The eagerly awaited launch of the Buses4Us Daffodil Line exceeded all expectations, thanks to the outpouring of tremendous support from communities along the route. The inaugural bus on the Daffodil Line left Newent for Ross at 10.55am, and it was standing room only, showcasing the overwhelming enthusiasm of residents.

In the days leading up to the launch, excitement was palpable throughout the region. On Thursday, a new bus stop was installed in the scenic lake car park in Newent, complete with convenient access to restrooms for travellers. Friday brought a much-needed break in the rain, allowing the bus to be adorned with eye-catching Daffodil Line logos, signifying the start of a new chapter in community transportation.

Saturday was a lively day for local youngsters, who enthusiastically decorated the new bus stop and nearby walls and pavements with vibrant daffodil-themed graffiti. The creative endeavour received approval from Highways and Steve Gooch Estate Agents, adding a festive touch to the bus stop and creating a sense of anticipation for the upcoming launch.

On Sunday morning, dedicated volunteers hustled to hang colourful bunting and balloons at stops along the Daffodil Line, further elevating the celebratory atmosphere. The first bus left Ledbury station with its inaugural passenger, Janette from Tarrington, and embarked on its historic journey. Passengers were treated to complimentary Daffodil Line bags, timetables, and delicious cakes lovingly provided by Rebecca, adding a sweet touch to the momentous occasion.

Ledbury’s bus stop was beautifully decorated, and Mayor Philip Howells gave the bus a splendid send-off, wishing it success in its new venture. In Newent, a crowd of eager passengers gathered among the daffodils, anxiously awaiting the bus’s arrival. Driver Andy expertly navigated the busy day, even managing to accommodate the standing-room-only crowd in Newent, demonstrating the incredible demand for the new service. Mayor of Newent and Buses4Us Treasurer Christine Howley not only waved goodbye to the bus but also joined the ride, showing her unwavering support for the project.

The celebratory atmosphere continued throughout the day, with residents from all walks of life coming together to embrace the new service. Ross-on-Wye Mayor Ed O’Driscoll arrived in a bus driver’s outfit, much to the amusement of onlookers. Some passengers enjoyed tea and cake at the charming Hellens in Much Marcle, savouring the sunny spring day. The festivities were topped off with a beautiful handmade card from resident artist Hannah, encapsulating the community’s joy and appreciation.

Apologies were extended for any delays caused by the ceremonial send-offs from the mayors of all three towns, and the Buses4Us campaign expressed heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made the first day special. They encouraged continued support for the Daffodil Line by reminding everyone that with just one ride per month from those living along the route, the service will thrive and benefit the entire community.

Don’t forget to share your Daffodil Line experiences and show your support using the hashtag #doingthedaff!