End of the road for early morning buses

EARLY morning bus services in north Northumberland are to be withdrawn at the end of October after it was decided they did not represent value for money.

Northumberland County Council has announced that five services between 6.20am and 7.25am on weekdays and one Saturday route will no longer be running when the summer timetable comes to an end on October 29.

The weekday services affected are the 6.26am 505 from Berwick to Alnwick, 6.21am 501 Beadnell to Belford, 6.55am 420 Alnwick to Alnmouth, and the 7.23am 420 Alnmouth to Alnwick.

On Saturdays, the 8.37am 505 diversion via Shilbottle to Alnwick will be taken off the list.

A document seen by the Gazette states that the routes do not attract enough passengers to justify them running.

Alternatives, including car-sharing and community-led services, for those affected by the change are being looked into by the council.

The move comes after a review by the transport services unit at County Hall.

A number of short and long-term contracts for bus services, mostly in the Alnwick area, are also due to expire this autumn.

But as the council is looking at changing the way it seeks tenders for services, affected contracts have been extended until April to allow for changes to be implemented.