Talks ongoing to keep Merthyr bus routes running

TALKS are ongoing to keep as many Merthyr Tydfil bus routes running as possible as emergency funding comes to an end in July.

The council said in a statement that it is working with the Welsh Government and the Cardiff Capital Regional Transport Authority on the future of the bus network in the county.

A financial package introduced by Welsh Government to support bus operators and services during the pandemic will end in late July, and as passengers numbers across the country have not recovered sufficiently, discussions are being held to try to ensure the continuation of as many routes as possible, the council said.

Council leader Geraint Thomas said: “The pandemic had a devastating impact on bus patronage.

“Over the past three years, Welsh Government has financially kept the network from falling apart with the provision of the Bus Emergency Support grant, which topped up operators to pre-pandemic levels. This will run out on July 25 .

He said: “Welsh Government has made it clear that this is not sustainable, and the Cardiff Capital Regional Transport Authority is currently working with the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales on identifying services that are able to run commercially in the future and those that will require financial support.

“Even though we’re aware less money will be available, we hope the majority of the existing local bus network will be maintained.

“However, any new network proposals will be subject to confirmation of the new bus funding support package by the Welsh Government and a legal review of how such funding can be used.

“There’s currently a lot of speculation and rumour about which bus services will be remaining and going – please don’t assume anything until we have confirmation.

“We’ll update you further as soon as we can.”

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