Welsh Conservatives have questioned a Labour decision to continue the publicly subsidy for the controversial north-south air link, despite evidence that passenger numbers are dwindling.
The First Minister, in a written statement today, claims that the route is “vital” for the Welsh economy – but the route has long been criticised as a highly subsidised shuttle service for senior civil servants and politicians.
Furthermore, the location of the air link on Ministry of Defence property makes it impossible to offer weekend services – hugely restricting its convenience to day trippers and people after short travel breaks.
Commenting for the Welsh Conservatives, Shadow Economy Secretary, Russell George, said:
“The Welsh Government subsidy for the air link is more than £100 a head, which is higher than the cost of a return ticket.
“If they can’t prove that the route can be cost effective in the long term then it should be scrapped.
“Right now it seems as though the air link is just a shuttle service for senior civil servants and politicians.
“It might be vital for them, but there’s little evidence to suggest that it does anything at all for the wider economy.”
Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar, said:
“The Welsh Labour Government should be scrapping this service.
“Passenger numbers on the air link have been falling dramatically in recent years and very few members of the general public or business people are making use of it.
“Instead of wasting millions more on an air link for civil servants and politicians we’d be better off investing this money on addressing problems on the A55 and improving train services to the region.
“Investing in road and rail services would deliver much better value for money for Welsh taxpayers and be of far more benefit to the North Wales economy.”