After decades of wishing, years of work and months of waiting, the new Dyfi Bridge is finally open.

The £46 million project will speed up traffic passing on the key north-south route and removes a tricky bottleneck on the old 18th century structure over the Dyfi — it’s just too bad that another 21st century innovation, that of 20mph speed restrictions, undermines any progress or cut to journey times.

And while we generally welcome the bridge, there is also the reality that for too long services to mid Wales have been underfunded and underserved by the government down in Cardiff Bay.

While the new bridge gives options for pedestrians and cyclists, it will not see the number 34 bus service. Vital bus services have been stripped away by the government that Lee Waters, the minister for transport and the man who officially opened the bridge on Friday, is responsible for.

Last month Lloyd’s Coaches which runs bus services across Powys and Gwynedd announced the regular timetabled bus route serving Aberllefenni in Gwynedd to Aberystwyth would be cancelled and replaced with an on-demand ‘fflecsi’ service, requiring users to ring up and book the bus two hours in advance.

This comes as the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) based in Corris, which sits on the number 34 bus route, closed its visitor centre to the public in November.

Mr Waters said on this during the bridge opening last week: “We’ve got a problem with private buses because people are just not travelling in the same numbers they did before Covid-19, and the companies just can’t make a profit.

“They’ve been withdrawing services as a result and [the Welsh Government] has less money to try and subsidise them.

“We are going to change the way we organise buses in Wales to make sure they serve the public, not just profit.”

How about trains too, Mr Waters? Transport for Wales — the rail operators for which you are technically responsible — treats this region as if it is dirt.

How about that Llanbedr bypass? The people of that village have been waiting for decades for their relief road — and nothing has happened.

Thanks for the bridge, but we need more. Much more. We’re sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens living in a Third World country.