A LOCAL council is lobbying the Welsh Government for funding after bus services were announced to be cut and reduced.

Neath Port Talbot Council made the comment after First Cymru revealed it would be reducing and cancelling some services which would affect the county’s residents by the end of October.

The bus services that affect the county include the 56 service between Neath and Pontardawe via Rhos which will only be running on a Sunday.

The 81 service between Port Talbot and Brynbryddan will be operating every two hours rather than hourly, the 82 service between Port Talbot and Golden Avenue will also operate every two hours between 8.30am and 4.49pm rather than the hourly service between 7.30am and 7.19pm. The 87 service will now be operating every 30 minutes instead of every 20 minutes, Monday to Friday and there will be no Sunday service.

A number of other services are having their Sunday timetable withdrawn when the changes come into effect on October 29 and passengers are urged to check before they travel at www.firstbus.co.uk/cymru to find the updated services.

The changes come after the Welsh Government’s bus emergency scheme, which supported the bus industry during the covid pandemic has become the bus transition fund with a capped budget of £46m for the 2023/24 financial year. This means operators are having to make cuts to services as the funding is split between Wales’ 22 local authorities, with £4, dedicated to the Traws Cymru network.

Cllr Wyndham Griffiths, Neath Port Talbot Council’s cabinet member for strategic planning, transport and connectivity, said: “We will continue lobbying the Welsh Government to increase funding for our bus services and provide transport for those who use buses regularly and those who without access to private cars.

“One of the most immediate concerns is the impact on employment opportunities. With reduced bus services many residents are facing substantial hurdles in accessing their places of work and this situation threatens not only the financial stability of people and their families but the economic prosperity of the region as a whole.

“We accept these are difficult financial times, but we urge the Welsh Government to reconsider its allocation so public transportation here and across Wales can be accessible, reliable and viable.”