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Home / Latest News / Confusion over airport express link after Welsh Government appears to back down on plans

Confusion over airport express link after Welsh Government appears to back down on plans

Plans for a mooted express bus link between the city centre and Cardiff Airport confirmed to start in August are in “shambles”, with the Welsh Government refusing to acknowledge it will happen, it has been claimed.

First Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed in the Senedd that an express service, first proposed by the Welsh Government in July 2009, would be launched in August – just days after Cardiff Bus announced it was scrapping the Sunday service to the airport due to lack of demand.

Mr Jones told the Liberal Democrat South Wales Central Assembly Member Eluned Parrott that a new high-quality express service would be launched in August.

But Transport Minister Edwina Hart – in answer to eight follow-up written questions asking for details of the new scheme – revealed only she was “actively reviewing how we might improve access to Cardiff Airport since receiving proposals for a South East Wales metro in March”.

A Welsh Government spokesman later insisted enhanced bus routes to the airport – bought by the government for £52m earlier this year – are proposed to begin in August.

Ms Parrott had asked Ms Hart for details on how the August date was reached, details of the tender process for the service, details on financial assistance to the scheme and how many times a day the link would operate to the airport.

Ms Parrott said the lack of clarity over the service, just weeks before it’s due to start, raised concerns over whether it would go ahead, saying the short reply from Ms Hart was a “fob off” and was “quite frankly, a disgrace”.

“Last week in the chamber, Assembly Members were flabbergasted that the First Minister had given me a straight answer – something he’s hardly known for doing,” she said.

“He explicitly said that this important link would be up and running by August. Now it seems his Government is less sure.

“Judging by the Transport Minister’s single sentence response to my questions, she is either completely clueless about the link, or the Welsh Government is quietly trying to pull a u-turn on this announcement. Either way, it is a complete shambles. We need clarity from this Welsh Labour Government.

“According to the First Minister, the bus link will be operating in less than two months. Yet there are no further details about it. We don’t know who will operate it, who will be paying, how often it will be run, or even when it will start. It’s bizarre.”

A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We have been actively exploring enhanced bus routes from Cardiff to the airport and the Enterprise Zone.

“These new services are planned to be in operation from August.”

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