A bus service running between Ledbury and Newent is being axed at the end of February.

The 132 service will stop running from February 27, with bus operator Stagecoach blaming a “significant” fall in the number of passengers since the start of the pandemic.

The 32 between Newent and Ross-on-Wye is also being cut, with just two buses a day running from the end of next month.

Gill Moseley, who represents Newent Division on Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This is devastating news both for the regular and occasional users of these routes but Stagecoach states the number of passengers is 60 per cent down on pre-Covid figures and the service is unviable.

“I have written to both the operations manager at Stagecoach and to the head of services and the portfolio holder at Gloucestershire County Council.

“A subsidised service or alternative provision of some sort ought to be examined.

“Not only will Newent residents be unable to access the area north of our town by public transport, but people who live in Dymock and in the surrounding rural areas between here and Ledbury will be left high and dry. The service to Ross is very limited.

“The notice of little more than a month seems totally unfair and I have raised the question of consultation.”

Rachel Geliamassi, managing director at Stagecoach West, said: “Following declining passenger numbers, our 32/132 service is now running at a significant loss. As a result, we have revised its timetable to prioritise the most used parts of the route.

“The service will no longer run between Newent and Ledbury, but we will continue to run the school and shopper link between Newent and Ross-On-Wye.

"The 32 service between Newent and Gloucester will continue to run hourly with a slightly tweaked timetable.

“These changes have been made following analysis of passenger data which suggests 80 per cent of our customers using the 32/132 service will see little or no change as a result of the new timetable.”

Gloucestershire County Council, in its Bus Service Improvement Plan, said passenger numbers for September 2021 were down 30 per cent across all services compared with September 2019.

The county council said it is now working on a partnership with bus operators in the county to set out how they will deliver the improvement plan.

There are still a few days in which to take part in a consultation and let the council know your thoughts on bus services in the area.

You can take part in the survey at https://haveyoursaygloucestershire.uk.engagementhq.com/bus-service-improvement-plan-survey