THE Severn Express bus service between Newport, Chepstow and Bristol could continue past June, despite the operator saying the route would be scrapped, the head of a transport body has said.

Two weeks ago Stagecoach West announced it would cease operating the X14 service from Sunday, June 14, saying it had been making a loss of more than £5,000 per week.

But now, following talks with representatives of the Welsh Government and Monmouthshire County Council, chairman of Transition Chepstow Tim Melville has said he is confident the service will continue to run for at least another three months with the help of emergency funding.

The Welsh Government has not confirmed they will be solely funding the service in the short-term but said “mitigation” is being discussed.

A government spokesman said: “We are aware of the intention of the current operator to withdraw the commercial service between Newport and Bristol, and we are working with Monmouthshire County Council to consider possible options to provide mitigation in the short-term.”

After the three months is up, Mr Melville said he is hopeful a plan will be in place to ensure the sustainability of the service.

“We have known for some time that the service is not profitable,” Mr Melville said, “but it is not being funded by Monmouthshire council or the Welsh Government.

“I think that needs to be re-visited, and we are in discussions with all four authorities, including those in Gloucestershire and Bristol, to find a solution with additional funding.

“We are also looking at other bus services in Chepstow which are not as well-used, and are looking into the possibility of re-directing some funds from those services.”

The possibility of some of those services being substituted for a mini-bus in non-peak hours has also been discussed, but the idea has not yet been put to the authorities.

“After my discussions with the Welsh Government, I am confident this service will not stop,” Mr Melville added. “Matters are being discussed and we will continue to be flexible, to converse with service-users, and to carry on working to encourage people to increase their use of active travel to maintain lower congestion levels in the town after the lockdown period.”

Stagecoach West took on the service from First West of England in September, which said changes including the removal of the Severn Bridge tolls had made it challenging to run.

Commuters have repeatedly said the service is regularly used and is a lifeline to many people – especially those who need to travel in and out of Chepstow.

Monmouthshire County Council has been contacted for comment.