Removal of bus service in Llandegla

This is a letter recently sent to David Jones MP and Darren Millar MS regarding the withdrawal, by Arriva Cymru Ltd, of the bus service into Llandegla village.

I write in connection with the changes Arriva Cymru Ltd are due to implement on the X51 route between Wrexham and Denbigh, and particularly the withdrawal of this service from the village of Llandegla.

The following statement is taken from a report, dated 21st December, on the Leader website (

 A spokesman confirmed: "We have been reviewing our timetables since the introduction of the 20mph speed restriction.

 "Following this review, we are now able to make a number of changes to our network across North Wales in January."

From January 14, the following changes will be made:

Services 51 and x51, Rhyl to Wrexham: Service 51 will no longer call into Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, on service x51 Llandegla will no longer be served, instead service will remain on A525. Timetable will be revised but there will be no change to the frequencies”.

This change to the bus service in Llandegla is one which will impact on several people for various reasons, and I would be very grateful if you could lend your support in any way possible to reverse the decision to remove the bus service into Llandegla village.

 From the implementation date, buses will now only stop at the Crown Hotel on the A525 – A5104 crossroads. For anyone travelling to Ruthin, this will mean having to cross the busy A525 road and despite the junction being traffic light controlled, vehicles travelling from the Wrexham direction, do in some cases, travel at quite fast speeds. This, I believe, is due to the position of the traffic light unit being some way back, in the Wrexham direction, from the actual crossroads so if a driver sees a green light it is tempting to continue at speed which at this point is currently 40mph. (Please see picture 1 attached). The line of sight along the A525 is restricted by the Crown Hotel being in the inner arc of the road bend which could be very dangerous should there be a bus parked in the bend’s blind spot. For anyone returning to the village from the Wrexham area, they too will need to cross the main A525 road but from the Crown Hotel side the visibility of the road is reduced. As you can see from picture 2 attached, there is no bus stop on either side of the road, and I believe anyone wanting to catch a bus will need to indicate to the driver the requirement for him/her to stop.

 I have been contacted by several residents who are concerned about the lack of service into the village, and I include three examples of what this will mean to those residents:

1.           A lady who is of senior citizen age shops on a weekly basis in either Wrexham or Ruthin. When her husband is at home, he can transport her by car but on occasions he works away from the village, and she is then reliant on public transport. Despite having a shopping trolley, the walk back from the Crown Hotel with the weight of her weekly shop is not easy. She also relies on the bus service for Doctor’s appointments in Ruthin.

2.           A gentleman living in the village is currently in fear of losing his driving licence due to a possible heart condition. He currently awaits diagnosis from his consultant. If he does lose his ability to drive, he also, will become reliant on a bus service for work, doctor’s appointments, and shopping, and walking from one end of the village to the Crown Hotel might not be an option for him.

3.           Not all residents have the advantage of a car and therefore must use public transport to get to work and other important places. For quite a few in the community, this will mean an extra walk up the village, where there is little or no public footpath, then join the A 5104 again with little or no footpath and then navigate the traffic over the A525.

 The lack of footpath alongside our village road, the A5104 and A525 are all hazardous and in dark winter mornings and evenings, can be very dangerous. Pictures 3 – 11 show the extent of footpath along the route from the village to the Crown Hotel. Picture 2 also highlights the lack of bus stop signage / pull in.

 It is interesting that Arrive Cymru Ltd have cited the review as being conducted since the introduction of the 20mph speed restriction. I think that to remove a bus service from the village due to a reduction on speed limit from 30 mph to 20 mph is quite absurd. A good deal of the distance from the A525 to the bus turn around point in the village, more than half the distance, has been designated as a 20mph limit road for some years. The reduced speed limit on the bus route covers approximately 250 metres. If my calculations are correct, a bus travelling at 20 mph will take 9.36 seconds longer to cover the distance than if travelling at 30mph! Surely, we should be doing everything we can to promote public transport in rural areas and not cutting services which effectively divides some of the community from the wider world. For those who travel by car we have no alternative than to comply with the legislation and keep to the speed limits which in turn means longer journey times. Why then do Arriva Cymru Ltd feel they have the right to change timetables to suit journey times? Why can it not take a little longer to complete a journey?

 I understand that this matter will be discussed at the Llandegla Community Council meeting on Thursday January 4th at 7pm in the Memorial Hall (LL11 3AW) and you might wish to attend to judge public opinion for yourself.

 If you can help in any way, I will be very pleased to hear from you and if I can offer any further information then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Fraser Robertson.

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