A Newport Bus service has been extended into the Forest of Dean.

Newport Bus, a primary operator in south east Wales, will be expanding its services from June 3, 2024.

Route 72 has been extended beyond Lydney to Mitcheldean through the Dean Heritage Centre and the newly-built Community Hospital in the Forest of Dean.

This particular route was initially only serving Lydney from Chepstow.

The recent extension serves as a much-needed resuscitation of the bus link via Soudley, a route that has been inactive since 2022.

Newport Bus initially partnered with Gloucestershire County Council back in November 2022 when they won the tender for the Chepstow to Lydney bus service.

Since then, plans have been set in motion to further expand the bus network into the Forest of Dean.

Notably, this expansion of services also incorporates servicing The Forest High School and Gloucestershire College.

Alex Clarke, commercial officer at Newport Bus, said: "This new service is a great addition to the Newport Bus network.

"Route 72 has seen growing passenger numbers since we took over in November 2022 and we hope it will continue to do so.

"We are pleased to be able to provide a convenient bus service to this stunning part of the country and to enable transport links for work, essential appointments, leisure and tourism.

"We're looking forward to welcoming commuters and visitors alike on board our services."

Newport Bus is also keeping up with environmental and technical changes.

Customers in the Forest of Dean will now be able to board the newest zero-emission electric buses.

All services will accept paperless forms of payment including contactless for single and day tickets, mobile tickets via the Newport Bus app for days, weekly and four-weekly tickets.

Cash payment is still accepted but would need to be in the exact value.

As of July 7, 2024, Newport Bus also intends to operate the current route 711, the local Cinderford service to The Pludds and Ruspidge.

This move is expected to further cement Newport Bus services in the heart of the Forest of Dean.

For more detailed information about Route 72 and the timetables, visit the Newport Bus website where the specific information is available.

There are also timetable leaflets at key outlets along the route.