Bus service saved for a year as council renews subsidy

Peter Robinson with his petition at the bus stop in Links Avenue, Amble.
Peter Robinson with his petition at the bus stop in Links Avenue, Amble.

An under-threat bus service, used by elderly and disabled people to get into a north Northumberland town, has been given a reprieve.

The 471 service, which connects the Links Estate to Amble town centre, was all set to stop running at the end of March.

Arriva runs weekday buses, but has indicated this will stop after March, while Travelsure’s weekday service is currently subsidised by Northumberland County Council, but this was also due to end, on March 28.

Amble Town Council had looked at the issue, but voted narrowly against providing £1,500 funding for the service for a year.

But now, the service has been given a lifeline as the county council has revealed that the subsidy will continue for another financial year.

Ian Coe, transport support manager at the county council, said: “The council will be supporting the four round trips per day on 471 on Mondays to Fridays, that are operated by Travelsure, until April 2015.

“We hope that residents of the Links Estate will make full use of this bus to ensure its long-term future.”

Town and county councillor Robert Arckless, who was one of those on the town council who voted to fund the service from April, welcomed the announcement, especially at a time when ‘there’s not much good news’.

The forthcoming year will allow for the service to be publicised more as data has shown that passenger numbers on the service are low, particularly in the afternoon.