Ebbw Vale-Newport bus rail link extended by two months
8:40pm Monday 7th January 2013 in News
A BUS service which links the Ebbw Valley railway line to Newport city centre will be extended by two months.
Newport council said the Welsh Government has agreed an extension to the service that runs between Rogerstone and Newport railway stations until March 31.
The service was launched in January 2012 and was due to run for a year as a pilot.
Despite the news, Newport council reiterated its call for a permanent rail link between the Ebbw Valley and the city.
The Argus has campaigned for a permanent passenger rail service for more than a decade.
A spokeswoman for the council said the Welsh Government has agreed an extension until March 31 and the service will be reviewed over the next couple of months.
She added: "The city council still wants this essential strategic link reinstated as it believes it is vital for economic growth and for those who need to travel to work as well as for recreation and shopping.
"Admiral is due to relocate to the city and the Friars Walk retail and leisure scheme is also due to open within the next few years bringing potential job opportunities for both Newport and valleys residents.
"A direct line to Newport would be a quicker and more convenient route for both existing and new rail passengers."
The service, which is run by Stagecoach and is timed to connect with trains from Rogerstone, initially got £119,000 of funding from the Welsh Government.
The Argus reported in July that only 700 people had used the bus service in the first few months of operation.
The Welsh Government was asked for a comment and why it has extended the service but did not respond.