The council intends to take over a local bus company to save school transport services, a report to cabinet outlines.

Next week senior councillors will be asked to approve in principle the acquisition of land, buildings and associated assets of a local bus company – that provides 23 school routes and six public bus routes at a cost of £900,000 a year to the council – that has said it intends to close.

A report to cabinet on Monday (January 10) highlights that over the last seven years Pembrokeshire has lost five bus operators and the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted those remaining services.

Pembrokeshire County Council has a statutory duty to provide home to school transport, as well as “socially necessary public transport” with four large school buses and two local buses in operation currently, along with 24 smaller buses.

“There are 36 bus drivers and 10 passenger attendants that are employed. This operation is managed within current roles with no dedicated public transport premises or yard,” the report adds.

Going out to tender for the routes could cost an extra £300,000, officers state and “by bringing these routes in-house it is predicted that there would be minimal additional costs compared to our existing contract with the operator based on estimates, with no private hire included. There is potential in the future for limited private hire which could result in this service costing less than the current contract rates".