PUBLIC transport campaigners are turning the tide of recent bus cuts and have managed to secure a new route which will connect Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye via Newent.

A contract to run the new 232 Daffodil Line service has been awarded to Bromyard-based DRM Bus and will start on April 2.

The bus will run every two hours, seven days a week and will provide an evening service on Fridays and Saturdays.


The route runs from Ledbury to Ross-on-Wye via Much Marcle, Dymock, Newent, Gorsley and Upton Bishop.

Clare Stone, chairman of community action group Buses4Us, said she was delighted with the result and said they aim to keep fares affordable and concessionary passes will also be accepted.

“This is a huge milestone for us, and we’re delighted to be working with DRM Bus, a local operator with strong roots in the community and a reputation for quality service: we feel like the Daffodil Line is in safe hands.

She praised the support of Gloucestershire County Council, local parish councils, people, and businesses up and down the Daffodil Line and said fundraising will continue.

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Ms Stone said the towns of Ross-on-Wye, Newent, and Ledbury have always had close lines and have had good public transport connections for as long as anyone can remember. There were regular buses for 70 years and before that a railway, the Daffodil Line, she said.

However, last year commuters were “devastated” by Stagecoach’s move to cut the bus service which used to link them to Ledbury. The bus firm said it was not viable and removed the 132 service which ran from Gloucester to Ledbury via Newent.

It also reduced the 32 service between Newent and Ross-on-Wye.

“The bus company serving our communities decided we didn’t look like a great prospect for making profits post-pandemic and axed the buses connecting our towns and villages,” she said.

“This caused chaos: children couldn’t get to school, companies lost staff who could no longer get to work, some people were so isolated they had to move house. And for many people, simple things like shopping, going to the doctor, or visiting friends and family were no longer possible.

“We quickly realised that if we waited for the Government, or even the county councils, to solve our problems we would be joining the back of a very long queue. Public transport was in crisis right across the country. So we decided to sort it ourselves and set out to find a way to get our buses back on the road and reconnect our communities."


The old Red Lion in Newent which will soon reopen as the Wye Inn on April 5 will be helping with fundraising.

As part of their launch they have made a voucher available for four courses at a discount and for every voucher guest they will donate £5 in support of Buses4Us.

A Stagecoach spokesperson said: “Stagecoach took the difficult decision to withdraw service 132 and reduce the timetable on the 32 back in February 2022 as we were unable to cover the costs for operation with the fares taken.

“Reducing or removing a service is a last resort and is not a decision that is made without considering alternative options available to us at the time”.