Stay of execution for Welsh bus funding

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Carl Sargeant, Welsh Government Minister responsible for transport, met with representatives of the regional transport consortia and the bus industry in Wales to discuss a new formula for supporting bus services. The Minister has agreed to continue funding for the industry and local authorities at the current level for up to six months providing progress is made on devising a new system focused on services rather than the current fuel usage based system.

The Minister said: “We have had a full and frank discussion of how we take this matter forward. While there are differences I am confident with good will and hard work we can reach a solution.

“I made it clear there has been no reduction in funding the Welsh Government provides to the bus industry and, while discussions continue in a productive manner, there will be no cut in support for the next six months. The Westminster Government has severely cut the resources available to Welsh Government which put enormous pressure on our transport budget. We are determined to provide the best level of bus services in Wales we possibly can but it means doing things differently.”

Michael Morton, chairman of CPT Wales, said: “Bus operators are fully committed to providing an efficient, sustainable bus network across Wales, and we are pleased to have the opportunity of being part of the dialogue with partners in the Welsh Government and the regional transport consortia.”