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Scrap airport subsidy for local bus routes

Created on 08/03/2017 @ 18:07
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Money being spent on an airport that hardly anyone uses in north Powys should be spent on bus routes in Mid Wales instead, according to an AM.

Russell George, AM for Montgomeryshire, believes a record Welsh Government subsidy of £500,000 to Cardiff Airport should be scrapped in favour of bus routes in places.

The Welsh Government bought Cardiff Airport for millions of pounds a few years ago. Yet most people from Montgomeryshire and other parts of Mid Wales would more than likely use airports in Birmingham, Manchester or Liverpool.
Mr George welcomed the news that the T9 service, which runs from Cardiff to Cardiff Airport 34 times a day, is attracting more passengers and called for the service to stand on its own two feet.
He asked the First Minister to consider diverting the subsidy which the T9 service currently enjoys to those local bus services in Mid Wales which are struggling to remain financially viable.
Mr George said: “Local routes have been decimated by Welsh Government cuts to the Bus Service Operators’ Grant whereas around £1.3 million has been spent on the Cardiff to Cardiff Airport T9 bus link.
“If the T9 is so successful then perhaps the Welsh Government can scrap the half a million pounds in subsidies that keeps it running every year, and put that money back into local services.
“We all want to see a thriving international airport serviced by a regular bus service, but it should be sustainable without public subsidy.
“You have to question the cost of this service when some local residents in Montgomeryshire don’t have the luxury of a regular bus service at all.”

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