JANET Finch-Saunders MS for Aberconwy has created a four-point plan aimed at tackling the lack of integration within North Wales’ public transport network.

The plan calls on the Welsh Government to:

- Improve rural bus stop provision acknowledging concerns around a lack of basic facilities, such as shelters, seating, and timetable information

- Introduce a direct rail service from Holyhead Port and Manchester Airport to Blaenau Ffestiniog to support an increase in visitation to the area by public transport

- Widen the area served by the Fflecsi bus service as a means of acknowledging the benefit it is having on encouraging a greener mode of transport

- Schedule evening services between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, in recognition that the last train presently leaves at 16:17 and the last bus at 18:34

This follows concerns raised by the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, outlining a lack of trust in public transport services, due to the often-scarce availability and reliability of bus services, which is causing more older people to travel to health appointments by private vehicle.

Mrs Finch-Saunders added: “I have spoken in the Siambr before about the problem we have with the last bus heading from Llandudno to the Conwy Valley leaving at 18:40pm, meaning that the two areas are cut off by public transport for the rest of the night.

“Having liaised with service providers it has been made clear to me that there is a lack of appetite by people to work late shifts.

“A clear action plan is needed to support bus companies in improving the attractiveness of the industry and encourage staff to work later shifts.

“My four-point plan would support an increase in demand by improving service quality and quantity. As part of this work, I have called for clarity from the Welsh Government as to what investment will be made to improve our local and rural bus stops.

“My productive plan looks to build on the considerable progress made in delivering public transport to rural Aberconwy thanks to the Fflecsi bus service and look to introduce new direct rail services from Holyhead Port and Manchester Airport to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

“In a climate crisis, I am clear that we need to be empowering residents to use public transport.”