With the Welsh DRT service spreading further, RHODRI CLARK samples what is on offer
Many demand responsive transport services have come and gone in Britain over the years, often petering out when public funding ends. North Wales is no exception. The Deeside Shuttle, focused on getting people to and from jobs on the sprawling Deeside Industrial Park, achieved its goals of increasing access to jobs and improving the labour pool available to employers. However, the service ceased when funding ended in 2015.
Denbighshire County Council’s early attempts to replace rural services with DRT were short-lived, but it has now become the biggest enthusiast of the concept in Wales. On April 11, it launched a second Fflecsi operation based on Denbigh. It also operates Fflecsi services in Ruthin and Prestatyn.
These services use the Fflecsi branding and app which Transport for Wales launched in 2020. The central facility overcomes one of the cost challenges which sank the Deeside Shuttle, where the bespoke journey booking facility was disproportionately expensive to operate. The opportunity was not taken to use the facility’s spare capacity to provide booking for DRT in other parts of Wales, in order to spread the overheads across more services and passenger journeys.