Grant secured to keep bus service for two more years

UCCT Rothbury Shoppers' bus
UCCT Rothbury Shoppers' bus

A grant has been secured to keep a bus service going for another three years, thanks to the clerk of Newton on the Moor and Swarland Parish Council.

The 813 service, which took passengers from Alwinton to Alnwick via various villages, including Swarland, on a Thursday, was axed in October, because the subsidy for it from Northumberland County Council was stopped.

Because of the number of passengers who wanted to use it, a temporary dial-a-ride service was put in place by North East Equality and Diversity (NEED).

But parish clerk Lisa Hamlin looked into different ways of re-establishing the service for good.

And at last week’s monthly parish meeting, councillors were told that a grant of £3,000 had been approved from the county council’s Get Going fund.

Mrs Hamlin said: “The service is going to be with Upper Coquetdale Community Transport (UCCT), as opposed to NEED which is currently running it, and users are already starting to register their details with the group.

“The idea is that we can self-fund the route so that when the two years is up the service doesn’t just stop.”

Chairman of the parish council, Coun Suzanne Stanley, praised the clerk for her efforts.

She said that a lot of hard work had been put in to get the grant which will benefit not only people in the parish but those in other parishes which also use the bus.

Mrs Hamlin added that she would be contacting all the users to let them know about the grant and the change of service provider.

NEED will continue running the route until the end of January.

Upper Coquetdale Community Transport also runs a shoppers’ group bus for residents in Rothbury.