Cut-off villages vow to fight on

THE fight is not over yet, a parish councillor has vowed, after it was announced that bus services to two north Northumberland villages are being axed.

At the last meeting of Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council, members heard that Arriva services, including those subsidised by the county council, will not call at the two communities after January 2 as part of cost-cutting plans.

Across the county, some smaller communities have dial-a-bus services, but the county council has said that the number of bus users in Newton on the Moor and Swarland does not currently warrant a replacement bus service.

David Rixon, chairman of the parish council, said: “It means that people are not going to be able to get to work. If it’s five or six people, what are they supposed to do?

“It’s going to leave the community high and dry. We live just off the A1, we have two communities and we are getting cut off.

“We pay council tax like everyone else. We, as a community, are not going to leave it at that.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said: “We are open to further discussions with the parish council in relation to bus services to Swarland and Newton on the Moor.

“However we are very concerned that the numbers of people using the services currently provided would not justify a replacement service, whether this be dial-a-ride or another bus service.”