A Welsh Government-funded bus service connecting Cardiff city centre to Cardiff Airport has been criticised after claims that its buses are “always empty”.
New figures uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives say more than £450,000 of public money has been spent on the service in the last year.
Just over £1.3 million has been committed to the T9 bus service since its introduction in 2013.
The figures were confirmed by Ken Skates, AM, the Welsh Government’s economy and infrastructure secretary.
Vincent Bailey is a prospective Conservative candidate for the Dyfan ward in Barry, and he says the money would be better spent elsewhere.
“We all want to see a successful national airport and the T9 serves a purpose in that sense but the problem is the amount of money that’s pumped into it.
“In the last three years we’ve seen £1.3 million spent by the Welsh Labour government on this service which nearly always runs empty, and at the same time Vale residents have seen their services cut.”
In a statement, the Welsh Government said:
“Since the Welsh Government took ownership of Cardiff Airport in 2013, it has become one of the UK’s fastest growing airports. Passenger numbers have increased month on month for 20 straight months, and grew by approximately 15% between 2015 and 2016.
“It’s imperative that our national airport has regular public transport to and from it and we’d expect these numbers to continue to grow as the airport continues to expand and increase in popularity.
“The Vale of Glamorgan Council is separately and additionally reimbursed for the operation of the T9 service. It has never been a case of choosing local services over the airport shuttle, Vale communities should expect both.”