Solution put forward over bus problems in Blyth

A solution has been put forward to solve problems on bus routes caused by a new development – but one councillor has questioned why it took so long.

By James Robinson
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 2:00 pm
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy (right) with Chris Wright, Transport & Business Development Manager for Phoenix Taxis & Coaches Northumberland.
Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy (right) with Chris Wright, Transport & Business Development Manager for Phoenix Taxis & Coaches Northumberland.

Residents in Blyth have faced disruption to services on the Links Road due to the development at South Beach.

The road is being improved to cope with the increase in traffic brought by new leisure and retail facilities at South Beach, meaning a temporary one-way system is in place.

Local residents contacted Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy, raising concerns about the closure of bus stops on the road and the significant impact this was having on their lives.

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In response, Mr Levy met with David Brogan, General Manager at Arriva North East and Chris Wright, Transport & Business Development Manager for Phoenix Taxis & Coaches Northumberland, to facilitate a short-term taxi contract between the developer, Blagdon Estate and Phoenix taxis.

A two week trial started on March 29 with a shuttle taxi bus operating six days a week, four times a day at 10am, noon, 2pm and 5pm from Blyth Bus station along the bus stops on Wensleydale Road.

Mr Levy said: “I’d like to thank Blagdon Estate, Arrive and Phoenix Taxis who were all willing to meet and find a solution to help the local residents – a real example of partnership working.”

But Isabella councillor Anna Watson, who lives in the same ward as the Links Road, said the problem should have been foreseen.

She said: “We’ve had problems because the 308 bus only goes one way. The response we had was that people could get on the bus and travel into Blyth and then if they wanted to go to Newcastle they could stay on the bus.

“That was fine for people who wanted to go to Newcastle, but if you just wanted to go into Blyth, for some elderly residents they have to get off at Rotary Way which is quite a long walk.

“This may be a good solution, but I just think all of this should have been thought of before this happened. We actually could have resolved the issue beforehand rather than waiting until we’re five or six weeks into the project.

“We’ve known about this development since the election in 2019. We need to be proactive rather than reactive.”