Tuesday, 6 December 2016

‘Don’t repeat shambles on the buses’ plea as company licence revoked

Llyr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM, has appealed to the Welsh Government and Wrexham Council to avoid a similar shambles on the buses.

The challenge comes after two companies operating buses in the Wrexham area – including the 146 service from Whitchurch via Penley to Wrexham – had their licence revoked by the Traffic Commissioner.

Mr Gruffydd made his plea to the Welsh Government minister in the Senedd this afternoon.
He said:
  “The decision yesterday to revoke the licences would not have been a surprise given the history surrounding GHA Coaches. That could have been foreseen. Therefore I’d like to know what steps the Government, together with Wrexham Council, is taking to ensure that bus users don’t suffer a repeat of the shambles we saw over the summer. Bus users have been told the service will end on December 19 and that a replacement services will be tendered for – this can take weeks or even months. 
 "What will be done to ensure there are temporary services in place to ensure passengers can get to work, to college, to school and visit hospitals and other appointments? Will the Welsh Government work with the council to ensure that?”

Mr Gruffydd also questioned how new routes were allocated to directors who had been running the failed GHA Coaches: 
“The council has questions to answer in terms of due diligence – surely there are background checks done on companies and directors tendering for work? All this uncertainty could have been avoided if those checks had been done.”

 It emerges that the new contract will not begin until April 1st 2017, leaving passengers potentially stranded for another three months.

UPDATE: Wrexham Council have acted decisively in this case and found bus operators to continue to run RJ's of Wem services from the 19th December with no break in the service. This is the case for all routes apart from the number 6 from Ruabon to Wrexham. Credit where it's due - the council has listened and appears to have learned from the problems of the summer.

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