A PETITION has been launched in a bid to save a vital bus service used by elderly and disabled people, after news broke that it is to be axed.

Stagecoach announced it will end the number 45 bus route which serves passengers from Llwynu estate to Abergavenny town.

Within hours of the news spreading, angry bus users set up a petition in a bid to save the service. More than 150 people have signed the petition since it was set up on Monday.

Will Walker, who uses the service to travel into town as he has a chest condition, said he was ‘disgusted’ by the announcement.

“This service has been running for many many years, I remember it when I was a kid,” said the 44-year-old.

“It’s been there for the young and old. I think it’s disgusting that this bus service is coming to an end.”

Craig Titchener, who uses the service, said it is “very much needed” in the area.

“So many rely on this service, from children, parents, elderly among others who are without their own form of transport.

“I’m hoping that another company will take over and continue this much needed service.”

The petition, addressed to Stagecoach Wales and Monmouthshire County Council (MCC), states: “We request that the parties concerned change their minds and continue to provide the 45 bus route in Abergavenny.

“The route is vital to the communities it serves, especially the pensioners, the disabled and young people without access to a car.”

A spokeswoman for Stagecoach in South Wales said: “We have managed to keep the Service 45 Abergavenny - Llwynu Estate local service running despite declining revenue from various sources, and increasing operating costs.

“This service is funded by bus passengers who use the service, it is therefore a commercially operated bus service.

"Unfortunately we can continue no longer with this situation as we see little hope for improvement in the commercial sustainability of the service with further cuts to funding on the horizon.

"We have reluctantly taken the decision to cease the service on an entirely commercial basis from October 22, 2017.

The spokeswoman added: “We will work with MCC to assist them in their considerations of providing an alternative service provision.”

Richard Cope, business and strategy manager of MCC’s passenger transport unit said: “We officially received notification from the traffic commissioner for Wales on Thursday, September 7 regarding the withdrawal by Stagecoach of the 45 Abergavenny town service.

“This is a commercially registered bus service and receives no subsidy from MCC."