Give us better buses - readers call for transport revamp as they have their say on services across Northumberland

People would love to use buses more – but say the service must be improved and made more affordable across Northumberland.

Saturday, 7th September 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Saturday, 7th September 2019, 9:05 am
Alnwick Bus Station, a key interchange for passengers in Northumberland.
Alnwick Bus Station, a key interchange for passengers in Northumberland.

As research from the Transport Focus watchdog found the time and cost are the reasons most commonly given by people for not wanting to take the bus, we asked what people across the county thought about its services.

Our poll found 85% of the 459 votes cast during a 12-hour stretch agreed the expense puts them off.

Some highlighted in infrequency and lack of early and late services as issues.

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Others noted how much better value the system is elsewhere, especially over the border into Scotland, where in Edinburgh, day tickets for families can cost £8.50 and travel to any destination can cost £1.70.

Among those to have their say was Stewart Oliphant, who said: “Too expensive, unreliable, dirty, the list goes on.

“I'd gladly use public transport and not my car, but there are no reliable, affordable options.”

Jan L'Argent said: “I would use the bus if the service was more frequent.

“No good for if you start early or finish late.

“No good for travelling for cinema or theatre, you can't get home or have to pay for a taxi.

“'I’d rather pay and get a good service than the limited service we currently have.”

Judy Read explained: “I live just by Alex Scott in Guidepost and caught the bus to Morpeth when they had their farmers market on, to save hassle of parking, wish I hadn’t bothered - £6.30 return.

“I work with elderly residents in Morpeth who can’t afford to leave the house as the bus is so expensive, total disgrace when I can get a day rider for Newcastle for £4.30, absolute daylight robbery.”

However, some pointed out the cost of running a car does tot up to quite a bill.

Rufus Maxamillion said: “Amazes me that people will happily pay for a gallon of fuel and all day parking and still think that public transport being expensive.”

Paul Sands Turnbull said: “The cost of running a car is far more expensive.

“When you factor in purchase price, fuel, tax, maintenance and depreciation the cost over a year is considerable.”