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March 3, 2022 3:00 PM
By Gill Moseley
132 at bus stop in Newent

The missing service from Newent to Ledbury as of March 2022

Saturday morning's bus campaign meeting (Feb 26th) at The George Hotel proved without doubt that people have a need for these routes between Newent and Ledbury/Ross, which Stagecoach West bus company has said are not commercially viable due to low passenger numbers.
Now we wait for that clear need to be substantiated through surveys and up-to-date statistics.
If you were not able to get to the meeting and need a survey to register your need for a bus service towards Ross or Ledbury, PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE. Digital copies of the survey will be available next week and hard copies will be left in various public places for people to collect and return.
Clearly, the community has been let down by poor publicity and lack of co-ordinated effort by the various responsible organisations, but now we need to move forward as quickly and as positively as possible to try to get some replacement service.
Car sharing is being organised for some pupils and college students, Newent Dial-A-Ride operates between 10-2 weekdays, and there are a few community bus routes that may help with shopper services during the week but they barely touch the missing 132/32 routes at present. Details of Newent Community Transport, which runs the scheduled shopper services and Dial-A-Ride, can be found at https://www.sheppardhouse.co.uk/#position or phone 01531 821227
There is also a little-known scheduled bus service to Hereford from Newent every Wednesday and Saturday from the bus stop by Newent Library. The 456 runs through Dymock and Much Marcle, the 457 through Kilcot, Gorsley and Upton Bishop. It costs less than £5 return and concessionary passes are valid. This allows for visits of two or three hours in Hereford. As well as the timetables at the Newent Library bus stop, there are details at:
Lastly, there will be a virtual public meeting organised by Ledbury Town Council on Wednesday March 9th at 6.30pm to which all stakeholders are invited. Email clerk@ledburytowncouncil.gov.uk or ring 01531 631306 for the link. Since these routes cross the county borders and ran/run for a substantial part of their Newent/Ledbury and Newent/Ross legs in Herefordshire, it is essential that the two county Local Transport Authorities talk to each other to find a solution. Those authorities are the Gloucestershire County Council and Herefordshire Council.