Welsh bus strategy board scrapped


The Welsh Government has admitted it effectively scrapped a bus strategy board, which it was advised to strengthen.

Victoria Winckler, of the Bevan Foundation think tank, was commissioned by ministers to advise on TrawsCymru long-distance buses, which fill gaps left by the Beeching railway axe.

She said: ‘The TrawsCymru strategic board should focus on strategic issues with corridor delivery groups dealing with operational matters, on a formal basis. Both groups should have enhanced user representation and a strengthened secretariat function.’

You wait three years for the bus board... and then they scrap it

She stressed that reform was needed as the five TrawsCymru routes were Government-funded, managed by four local authorities and operated by seven companies.

‘These arrangements fragment the strategic, all-Wales approach that TrawsCymru requires and blur accountability,' she warned.

Assembly member Eluned Parrott said routes operated in silos rather than a network and she understood the board had not met for three years. She added the report was published in August 2013 and asked for an update on implementation. 

Transport minister Edwina Hart replied: ‘We are looking at those recommendations in the context of the delivery of the service and our continued support for it.’

Ms Hart was ‘content with the current arrangements’ but would look at governance again.

A government spokeswoman told Transport Network: ‘It is true that we have experimented over the years with a TrawsCymru strategic management board, but such a body has not met for a couple of years. The board was set up on an advisory basis but we found it was not very effective and added little to the project.’

The board included representatives from the bus industry and the local authorities’ regional transport consortia, abolished in 2014.

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