Call for agreement on restoring bus service coverage

Daniel Williams, Winnie Earle, Thomasina Massey, Lee Massey and Coun Ian Lindley at a bus stop on Shields Road in Stobhill, Morpeth.
Daniel Williams, Winnie Earle, Thomasina Massey, Lee Massey and Coun Ian Lindley at a bus stop on Shields Road in Stobhill, Morpeth.

Residents and a councillor have urged a bus company not to back out over plans to reinstate an area of Morpeth to a key route.

There was anger last September when Arriva North East decided to no longer serve an estate in Stobhill when the 57a was replaced by service 43.

Ward county councillor Ian Lindley said that after talks between the firm and authority, he believed the coverage for First to Eleventh Avenue and other streets at various stops would be back in place in March.

But while discussions continue, no definite agreement has been reached.

The service is used by a number of people on the estate to go to Cramlington and they are having to walk much further, either towards the railway station or the roundabout with Stobhill Manor, to get on a number 43 bus.

“The council will continue to have robust talks with Arriva and I hope these areas of Stobhill will be reinstated to the route, with September now being looked at,” Coun Lindley added.

“I was annoyed that I wasn’t informed about the March date being moved and I urge Arriva not move the goalposts again as removing the estate from the 43 service has made life more of a burden for some residents.”

Thomasina Massey, who lives in the area, said the firm needs to restore the coverage as soon as possible, with elderly and disabled residents finding it difficult to get to the required bus stops when the weather is bad.

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to continue to accommodate the route section into Stobhill whilst maintaining the punctuality of service 43.

“We are continuing to explore how we might be able to operate service 43 via Stobhill, but are not yet able to commit to this. Stobhill continues to be served by service 2 up to every 20 minutes.”