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Local bus services

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Local bus services are vital to Welsh economic, cultural and social life.

Local bus services are the foundation of our public transport system. Every day, 63,000 people rely on the bus to get to work and about 350,000 trips are made every day to get to hospital appointments, visit friends, go shopping or access leisure. 

More people in Wales use buses than rail services as a public transport alternative to the private motor vehicle. Bus services have the potential to offer people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds a reliable, flexible, affordable and more sustainable way of travelling.

Support for local bus services 

In the short term, action is taking place to support bus companies in Wales. Under the five point plan announced in September 2016: 

  1. We will offer all bus companies in Wales dedicated professional assistance through Business Wales and Finance Wales and will call on local authorities to make every effort to protect their funding for bus services in the current challenging economic climate.
  2. We will work proactively with local authorities to identify, at the earliest opportunity, potentially vulnerable bus services and will put a local strategy in place to respond to any planned withdrawal of services considered vital to the sustainability and wellbeing of the local community.  
  3. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure is  meeting  leaders of local authorities in Cardiff and Newport together with the Managing Directors of their municipal bus companies, to gather intelligence on how sustainable bus networks can be operated whilst maintaining the social dividend. He will also be working  with the Confederation of Passenger Transport to combine the best characteristics of the private commercial sector with the social responsibility of the public sector operators in Wales.
  4. We are funding new bus co-ordinator posts, one in north Wales and one in south Wales to bring together the various strands of policy and investment to develop the statutory bus Quality Partnership model. 
  5. We will hold a Bus Services Summit on 23 January  2017 in Wrexham. The Summit will bring together local authorities, bus operators, Bus Users Cymru, the Community Transport Association, groups representing disabled people and other partners to consider how best bus services that are financially viable and sustainable in the longer term can be delivered.