Community will keep its bus service

Residents Daniel Williams, Winnie Earle, Thomasina Massey, Lee Massey and Coun Ian Lindley.
Residents Daniel Williams, Winnie Earle, Thomasina Massey, Lee Massey and Coun Ian Lindley.

Plans to divert a community’s bus service in Morpeth have been withdrawn.

The number 43 bus service which runs through Stobhill in Morpeth will continue to pick up passengers from the cul-de-sac off Shields Road, after discussions were held to consider removing this part of the route to improve punctuality.

Residents voiced their concerns about the proposal which, if taken forward, would have meant walking uphill for an additional 400 metres to the next nearest bus stop.

Stobhill ward councillor Ian Lindley, consulted with the bus route’s operator Arriva, to ensure that the bus route remained unchanged.

He said: “Some of our older residents and people with mobility issues who use this service would have faced commuting difficulties if the changes to the route had gone ahead.

“By working in partnership with the bus operator, we have ensured that users of this route do not have to endure a lengthy and steep walk to the nearest bus stop.”

The 43 service which runs from Morpeth to Newcastle via Cramlington, is a commercial route which is not financially subsidised by the county council.

Coun Allan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth at Northumberland County Council, said: “As a council we play a role in subsidising a number of the county’s bus routes and endeavour to shape these services to meet residents’ public transport requirements.

“Although we do not hold as much influence on how commercial bus routes are run, the council’s public transport team and local councillors are available to hear views and act as a voice on behalf of residents.”