Heledd Calls for Urgent Improvements to Local Bus Services
Today, Member of the Senedd Heledd Fychan spoke in the Senedd, calling for urgent improvements to bus services across South Wales Central.
Using her own community of Pontypridd as an example, she spoke powerfully about the impact the lack of, or inconsistency of, services is having on her community of Graigwen,: “Many elderly people live in my community, and are completely reliant on the bus to access basic services. Prior to the pandemic, we had been calling for improvements. The hourly bus service was unreliable; it finished at 5:30pm daily; it did not run on a Sunday or on a bank holiday and neither did it run right to the top of the hill to serve those living in the streets at the top of the estate. People complained to me about feeling isolated and restricted to their homes and could not rely on the bus service. They even struggled to find a taxi to take them to medical appointments if the appointment clashed with the school run and were anxious anytime they had to go anywhere as they could not be certain a bus would turn up. Even the bus stop is inadequate and provides no shelter from the rain.”
She also shared with the Senedd examples from people living in Cilfynydd and Glyncoch, who had contacted Heledd prior to the debate, sharing how they rely on buses to get to work, to medical appointments, to go shopping, to take their children to school and to socialise, and how the unreliability of the service is impacting on all of these. Others have missed medical appointments including covid vaccinations and hospital appointments at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, despite leaving two or three hours to make what should be a twenty-minute journey at most.
A common thread runs through all the correspondence she has received on the issue of local buses. As Heledd concluded during the debate: “People feel forgotten about, undervalued and don’t feel listened to. They are anxious and isolated. This Government can change this. This Government should change this. We need action not just words. And those actions are needed now.”