MONMOUTH Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has praised Monmouthshire County Council for their efforts in saving local bus services hit by the Welsh Government budget cuts.
Mr Ramsay, who has been lobbying for a reprieve and working closely with stakeholders for a solution, has been inundated with e-mails and letters from members of the public who were concerned that they could lose their bus service, including a letter from Caldicot U3A who feared the 74/X74 operating between Newport and Chepstow was under threat of being withdrawn.
Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Ramsay said:
“Happily, this is not the case. Monmouthshire County Council has successfully negotiated with local bus operators to come up with a network of services to replace those under threat, including the Newport to Chepstow service, which will now been run by Newport Bus.
“While there are some alterations to time, the level of service will remain largely intact at no extra cost. I understand that Newport Bus will be holding surgeries to guage what users require and that fares on the 74 bus route will be lower than the current Stagecoach level. An extra early evening journey has been added to the 73 service and there are plans to look at the 62 service to see if further links can be made between Caerwent and Caldicot and the Severn Tunnel Junction.
“The council has also been successful in retaining Monmouth’s town’s service, which will operate using one bus instead of two.
“I would like to congratulate Monmouthshire County Council for working so hard to find solutions to a very complex issue. Many people, particularly older residents or those without their own transport, depend heavily on reliable bus services to access vital facilities such as hospitals, doctors, shopping and social pursuits. I hope these new arrangements will prove satisfactory.”