MONTGOMERYSHIRE MS Russell George has called on the Welsh Government to urgently review and increase support available to bus operators.

The debate in the Senedd last week comes as the service 72 which operated throughout the Llanfyllin and Llansantffraid areas was recently cancelled.

Speaking after the debate, Mr George said: “I know the loss of bus service 72 which operated in the Llanfyllin and Llansantffraid area will be of particular concern to many residents in North Powys.

“While the operator does not want to suspend this route, it is in a difficult position and can no longer sustain the financial loss which this route is making without public subsidy.

“I will continue to work with County Councillors, Gwynfor Thomas and Peter Lewis, and the local community councils in an attempt to find a solution.

“The Welsh Government says buses have a key role to connect communities, reduce emissions and support economic activity but we must now drive support for the Mid Wales’ bus sector.

“As I pointed out when I spoke in the debate in our Welsh Parliament, Wales is the only part of the UK not yet to allocate additional funding for the industry.

Moving forward, it is imperative that plans are brought forward by the Welsh Government which involve constructive partnerships with local authorities, operators and passengers to ensure they deliver and promote the successful integrated bus network in Wales which we all hope to see.

“During the debate I called for an urgent task force to re-think, re-shape, and re-start support for the bus industry.”

A spokesman for Tanat Valley Coaches said a reduced service was considered, but because of low passenger numbers, the service was deemed unsustainable.