Whilst neighbouring authority Monmouthshire County Council are offering free weekend bus rides over the Christmas season, Herefordshire Council have confirmed they will not be following suit.

A spokesperson told the Gazette: “There are no plans for the council to run any free bus services over the Christmas season.”

Whilst bus routes around Ross and its neighbouring villages are being cut at deeply concerning rates, it appears Herefordshire Council have little enthusiasm in encouraging residents to make us of public transport. This has led to Ross Town Council to a substantial amount of their budget trying to fill in what public transport gaps they can, but have—on several occasions—made it clear that this should be the job of the county council and UK Government, both of whom are failing the public on their public transport duties.

The county council have said: “Free parking is back. Join up with friends and family to enjoy some retail therapy, including late-night shopping, in the run-up to Christmas.”

Drivers won’t have to pay to park their car in Ross-on-Wye on Saturday, December 10.

Other Herefordshire market towns are also enjoying a limited amount of free parking. Kington are offering Friday December 2—funded by Kington Chamber of Trade and the town council, and Saturday, December 3.

There’ll be free parking for the day of the Ledbury Christmas lights switch on, Saturday December 3; as well as the Leominster Victorian Fair, Saturday, December 10.

Hereford’s late night shopping day will offer free parking after 4pm on Wednesdays 7, 14, and 21 December.

This includes all council public car parks and on-street pay and display bays. This free parking offer does not apply to any private car parks, unless stated.

As usual, it’s free parking in Herefordshire’s market towns every Sunday and after 6pm.

Neighbouring council Monmouthshire are encouraging shoppers and commuters to use public transport to help the county address the climate emergency.

As an extra incentive and in time for Christmas, Monmouthshire County Council has confirmed that all weekend bus journeys within the county will be free to all users every weekend in December.

Passengers will be able to use this free offer, funded by Welsh Government, for any journey that has a start point and end point within Monmouthshire. It’s hoped this will encourage Christmas shoppers and commuters to use the bus to do a spot of Christmas shopping, visiting friends and relatives, or simply getting to work. It’s also a great way to travel to get to a train station for trips further afield.

Herefordshire County Council has been blasted by Ross Town Councillors and residents for failing to do anything to stem the continued reduction in bus routes.