News that Tanat Valley Coaches are trialling a service from Llanfyllin to Oswestry on a Wednesday is a "step in the right direction", according to a local Member of the Welsh Parliament, Russell George.
Tanat Valley Coaches will trial a service on a Wednesday leaving Llanfyllin at 9.15am and then proceeding on the old route all the way to Oswestry, arriving at 10am. It will then return to Llanfyllin in the afternoon leaving Oswestry at 1.20pm. This trial started on Wednesday 16th September 2020 and will run until Christmas.
In July, Mr George, Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire, had previously called on the Welsh Government to increase the support available to bus operators and had raised the cancellation of the Llanfyllin to Oswestry route in a debate in the Senedd.
Commenting on the new trial, Mr George said:
"The loss of service 72 which covered the Llanfyllin and Llansantffraid areas was a particular concern to residents in North Powys. I'm pleased that Tanat Valley Coaches have re-introduced this route, albeit on a trial basis on one day a week from now until Christmas.
"It will be important for the local community to demonstrate that there is a demand for this service if we are to see an increase in the frequency of services from Llanfyllin to Oswestry and if we are to see the service continue beyond the trial period into 2021.
"For some time, I have called on the Welsh Government to boost the support available to bus operators to enable them to increase the frequency, sustainability and capacity of bus services for the people of Mid Wales. I will continue to press the Welsh Government to work with local authorities, in our case Powys County Council, to provide the financial support necessary to allow providers to operate an integrated bus network throughout North Powys."
Cllr. Peter Lewis, County Councillor for Llanfyllin added:
"I would like to thank Tanat Valley Coaches for reinstating route 72 from Llanfyllin to Oswestry even though it is only for a trial period on a Wednesday.
"It will be crucial now that we can demonstrate that there is adequate demand because this route is still run on a commercial basis.
"I'm grateful to Russell for working closely with Cllr Gwynfor Thomas, Powys County Council, and myself.
"Central government funding will be needed for rural bus services otherwise they simply won't be sustainable in the long term."