Dial-a-ride service extension to help boost its numbers

A community bus scheme is on the move to other parts of Morpeth town.

The Stobhill Community Dial-a-ride started in February. It was initiated by the area’s county councillor Ian Lindley and one of the town councillors for Stobhill, Alison Byard, to help anyone with mobility problems which make it difficult for them to use public transport.

However, take-up has been lower than expected and after making some enquiries, a decision has been made to extend the service.

The bus runs every Wednesday morning until lunchtime and will pick users up and drop them off anywhere in Morpeth. It will then return at their pre-arranged time to pick them up and bring them safely home.

Coun Byard said there are a few regular users, but the fact that it operates once a week and people need to sign up to the service could be putting some residents off.

She added: “We’re still putting the message out in Stobhill to those who would find it very difficult to walk to their nearest bus stop that the dial-a-ride bus is cheaper than a taxi and it will take you wherever you want to go in the town.

“The drivers are really friendly and will even help you with your shopping.

“But residents in other parts of Morpeth have shown an interest in this service, so we’ve decided that the time has come to open it up to the rest of the town centre area.”

Those who want to use the bus must ring the operator, Adapt North-East, on 01434 600599 up to Tuesday lunchtime to book their return journey.

Coun Lindley said: “We are also discussing the possibility of special appointments to be set aside for users at the Morpeth Health Centre.

“If the extended service is well supported, we could look at adding other days.”