BUSES: Council must take control

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Readers will see from time to time letters from Vicki Gilbert.

Her letter on May 25 was as the chairman of the Tyne and Wear Public Transport Users Group (TWPTUG).

Prime Minister Theresa May had supervised the introduction of the Bus Services Bill, before imposing a general election on the UK.

Vicki Gilbert outlined the history of Lords’ and other opposition to this Bill.

But the real local opposition was by TWPTUG, which had made great efforts to inform itself of the impact of such a Bill on ordinary members of the public, many, like me, dependent on a reliable bus service.

The main bus for most of us here is the No1/1A Go North East service from Whitley Bay via Cullercoats, Tynemouth, North Shields and Newcastle to Durham.

This is available all day, but all too often we find a bus is not just Go NE, it has ‘gone’.

Late running, or in my view, early running, results in people missing the bus or finding two or three turning up at the same time.

At the coastal end of services we have the 333 and 306, giving some alternatives when a No1 gets held up.

The 306 disappears from this end of the route mid-afternoon though. This loss is not understood.

Many other such losses have arisen.

The quite useful 333 Fish Quay service was the subject of my letter to Go NE, which had recently won the contract for the route.

I complained that the ‘trimming’ of the route at the Beach Road roundabout was ill-judged as it no longer went down to coastal promenade areas. As yet no reply has been received.

Another feature of the 333 route is that the obvious need for bus shelters on the Fish Quay roads seems to have been steadfastly avoided. These have been requested over a number of years.

In London the council controls virtually all buses. We need the same, I believe.

AM Johnson