A NEWPORT AM yesterday called on people to use or lose a bus link connecting the Ebbw valley line with Newport city centre.

Rosemary Butler, Newport West AM, teamed up with transport minister Carl Sargeant to take an afternoon journey from Rogerstone Railway Station to Newport railway station on the bus link.

They were the only two on the service yesterday, along with two Welsh Government officials and an Argus reporter.

There have been longstanding calls for a permanent passenger train service from Ebbw Vale to Newport – and the Argus has campaigned for more than a decade to bring it to fruition.

“It’s not been as well used as we would have hoped,”

said Ms Butler, who got on the bus with Mr Sargeant.

“We need to show the people further up what opportunities there are in Newport,”

she said. “My message to people now is use it or lose it.” Ms Butler said she didn’t think that the service had been well publicised – although it was understood that a marketing campaign is in the offing.

Mr Sargeant said the Welsh Government is trying to understand the demand for such a permanent railway service to Ebbw Vale and had invested in the service to provide evidence. “We have to demonstrate that it’s good value for money.”

He said the Welsh Government could look at a train shuttle if the need could be demonstrated following a successful pilot.