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12 Apr 2017
Stagecoach North East has listened to its customers and community leaders in response to a consultation on proposed bus changes in Newcastle which go live at the end of next month.
Taking on board passenger and community requests, the local bus operator will introduce a number of route and timetable updates to its bus services across Newcastle in order to improve reliability and provide improved links across the city, from 30 April 2017.
During a recent series of community and online consultations, detailed and valuable feedback from passengers, transport groups and ward councillors highlighted areas of concern and Stagecoach North East has addressed a number of these issues by revising the planned service changes.
As a direct result of customer feedback, services 62 and 63 have been retained on two separate routes in the Fenham and Cowgate areas. Route 62 will continue to operate via Stamfordham Road and Cowgate, and Service 63 will continue to link via Fenham Hall Drive.
Following extensive feedback on routes 62 and 63, and working alongside ward Councillors in the Westerhope area, services 71, 72 and 87 routes will be retained along Stamfordham Road and via Cowgate. Whilst late-evening trips on route Service 72 will be withdrawn, Stagecoach North East will continue operating this route until approx 2000 during Monday to Saturdays.
Cllr Marc Donnelly, Westerhope Ward, said: "I was pleased to have been given the opportunity to express the views of my residents at meetings with Stagecoach, North East. Whilst there was no one perfect solution, by ensuring that residents' views have been highlighted the outcome is an improvement on the initial proposal. It is worth stating that Stagecoach North East have noted the comments and acted upon them where possible."
Following feedback on service 36 regarding loss of links from Fenham to the RVI and Newcastle University, the service will be diverted to serve Richardson Road, rather than New Mills. The revised routing will offer an improved link for customers to the primary health facility, running up to every 15 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes, and up to every 30 minutes during evening and Sunday periods.
David Parker, Head of Commercial, Stagecoach North East, said: “We periodically review our services to check that we're best meeting the needs of the majority of customers, and we recently conducted a full review of how people are using our bus services across Newcastle.
“As a result, we've made some changes, which provide some new links, change some routes and aim to improve time-keeping on a number of services.
“Whenever we make changes, we appreciate that some people would prefer things to stay as they were and so take great care to consider all the implications, including discussing the proposals with our colleagues at Nexus. We have positively engaged and responded in detail to local Councillors, customers and community groups expressing particular concerns, to explain how we've reached these decisions.”
“This isn`t the end of the process - much rather the beginning - and we welcome the opportunity to work closer with communities to help shape the bus service, so as to better serve and meet their needs where we can and play a key part in helping to design bus services of the future.“In our discussions, community leaders have recognised the impact of growing traffic congestion on overall transport services. Whilst the recent consultation process has brought forward a range of different - and often competing - views from customers and stakeholders, it has unquestionably supported the debate regarding bus services. It has also encouraged some alternative suggestions and additional requests, and I'm pleased that we were able to accommodate some of these within the final network timetable.”