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Wales could lose a quarter of bus services

Published on 21 August 2023 03:36 PM

We’re extremely concerned with reports today suggesting that up to a quarter of bus services across Wales could be cut if operators are unable to get further long-term government funding. This would mean that local bus services remain vulnerable to cuts in services which would have a detrimental impact on older people across Wales. 

Many older people rely on public transport, usually, the bus, to get out and about. It’s essential that older people in all areas have the means to get out to buy food, access healthcare, get money and pay bills, and have social contact. These are basic features of a decent life and ought to be a high priority in transport policy.  

We hear from older people about the difficulties that poor bus services have on their lives. In our most recent ‘What matters to you?’ national survey, many older people told us of the issues they have with unreliable, inaccessible and increasingly infrequent bus services. Some people told us how services they once relied on have now been cut leaving them isolated and unable to access their community. 

‘Bus services have been cut since I moved here. I had a two-minute walk to catch a bus that took me into town in 12 minutes. Now that bus has been cut altogether. With walking problems this limits travel considerably’  

Others struggle to attend essential health care appointments due to the lack of available public buses. 

‘I don't know how to get to my hospital appointments because I no longer drive, and there are only two buses from my village a day’ 

People also told us that without their own transport they now have to rely on taxis which are becoming unaffordable or rely on family and friends, or can’t go out at all.  

Age Cymru Chief Executive Victoria Lloyd says; ‘The impact of poor public transport on the lives of older people can be profound. It increases isolation and loneliness, and reduces opportunities to socialise or re-join groups or activities, which is particularly important after the isolation of Covid-19 which has disproportionally affected older people.  

We want operators and the Welsh Government to work together to find a sustainable solution to ensure that services aren’t impacted severely and to have contingency plans in place. Older people are some of those most impacted by the cuts to public buses and should be consulted and included in any changes that are made’. 


Last updated: Aug 21 2023

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