When in 2017 the 65 Bus Service from Chepstow to Monmouth was threatened it was hard to believe that in 2023 the bus would be running more popular than ever.

This has been achieved by the partnership established between the Passenger Unit of Monmouthshire County Council and the group formed in 2017, Friends of the 65 Bus. The dedication of the drivers and service reliability has contributed to the increased use by passengers of all ages for a wide variety of journeys - work, eduction, business, health and social.

F65B have created a website, Twitter account and Facebook page. The latter has become very useful in relaying ‘real time’ information to passengers. It is ideal for passengers to comment on the bus and be kept informed of matters that effect the running of the bus. The group has invited members of all political parties to travel on the bus to experience the value of a regular rural bus service and understand how important the bus is to the communities it serves. The bus has featured regularly in the local press and on National television and features a very special driver in December, Father Christmas!

Monmouthshire County Council have improved the bus timetable and reliability of the service. Bus shelters have been refurbished and current timetables placed at bus stops along the route. The bus was upgraded in 2019 and electric buses are now operating on the service, a positive step in response to the climate emergency. 2023 saw the introduction of Contactless Payments which has proved very useful to many passengers.

Passengers were extremely grateful to MCC who kept the 65 service running throughout the Covid Pandemic, so essential to care workers and careers.

Over the past five years the 65 bus has proved how vital it is to have a regular bus connecting rural villages to the towns of Monmouth and Chepstow. The bus has developed a caring, friendly community and is a reliable link to important services for the people living along the route and to the many tourists who visit Monmouthshire.

It is always good to see regular and new passengers on board the bus and F65B hope that by continuing to work with MCC the 65 will continue to run as a successful route.