It’s all change on the buses this week
Bus passengers in north Northumberland will now have to get to grips with new service numbers and altered timetables.
Yesterday, Arriva introduced what it calls ‘a new network for Northumberland’ with the aim of simplifying services to make them easier to understand and use and to improve the sustainability of the network.
At the July meeting of Northumberland County Council’s north area committee, representatives from Arriva explained the changes and the reasons behind them.
They said that the current system is very complex with a wide array of service numbers, which makes it difficult to use for new bus users and tourists – precisely the people that will make bus services more viable.
The 501/505 and 518 services will be replaced by the new X15 and X18 services.
The X14, 15 and 18 will be the express services from Newcastle to Morpeth (X14) and to Alnwick and Berwick (X15 via the A1 and X18 via the coast).
The advantages of the new services are a simplified service numbering and that the current problem whereby the buses to Berwick from Belford arrive within three to six minutes of each other will be avoided.
There will be new and improved links between Amble and Druridge Bay, and Newcastle on the X20.
However, on the down side, there will be a reduced Coast and Castles service between Alnwick and Berwick via the coast and Belford, while those wishing to avoid a slower journey to Newcastle from villages on that route will have to change at Alnwick.
These changes affect the commercial services run by Arriva, which the company is at liberty to alter as it sees fit.
Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said: “It is important that we review our networks to ensure that we are consistently serving the majority of the people with the best possible routes and frequencies.
“These changes will see many improvements to our current service, with more buses per hour and faster journey times on many routes.
“Unfortunately there will be a few areas that will see a reduced service, however this is due to very few people travelling.
“We must make sure that the local communities we serve have a strong, sustainable network of bus services and these changes are part of that process.”
For details, visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/buschanges.aspx
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Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
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