‘Bus cuts will hit dis­abled and el­derly’

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - ABBY BOLTER abby.bolter@waleson­line.co.uk

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

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