Herefordshire will have spent “about a million pounds” on free weekend buses when the year-long scheme finishes at the end of this month.

Funded by a Government Covid-19 recovery grant, the Bus-It scheme was intended to encourage people to travel by bus to shops and leisure facilities in Hereford and the county’s market towns.

Council leader David Hitchiner described the scheme as “tremendous value for money”, with nearly 170,000 free journeys having been made, and an extra 12 Sunday services laid on.

“We have seen a month-on-month growth in the number of free journeys this year, from 14,000 in January to 20,000 in June,” he told fellow councillors on Friday.


He said a survey of those who had made use of the free service found that 94 per cent would continue to use it when no longer free.

“We need to potentially put in a case to central government to say, for that price you can get people on buses at the weekend, and it helps keep bus companies going,” Coun Hitchiner said.

Herefordshire Council says it will continue to support the Sunday services that have proved most popular.

The following services will continue to operate seven days a week:

  • 34/40 Ross-on-Wye – Monmouth & Ross town
  • 420 Bromyard – Hereford
  • 476 Ledbury – Hereford
  • 461 Kington – Hereford
  • 426/492 combined service Leominster – Hereford via Bodenham

Less well-used Sunday services which will end on August 28 are:

  • 36 Monmouth – Hereford
  • 454 Fownhope – Hereford
  • 675 Ledbury – Great Malvern
  • 496/401 Pembridge – Leominster circular and Leominster town

Some bus operators will also continue to offer fare promotions at weekends. And bus travel in the county will remain free to pensioners and those entitled to travel concessions.