Despite the many advantages that modern technology gives in terms of access to information about the weather, such as when a cold snap will happen, the local authority still appears to find it challenging to anticipate when to get the gritters out and when not to.
If you live in an area which is prone to being an ‘ice rink’ for one reason or another, then it’s down to neighbours working together to ensure that grit bins are full and someone can distribute the grit at the appropriate time.
In cold weather, falling over outside is often easier to predict than how long a car journey may take, for example, but there are things that can be done to reduce the risk.
Hopefully in his role at Arch, Coun Wearmouth has had time to visit the bus stations in the county’s main towns to appreciate the varying challenges people waiting for a bus face, ranging from the relative comfort of Morpeth’s bus station (yes, the seats aren’t as comfortable as one would like and the doors to the buses are a tad stiff), to the more limited options in Ashington.
Such visits would enable him to appreciate the need for more progress in improving the bus stations in towns from Alnwick to Blyth, which would hopefully lead to greater public transport usage and so give more encouragement to companies like Arriva to invest in their buses.
It was good to read that a funding package has been agreed to pay for new trains for the Metro service in the Newcastle area.
Hopefully, funding can also be found to invest in the infrastructure the trains need to run on so that regular Metro users can be positive about the future, particularly if clarity is given as to how ticket prices may have to increase in the next five to 10 years as part of the investment in the network.
It will be interesting to see if the Metro investment is linked to the pubic vote on a Mayor for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland as the issue of having one administrative body to make it easier to plan significant public transport schemes is one of many linked to the vote.