You took our buses, now give us some footpaths

David Rixon walks from the A1 to Newton On The Moor.
David Rixon walks from the A1 to Newton On The Moor.

A CALL has been made for footpaths to be installed after buses were axed in a north Northumberland parish.

Public transport in Newton on the Moor and Swarland is almost non-existent now after Northumberland County Council and Arriva stopped all their services earlier this year.

And the 813 bus which runs through Swarland on a Thursday is also to be stopped later this year.

Now the parish council is calling on the unitary authority to put pavements in to both villages to make it safer for residents who will have to walk much further to catch the bus.

At last week’s parish council meeting, Chairman Coun David Rixon said he’d had to get the bus from Newcastle after leaving his car in Gateshead, then had to get off at Hampeth and walk to Newton on the Moor.

“I walked along the A1 and then up to the village,” he said.

“And I saw someone going in the opposite direction to catch the bus to Morpeth.

“It is almost impossible to walk along the A1. The verges are in such a mess, if you walk along the central reservation there are cars coming at you full pelt and you have to wade through grass up to your neck.

“When you get to Newton on the Moor there is quite a wide verge and it is the same on Leamington Lane. It is difficult if you get farm vehicles along the road, and there are no footpaths.

“We don’t have any buses so we have to walk to them but we need pavements to do it on safely.

“I am not going to be downtrodden by any half-witted official, if they take away our buses they should give us footpaths.”

The parish council previously asked if a footpath could be put in between the shop in Swarland and Kenmore Road, but was told that it was unlikely that it would be put on any future bids for work to be done.

Coun Rixon added: “It is going to be bad enough walking along the roads in the summer with the nice weather but what will happen in the middle of winter?

“It is going to be chaos and something needs to be done about it.”

Coun David Pettifer asked if it would be possible to ask Arriva to stop on the A1 to drop off people.

But the council heard that there is not a suitable position in which to stop the bus, and they didn’t want to stop on the A1 because it is dangerous. However councillors said that buses do stop on the road in other areas.

Coun Rixon added that a footpath has been put it at Tritlington, alongside the A1 to the school.

“I’ve never seen anyone on it,” he said. “If they can do it there they can do it here, or give us our buses back.”

Clerk Lisa Hamlin is to write to the county council about the provision of footpaths.