Bus route is back on with a new door-to-door service

Passengers using the Alwinton to Morpeth Dial-a-Ride service.
Passengers using the Alwinton to Morpeth Dial-a-Ride service.

A bus service which was axed because of a lack of funds to keep it going is being relaunched by a new company.

The Arriva 813 service took passengers from Holystone via Rothbury, Newton on the Moor and Swarland, among other villages, to Alnwick on a Thursday.

But it had to be axed because the subsidy from Northumberland County Council was cut.

Now, North East Equality and Diversity (NEED) Ltd is replacing the service with a dial-a-ride route.

The new offer is in partnership with Northumberland County Council and parish councils, which have agreed that the door-to-door minibus service from Holystone to Alnwick can restart from today.

It will run until the end of January when a review will be carried out.

Vee Robinson, chief executive of NEED, said: “When the Holystone to Alnwick service was withdrawn in September, many people were left without access to Alnwick for the second time in a 12-month period.

“We received many letters from older people who were devastated that they would no longer be able to access health, bank and leisure services in Alnwick, effectively becoming isolated in their own home.

“We are now thrilled that the service can continue in the short term until the end of January 2014, when a review will take place.

“This means that we have time to assess the service and put plans in place to hopefully enable it to continue well into the future.”

Vee Robinson also stated that NEED has been successful in securing funding to operate a door-to-door service from Amble to Ashington once a week starting next Tuesday.

The service is for older people; those with a disability; social or rurally isolated or those with economic deprivation that are unable to access suitable public or private transport.

Passengers are required to be members of NEED which costs £2.50 a year.

The charge to use the service from Amble, Hadston and Widdrington is £6 return.

NEED already operates a door-to-door service every Monday from Alwinton to Morpeth which has been popular.