A WOMAN has set up a Facebook group to help residents offer and ask for lifts while public transport is limited due to the Arriva bus drivers’ strike.
Molly Huxley created the ‘Carpool Llandudno & Surrounding Areas’ group to provide a helping hand to those in the region who may struggle to get to work, hospital appointments and more during the strike.
Arriva Cymru bus drivers at depots including Amlwch, Bangor, Hawarden, Llandudno, Rhyl and Wrexham are strike continuously from 6am on Sunday, November 14 until 1am on Sunday, December 19 due to a dispute regarding pay and working conditions.
The group recently surpassed 1,000 members despite only having been set up on Friday, November 12, much to Molly’s pleasant surprise.
She said: “I wasn’t expecting it; I thought it would just be my little group.
“I know what it’s like because I’ve only recently passed my driving test, and I’ve struggled even at the best of times.
“I used to work in a lab in Conwy and if you finished work at 5pm, there never used to be a bus until about 7pm. That was with a full bus service.
“Nobody helped me, and if you don’t have a car, you might feel a bit cheeky asking. Now, I can’t even imagine what it’s like; imagine people who are on zero-hour contracts.”
To get involved, people need to simply join the group and make a post either requesting a lift or offering their services.
Lifts are offered on a pay-as-you-feel basis, with a stringent set of rules in place taken from those used by Uber, including no children unless accompanied by an adult, have the driver confirm your name, and share your trip details with loved ones.
Molly added: “I’ve given two lifts which was nice, and if I see a post asking and someone else offering (a lift in the same place), I’ll tag them to try to help to connect them.
“If you charge, you need a taxi licence. It’s not like they have to (give money). A few people have posted in the group saying things like: ‘Thanks for my lift to work this morning’, which is really nice to read.
“I’ve seen some comments saying people are having to take weeks at a time off work, and if they get paid for November in December, that could be peoples’ Christmas money. It’s not nice to be going short, and Christmas is the worst time for having to lose out on so much work and pay.
“It (public transport costs) really does add up; it’s crazy. I’d like it to even continue after the buses come back on.
“There are still some people who haven’t been able to be connected but hopefully, if it grows more, then eventually, they’ll be able to find someone.”
To join the Facebook group, request to join by visiting: www.facebook.com/groups/197744355845473.