Fight is launched to save under-threat bus service

Peter Robinson with his petition at the bus stop in Links Avenue, Amble.
Peter Robinson with his petition at the bus stop in Links Avenue, Amble.

An Amble man has vowed to fight for an under-threat bus service used by elderly and disabled people after its

future was jeopardised.

The long-term viability of the 471 was plunged into doubt after members of Amble Town Council reached a narrow decision at their last meeting to not support it financially.

Now, Peter Robinson, a Conservative candidate who is standing for the vacant position in the town’s Central Ward, has said he will battle to keep the service alive.

He has around 50 signatures on a petition calling for the survival of the 471, which connects the Links Estate to the town centre.

He will be handing it into the town-council office and is calling for a public meeting on the issue, as well as a discussion with operator Travelsure.

He said: “This bus is a lifeline to some people and it is an integral part of some residents’ lives. It is my intention to fight to keep this service, which serves vulnerable residents in the town.”

He said a return taxi fare, at around £7, is expensive.

He believes one option could be to target a grant from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Arriva runs weekday buses to the Estate, but has indicated this will stop after March.

The county council subsidises Travelsure’s 471 weekday buses, but this is due to end on March 28. Travelsure runs a Saturday service.

The town council has publicised the timetable and had discussions with the county council, Arriva and Travelsure about a way forward.

Data has shown that passenger numbers are low.

Couns Robert Arckless, Jane Dargue and Kate Morrison voted to give the service £1,500 for a year, but Couns Lewis, Jeff Watson and Mayor Craig Weir – who had the casting vote – were against.