THE UK Government not delivering on promises for funding is the cause of the Fflecsi Bwcabus service coming to an end according to the Welsh Government.

The Fflecsi Bwcabus (previously Bwcabus) has been operating for 14 years, serving rural parts of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire and will be stopping at the end of this month. It is the flagship for the fflecsi service which is run in parts of Wales.

Lee Waters, deputy minister for transport and climate change, spoke in the Senedd expressing his disappointment and explaining about the lack of funding coming through from the UK Government to replace EU funding from the Rural Development Programme – which was the primary source of funding for the service, although it has since been fully funded by the Welsh Government.

Mr Waters said: “I was very sorry to hear that the Bwcabus service will be coming to an end despite promises that Wales would not be worse off after Brexit, the UK Government has failed to provide the funding for the rural transport services previously supported by the EU.

“We’re therefore unable to continue to support the Bwcabus but we are working with Transport for Wales and the local authorities to explore alternative options.

“This is going in the opposite direction than where our policy wants us to go. Bwcabus has been a really important project and in fact, it has inspired the fflecsi service which we are rolling out across Wales. Bwcabus was the original concept.”

The Bwcabus service operates a number of services covering Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Carmarthen, Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Crymych, Narberth, Lampeter, Llandeilo, Newcastle Emlyn, Tregaron, Maenclochog, Clarbeston Road, St Davids, Llanwrda and Llandovery.

The fflecsi services operating in the remaining parts of Pembrokeshire - St Davids, Fishguard, Haverfordwest, Dale peninsula, Kilgetty, Saundersfoot, Tenby, Narberth etc - will continue to operate after October 31.

“I have been a supporter of it,” said Mr Waters. “It was primarily European funded like a lot of schemes. The money just simply isn’t there to keep all those other schemes going that were funded by the EU.

“We were told at the time of Brexit that Wales would not be a penny worse off by withdrawing and we know in fact that we’ve lost over a billion pounds of funding and that is simply not there to be replaced.

“Here is a practical example of a much valued, cherished local service that is reliant on EU funding and is not able to be sustained because that funding has been taken away.”

Mr Waters said that they will work with local authorities to see if anything can be done. “We worked very hard with the bus industry and local authorities over the summer to try and safeguard as many services as possible and I’m pleased to say for example that funding for Cardi Bach in Ceredigion will continue as part of TfW/T5 procurement and we will work closely with community transport and with local authorities to see if there are elements of this scheme that can be salvaged.

“It did have light usage, but it was a lifeline for those who did use it and I regret very much that it has come to an end.”