Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, and Newent witnessed a momentous occasion as the highly anticipated 232 Daffodil Line bus service officially began operations.

The grand launch event, which took place on Sunday, April 2, saw the mayors of the three towns, local dignitaries, and enthusiastic community members coming together to send off the bus on its maiden journey.

The Daffodil Line, a community-led initiative, represents the culmination of over a year of hard work, cooperation, and team effort from various community organisations, volunteers, and local authorities. The project aims to breathe new life into the region’s public transportation system, which has faced a decline in recent years. The new bus service offers a vital connection between the towns, fostering community spirit and providing greater accessibility for residents.

The launch event was a true celebration, with the mayors of Ledbury, Newent, and Ross playing an integral part in the proceedings. Each mayor sent off the bus at their respective town stops: Ledbury Market House at 10.32am, Newent Lake Car Park at 10.55am, and Ross Cantilupe Road at 11.30am.

Residents from all three towns gathered at their respective stops, arriving a few minutes ahead of the scheduled departure time to ensure they could be a part of the festivities. Embracing the daffodil theme wholeheartedly, attendees sported yellow clothing, daffodils in their hair, or even elaborate daffodil costumes, symbolising the unity and shared excitement of the communities involved.

In the spirit of friendly competition, event organisers encouraged attendees to capture photos of their creative outfits and share them on the Buses4Us email and Facebook page. A special prize was awarded for the Best Dressed Daffodil Line supporter, adding an extra layer of excitement to the day’s events.

Ross Mayor Ed O’Driscoll, who was present at the Cantilupe Road stop, expressed his delight at witnessing the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers and community members who played a role in making the Daffodil Line a reality. He highlighted the importance of the new bus service in connecting the towns and providing residents with increased mobility and access to essential services.

The successful launch of the 232 Daffodil Line bus service is a testament to the power of community collaboration and marks a new chapter for public transportation in the region. With this new service in place, the towns of Ledbury, Newent, and Ross can look forward to a brighter future for public transport, better connectivity, and a strong sense of community pride.

A survey commissioned by Gloucestershire County Council revealed that the closure of bus routes had left a number of villages isolated with no buses and a lack of facilities within the villages themselves. The routes, which were relied upon for over 70 years with trains being used before that, were severed, severely changing the community’s way of life.

The maiden route of the new 232 was celebrated at every stop with several community projects put in place for its launch.