Impact of bus cuts clear

Cuts to a bus service are already starting to take their toll, councillors in the affected areas have said.

Members of East Chevington Parish Council have voiced their concerns, following the withdrawal of the 20/X20 service from Hadston Square, which Arriva has said is down to ‘low usage’. The change to the service, which came into effect on Sunday, also means that the bus will no longer serve Amble’s Links Estate.

At the parish council’s meeting on Monday night, chairman Scott Dickinson said the impact on residents was already clear to see.

He said: “It is having an awful impact on the residents here and it is also having an impact on the people who come here, like the elderly people who come for their lunches from Widdrington.

“There were college students who were late for school this morning. There was no notification that the bus had stopped. I don’t think it would have taken much for Arriva to put a notice on the bus stop.”

Councillors disputed Arriva’s claims that the service was not well-used and said there had been no consultation.

Amble town and county councillor, Robert Arckless, has also hit out at the withdrawal from the Links Estate.

Nick Knox, of Arriva North East, said the changes were made to improve reliability and provide a faster service.

He said: “Unfortunately it means that the few passengers that were using the service in Links Estate and Hadston Square will no longer be directly served. We carried out extensive communications around the changes with notices on buses, new timetables available on board, sent information to the press, published details on our website and social media. The decision was not taken lightly, with consultation throughout to try to identify other options. We remain receptive to further suggestions.”

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