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BUSES: Not all of us have mobiles

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Speaking as a regular bus user who doesn’t use a mobile phone, it doesn’t seem that long ago that all local bus shops contained an up-to-date timetable on display.

Now you are more likely to be encouraged to use your mobile phone or the internet for information.

Yes, I know that traffic hold-ups, which are commonplace, make timetables often an aspiration.

However, in not providing the information as was the norm in the past, I wonder if it will lead to a new conversational ice-breaker at a bus stop: “Would you mind checking the Arriva app on your phone?”

With notices of significant service changes appearing in buses shortly before they happen, it also means the person without the mobile phone may well have to ask the bus driver more questions.

This is at a time when the driver has a range of things to deal with, such as the traffic and the latest payment by card technology.

Clearly when the news broke that Asda and Sainsbury’s were in talks to go into partnership together it would have come as a shock to their employees, who would have concerns about their job security.

Most people who work in a supermarket for a long enough time have a view on how well it performs against other stores in their company and with other supermarkets in the area.

From a consumer point of view, it will be a case of waiting to see if something happens and if it has an impact on the prices we pay for the food we buy.

In the era of price comparison websites, consumers tend to know if an item they buy is reasonably priced in one supermarket against another, but they also know how the shopping experience varies from one supermarket to another.

Well done to Coun Nic Best and Morpeth Town Council for recognising Ian Nelson for his work at the British Heart Foundation shop in Morpeth.

It was a well-deserved award and the photograph of Ian will have made the people who know him smile as photographs tend to say more than a 100 words.

Each year the quality of the planting in Tommy’s Park is eye-catching, particularly around the seating area, where you tend to think of the faces from the past who regularly sat there and let the world go by.

I hope there will be an effort to improve the ground that was dug up during the flood protection work.

It will need a planned approach to re-seed new grass, but as has been illustrated with new planting of trees and flowers in other parts of the town, small projects can make a positive impact.

It was something of a surprise that Northumberland County Council didn’t stick to the policy of changing the three-tier approach to education to two-tier in the Tynedale area.

It is a tribute to the effective lobbying by the concerned parents who would be potentially affected.

The decision will add an extra complexity to the council’s role in educational provision in the county, particularly even extra costs for the new financial year and beyond.

However, with the interest in change in education, teachers always have a challenging job.

People with management roles in educational strategy will be similarly used to absorbing and dealing with change positively.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth