On Friday 18th May Stephen Crabb met with the Preseli Rural Transport Association, also known as the 'Green Dragon Bus', to discuss their fears over potential new licensing costs.
Earlier this year the Department for Transport proposed changes to the community transport permit scheme that could lead to increased costs for not-for-profit groups such as Green Dragon. Following a campaign by community transport organisations and Members of Parliament from rural areas, the Department has now said that it is re-thinking the plans and that no changes are required at this time.
Mr Crabb, along with other rural MP's, had written to the Transport Minister urging him to drop these proposals and defended current arrangements which treat community transport groups differently from commercial bus companies.
Following a meeting with Caroline Wilson, Green Dragon Bus manager, Stephen Crabb MP said: “I am pleased that the Department for Transport has now backed off from these plans and I hope they will drop them altogether. A lot of needless confusion and fear has been created among the staff and volunteers of community schemes like the Green Dragon Bus. These groups do a fantastic job filling in the public transport not-spots in rural communities. They deserve our full backing."
Green Dragon has expanded from one mini-bus when it started in 2002 and now operates five minibuses along with a car club and a scooter hire scheme ensuring as many people as possible in rural areas are connected.