Dame Nia Griffith, MP for Llanelli, has called on DVLA bosses to reconsider plans to end all of its works bus service routes at its Swansea site from the beginning of November 2023.
The services currently enable many of their staff living in Llanelli and other surrounding areas to travel to and from its Morriston offices each day.
Dame Nia has now written to Mark Harper MP, Secretary of State for Transport, urging him to intervene to stop the proposals and instead ask DVLA managers to enter into constructive talks with those employees affected to see what can be done to improve and safeguard the services.
Dame NIA GRIFFITH MP said:
“So many staff signed up to work in the DVLA on the understanding that this transport would be available. It is of particular importance to them because there are no direct buses to DVLA Swansea. It is a lifeline for those who have come to rely on it and we absolutely cannot afford to risk losing experienced staff, particularly at a time when recruitment is very difficult.
The location of the DVLA, on the outskirts of Swansea, away from the City Centre, makes the works buses all the more necessary. It is a long and complicated, if not impossible, journey on public transport for many employees, especially for those living in Llanelli and other similar parts of South West Wales.
The original ethos of decentralising services like the DVLA was to bring jobs to less favoured areas, and that includes the ‘travel to work’ areas such as Llanelli and the surrounding valleys, not just Swansea itself. This move would jeopardise their ability to deliver on this principle.”
She added that the bus services bring many additional benefits which would also be lost under the plans.
“Bus services significantly contribute to reducing congestion on our roads, leading to lower carbon emissions. Our need to cut our carbon footprint has never been greater, so bus services such as this should be encouraged not cut. I understand that the current service costs staff only £2 per week. Many employees agree that is unrealistically cheap, and they would be more than willing to pay a bit more to keep the services going.
Instead of ending the service completely, I have asked for the decision makers at the DVLA to reconsider the proposal urgently. I am willing to work with them and with the appropriate staff to discuss what options could be put on the table that would allow this important service to continue for those who need it most.”