Menai Bridge closures partly to blame as bus services axed in Anglesey and Gwynedd
The closure of the Menai Suspension Bridge and a reduction in passengers have been blamed as Arriva plans to axe bus services on Anglesey and in Gwynedd.
Rising costs and a reduction in Welsh Government support were also highlighted after Anglesey County Council confirmed the bus company would be reducing its island services from September 24, 2023.
The council said it was “unlikely” to be able to offer the same frequency of services as Arriva, but is looking at options to divert some routes.
Among the services impacted are those in Caergeiliog, Bodedern Trefor, Upper Gwalchmai, Llynfaes, Bodfford and Llanddaniel.
In a statement, the council said Arriva was making changes because passenger numbers have not returned to pre-Covid-19 levels, whilst operating costs have substantially increased.
Local authority officials said: “As the locations are mainly served on a commercial basis by Arriva, the council has very little influence.
“The council fully appreciates that this news will affect residents that use the services.
“To ensure that the above villages continue to receive a bus service, the council is exploring options to divert other services around these villages.
“More information will be communicated as soon as possible.”
They added: “It is unlikely that we will be able to offer the same level of bus frequency that was initially provided by Arriva.”
An Arriva spokesperson said: “Changes to the way the Welsh Government supports bus services after Covid have resulted in revisions to the Arriva network across North Wales.
“We’ve worked with local authorities to minimise the effects of this but in some cases have made changes to reflect post-Covid changes in demand.”
As well as Anglesey, other services affected include those in Bangor, Llandudno, Rhyl, Wrexham and Mold.
In Bangor and Anglesey, the affected services will be the 4, 4A, 4B, 4H, 4R, 4X, 544.
An Arriva spokesperson added: “The number of passengers currently using the service cannot support the current level of resource.
“The closure of the Menai Suspension Bridge has caused major disruption to the service with extra resource invested to maintain the current timetables due to the lengthy diversion we must undertake between Bangor and Menai.
“The change is not something we have taken lightly given the impact it will have, but the service needs to be revised to improve its viability, reduce the funding required to operate it and reflect the long term works on the Menai Bridge.
“The service will now offer a simpler proposition than today with fewer variations, focusing on the areas of greatest customer demand.
“In addition, we can now also incorporate Ysbyty Gwynedd into the service following requests from customers.
“The Bangor to Llangefni and Holyhead service is being amended to operate a simplified 60-minute service.
“In addition, the service will be enhanced at certain times of day to operate every 30 minutes between Bangor and Llangefni on Mondays-Fridays.
“There is also a reduction in early morning journeys Monday to Saturday.”
By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter
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