The Daffodil Line is celebrating its birthday this month as the wheels on the bus have gone round and round for a year.

The 232 Ledbury to Ross via Newent bus, otherwise known as the Daffodil Line, has been heralded a saviour by many of it’s regular users in its first year of service. 

The links from Newent to Ross and Ledbury were severed in 2022 by Stagecoach leaving many people abandoned. 

The Daffodil Line relaunched in April 2023 and has since carried 43,000 in the first year of service or over 800 per week.

The Daffodil Line was set up by Buses4Us, a community acton group set up in 2022 in response to drastic rural bus service cuts. 

The chair of Buses4Us, Clare Stone, said: “We are ambitious, we want a high frequency service, to retain our fair fares policy to encourage more people on board and to introduce electric buses when finance permits. We have made a good start in serving our communities, but there's more work to do in 2024."

This bus service requires financial support and a key factor in the line running has been the commitment of the town and parish councils on the route which have chipped in. 

Donations continue to be made by local businesses, and lots of residents who treasure the service as well as campaign group Rail&Bus for Herefordshire. 

However, given the number of passengers carried, the level required is far less than many rural services. 

The director of Buses4Us, Les Lumsdon, said: “Passengers rate the bus operator DRM buses from Bromyard very highly. They especially like the drivers as they look out for them. This is a major success factor which has given us confidence to promote the Daffodil Line more widely to visitors coming to the area. Many walking groups have pledged to use the service and Herefordshire Tourism has promoted the route to good effect in recent months; we are grateful for this endorsement.”

The Daffodil Line 232 operates weekdays, Sundays and Bank holidays from Ledbury Railway station to Cantilupe Road, Ross-on-Wye via Newent. Timetables are available on the website.