The Welsh Government are being urged to protect the subsidies for rural bus services.

Plaid Cymru politicians have urged the Welsh Labour Government to commit to safeguarding the Bus Emergency Scheme which subsidises many bus routes across rural Mid Wales including Powys.

The call follows correspondence received y Plaid Cymru politicians from numerous service operators which have expressed concerns over Welsh Government proposals to cease funding for the scheme.

They claim that if the cut is implemented it could lead to thousands of people without a lifeline to essential services.  

Plaid Cymru Senedd Member for Mid and West Wales, Cefin Campbell said it was “vital” for the Welsh Government to preserve the funding.

“The importance of bus services within our rural communities across Powys cannot be understated,” said Mr Campbell. “For the elderly and vulnerable, they're vital lifelines for medical appointments and shopping - whilst many other residents are reliant on them for travelling to and from work.”


“The current uncertainty surrounding funding is jeopardizing the future of many key bus routes - and is likely to have catastrophic impact on our rural communities, together with undermining wider Welsh Government public transport commitments.”

“It is vital the Welsh Government review the funding arrangement for our buses with urgency.”

The Bus Emergency Scheme was introduced by the Welsh government when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.  The public were advised not to travel and hence the bus operators’ income revenue ceased. Since its introduction, the BES initiative has evolved to BES 3 and ceases on 31st March 2023.

Fare paying patronage levels across Wales have only returned to 65% of pre-covid levels and concessionary travel returned to 55% of pre-covid levels and therefore Plaid Argue that the funding has “been of crucial assistance to many local authorities and bus companies in sustaining key routes in rural communities.”

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