Blaenau Ffestiniog Councillor Annwen Daniels, is delighted that team Plaid Cymru has worked behind the scenes with Gwynedd Council to safeguard the X19 bus service from Llanrwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back, for an interim period.
“I'm really pleased that discussions and collaboration has ensured a solution for the time being so that this essential bus service continues,” explains the Councillor who represents Bowydd and Rhiw Ward in Blaenau Ffestiniog.
Pictured is Blaenau Ffestiniog Councillor Annwen Daniels
“I made emergency contact with my fellow Plaid Cymru member, Cabinet Member for Environment and Deputy Leader of the Council, Dafydd Meurig, our Member of Parliament for the area Liz Saville Roberts and with the office of Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM to see if we could find a possible temporary solution.
“Fortunately, the leadership of Plaid Cymru has ensured that positive discussions have taken place within the Council in order that the X19 bus service from Llanrwst to Blaenau Ffestiniog and back to Llanrwst, is maintained until Christmas.
“It was important because many children travelled home from a secondary school in Llanrwst back to Blaenau in the afternoon and many people use the service to reach health services, banking, shops and so on.
“Services are leaving rural areas at apace because of the Labour and Tory party policies in Cardiff and Westminster, so it's important that we fight for every aspect of these important services.”
Councillor Dafydd Meurig said: “Although it is not a Gwynedd Council policy to pay transport for pupils to attend schools outside the county, we have come to an agreement with a local bus company to fund the service until the end of December.
“This will be a temporary arrangement to avoid disrupting children's journey mid term from school. Gwynedd Council is in discussions with Conwy County Council in the hope of securing an alternative arrangement for the new year.”
Liz Saville Roberts MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd said: “I warmly welcome the decision from Gwynedd Council to temporarily fund this essential bus service, which is an important economic and educational service between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Conwy County.
“I am pleased that the collaboration between us as Team Plaid Cymru has secured a proactive and positive response from the Council to the concerns expressed by the people of Blaenau who were concerned about the potential loss of service.
“I wish to pay tribute to Council officials, led by the Cabinet Member to step into the gap and support this service and to Blaenau Councillor, Annwen Daniels for her hard work.
“We have the task of discussing with the company and other partners to work on timetables to re-establish the journey co-ordination process so that Blaenau encourages travellers. I also hope that further steps can be taken to include the X19 service as part of the Cross Wales services.”
The service is important to the residents of Blaenau Ffestiniog who travel to Llanrwst and on to Llandudno and back to access health services, banking and high street shops. The service is also important for people from Dolwyddelan to reach Blaenau Ffestiniog Surgery.
Councillor Annwen Daniels concluded: “To some local people, especially older people, non-driving residents and school pupils - this service is essential. With Blaenau Ffestiniog landmarked as a vibrant location that attracts visitors to participate in many outdoor activities, it is important to ensure that public transport services are able to reach the area regularly during the day to boost the local economy. We will now work with others to seek a long-term solution to this issue.”