COMMUNITY transport operators in Wales are being “hit very hard” by requirements to apply for licensing and other cost pressures, a Newport MP has said.

Newport East’s Jessica Morden was speaking in Parliament as the UK Government is considering revamping the system through which non-profit transport firms are licensed to align with EU law.

Addressing Wales Office minister Stuart Andrew, the Labour MP said: “Community transport operators in Wales have many valuable functions, including helping isolated people get to the shops, doctors, friends and family.

“They will be hit very hard hit by government changes in terms of extra licensing and certification.

“The Community Transport Association says that this will affect 95 per cent of operators, so what will the minister do to help the Department for Transport listen and make changes?”

Mr Andrew replied: “I completely agree with (Ms Morden) that community transport operators provide vital services, particularly in Wales, where there are an estimated two million passenger journeys over a total of six million miles.

“But we do have to align ourselves with the EU regulations, so we are consulting widely and looking at the responses in detail to ensure that we come up with the right answers.”