THERE is a fresh hope that an axed bus service linking two Herefordshire towns could be revived.

Rail&Bus for Herefordshire is backing to reinstate the bus route between Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye via Newent, with Stagecoach cutting the 132 service earlier this year.

Despite the firm saying the route was running at a loss, the group said the buses were by no means empty, with a group of ex-passengers trying to revive it now.

It is donating £1,000 in the hope that every town and parish council on the route will also support the route financially.


The group said there is a precedent in the north of Herefordshire and south Shropshire when all parish councils as well as Leominster and Ludlow Town councils chipped in to save the 490 service between the two towns.

Newent Town Council has already pledged £15,000 and other parish councils have agreed to add to the funds.

Ledbury Town Council has as yet not decided to offer a contribution and the matter will be aired at an Extraordinary council meeting on Thursday (August 18).

Professor Les Lumsdon, from the group, said it is a "grass routes" initiative spearheaded by two women and a group of existing passengers, with the service key for bringing business to local towns and reducing social isolation.

"They are so frustrated by the withdrawal of the 32/132 service by the Stagecoach bus company followed by a lack of response from Gloucestershire and Herefordshire councils at the time," he said.


"Rail&Bus for Herefordshire undertook surveys at the time and buses on the routes were by no means running empty.

"There is a case for the development of an efficiently run service which works well for people rather than one which costly as it was based on a lot of lost mileage from Gloucester and Ross.

"We are concerned that councillors tend to look at the costs of provision only rather than the benefits which bus users and visitors using public transport bring to the high streets of market towns, plus the reduction of social isolation and access to facilities.

"We are hoping that our donation as a passenger representative group will encourage others to support this ground breaking campaign by taking a look at In particular, at this time we hope that Ledbury Town Council will get behind it. "

Rail&Bus for Herefordshire campaigns for an improvement of bus and train services for residents and visitors in our area and across county borders including into Wales.