A community transport group is asking Ledbury Town Council to help fund the launch of a new bus service.

Buses4Us wants to start a new service running from Ledbury to Ross-on-Wye via Newent.

Herefordshire Council and Gloucestershire County Council are expected to subsidise the route, but in order to get it off the ground the group needs contributions from the councils of the three towns it would serve.

Newent Town Council has already agreed to pledge the money and the proposal will be put before Ross town councillors in September.

Ledbury Reporter: Ledbury Town Council's offices in Church LaneLedbury Town Council's offices in Church Lane

In Ledbury, the plans will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of the full council on Thursday, August 18.

According to documents put before Ledbury's finance committee last month, the service will cost £250,000, with the two county councils contributing a total of £70,000. Buses4Us wants a further £60,000 in total from the three town councils.

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The rest of the funds will come from grants and donations.

Clare Stone, of Buses4Us, said: “We’re on a mission not to replace the old route but to put something better back. It’s something that doesn’t exist at the moment.

'Substantial amounts of money'

“In order to get from Ledbury to Ross on public transport you have to change at Hereford and it takes hours. This is so important for everyone who can’t drive, whether it’s for medical reasons or, increasingly, financial reaons with the cost of living crisis.

“Catching a bus instead of driving is also one of the best ways to fight climate change but you can’t do that if there’s no bus service.

“This is not going to be a replacement for a failed bus service and it will be backed by heavy promotion and a sustainable tourism drive, with Ledbury as the gateway to the whole area.”

READ MORE: New bus service planned to replace cancelled 132 Ledbury-Ross route

Councillor Tony Bradford said he doesn’t believe the town council is in a position to support the bus service financially.

“We have to consider the cost to taxpayers - doing this will add about 4% to the council tax precept,” he said.

“We’ve got to be responsible with public funds. I am not going to vote to increase our precept when people are struggling.”

Councillor Phillip Howells said: “This is an important issue that involves substantial amounts of money,” adding that Ledbury hasn’t been as affected by the loss of the 132 route as other towns. “In principal it’d be good to support it but we’ve got to look at the financial implications.”