BUSES: Grateful for our services

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I notice AM Johnson has chosen to comment on local bus services (News Guardian, June 20).

The contention that service 1/1A travels to Durham is not the case, and while sometimes buses do appear to be running together, I can assure him that drivers always do their best to keep to timetable.

Late running can be caused by any number of events outside drivers’ control, not least of these are roadworks, traffic lights at roundabouts that are not necessary at non-peak times, and indiscriminate parking.

The 333, while operated under contract by Go NE, is sourced by Nexus, which decides the route and to which complaints should be made. As a secured service this under-used service, from what I have observed, is paid for by the rest of the community.

The 306 has run only to Tynemouth for as long as memory serves and the extension to Whitley Bay is only fairly recent, and not every journey runs to Whitley Bay. It doesn’t “go missing” in the afternoon, it is simply not timetabled.

And finally, let us put the Buses Bill well and truly behind us.

It was never going to be practicable for local authorities to set up their own bus companies – finance, staff, premises. To take control would end up with poorer services and vehicles, where cost comes before quality.

Even in London, where Transport for London is in control, bus ridership has reduced and a not uncommon practice when a bus is running late is for it to be turned mid-journey and passengers forced to disembark and await the arrival of the next one.

My answer to the writer is be grateful for what we have.

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