It works well ... on paper

NORTHUMBERLAND’S public transport policy seems to have as many gaps as an Arriva timetable.

They have no money to subsidise a bus to serve Newton on the Moor and Swarland, yet recently managed to award a tender for the 472 service to Arriva (owned by Deutsche Bahn -– German State Railways) at a higher cost than local operator, Travelsure, was prepared to accept, on the basis that Arriva’s form-filling was of a higher standard than Travelsure’s.

I always thought that buses ran on diesel, not paper. Never mind service quality, satisfy bureaucracy.

While I assume Arriva’s 505 service is commercially operated, the council has considerable potential influence if it chooses to exercise it.

What about, for instance, establishing a quality partnership with local bus operators?

While Arriva has decided it is not economic to divert their services into Swarland and Newton on the Moor, the same service still diverts into the smaller settlement at Warenford. If there is a commercial logic to such operating, it is difficult to fathom.

Public transport provision should be based on enablement rather than isolation.


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