An MS has taken aim at Arriva for axing bus services in North Wales without “consultation”.
Llŷr Gruffydd, who represents the region in the Senedd, criticised the bus company after it announced that it will no longer serve a number of locations while reducing the level of service to others.
Mr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru spoke out on the issue on the floor of the Senedd, has been contacted by constituents who are “really disappointed that they weren't engaged as users”.
Arriva will no longer serve the Tweedmill Shopping Outlet in St Asaph or Llandegla via its Services 51 and x51, Rhyl to Wrexham from January 14.
Fears have been raised that the Tweedmill withdrawing the service could lead to dangerous consequences because of road safety concerns.
Residents of Llandegla, in Denbighshire, are concerned that will leave villagers cut off and isolated.
Because of the change passengers will now have to make their way to the next nearest stop on the A525, which is half a mile away from the village centre. Much of the route is unlit and without pavements.
The Llandudno to Prestatyn service will now operate hourly and will no longer call at Llandudno Junction railway station or Llysfaen.
The Bangor to Beaumaris service is being reduced to only operating every 75 minutes as is the Mold to Ellesmere Port service.
Speaking in the Senedd Llŷr Gruffydd MS said: “Can I ask you Minister what you would have expected from a company like Arriva when it comes to implementing these changes?
“Because I've had constituents contact me who had no idea that these changes were coming and are reading about it in the press. They’re really disappointed that they weren't engaged as regular users of these services, and that they weren't given an opportunity through a consultation process to have their say about any proposals that were being prepared.
“Was there an equality impact assessment? If there wasn't, then there should have been, because these services are such an important part of people being able to access jobs and services.
“There's now a proposed new stop on the main road, which, I believe, is on private land. The owner has no intention of allowing that land to be used. So, does this not all point to quite a botched job from Arriva when it comes to changing services?”
Lee Waters MS: Deputy Minister for Climate Change responded that “pleas” could be made to Arriva adding that under deregulated bus services “unless we've got money to give them, direct subsidy, to run routes that we define as socially necessary, they don't have to take any notice”. He added that new proposed legislation in Wales would help ensure that bus providers have to strike a better balance between meeting the needs of communities and generating profits in future.