New bus plans in pipeline

Steve Hurst wants more bus services from Rothbury to Alnwick becasue of the infrequent service that is run at present. Ref: JCNG 090713bus5

Steve Hurst wants more bus services from Rothbury to Alnwick becasue of the infrequent service that is run at present. Ref: JCNG 090713bus5

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Plans to set up a new bus company and revive former routes are in the offing.

Spirit Buses, headed by Rothbury man Steve Hurst, is looking to set up a new service to give people better access to and from Rothbury and Coquetdale.

The 27-year-old wants to create a series of new routes to give locals and visitors the chance to get out and about more easily and to help businesses.

At the moment, three separate routes are suggested between Thropton and Alnwick, Rothbury and Alwinton and Thropton and Morpeth.

Steve said: “We have had a fair bit of support and interest from local bodies such as Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park, Cragside and Alnwick Tourist Information Centre to bring visitors into the valley and from residents of Rothbury and Coquetdale in search of new links to facilities and job opportunities in Alnwick.

“We do, however, need to get figures for funding purposes and information on whethervarious portions of the routes will be viable.”

Spirit Buses is hoping that by setting up a service it will increase trade in Rothbury and the Coquet Valley and help boost tourism.

The new services will, wherever possible, be designed to integrate with services provided by other transport operators and other interested groups.

A questionnaire has been printed and is now being made available so that the group can evaluate a need for the buses to be put on.

Steve said: “I would like as many people as possible to fill in the questionnaires and send them back. The more evidence we have for a need for the services, the better the chance we have of getting them.

The survey can be found at Shepherds Walks TIC Office, Rothbury, Tully’s of Rothbury, Rose and Thistle Public House, Alwinton, Alnwick Tourist Information Centre, David Carr’s Shop, Longframlington and Sandwiches @ Millars Shop, Longhorsley from Monday.

It can also be filled in online at www.spiritbuses.co.uk

Steve has already looked into funding and has been in talks with the county council.