Calls for ‘vi­tal’ bus ser­vice to re­turn to com­mu­ni­ties

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - TOM HOUGHTON tom.houghton@waleson­

SOME Cynon Val­ley com­mu­ni­ties were left iso­lated three years ago when a reg­u­lar bus ser­vice run­ning through them was with­drawn.

Now, at­tempts are be­ing made to rein­tro­duce the “vi­tal” ser­vices to con­nect peo­ple in Aber­cynon, par­tic­u­larly el­derly and dis­abled peo­ple and par­ents with younger chil­dren, with the wider Val­leys com­mu­nity once more.

It comes after the bus ser­vices to Bryn­tirion, Nant y Fedw, Park View, Car­ne­town and Lock Street ar­eas of the Cynon Val­ley vil­lage were taken away as the Glam­or­gan Bus com­pany went out of op­er­a­tion.

Lo­cal coun­cil­lors Rhys Lewis and Elaine Ge­orge are lead­ing the calls, and have writ­ten a let­ter to Stage­coach, which op­er­ates buses in the area, and New Ad­ven­ture Travel (NAT), which op­er­ates buses in the wider South Wales area, to re­quest they start serv­ing the com­mu­ni­ties.

Coun Lewis said: “The with­drawal of these ser­vices has had a neg­a­tive im­pact on the more vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of our ward, ie the dis­abled, el­derly res­i­dents and also par­ents with young chil­dren.

“Many of these mem­bers of our com­mu­nity are un­able to walk the longer dis­tances of up to a mile to ac­cess the bus stops on the main routes. This has re­sulted in a loss of their independence.”

Coun Lewis said these mem­bers of the com­mu­nity have now be­come in­creas­ingly iso­lated, and many of them can­not now ac­cess ba­sic ser­vices such as their doc­tor’s surgery, chemist, the post of­fice, or their lo­cal shops.

That’s as well as be­ing un­able to ac­cess banks, build­ing so­ci­eties and su­per­mar­kets in neigh­bour­ing towns.

He said that gets worse dur­ing the win­ter months, and that the gen­er­a­tion of par­ents with small fam­i­lies suf­fers too, and liv­ing on the out­skirts of the vil­lage, means they find it dif­fi­cult to get their chil­dren to lo­cal schools.

The pair of coun­cil­lors said they have spo­ken to var­i­ous peo­ple in the lo­cal com­mu­nity who have been “neg­a­tively im­pacted”.

He added: “Bus ser­vices such as these have a vi­tal con­tri­bu­tion to play within our com­mu­nity for the more vul­ner­a­ble mem­bers of our vil­lage al­low­ing them to main­tain in­de­pen­dent liv­ing, con­tribut­ing to their so­cial and gen­eral well­be­ing.

“As the buses al­ready run fre­quently through the main road of the vil­lage, could there be the pos­si­bil­ity of di­ver­sions into the ar­eas high­lighted al­low­ing greater ac­ces­si­bil­ity to help al­le­vi­ate some of the is­sues be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by res­i­dents.”

When con­tacted, Stage­coach re­fused to com­ment, while a spokesman for NAT Group said: “Un­for­tu­nately we do not op­er­ate a bus ser­vice through Aber­cynon ex­cept for on a Sun­day, there­fore we don’t have a ser­vice to di­vert to the ar­eas re­quested by Coun Ge­orge.”

Coun­cil­lors are call­ing for buses to re­turn to ar­eas like Lock Street, in Aber­cynon

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