A VITAL peak-time bus service has been restored to Dursley.

Operator Stagecoach has announced that from Monday, November 26, a bus will once again link the town with Gloucester, and all the destinations in between, at peak times.

Citing low passenger numbers as the reason for the cuts, Stagecoach withdrew the service in September.

Since then, workers and students travelling to and from Gloucester have had to take a much earlier service in the morning and a later service in the evening, resulting in a lot of time spent waiting around at both ends of the day.

James O’Neill, Stagecoach West commercial manager, said: “I’m pleased to confirm that we will be extending journeys on our Service 66F to and from Dursley.

“This will provide a peak-time service into Gloucester to complement the direct journeys already running as our service 60.”

The new weekday morning bus will depart Dursley bus station at 7.13am, running via Cam, Frampton-on-Severn and Quedgeley to Gloucester, arriving at 8.37am.

Return buses will depart from Gloucester at 5pm and 6pm.

The buses will run with new financial support from Gloucestershire County Council.

Gloucestershire county councillor Nigel Moor said: “Although the 62 bus service has never been funded by the county council we do spend around £3m per year, supporting over 100 bus services across Gloucestershire and I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to step in to support this service improvement for the people of Dursley who I know really value this transport link.”

County councillor Loraine Patrick was among those who campaigned against the number 62’s demise.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have found a solution to the problem and local people will see a return of a vital peak time service.”

David Smith, of the Cam and Dursley Transportation group, said the rerouting of the 66F via Dursley was  a ‘positive step’ but stressed the new service will take longer than the 62 used to, and will mean much longer journeys for passengers.

He said: “It will help people going to work and students travelling to college and school but, at just over an hour and twenty minutes, it’s not going to be a fast journey.”

David Drew MP said: “I’m pleased that Stagecoach has made these changes, but it remains difficult for people to go about their daily lives, including attending hospital appointments in Gloucester or Cheltenham.

"There is still a long way to go.”