to cut funding by 25 per cent," he said.
"That's £8 million of cuts in total. The mantra from Cardiff is always the same: deliver more with less.
"We will inevitably see some reduction in bus transport next year.
"It seems likely the authority (county council)] will lose control of networks because a new consortium will be making decisions instead."
He said the cuts were due to a lack of funding from Central Government with a knock-on effect felt by the Welsh Government.
Council leader councillor Kevin Madge said: "Let's be honest, we are at a crossroads of local government finance.
"Next year is pretty bleak. We can't fill the gap when Westminster and Cardiff pull their pots of money out because we don't have the finances. I am worried about transport. People will see the difference."
Mr Evans said they were waiting for more information from the transport minister, which is expected in the new year.