Transport for Wales must offer a better alternative to a four hour round trip for Powys students

Dozens of Powys students studying courses in Shrewsbury have had to travel a 4 hour round trip prompting calls for a more appropriate alternative to be found by Transport for Wales. 


The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire, Russell George MS, has been contacted by residents who have highlighted the need for a better solution following the decision by Transport for Wales to temporarily suspend the 7.04am train service from Machynlleth.


From 1st September, schools and further education colleges returned from the summer break. It is planned that a mixed approach to teaching will be used, with students taught either in the classroom or using remote methods. 


A number of Powys students travel to Shrewsbury to access these learning opportunities.


Mr George said:


"A four hour round trip for students on a bus is clearly unacceptable at any time but especially as we continue to deal with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic where travel should be kept to an absolute minimum.


"While a replacement bus service had been put in place instead of the 7.04 am train service which has been temporarily suspended, these bus services go via a number of communities, which extends the journey time considerably. 


"I have urged Transport for Wales to reinstate the train service as soon as possible and, in the meantime, put in place other alternatives.


"I'm therefore pleased that there will be two coach services starting at 06:30 from Machynlleth as well as the one at the original time of 07:05 and that the 06:02 and 08:05 (Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury) trains are still running. 


"However, I very much hope that the 6.30am Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury train service can be reinstated as soon as circumstances allow. I will be continuing my discussions with the CEO of Transport for Wales."