The press release issued by the Welsh Conservatives on 6 December 2022.
The Labour Government’s promised bus reforms are a false flag for dealing with the issues that face the industry, the Welsh Conservatives have said today.
Deputy Minister Lee Waters made a statement in the Senedd today stressing the benefits of the franchising model he intends to introduce for buses in Wales.
However, Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar MS said far more detail was needed to ensure the success of any reform, such as ensuring hospitals are served by bus routes as a priority and that remote and rural routes are served frequently.
She added afterwards that:
“The Deputy Minister is right to emphasise the ambition to simplify and streamline bus services in Wales so it is easier and cheaper for passengers to get around their communities, and would love to see a system that delivers just that.
“However, if it is being sold as a silver bullet for the problems facing the bus industry, the franchising model is just a false flag because it does not in itself solve issues like the financial viability of routes for providers and making those routes work for residents.
“I also find it bizarre that the increase in people owning a car is somehow being used by the Deputy Minister as a reason for why the current system has failed when it is clearly down to cars becoming more affordable over the last 30 years – but would you expect anything different from the man who has made motorists his number one enemy?
“You cannot get by with just warm words about how good bus services is good for the climate and social mobility – we need action that leads to better results which is why we need far more detail than the vague outlines and over-confidence provided by the Deputy Minister.”