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Review must prove air link can be cost-effective or it must be scrapped

Figures uncovered by the Welsh Conservatives reveal a 25.4% decline in passenger numbers on the Welsh Government’s flagship north-south air link.

A Written Assembly Question by Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar, revealed that passenger numbers for 2016 (to date) have fallen by more than a quarter.

Between January and August this year 5,925 passengers used the service between Cardiff and Anglesey; compared to 7,941 during the same period in 2015.

Earlier this month Welsh Conservatives uncovered the growing cost of the air link, which has absorbed millions of pounds since its establishment – despite being used by less than 10,000 passengers a year.

Commenting on the figures, Clwyd West AM – Darren Millar AM – said:

“If the Welsh Government’s review of this service can’t prove that the route can be cost-effective in the long run then it should be scrapped.

“Right now it seems that the only people who benefit from it are civil servants and politicians.

“Perhaps the millions which have been spent on the air link would be better spent improving the road and rail network in North Wales.”

In addition, Shadow Transport Secretary – Russell George – said:

“The amount of money being thrown at this service is starting to raise serious questions, not least because passenger growth is being steadily outstripped by the rising cost of the subsidy.

“Last year the Welsh Government’s contribution to the air link’s running costs was £110 per person, which is more than the cost of a return ticket, and whilst that subsidy was up 27%, we now know that passenger numbers are falling.”