THE mother of children attending a school in Bangor has said their school bus service has been “paralysed” due to overcrowding.

Llywela Jones, whose children are pupils at Ysgol Friars, said their transportation to and from school have been affected by the issues concerning the Welsh Government-funded T2 Traws Cymru service.

This has been an issue from the beginning of the 2023-24 school term earlier this month, she said.

She added that it is “incapable of servicing its contracted route, as it reaches Penygroes and cannot accommodate any further passengers”.  

Ms Jones said: “As a result, passengers, be they pupils, or people traveling to work, hospital or Bangor railway station are turned away and left at bus stops. 

“The capacity service also raises concerns for the welfare of users who are having to travel stood up on a daily basis, and safeguarding as children are left at bus stops, changing in town and arriving at school late. 

“This has resulted in additional car trips by the parents of the children impacted, firstly in a lack of confidence in Gwynedd Council now being able to function a bus service, or ad-hoc, as children are rejected from bus travel returning home or calling for help.”

Ms Jones said that the state of affairs is in “direction contradiction” to Gwynedd Council’s stated aims of promoting bus travel and the environment as part of its “A Green Gwynedd” plans.

Instead, she said, “children are being taught that bus services are unreliable, inconvenient, overcrowded, and not user-focused”.

“These children are at all levels of secondary education and are not going to disappear or suddenly disperse to less suitable schools, which is how the exercise feels,” she added.

“At the end of the day, it is a transport problem that has been created and users, be they school attendees or not, should be catered for, where there is demand.  

“Gwynedd Council has not engaged in problem-solving, or been open or empathetic at all to users that have been impacted.

“Solutions may be found in converting the T2 service to a double decker, reinstating the 5A or extending the C4/C5 service to Bangor.

“Their preferred solution, however, appears for us to use our cars instead, so they don’t have to bother with transporting children, in the full knowledge that there are significant numbers of children affected and that, as a direct result of their actions, they have damaged the T2 service.”


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In response, a Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: "The Gwynedd school transport policy states that the council provides school transport for pupils under the age of 16 who live in Gwynedd to attend their catchment school, if the journey to school is more than three miles for secondary aged pupils or two miles for primary-aged pupils.

“If the family wishes for a child  to attend another school outside their catchment area, they must make their own travel arrangements and meet the costs of that transport themselves.

“The same policy is in place in other counties across Wales.

"A school pupil or college student who is educated within Gwynedd but is not entitled to free transport can take advantage of any empty seats on a school or college bus provided by the council, but empty seat scheme is not available on contracted public service busses.

“A one-year empty seat ticket can be bought for £189, which works out at around £1 a day.

“During a recent review, it came to the council's attention that there are plenty of seats available on the 16+ network, including the 1C service between Criccieth and Bangor.

"Cyngor Gwynedd, in partnership with Transport for Wales, has recently reviewed and redesigned the public transport network in Gwynedd in order to improve the provision and to increase travel opportunities for Gwynedd residents, adding to the services available to a number of villages and improving the connections between the main towns.

“As a council, we are continuously monitoring service demands and are working to ensure that the provision meets the local needs whilst also providing the best value for money to Gwynedd taxpayers.

“All Gwynedd bus services operate in accordance with national health and safety requirements and guidelines."