Buses4Us is a community action group working for better public transport in North Gloucestershire and South Herefordshire.
Currently, we are working to reinstate regular bus services between the neighbouring towns of Ledbury and Ross-on-Wye and Newent, and the villages in between.
Our towns and villages were connected by regular buses for over 70 years. These were discontinued in February, having ceased to be “economically viable” during the pandemic.
Why is this Important?
We believe it’s vital we get these services up and running again, for many good reasons.
- For the people who relied on our bus services daily throughout the pandemic. Many of them were key workers who didn’t have the option of furlough or working from home.
- For the many more bus travellers who endured loneliness and isolation but stayed at home to save lives during COVID. Elderly and vulnerable people, students and young people who were looking forward to getting back to normal when our services were cut.
- For the growing number of people forced to give up their cars due to the cost of living crisis, who must now rely on public transport.
- And for all those who want to swap private car journeys for bus journeys to help fight climate change.
- Good public transport services bring customers to local businesses. Studies have shown that £1 invested in public transport delivers £4 in benefits to the local economy.
- Help employers recruit and retain staff.
- Keep roads clear and air clean by reducing the number of private car journeys.
- Allow visitors to access our towns and explore our countryside in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way.
For The Planet
In developed countries like the UK, the transport sector accounts for more carbon emissions than any other. Private car journeys make up over half of these emissions. Choosing to catch the bus rather than jump in the car is one of the most significant things we can all do to fight climate change.
Shouldn’t the Government or the County Council Sort This Out?
The government has a National Bus Strategy which has seen millions of pounds granted to some counties to improve bus services and reduce bus fares.
Sadly Gloucestershire and Herefordshire have yet to receive any of this funding and it’s not clear if or when they will.
So although everyone agrees that good bus services are a vital part of a sustainable future for rural communities our county councils just don’t have the cash to get our buses back on the road right now.
That’s where we come in – and hopefully you too. We’re working to bridge the financial gap between what our county councils can afford and what our communities need.
What Will It Cost?
Running a regular daily service that will cater to the needs of commuters, students, shoppers and leisure travellers is going to cost between £175,000 and £250,000 per year. We aim to make the service financially secure for at least three years so that people know they can rely on it and plan their travel around it.
There will be some revenue from bus ticket sales, but we have no way of knowing how much this will be in the first year.
How Will We Raise The Money?
We believe that by making this a team effort, and asking for small contributions from everyone in the communities affected, we can raise the finance needed.
£250,000 is a lot for one person or one organisation, but if everyone chips in it quickly becomes affordable.
So we are securing contributions from councils at all levels along the route, local businesses and individuals as well as charitable grant-giving bodies.
Check the home page to see our current progress.