New bus service to dramatically reduce journey times between Wooler and Belford

Borders Buses is now operating the 418 service from Wooler to Alnwick via Belford, Bamburgh and Craster.Borders Buses is now operating the 418 service from Wooler to Alnwick via Belford, Bamburgh and Craster.
Borders Buses is now operating the 418 service from Wooler to Alnwick via Belford, Bamburgh and Craster.
A new bus service dramatically cutting journey times in north Northumberland has been welcomed by local councillors.

Border Buses has taken over the 418 service from Wooler to Alnwick via Belford, Bamburgh and Craster which was previously operated by Travelsure.

Amendments include extended journeys between Wooler and Belford which mean travellers will no longer have to go via Alnwick or Berwick first.

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This will cut journey times from over three hours down to around 35 minutes.

Borders Buses.Borders Buses.
Borders Buses.

Cllr Mark Mather, who represents the Wooler ward, said: “It is nice to see a bit of positive news with an additional service instead of services disappearing, particularly in rural areas. People will be able to stay in Wooler rather than on the coast and it will open up more opportunities for people to stay here, relieving some of the pressure on the coast.

“It is also really nice for locals – we’re one community and we have been kept apart. Friends and families can now get on a bus and get across to the coast using green transport, and enjoy the area they live in.

“For being so close, having to go to Alnwick or Berwick just didn’t make sense, so getting a direct route linking rural communities can only be a positive thing.”

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Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, who represents the Bamburgh ward, agreed: “It’s great – I’ve lived in Belford and I’m looking forward to seeing a service bus straight to Wooler for the first time I can remember. There is a lot of people that will use it, there’s a lot of family connections in those areas.

“For the tourists we have got these two great hubs in the county – Wooler, the gateway to the Cheviots and Bamburgh, the hub on the coast. It is going to cut journey times from three hours to around 35 minutes, because you won’t have to go to Berwick or Alnwick.

“As a council, we want to spread the tourist love across the whole county, not just at the coast. This will connect Northumberland National Park and the Northumberland Coast AONB, or National Landscape as it is now known.”

Other changes on buses in the area as a result of the operator change include a simplified timetable on service 464; Berwick-Upon-Tweed to Wooler, via Lowick and Scremerston. The updated service will see the removal of the Railway St to Ramparts section of the route.

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The council has said customers looking to travel this section of the route can do so on service B1, Berwick Town. That service itself will be revamped from January 28, with additional hourly night-time journeys plus an extra Sunday journey.

However, the last journey serving all stops will be 9:57pm, with an additional 10:57pm service serving the Ramparts to Highcliffe section only. To make the town service hourly on a Sunday, an extra daytime journey will be added, departing Ramparts at 1:27pm. The new evening journeys will serve all areas until 9:27pm with an extra journey at 10:27pm, serving Ramparts to Highcliffe only.

Claire Lark, operations manager at Borders Buses, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Northumberland County Council and delighted to be introducing more journeys for the town, as well as increasing frequency and adding new locations to our bus network.”