EasyCoach, the budget bus operator has pulled out of providing services in Wrexham just two months after it was launched amid allegations of safety issues with its fleet of buses.
EasyCoach, part of the same family of companies as EasyJet, started running five routes back in June 2018 claiming it would bring ‘a breath of fresh air’ to the town. Instead, it has brought buses that are unfit for public transportation and much inconvenience to the bus passengers of Wrexham.
However, in a surprise move, the company has now given its notice to cancel them with effect from 9th September 2018. The cancellation of the services has been confirmed on the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency website.
It comes after a confidential report is understood to have been circulated to members of Wrexham Council in July, outlining a number of issues with the company.
Cllr Marc Jones, Plaid Cymru’s group leader on Wrexham Council, said: “This is another blow for public transport in Wrexham. Bus services remain patchy at best and that’s because funding for bus services has been frozen by this Welsh Government for many years while fuel and wages have increased.
“I flagged up concerns about this company’s safety record back in July after reports that a wheel had come off one EasyCoach while it was on the A483. The Ceiriog Valley route was also subject to frequent breakdowns in recent months.
“If we’re serious about reducing congestion in our area, we need better public transport that’s reliable, affordable and easily accessible. That needs a long-term investment and strategy that’s just not happening in this area.
“We hear of money being invested in a combined train-bus hub for Wrexham, but the reality is that there won’t be any buses left to service that hub unless we have serious investment in revenue costs rather than one-off capital costs to maintain and improve services.
“Bus de-regulation has happened throughout the UK with the exception of London, where more than half the population travel to work every day by public transport under democratic control. That’s clearly a system that works. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that Wales has the same kind of ownership of public transport so that it serves people better than this current privatised, under-subsidised hell.”
Cllr Jones added that he did not believe the announcement affected the running of the council’s Information Centre in the bus station.