A PETITION has been launched to save a "very special bus service" which is said to be a necessity for elderly and disabled people living in rural Pembrokeshire.

At present the 342 St Davids- Croesgoch- Haverfordwest bus service runs on a Tuesday and Friday.

Last Monday cabinet approved a reduction in the 342 bus between St David's and Haverfordwest from two days a week to one, with the service beginning in Croesgoch instead of St Davids.

Users say that this is an essential service, providing a vital link for many people that live in remote, rural areas, miles from the main bus routes.

"Cutting this service would impede the independence of elderly and disabled people who often use the service," said Naomi Marwick who set up the petition.

"The elderly and disabled often need to shop twice in the week because they can't manage heavy shopping once off the bus. There is no other form of transport."

She added that some bus users could only travel on a Tuesday or a Friday due to other commitments such as medical appointments.

"This is very much a community bus and we all look out for each other and always meet for coffee," she said.

"It is a very special service and it helps to alleviate loneliness for many people who would otherwise not see anyone. For a couple of the disabled people, and their carers, this service gives them something to look forward to, which is important for quality of life."

Naomi said that the regular group of bus users had not been told about the cuts but had found out in passing from their bus driver.

"We think that lack of consultation with the passengers is very unfair," she said.

"This bus is not a luxury but a necessity for all who travel on it. It is by no means an unused service."

The Stop the 342 Bus Cut petition can be found and signed at www.change.org.