Petition launched to save Cardi Bach service

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A petition has been launched to save the Cardi Bach bus service which is due to close at the end of this month after ten years of service.

Cwmtydu resident Janet Richardson is urging people to sign the petition on the Welsh Assembly website before September 14 - the petition has already collected over 500 names.

"The closure is down to a shortage of funding but in view of the importance of the tourism to the local economy this seems a very short sighted decision," she said.

She added that the Poppit Rocket in Pembrokeshire was funded throughout the year.

"That makes the Pembrokeshire coastal path far easier to access for a coastal walking holiday than the south Ceredigion stretch," she said.

Her comments were backed by Aberporth county councillor Gethin James.

"The grant money has been used up and I believe officers are trying to secure more funding so pressure from the public will hopefully get the attention of the relevant minister. I think the council should have continued to ask community councils to contribute over the past couple of years as this would have also shown continuing community support for this popular and much needed service," he said.

And he added: "The Welsh Government love of giving grants for everything is a disaster and leads good initiatives like the Cardi Bach being lost when they are no longer flavour of the month with ministers. I will be signing the petition and fully support Janet Richardson in her efforts to retain the Cardi Bach bus service."

Local AM Elin Jones said: “A number of people have contacted me in recent weeks regarding the future of the Cardi Bach service. I’ve been in touch with the County Council and have been monitoring their efforts to keep a service going following the end of RDP funding.

“After a lot of hard work over the past year has brought good news on improvements to bus services such as the 50 and the T1, it would be a great shame to take a step backwards with the Cardi Bach.

“It’s a very important service, both for tourism and to link coastal communities such as Llangrannog, Cwmtydu and New Quay. I hope that all efforts can be made to help the community to run the service.”

The petition can be signed on-line by going on the Welsh Assembly site, selecting Get Involved, Petitions, Sign E Petition. The petition is 'Funding for the Cardi Bach Coastal Bus Service'

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: "The council recognises the contribution that the service makes to the local community and if resources were available would wish to continue the service beyond the conclusion of the RDP project. Whilst the Cardi Bach has proved to be popular, with 5,645 passengers carried in the 12 months to the end of July, 2014, the fare income is significant less than the operating costs of the service which means that the service is not self-sustaining. Its future operation and support is also set against a backdrop of budgetary cuts."

However the council is investigating the possibility of continuing the Cardi Bach brand through enhancing local bus services or providing a community transport service.

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