‘Bus cuts will hit disabled and elderly’
THE planned axing of nine bus services will “cause serious hardship and isolation for many disabled and elderly people”
That’s the view of the chairman of the Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People, Simon Green.
He said Bridgend council’s plans to remove subsidies from nine services as part of its plan to tackle multi-million pound shortfalls in the amount of money it receives would have a “catastrophic” effect.
“Many disabled people totally rely on buses to get to work, attend hospital appointments, visit family and go out socially. Remove just a fraction of these services and these people will be hit hard,” he said.
Labour councillor for Newcastle ward David White said cutting bus services might even cost the local authority more in the long run as residents, especially the elderly and disabled, become more isolated and need increased support from other council services.
Speaking after a public meeting was held on Saturday at Westward Community Centre in Cefn Glas to discuss the cuts, he said: “As for now we are at a consultation stage and in my view, there has to be a balance found where any cuts do not have a major impact on local residents. I am pleased to say Bridgend Borough Council is working with residents.
“I would urge those affected by the proposed changes to fill out a consultation document and to make your views known to the local authority along with any ideas that you may wish to propose. Suggestions from the public meeting on Saturday included spending less money on flowers and Christmas decorations and a number of older people offering to pay a voluntary contribution for each day they travel on the bus of around £1.
“As we all know, local buses offer support in many ways, they prevent isolation, support the local economy, support our town centres and provide transport for people going to work.”
Saturday’s meeting featured panel members David White, Coun Carolyn Webster, Coun Charles Smith, Coun Jon Paul Blundel (BCBC), town councillor Paul War- ren and cabinet member Richard Young.
Bridgend council said that in 2017/18 it spent more than £614,000 supporting bus services that wouldn’t otherwise be commercially viable. But its budget for subsiding bus services is due to drop to £426,000 in 2018/19.
It’s proposing to cut the following services: No. 51 – Bridgend to Oaklands Road (Easyway); 803 – Danygraig to Porthcawl (Easyway); 61 – Nottage to Porthcawl (Peyton Travel); 81 – Bridgend to Pen-y-Fai via Brackla and Coity (Easyway); 68/69 – Bridgend to Cefn Glas (First Cymru); 52 – Bridgend to Broadlands (Easyway); 63B – Bridgend to Porthcawl (First Cymru); 62 – Bridgend to Pencoed (First Cymru) and 73 – Pyle to Fforddygyfraith (Easyway).
A follow-up meeting is being held this Saturday at Westward Community Centre in Cefn Glas between 11am and 1pm, where hard copies of the consultation form will be available for residents to fill in.
The consultation ends on March 26. The consultation can also be filled out online at www.bridgend.gov.uk/ consultation
More than 50 people attended a public meeting at the Westward Community Centre in Bridgend, which was held to discuss the planned axing of nine bus services