Pembrokeshire bus users face more service cuts

First published in News

YET more changes are on the way for Pembrokeshire bus services as the council looks to meet budget cuts of £167,000.

Most changes involve a reduction in frequency which was the preferred option during public consultation, the council said. Changes to eight services will come into force on April 28.

“There are over 50 local bus services operating in Pembrokeshire, of which the majority are subsidised by the Council,” said Councillor Rob Lewis, cabinet member for highways and planning.

A 25% reduction in Welsh Government funding led to all subsidised Saturday and evening bus services being removed last year.

Cllr Lewis added: “We know how much people rely on their local bus service so we have made every effort to limit the negative effect of these changes.”

The changes will see the 411 Haverfordwest to St Davids move from an hourly to two hourly service, as well as “simplified” routes for the 356 Monkton to Milford Haven and 381 Haverfordwest–Narberth–Tenby.

The Saturday 300 Milford Town Service will be cut completely, as will the 357a Monkton to Pembroke Dock evening services.

Changes will also affect the 403 Celtic Coaster–St Davids Peninsula, 387/88 Coastal Cruiser–Angle Peninsula and the 362 Pembroke Dock-Pennar-Pembroke Dock.

Pembroke mayor Councillor Keith Nicholas said: “I’m disappointed that the evening bus service of Monkton to Pembroke Dock has been withdrawn as this is the only mode of transport for many people.

“This will mean that they will have to find alternative ways of commuting and it may put financial strains on people's income.”

North Pembrokeshire Transport Forum secretary Hattie Woakes had nothing but praise for council officers.

She said: “There’s nothing they can do about it. I know how hard they have tried to make it as painless as possible.

“I respect them for all the hard work they have put into this, considering the difficulties they were faced with.”

She added: “I don’t think anybody’s going to be left on the street or stuck in their homes. There’s still community transport and that’s available all over Pembrokeshire.

County councillor for Pennar, Anthony Wilcox said: “I’m obviously concerned that we are losing any part of our bus services but we have to be practical.”

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