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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Wales: Rural Transport
Elin Cadifor
Elin Cadifor
Politics Show Wales

For villagers in four areas of Ceredigion in West Wales, the days of hopping on the hourly bus to go shopping in the nearest town are gone, at least for now.

Ceredigion: some rural bus services withdrawn

Ceredigion council have scrapped the bus service from several villages to Aberystwyth and Lampeter, and replaced it with pre-booked taxis instead.

Villagers in Penbontrhydybeddau who have lost their bus service to Penrhyncoch near Aberystwyth, have started a petition against the scheme, but Ceredigion Council says that they can not use public money to run empty buses.

Sarah-Jane Morgan from Penbontrhydybeddau started the petition.

Public transport vital

Sarah said: "We used to have an hourly bus service but now we have to ring up 24 hours in advance to order a taxi to take us to the next village to get the bus from there."

"You have to ring during office hours and if you want a bus on the Monday you have to ring the previous Friday.

It takes away our freedom
Sarah-Jane Morgan

"If it is a Bank Holiday and you want a bus on a Tuesday, then it is very difficult to book that much in advance.

"For even the most organised person, it is not always possible or realistic.

"It takes our freedom away."

She says that the scheme has hit the young people of the area as well as the elderly.

"Both depend on public transport, and this is only going to discourage them to take trips."

Buses unsustainable?

Dolen Tacsi Ceredigion Taxi service will run the service - and a minibus if there is enough demand, all at the cost of the original bus journey.

People do not like change
Tommy Jones

Tommy Jones is Ceredigion Council's Transport Manager. Mr Jones said: "People do not like change.

"What we are trying to do is look at a different way of doing things.

Taxi plate
Taxi by order will replace some bus services

"Having eight or nine buses a day is unsustainable, when public money is being spent to run buses that are virtually empty every day.

"At the moment we are asking for a booking 24 hours in advance, but with the system up and running, after a while we may well be taking bookings on the day."

The routes affected are:

  • from Llandysul and Ciliau Aeron to Lampeter
  • from Cwmystwyth to Aberystwyth
  • from Penbontrhydybeddau to Aberystwyth via Penrhyncoch

"They now have 16 options a day between Penrhyncoch and Aberystwyth" says Tommy Jones . "We see it as an upgrading of services not downgrading."

Politics Show

Politics Show Wales asks - is having a taxi for the price of a bus ride the way ahead for rural transport, or is this another example of the decline of rural services?

Politics Show Wales wants your views. Let us know what you think.

Have your say

That is the Politics Show, Sunday 19 September at 12.30pm.

If you want to have your say, you can call 0845 300 90 10, or e-mail via the website.

... Or write to: The Politics Show, Room 1060, BBC Wales, Llandaff, Cardiff. CF5 2YO

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Tune in to BBC One on Sundays at 12.30pm.

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