The campaign to restore the bus service to Ledbury is now in the final stages of start-up fundraising.
The new route will be called the Daffodil Line (232) and stop at: Ross-on-Wye, Newent, and Ledbury. Campaigners hope to have the service on the road in time for Easter.
This week the Buses4Us campaign has received pledges of financial support from Dymock and Linton Parish councils.
Next week it’s the turn of Much Marcle Parish Council to vote on whether to support the new bus service.
Much Marcle is in a slightly different situation to the rest of the parishes. For all the other communities along the route, the new 232 will replace bus services axed by stagecoach back in February last year.
Much Marcle hasn’t had a regular bus service for quite some time—which is particularly inconvenient for residents, considering the size of the village and its location just off an A road.
When campaigners were doing trial runs for the new service they found that adding Much Marcle into the route put just four minutes onto the journey time and still allowed the bus to complete the Ross to Ledbury run in under an hour.
“So it seemed like it would be rude not to include Much Marcle in the route,” said campaigner Clare Stone.
He added: “We hope that having a regular seven-days-a-week bus service every two hours to Ross, Newent, and Ledbury will be a benefit for people in the village.
“And for the rest of us along the route, having the option of taking the bus to visit Hellens—who have already made an amazing pledge of support—Westons Cider Mill, the country pubs, and walks in the area is going to be a real plus.”
The campaign has asked each of the parish councils along the route to consider donating £2 per voter. This is going to be the cost of a return bus fare from a village to the next town. For Much Marcle this would come to £1,140. Campaigners have their fingers crossed they think it’s worth it.
The council will be debating the proposal at their next meeting on Tuesday 24. All council meetings are open to the public and supporters are encourage to go along and lend their support.
When the campaign went to Ross council for their pledge, the public gallery was packed with supporters to the cause. Buses4Us have said to expect a confirmed start date and an exact timetable for the new service in the coming weeks.