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FREE weekend bus travel throughout Herefordshire has been welcomed by those advocating sustainable transport in the county. ‘At last a local authority that is travelling in the right direction,’ responded Herefordshire Sustainable Transport Group to the announcement that a partnership with local bus operators and Herefordshire Council has resulted in free weekend bus travel from 4th September. ‘Over the last thirty years Herefordshire has seen a serious contraction of its bus network,’ HSTG told its members. ‘The result of this has been drastically felt in rural areas leading to increased examples of rural isolation and deprivation particularly affecting young and old alike. It is to be hoped that this welcome initiative by Herefordshire Council heralds a long awaited turn in the fortunes of the rural bus. The Bus Service Improvement Plan currently being drawn up will now need to pay attention to the shortfalls in weekday services. Well done Herefordshire.’ Herefordshire’s coalition administration has responded to the crisis in public transport in the county alongside government ambitions to change the fortunes of bus transport. A government paper on the vision for buses in the UK, Bus Back Better says buses: ‘bring people to jobs, study and local services; they liberate people who are old, young, disabled and isolated; they save millions of tonnes of carbon and pollution, and thousands of miles of traffic jams. The double decker bus is a symbol of Britain. Yet for decades, buses have been largely ignored by policymakers.’ Coalition councillor John Harrington said he was delighted to be able to offer free and unlimited weekend travel for about a year through the Covid-19 Recovery Fund. ‘By making it easier and cheaper to get around, the scheme will help connect people and communities provide a kick start to the local economy by getting people back into enjoying our vibrant city and market towns.’ Coun Harrington encouraged residents to develop their own ‘bus-it list’ – selecting locations, journeys, and experiences in the county, like Herefordshire Art Week, can be enjoyed thanks to free bus travel. New Sunday services have also been introduced on primary routes throughout the county. These include: 34 Ross-on-Wye – Monmouth; 36 Hereford – Monmouth; 40 Ross Town service; 401 Leominster Town service; 420 Bromyard – Hereford; 426 Hereford – Bodenham; 454 Hereford – Fownhope; 461 Kington – Hereford; 492 Leominster – Hereford; 496 Leominster - Shobdon - Pembridge - Eardisland circular; 600 Ledbury Town service and 675 Ledbury - Colwall - Great Malvern 📸 Hereford Buses