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  1. ITV Report

Wales sees biggest fall in distance travelled by buses

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Wales has seen the biggest drop in the distance travelled by buses each year, a report has revealed.

Over the last decade, there has been almost a 20% fall - a loss of 15 million miles which is equivalent to the equivalent of 602 trips around the equator.

There has been a 46% drop in subsidised bus miles travelled over the last decade (11 million miles) with passenger journeys having also fallen by 16%.

The decline is being blamed on some routes being scrapped by bus companies of the years.

19.5%
drop in the distance travelled by buses each year over the past decade.
33%
increase in train journeys over the same period.

Marc Lewis, former transport policy officer for Powys County Council says commercial buses being able to cut their services has affected places like Aberystwyth and the North West of Wales:

The issue is that commercial bus companies can cut their service with just two weeks notice. We have seen this happen in areas of Wales, which has left people completely stranded. We have seen instances where certain bus companies have completely withdrawn their service in Aberystwyth and the routes have not been replaced.

The problem is perhaps not as severe as we first may think in Wales because the Welsh Government has taken over the responsibility of the bus network. But there are parts of the Coast and the North West, which have suffered greatly in terms of lost bus routes.

Cardiff has also been hit hard in recent years. In my opinion, the answer is the complete abolishment of the free market and to return to a planned bus network in Wales. The situation that we have in Wales would never exist in London. It would be chaos and it would never be allowed to happen.

– Marc Lewis

However, the Welsh government says the increase in train journeys has caused the fall in bus passenger journeys:

The report's failure to recognise growth in bus journeys experienced on some local services and the longer distance TrawsCymru services paints a misleading and incomplete picture of public transport use and provision. Whilst we note there has been a reduction in bus passenger journeys over the last decade, over the same period train journeys have increased by 33%.

We want an integrated public transport network - road, rail and Active Travel - that will improve the availability and accessibility of local travel. Our investment in regional metro schemes in south east Wales, north east Wales and the Swansea City region is testament to this and Transport for Wales will take this forward in the months and years to come.

– Welsh Government Spokeperson