All we ask is bus runs to the timetable

As a frequent user of the X22 bus from Ashington to Newcastle, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the X22 service is most irregular.

I and many of my neighbours wait for the service at an exposed part of Stakeford (without a shelter) for the 9.31am.

For some considerable time now this bus is late and I do mean late.

The 9.31am – as advertised on the poster at the bus stop – is arriving either 20 minutes or even 30 minutes late, even though we get to the stop in plenty of time.

On occasion two, three or even four buses pass going to Ashington within minutes of each other.

Now no one minds very much if a bus is five minutes or even ten minutes late. There are usually reasons – traffic, roadworks.

On one instance a couple of weeks ago, on a Tuesday morning, it was bitterly cold and people had to stand in that cold for a bus which was half an hour late.

By the time we got to Bedlington High Street the bus was nearly full – mostly with passengers chilled to the bone. If drivers are asked what the problem is, you’re told of instances of accidents on route, or delays in Gosforth High Street.

I know the High Street is a busy thoroughfare but I’ve found in the main traffic flows reasonably quickly.

One of the gentlemen who uses this service every morning to get to Newcastle, rang the Ashington bus office to ask why the service was so bad, he was treated courteously but got no answer to the problem. Nothing has been improved.

All we ask for is a bus which runs as near to the timetable (as is stated on the posters on show at each stop).

Alan Hitchens

Stakeford