All change on the buses as firm rejigs routes

Arriva bus
Arriva bus

SEVERAL bus services in North Tyneside are to diverted as part of a shake-up by transport bosses.

Falling passenger numbers have prompted Arriva North East to carry out a review of services, leading to new timetables coming into force on Sunday, September 16.

Drivers’ jobs are also under threat because of the cuts, but the company has declined to say how many will be affected.

As part of the shake-up, parts of Dudley are set to be bypassed by the new X5 service, to be merged with the X6 from Blyth to Newcastle.

Passengers will also see changes to the Quorum Express X4, X5, and X6 services between Newcastle and Quorum Business Park in Longbenton, providing services every 10 minutes.

The Quorum Express X4 will continue its half-hourly service and serve stops along West Farm Avenue, Longbenton, Station Road, Church Street and High Street in Gosforth.

The Quorum Express X5 will continue to run every half an hour but will go via Four Lane Ends, Benton Park Road and Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

There will be an improved 15-minute service between Cramlington, Dudley, Killingworth, Benton and Shiremoor, extending half-hourly to Whitley Bay and North Shields, as well as a new fast link between Newcastle and Cobalt Business Park in North Shields.

There will also be a new link to Ashington from Whitley Bay.

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said: “It is important that we review our networks to ensure that we are consistently serving the majority of the people with the best possible routes and frequencies.

“Those changes will see many improvements to our current service, with more buses per hour and faster journey times on may routes.

“Unfortunately, there will be a few areas that will see a reduced service. However, this is due to very few people travelling.

“We must make sure that the local communities we serve have a strong, sustainable network of bus services, and these changes are part of that process.”

The planned cuts come at a time when Arriva and two other bus companies face the threat of having services taken off them.