Coleg Gwent will support learners affected by bus cuts

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First published in News

COLEG Gwent's vice principal said the college is concerned about the effect bus service cuts will have on its students following the decision by Stagecoach to scrap 14 routes.

Nicola Gamlin said the college will now work with students who use the bus services to ensure their studies are not affected.

Students using the 74, X74 (Newport to Chepstow route) and two-timetabled services on the 60 (Newport to Usk) and 64 (Newport to Underwood) routes will be affected from July 20.

The bus company blamed the Welsh Government for the service reductions, claiming that years of cuts had dealt “a body blow to public transport and economy”.

Stagecoach said its Welsh bus fleet would be reduced by 10 per cent from July with the biggest impact to be felt in Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent.

Ms Gamlin said:”Clearly we are concerned about the unforeseen consequences for our learners as a result of actions taken by Stagecoach in response to Government spending reductions.”

She added: “Some learners will be adversely affected and we will work with each of these learners on an individual basis to ensure their studies are not affected.”

However, a concerned parent, whose son who attends Nash College, criticised the decision to scrap the services and said she thinks it will be impossible for Coleg Gwent to work with students on an individual basis.

She said: “It is so wrong and ridiculous to cut these services.”

“The 74 and X74 operate in rural areas. How are students expected to get to college if they don’t drive or own a car?”

“I urge Stagecoach to re-think their decision.”

“I cannot see how the college can work with individual students as so many will be affected and may not be able to get to their classes on time.”

Stagecoach managing director in South Wales, John Gould has previously said that the ultimate responsibility for the loss of bus services and jobs lies firmly at the door of the Welsh Government following years of cuts to bus investment.

He added: “We deeply regret the impact this will have on our customers and local communities.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said the news was ‘extremely disappointing’ whilst Monmouthshire council has said it will work with Newport council and bus operators to find alternative provision.

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