A GROUP of residents is calling for a new bus service to connect Llanidloes to the nearby rail network at Caersws following the scrapping of two local road-widening schemes on the A470.

The Welsh Government announced last month that all major road projects including overtaking lanes near Llanidloes and Llangurig were ditched in a bid to focus “on minimising carbon emissions, not increasing road capacity, not increasing emissions through higher vehicle speeds and not adversely affecting ecologically valuable sites”.

Zero Carbon Llanidloes, a group that aims to reduce the town’s carbon footprint, is asking the Welsh Government to reinvest the millions of pounds saved from the project into local bus services.


Patrick Adams, spokesperson for Zero Carbon Llanidloes, said: "We are pleased these two damaging road schemes were scrapped. We are now calling for the £10m saved to be reinvested into local bus services.

“We welcome the Welsh Government’s ambition to make public transport in Wales among the best in Europe. For that to happen rural Powys needs much better services. Where else in Europe would a village of over 400 people have nothing at all, and a town of 4,000 not even have a bus linking with its nearest train service?

"As a result, people around here are almost totally dependent on cars. Most of us have to drive to the nearest station and some nearby villages, such as Trefeglwys, have no bus at all.

County Times:

“This is particularly affecting young people, families and older residents. Transport poverty is a major reason why young people leave rural areas for big towns, which puts added strain on health and education services.

“While public transport provision in rural areas is never simple, having better services would transform many people’s lives. It would also cut our carbon emissions and greatly improve our local communities”.

Deputy Climate Change Minister, Lee Waters, said last month that the Welsh Government will be investing in “real alternatives” including rail, bus, walking and cycling projects.

Make sure you don't miss out on any of our news, sports and features. You'll see fewer adverts and enjoy great high street offers too. Just click here for your Powys County Times digital subscription.

Speaking about ditching the major road projects, Mr Waters said: “Of course, doing that in an age of austerity is very challenging. Not only are we not getting our share of HS2 investment, but the UK Government is pushing many bus services over a cliff edge, as well as slashing our capital investment budgets.

“Even if we’d wanted to keep progressing all the road schemes in the pipeline, we just do not have the money to do so. Our capital budget will be eight per cent lower next year in real terms as a result of the UK Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure.”