Stagecoach boss and Valleys AM clash over depot cuts

Stagecoach boss and Valleys AM clash over depot cuts

ROW: Alun Davies, AM for Blaenau Gwent

First published in News

AN ARGUMENT has broken out between a Labour Welsh Government minister and a major bus company over the proposed closure of a depot.

Labour’s Alun Davies, AM for Blaenau Gwent, says he doesn’t believe the reasons given by Stagecoach South Wales for the closure of the Brynmawr depot.

But Stagecoach hit back, saying Mr Davies must be the only person in Wales who can’t see the impact Welsh Government cuts to bus services are having on daily life in the country.

Meanwhile Wales’ first minister Carwyn Jones told the Senedd it was ironic when private firms rely on public cash to make profits.

The bus giant announced in April that it was closing the Brynmawr depot this summer, putting 77 jobs at risk, and is also cutting a number of services.

Stagecoach accused the Welsh Government of being directly responsible, claiming it cut bus service support by 25 per cent last year.

But the Blaenau Gwent AM, who released a strongly-worded statement following a meeting with the firm, claimed Stagecoach had used cuts to concessionary bus subsidies as a smokescreen for something “they already wanted to do”.

“I don’t believe the reasons Stagecoach have given publicly for the closure of Brynmawr are true,” said Mr Davies, who is natural resources minister.

He accused the firm of making a “profit from the public purse for years” and having done “very well out of the taxpayer”.

Mr Davies said: “I have asked [Stagecoach South Wales MD] John Gould to show me the figures, show me how the business case stacks up and how it is necessary to inflict these cuts. He has so far refused.”

In response a Stagecoach spokesman said that Mr Davies “must be the only person in the country who can’t see the truth and the impact on daily life in Wales of years of cuts to investment in bus services by the Welsh Government.”

The spokesman said most of the company’s services are delivered commercially without any public support, “as Mr Davies knows full well”.

He added: “It is disappointing that instead of supporting bus workers whose jobs are at risk and and making the case for more public investment in vital bus services... Mr Davies is resorting to playing politics.”

Lynne Neagle, Labour AM for Torfaen, told the Senedd yesterday about “huge concern” in Torfaen about the loss of the Stagecoach route 30 that runs from Cwmbran to Brynmawr – although an alternative operator could take it over.

She put to the first minister, Carwyn James, that “we need to be investigating all options... so operators like Stagecoach can’t cherrypick profitable routes when they cut and run from others”.

Comments (10)

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5:42pm Tue 6 May 14

theviking666 says...

He accused the firm of making a “profit from the public purse for years” and having done “very well out of the taxpayer”. Just like the AM's down the bay then.
He accused the firm of making a “profit from the public purse for years” and having done “very well out of the taxpayer”. Just like the AM's down the bay then. theviking666
  • Score: 19

6:49am Wed 7 May 14

Llanmartinangel says...

theviking666 wrote:
He accused the firm of making a “profit from the public purse for years” and having done “very well out of the taxpayer”. Just like the AM's down the bay then.
Yes. Clearly doesn't understand irony eh.
[quote][p][bold]theviking666[/bold] wrote: He accused the firm of making a “profit from the public purse for years” and having done “very well out of the taxpayer”. Just like the AM's down the bay then.[/p][/quote]Yes. Clearly doesn't understand irony eh. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 13

7:24am Wed 7 May 14

cath 872 says...

Still, it wouldn't hurt for the Stagecoach boss to give the figures, would it? Then we can all see the proof that the Welsh Government are to blame....
Still, it wouldn't hurt for the Stagecoach boss to give the figures, would it? Then we can all see the proof that the Welsh Government are to blame.... cath 872
  • Score: 10

7:56am Wed 7 May 14

Bobevans says...

cath 872 wrote:
Still, it wouldn't hurt for the Stagecoach boss to give the figures, would it? Then we can all see the proof that the Welsh Government are to blame....
I can understand them not wanting to show the figures as that would be commercially sensitive information. It is common knowledge though that most bus services make little profit. It probably needs revenues of in the region of £80,000 per annum per bus just to breakeven
[quote][p][bold]cath 872[/bold] wrote: Still, it wouldn't hurt for the Stagecoach boss to give the figures, would it? Then we can all see the proof that the Welsh Government are to blame....[/p][/quote]I can understand them not wanting to show the figures as that would be commercially sensitive information. It is common knowledge though that most bus services make little profit. It probably needs revenues of in the region of £80,000 per annum per bus just to breakeven Bobevans
  • Score: 5

8:25am Wed 7 May 14

Sid Bonkers says...

It's no secret that most countries in the world have known for a very long time that most public transport systems only survive with heavy subsidies.
It's no secret that most countries in the world have known for a very long time that most public transport systems only survive with heavy subsidies. Sid Bonkers
  • Score: 7

8:49am Wed 7 May 14

cath 872 says...

Bobevans
Sainsbury's produced their profits this morning, nothing to stop Stagecoach doing the same.
Bobevans Sainsbury's produced their profits this morning, nothing to stop Stagecoach doing the same. cath 872
  • Score: 1

9:37am Wed 7 May 14

Llanmartinangel says...

cath 872 wrote:
Bobevans
Sainsbury's produced their profits this morning, nothing to stop Stagecoach doing the same.
There is a big difference between figures which companies like Stagecoach & Sainsbury are compelled by law to put in the public domain and individual business cases which most would avoid disclosing. Yes Sainsbury have to make their P&L public but if you asked them how they construct contracts with suppliers you'd be met with stoney silence just the same.
[quote][p][bold]cath 872[/bold] wrote: Bobevans Sainsbury's produced their profits this morning, nothing to stop Stagecoach doing the same.[/p][/quote]There is a big difference between figures which companies like Stagecoach & Sainsbury are compelled by law to put in the public domain and individual business cases which most would avoid disclosing. Yes Sainsbury have to make their P&L public but if you asked them how they construct contracts with suppliers you'd be met with stoney silence just the same. Llanmartinangel
  • Score: 7

11:59am Wed 7 May 14

Severn40 says...

There is nothing stopping Carwhinge from changing the set up of bus services in Wales. He could push for franchising (similar to London) if he wanted to. What he is likely to find is that the options are likely to cost more money in the long run. What makes more sense is to restrict concessionary travel to off-peak times - so that you don't have the situation in many cases of over 60s in work getting free travel to their workplace.
There is nothing stopping Carwhinge from changing the set up of bus services in Wales. He could push for franchising (similar to London) if he wanted to. What he is likely to find is that the options are likely to cost more money in the long run. What makes more sense is to restrict concessionary travel to off-peak times - so that you don't have the situation in many cases of over 60s in work getting free travel to their workplace. Severn40
  • Score: 2

6:29pm Wed 7 May 14

Julesblaina1 says...

If another bus company is taking over the Cwmbran to Brynmawr route doesn't that say that the route is profitable, it amazes me how they spend a million pound on a new bus station in Brynmawr which is now finished but it remains closed because they cannot operate the rising bollards to let the buses go in and out. Strange how the AM only shows his face when it's voting time,
If another bus company is taking over the Cwmbran to Brynmawr route doesn't that say that the route is profitable, it amazes me how they spend a million pound on a new bus station in Brynmawr which is now finished but it remains closed because they cannot operate the rising bollards to let the buses go in and out. Strange how the AM only shows his face when it's voting time, Julesblaina1
  • Score: 1

8:51pm Wed 7 May 14

mvaone says...

Julesblaina1 wrote:
If another bus company is taking over the Cwmbran to Brynmawr route doesn't that say that the route is profitable, it amazes me how they spend a million pound on a new bus station in Brynmawr which is now finished but it remains closed because they cannot operate the rising bollards to let the buses go in and out. Strange how the AM only shows his face when it's voting time,
The 30 route will only run to bleanavon then the people will get x24 to Cwmbran. There also is only 1 or 2 people traveling from Brynmawr to Bleanavon and the rest of the service was the Forgeside and Elgam rolled into 1 route.These so called know it alls really know nothing every operator of bus services in the country are affected by the cuts from the welsh assembly it's just the fact that Stagecoach are the biggest and are the target of the press and media.To make another point Cardiff bus recently laid off 30 or so drivers due to the loss of revenue and services, why was this not mentioned? How do I know? I asked a bus driver.
[quote][p][bold]Julesblaina1[/bold] wrote: If another bus company is taking over the Cwmbran to Brynmawr route doesn't that say that the route is profitable, it amazes me how they spend a million pound on a new bus station in Brynmawr which is now finished but it remains closed because they cannot operate the rising bollards to let the buses go in and out. Strange how the AM only shows his face when it's voting time,[/p][/quote]The 30 route will only run to bleanavon then the people will get x24 to Cwmbran. There also is only 1 or 2 people traveling from Brynmawr to Bleanavon and the rest of the service was the Forgeside and Elgam rolled into 1 route.These so called know it alls really know nothing every operator of bus services in the country are affected by the cuts from the welsh assembly it's just the fact that Stagecoach are the biggest and are the target of the press and media.To make another point Cardiff bus recently laid off 30 or so drivers due to the loss of revenue and services, why was this not mentioned? How do I know? I asked a bus driver. mvaone
  • Score: -1

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