Changes to bus services in north Northumberland have been announced by Arriva North East,
The alterations, which came into effect last Sunday, include an enhanced timetable for the X18 and new Sunday journeys for the X14.
However, as part of the shake-up, the level of service will be reduced to the centre of Alnmouth village, due to punctuality issues.
X18: Increase in the number of buses between Alnwick, Seahouses, Belford and Berwick until November 3.
Buses will run hourly between Newcastle, Morpeth, Amble and Alnwick (as now), then up to every two hours to Seahouses, Belford and Berwick on Monday to Saturday daytimes.
The X18 will work alongside the Travelsure 418 between Alnwick and Belford to offer hourly links to Craster, Embleton, Beadnell, Seahouses and Bamburgh.
The X18 will also co-ordinate with the X15 to provide an hourly service between Belford, Haggerston Castle, Scremerston and Berwick.
Arriva’s punctuality data shows that buses are often delayed in Alnmouth due to traffic congestion and vehicles parked on the narrow roads.
Arriva is reducing the service level to the centre of Alnmouth village from hourly to every two hours on Monday to Saturday daytimes. No buses will serve the centre of the village in the evening or on Sundays. However, all journeys (at all times of the day) will continue to serve the stops near Alnmouth Methodist Church.
X20: Last year, Arriva diverted buses to serve the new stop opposite the Coquet Grange housing estate in Amble. However, due to poor take up, Arriva is reverting to the old route in this area. This means that buses will run directly between Hadston and Amble via the A1068 and Percy Drive. The only exception is the Monday to Friday morning journey that operates via James Calvert Spence College, which will continue to serve the stop at Coquet Grange on its way into Amble.
After requests for a later bus from Ashington and Wansbeck Hospital to Lynemouth, Ellington and Widdrington Station, Arriva has teamed up with CELL Big Local to provide an extra Thursday, Friday and Saturday journey at 2100 from Ashington to Widdrington Station, as a trial until November 3, when it will be reviewed.
X14: Introduction of new Sunday (and public holiday) service between Morpeth, Longhorsley, Longframlington, Rothbury and Thropton. Buses will run every two hours from around 10am until around 6pm, and most journeys will extend to/from Newcastle. The new journeys will operate on a trial basis until the end of October, when passenger numbers will be reviewed to determine if there is enough demand to run them permanently.
X15: The Monday to Friday journey at 0600 from Alnwick to Berwick-upon-Tweed will leave at 0550 and run 10 minutes earlier throughout. There will be a revised Sunday (and public holiday) timetable. The buses at 1814 from Alnwick to Newcastle and 1943 from Newcastle to Alnwick will be withdrawn due to low usage. The remaining journeys from Alnwick to Newcastle will run one hour later, leaving Alnwick at 0914, 1114, 1314, 1514 and 1714. However, there will be no changes to the times of the remaining buses from Newcastle to Alnwick, which will leave Newcastle at 0943, 1143, 1343, 1543 and 1743.
There are also changes to the 57/57A, X16 and X30 in the south of the county,