CAERNARFON and Welshpool Air Ambulance bases will officially close after 2026 after a final vote on the matter by health boards.

In a meeting of the Welsh NHS’ Joint Commissioning Committee, it was voted that the bases will close and be merged into a new site in North Wales – probably in Rhuddlan - despite opposition from politicians and the public.

In a majority decision the Committee has voted for the bases to be closed, with Powys Teaching Health Board being the only board to note its opposition to the plans.

Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner Stephen Harrhy said that the plans applied "common sense" and would allow a "special" service to improve for the whole of Wales.

The plans to close the base in Welshpool have been met with opposition from across Powys with a grassroots campaign to save the base which has seen a public petition to save the base receiving over 30,000 signatures.

Public meetings on the future of the base saw hundreds of residents attend and campaigners have undertaken a banner campaign which have been seen on roadsides across Powys and Mid Wales.

The plans have also faced cross party opposition from politicians, with Montgomeryshire representatives Russell George MS and Craig Williams MP both frequently voicing their concerns.

They were frequently joined by Plaid Cymru who had concerns over the impact changes would have to the service in western Powys and Gwynedd.

Last month, Plaid Cymru representatives said they believe lives will be put at risk if plans to close the Welshpool and Caernarfon air ambulance bases are carried out.

In an open letter addressing the proposed closures, ambassadors for Plaid Cymru have argued against the move, saying that the proposal “goes against the wishes of thousands of our constituents”.

Signatories of the letter included Liz Saville Roberts MP, Hywel Williams MP, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Siân Gwenllian MS, Cefin Campbell MS and Cllr Elwyn Vaughan.

The plans will now see work begin on moving the bases to a new site in North Wales.

Mr Harrhy has said any proposed move will not come before 2026 to allow the Wales Air Ambulance Charity to adequately prepare.