Back at the start of the year I contacted the press after finding out about cuts to services which the County Council had hardly been consulted on at all. (Article in Durham times below from 2nd January). I then spoke with the Portfolio Member and officers to ask for the Council to do everything they could to protect services through Witton Gilbert and the surrounding areas.
Local residents contacted me and those in other areas campaigned hard to keep the services.
I applaud the County Council for taking this matter so seriously and it is great that Arriva has now agreed to run new services through Witton Gilbert:
The new services are the 754 Durham via Arnison Centre, Nettlesworth, Sacriston, Witton Gilbert to Langley Park, operating in addition to the hourly service 14 that also runs on this route. The 726 operates from Langley Park via Witton Gilbert, Sacriston, Nettlesworth to Chester le Street, also operating every hour.(Outside of peak periods)
I will be reporting back when the full timetable is available. The services should start on the 30th March.
NORTHERN ECHO REPORT:
Bus firm urged to reconsider cuts
11:50am Friday 2nd January 2009
A COUNCILLOR is urging a bus company to reconsider cuts it is planning to make on routes serving city suburbs and outlying villages.
Gateshead-based Go North East will make the changes on Sunday, January 25. But Mark Wilkes, Liberal Democrat councillor for Durham City and Durham County councils, says the cuts will cause hardship for some people.
The planned cuts will affect Langley Park, Sacriston, Framwellgate Moor and Witton Gilbert.
Service 13 (Langley Park- Sacriston-Framwellgate Moor- Durham) and Service 14 (Langley Park-Sacriston-Nettlesworth- Arnison Centre-Framwellgate Moor Durham), which currently run twice an hour, will run hourly only during the day.
The company says peak time services will run more frequently.
Evening and Sunday services will be unchanged. But the 25A (Langley Park-Sacriston-Plawsworth- Chester-le-Street-Picktree Village- Gateshead-Newcastle) will no longer run south of Chester-le- Street to Langley Park.
The 25 (Langley Park-Sacriston- Edmondsley-Waldridge Park- Chester-le-Street-Barley Mow- Gateshead-Newcastle) will continue to run hourly via Edmondsley, with additional buses at peak times.
On Service 71 (Chester-le-Street- Great Lumley Fencehouses-Houghton- le-Spring-Sunderland) some evening and Sunday services will be withdrawn between Chester-le- Street and Houghton-le-Spring.
The firm says Service 78, which runs between Consett, Stanley, Chester-le-Street and Sunderland, will provide a good alternative for customers travelling between Chester-le-Street, Great Lumley and Woodstone Village.
Service levels for the remainder of the route are being considered by the county council and Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Transport Executive.
A spokeswoman for Go North- East said the changes were being made because of low passenger numbers on the routes affected.
Coun Wilkes said: “Daytime services on the 14 and 13 services are to be cut to hourly and will make it even more difficult for residents to travel into Durham. In other parts of North Durham whole services are being axed, with the 71 Chester-le-Street to Sunderland service being scrapped, and the 25a and 28 services cut back.
“At a time when we are supposed to be promoting the use of public transport, these proposals will really hit the most vulnerable in our county. I urge Go North East to reconsider.”