SEVERAL bus routes across Herefordshire were suspended as the impact of the coronavirus lockdown was felt, with most routes having just one passenger per journey.

Herefordshire Council said this made routes unviable, but it left Golden Valley communities feeling more isolated than everyone else as it prevented residents from making trips for essential supplies.

Keith Taylor, of Peterchurch, said the T14 service from Stagecoach was stopped without notice more than two months ago, but understands the reasons for stopping the long distance service between Hereford and Cardiff, via Hay-on-Wye, Brecon and Merthyr.

He questioned why an alternative service could not have been provided to at least enable Golden Valley residents to travel to a supermarket on just one weekday.

"For eight weeks residents of Golden Valley communities have been prevented form visiting supermarkets for essential supplies," Mr Taylor, 80, said.

"This has caused stress and anxiety to the elderly and non-drivers many of whom are fit and active so do not qualify for the priority delivery service.

"There are many instances of residents having difficulty contacting the online or call centres of the supermarkets, but once they speak to a representative, their delivery has no priority and will be several weeks after they make the booking."

He added: "The Golden Valley residents remain literally isolated with no hope of transport even when restrictions are lifted."

The village has now been left with a bus service one day a week between Hereford and Hay-on-Wye, but Mr Taylor said this is little consolation after losing five services per day in the week.

He also said it's "no good" if any residents from the Golden Valley need to use a bank, as they are all closed on a Sunday in Hereford.

Herefordshire Council said reduced timetables have been in place across the county to ensure services are kept as efficient as possible, but there is help available from their Covid-19 response group for those struggling to travel.

A spokesperson said: "During the lockdown period, bus services in the county have experienced a fall in passenger numbers of around 95% with many routes having an average of 1 passenger per journey.

"In response, the council and commercial bus operators have been running reduced services to ensure provision remains as efficient as possible and to avoid operating empty buses. The service referred to was operated commercially by Stagecoach South Wales.

"The reduced network continues to maintain essential links between market towns, larger villages and Hereford, ensuring public transport continues to be available for key workers and residents needing to make essential journeys to collect shopping and medicines.

"Community Transport is also available, and anybody who is struggling to get around due to the reduced service can contact the Herefordshire Council Talk Community Covid-19 response initiative for support, by calling 01432 260027, or emailing

"We fully intend to bring greater connectivity to rural areas, but we do not have a confirmed date for the resumption of normal bus services.

"We are continuing to monitor Government guidance and are working closely with bus operators to ensure a suitable level of service is available to meet demand."