A HOTEL owner has said they have been left 'high and dry' as a festival shuttle bus service linking villages with Hay on Wye is ditched.

But festival organisers have said they have had to make the cut due to the 'considerable financial loss' made on the route, while other festival bus services will still be running.

Visitors, authors, artists, and journalists are set to descend on the Black Mountains for the world-famous annual Hay Festival, which runs from May 25 to June 4.

But some locals are not happy that the villages shuttle which, in previous years, linked the festival site on the edge of Hay on Wye with the villages of Llanigon, Three Cocks/Gwernyfed and the town of Talgarth, will not be running this year.

Pip Ellis, who owns The Tower Hotel, Talgarth, said: "We are deeply disappointed at the withdrawal of the shuttle, which has been a valued service for festival goers.


"Our guests include a young couple from the United States who are due to join us for the festival and are coming thousands of miles on their honeymoon, only to be left high and dry by this decision.

"To say that we are gutted would be an understatement."  Gwernyfed local and roads campaigner Sally Cherry said the decision would lead to a significant increase in traffic and emissions while climate change is being debated at the festival.

"Festival goers will inevitably be forced to take additional risks in getting from their pre-booked accommodation to the venue," she said.

Talgarth councillor William Powell said it is vital that the economic benefits of the Hay Festival are felt on both sides of Offa’s Dyke.

Hay Festival Chief Executive Officer Julie Finch said the festival subsidises public transportation links to make visits to the festival simpler and endeavours to improve sustainable infrastructure locally.

"We have operated connections between Hereford and Hay, along with shuttle buses to further connect the site with the town and local villages," she said.

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"Historically, we have run these routes at a considerable financial loss and as a charity, we cannot do so indefinitely. While our city and town buses will still be running this year, we do not have the funds to run the village service.

"This decision was discussed within our local working group, which includes representatives from Hay Council and Powys County Council, and communicated to audiences earlier this year.

"We continue to search for possible solutions and are open to any approaches to get the service up and running in partnership with other charities and businesses."