The new service, to be funded by the Welsh Government, will be introduced as soon as possible and be piloted for a year. The bus will be timetabled to connect with train services at Rogerstone for journeys to and from Newport on an hourly basis around the existing timetable from Monday to Saturday.
The Minister said,
“As a result of recent collaboration with Newport Council, I'm pleased to confirm my support for working with Newport Council’s implementation of the new trial service.
“I see this as the first step towards improving rail services between Ebbw Vale and Newport. I welcome Newport’s implementation of the trial express service to cater for demand and look forward to it being successful.”
Councillor Matthew Evans, the Leader of the Council said,
"We would welcome this as a first initial step being taken to improve the rail link between Ebbw Vale and Newport.
“Following a successful pilot of this link, Newport City Council has been assured by the Welsh Government that the next step of opening the rail link between the two areas will be fully considered.
“The council will continue to campaign vigorously for this to happen as however welcome a new express bus route is, it is clearly not a long term substitute for a rail service.
"Newport and the valley catchment areas of Llanhilleth, Newbridge, Cross Keys and Risca and Pontymister are now one step closer to being fully reconnected to the city."
Passengers on the new service will be able purchase rail tickets on the bus and Arriva Trains Wales will sell through tickets to Newport.
The new service will be operated by Newport Bus and the journey time will be around 16 minutes.
This new service will use a modern low floor fully accessible bus. Users of this service will also be able to use their concessionary fares smart card.