A NEW bus service linking Chepstow to Cribbs Causeway has started this week, with residents being encouraged to use the service to prove it is needed.

But some residents have questioned Stagecoach’s decision to not run the trial period in peak times.

Last month Stagecoach announced plans to cut out Cribbs Causeway and Aust stops from the Severn Express bus route, saying that “only four or five” passengers get off at the stops for each journey.

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The X14 service, which will begin at Chepstow Bus Station and finish at Cribbs Causeway in south Gloucestershire, is under a trial period as of this week after Stagecoach agreed to temporarily reinstate the service due to residents’ protests.

But despite Stagecoach’s partial U-turn, some residents have said that operators have not listened properly to concerns.

The bus will not start running until 10am each day, and will not be as frequent as the Severn Express, arriving at each stop just seven times a day, with the service stopping at 5.35pm.

Jo Young, who commutes to and from Cribbs Causeway and has used the Severn Express every day at 4.45pm for the last three years, says she will now no longer be able to use the service because of the low frequency.

“I won’t be able to use the X14, which I used to catch every day to get home. It was a packed bus, but they’ve now changed it to 5.35pm,” she said.

Ms Young questioned Stagecoach’s decision to not provide buses before 10am and between 3.35pm and 5.35pm, adding: “I don’t believe the changes made help most commuters working near Cribbs.”

Lucy Rogers, who started catching the X14 bus this week, has been forced to change her shift patterns at work due to the frequency of buses.

“There should be an earlier bus and a later one, but I doubt that’s going to happen,” Ms Rogers said. “Luckily my manager has agreed to change my shifts to fit around the bus times, so now I get on the first bus and the last bus and work a five-hour shift.”

Rupert Cox, managing director at Stagecoach West, said: “The X14 service has been introduced to provide a direct shopping link between Cribbs Causeway and Chepstow. The route is run as an off-peak service to utilise buses which are available to us and keep fares low for customers.”