EFFORTS to maintain a bus service between Newport, Chepstow and Bristol and being supported by Monmouthshire County Council.

Councillors have backed a motion on the issue in the wake of bus company Stagecoach saying it will cease to run the Severn Express, or X14, service from Sunday, June 14, due to it making a loss of more than £5,000 a week.

Despite backing the Welsh Government in its efforts to secure an alternative however, councillors said the current route is not suitable.

“I understand that moves are being made to seek Welsh Government subsidy support to retain this service," said Cllr Tony Easson, who submitted the motion to the council.

“Such that this may be the case, I move that this council supports any such efforts to retain the service. However, should any support be forthcoming, that the nine Wards of Severnside, comprising about 20,000 residents be included in a route realignment.

“The service along the B4245 through Portskewett to Magor was removed several years ago leaving those 20,000 residents without a direct route to the Bristol area. This is an opportunity to restore the service.”

Cllr Dimitri Batrouni said it was vital the service is kept.

“There’s an appetite amongst local people in the area who wish to keep this service,” he said.

“Losing the service will more often than not affect low income households getting to work.”

Cllr Jez Becker said:” A lot of people have come forward and said it’s just not suitable.

“That’s why so few people used it and that’s why it became commercially unviable.

“We need to make sure it’s the right route.”

Cllr Lisa Dymock suggested that a public consultation took place.

The Welsh Government has said its priority is to ensure there is a “core service” so regular commuters and key workers can travel to and from their place of work.