Improvements planned to bus services following complaints from passengers

The X5 Arriva bus service that runs through Cramlington.

The X5 Arriva bus service that runs through Cramlington.

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Bus bosses have pledged to speed up some of their services following complaints to the News Post Leader.

Readers got in touch last month to complain about the journey times from Newcastle to Blyth using Arriva’s Express services.

Now senior bosses say that passengers will see changes to the services from September.

Managing director Nick Knox said: “We are in the process of making changes.

“It’s a balance between stability of the service and responding to customer comments.

“We always listen to customers and review our services every year, implementing any changes in September.”

From the beginning of September, the X5 – from Newcastle to Blyth via Quorum Business Park and Cramlington – will see its journey time reduced by 11 minutes as Arriva remove a number of stops in North Tyneside.

And there will also be changes for the X10/X11 – also from Blyth to Newcastle – which will see the frequency of buses increased.

Mr Knox said: “We had been working on plans to speed up the X5. It’s going to be much a more direct route into Newcastle from Blyth.

“It’s going back to a route similar to the one we operated before last September when we changed it.

“The changes are a direct result of customer feedback following the changes last year. We’re constantly looking to improve our services.”

He admitted that one problem they faced was traffic congestion and roadworks, causing delays to their service, but was hopeful new plans to bring in ‘red-routes’ in Newcastle to prevent inconsiderate parking by motorists would help speed up the services.

Mr Knox said other improvements to their service this year include WiFi on the X10/X11 and a new phone app allowing passengers to see where their bus is on a map.