Neath Port Talbot Council has arranged for two free to all shuttle vehicles to act as a temporary last-minute solution to the axing by a local transport company of two vital bus services.
A number of bus routes are being cancelled or reduced across Wales due to the uncertainty around the Welsh Government’s continued funding of bus services and the reduction in passenger numbers following COVID.
South Wales Transport informed the council that as from Saturday, July 22nd, 2023 it was ceasing Bus Service 202: Neath to Port Talbot and Port Talbot to Neath and Bus Service 204: Neath to Caewathan and Caewathan to Neath.
As a result, the council held a series of discussions with local bus operators and has now organised a free to all shuttle vehicle operated by Forge Travel to replace Bus Service 202 and for another free to all shuttle vehicle operated by Select Coaches to replace Bus Service 204.
The Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr Steve Hunt, explained: “Together with Chief Executive Karen Jones and other council representatives I attended a packed public meeting in Briton Ferry on the evening of Friday, July 14th to find what this would mean to our residents.
“A number of them were in tears as they told us of their fears about not being able to attend hospital appointments, not being able to visit friends, get to work or go shopping – residents, learners and businesses will all be severely disadvantaged.
“We worked hard to come up with the temporary alternatives in a short space of time and we will continue to work with local transport companies in search of a permanent solution.
“I have spoken publicly about the need for more certainty from the Welsh Government about its continued funding of public bus services and will continue to lobby for this while being grateful for the funding for this temporary arrangement from Welsh Government.”