A new bus service is to launch at the beginning of September giving Coquetdale residents better connections in and out of the area.
Spirit Buses is the brainchild of Rothbury resident Steve Hurst and after overwhleming support from locals, visitors and businesses, the company will be launching its first service on September 1.
At present, Rothbury has no direct service to Alnwick; instead passengers have to travel to Morpeth and then to the town. But as of September, a daily route is being run – taking just 25 minutes instead of two-and-a-half hours.
A depot has been set up at Rothbury Industrial Estate and two new buses are waiting to be liveried.
And the buses will not just give residents across the valley access to services, but also give visitors the opportunity to see more of the area by public transport.
Steve said: “The last two years have been an absolute nightmare.
“But it is really encouraging to have the continued support from all over.
“I’ve even have visitors from all over the world get in touch saying they can’t wait to use the service to discover parts of rural Northumberland.
“It is something that the valley has wanted and needed for a long time, but the continued support has been very suprising, it hasn’t died down, people haven’t lost interest.”
Most recently, Rothbury had a service to Alnwick on a Thursday, but this was removed by Arriva North East.
“Rothbury has always been part of the Alnwick district. We go there for hospital appointments, the optician, library, the council, everything,” he said.
Spirit Buses will run a daily service between Thropton, Rothbury, Alnwick and Alnmouth, seven days a week as well as three rural services – one serving Coquetdale, one serving Elsdon and another serving Scots Gap and Cambo. The others will be between one and three times a week.
Timetables are available now on Traveline and are also to be added to the website – www.spiritbuses.co.uk