Sunderland Council and Stagecoach North East have joined forces in a travel initiative which will enable a residential neighbourhood in north Sunderland to enjoy a boosted transport service and connect them with the local amenities on offer.
From Sunday 29 July, residents of Southwick will benefit from an enhanced bus service and new bus stop on Faber Road, with Stagecoach North East introducing a new route to better serve the the Gildacre Fields community.
Working together in partnership with Sunderland Council, the local bus operator has developed the route of Service 16 following customer and community group requests, and from the end of the month buses will run close to the residential complex.
Councillor Kelly Chequer, who represents the Southwick ward, said: “This is very pleasing to get the new stop. Myself and my ward colleagues consulted residents, we took on board their concerns, represented the residents, and worked closely with Stagecoach on this.
“It’s an example of representation, consultation and partnership working in our community and with the company.”
The Service 16 buses will run via the eastern end of Faber Road and Carley Hill Road, instead of Shakespeare Street. The frequency will remain unchanged, with buses running up to every 10 minutes during Monday to Saturday daytimes, every 20 minutes on Sunday daytimes, and every 30 minutes during evenings.
Stagecoach North East has continually reviewed the development of Service 16, as it has increased in popularity, and when a formal request came through earlier this year, via ward members and community groups, the local bus operator was delighted to take the opportunity to improve the bus network in the area and further support the independent living of residents of Gildacre Fields.
David Parker, Head of Commercial, Stagecoach North East, said: “In autumn 2017, we made a number of route changes to Service 16 in Red House to address some reliability concerns, and as a result we identified this as a possible new route. Where we can implement a change which will benefit the wider community, we are always delighted to do so.
“There has been considerable communication between Stagecoach North East and local residents through the local elected members, in particular Councillor Chequer and Cllr Amy Wilson, Councillor for Pallion Ward, and we're delighted that we're able to bring this extended service to Gildacre Fields and the Southwick community across route 16.”
To ease the impact of traffic congestion buses are experiencing at the Priestman Roundabout, trips from Hastings Hill towards Sunderland City Centre will be diverted to run via The Royalty and New Durham Road.