Timetable changes to cause problems for travellers

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Bus timetable changes in north Northumberland reared their head again as a Seahouses councillor raised serious concerns.

As reported in the Gazette last month, Arriva is making changes to its services in order to make them more simple and therefore more viable.

But at Monday night’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council, Coun Tom Orrin pointed out a number of issues.

The 505 service is to be renamed the X15 while the 501 and 518 are being merged to become the X18. From September when the new timetables come into effect, passengers travelling from Seahouses to Newcastle will have to change at Alnwick unless they want a very slow stopping service.

Coun Orrin said: “The X is so people in Newcastle know they are express services, but as someone said to me, it’s all for their benefit, not ours.”

He also raised concerns that the new timetables and service numbers would cause confusion.

“This is not just a change of number and time but to some of the passengers it will be a change of life,” he added.

He had managed to obtain one concession for elderly passengers as there was not going to be an option to get to Alnwick between 7.22am and 11am.

However it has now been agreed that passes will be accepted on the 8.56am service to Belford, allowing a change there to get to Alnwick for around 10am.