A FOUR-YEAR battle to retain and improve a threatened Barry bus service has led to the trialling of a timetable extension.

Highlight Park resident Elwyn Toozer and was one of more than 2,500 people who signed a petition in 2014 calling for the Highlight Park 98 service to be retained – some saying they would be rendered virtually housebound by its withdrawal.

The Vale council has secured funding for additional Monday to Friday afternoon journeys, until December 21, in an attempt to significantly grow passenger numbers and make the service viable for Cardiff Bus to continue these journeys on a commercial basis, without support.

Cardiff Bus began the extended timetable service on Barry routes on Monday, September 3.

Mr Toozer said: “After a campaign for over four years, I am very pleased that this outcome has been achieved and if this trial period proves successful, the campaign will continue to reinstate the lost Saturday service.

Residents of Highlight Park and Cwm Talwg areas can now plan for journeys that will enable them to return well into the afternoon and give greater activity scope.

“I hope that future passenger figures will allow the service extension to continue after December 21 operating as a purely commercial service.”

Passenger growth on Service 98 will be analysed in November and Cardiff Bus will decide whether they can continue to operate the service, with the increased frequency, on a commercial basis. Residents are encouraged to use the service in order for the additional journeys to continue and for these journeys to be commercial.

Vale MP Alun Cairns said: “There been a lot of hard work behind the scenes. I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved with the campaign.”

Cabinet member for neighbourhood services and transport Cllr Geoff Cox said: “The effective use of Section 106 sustainable transport money has made the additional journeys for this service possible. “However, the money available will only support the additional journeys for a short time.”

Highlight Park resident Jan Toozer said: “Many can now go to their various clubs and appointments instead of being locked away or paying for taxis.

“My husband isn’t a man to take ‘no’ for an answer and won’t listen to the naysayers.”