More buses on the way for workers

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Northumberland Coun-ty Council is looking to improve bus links between the south east of the county and North Tyneside to help people get to work.

As part of a bid for cash from the government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, the council is proposing to introduce more frequent bus services to Cobalt Business Park and Silverlink Retail Park in North Shields.

Presenting a report on the bid to the council’s executive last week, policy team manager Ian Jopling said that it was hoped that the need for more buses would only be temporary as more employment opportunities were created in south east Northumberland.

He said: “It’s about improving links from where people live to where people work – from Ashington, Cramlington and Bedlington to Cobalt, where most of the jobs are, in the short term.

“In the long term, we want south east Northumberland to have its own jobs.

“This need to travel in the long term is not sustainable. We want to sustain our own employment in our own towns.”

The report also calls for efforts to change the way people think about transport, encouraging them to consider electric vehicles or car-sharing.

Coun Alan Thompson, pictured, of the Newbiggin Central and East ward, said: “We have a good example of sustainable transport in Newbiggin.

“We have a service called the Nipper, and from the point of view of the vulnerable people in the community it is absolutely imperative.

“It’s very effective, and it works because the local community have come together to organise this service. The important thing is that it gets people out and about.”

Coun Simon Reed said that to encourage electric vehicles, charging points in towns would help. He also suggested the council invest in an electric car for demonstration purposes, to encourage others to do the same.