Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bus Shake Up Sparks Anger

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bus Shake Up Sparks Anger

Article excerpt

Byline: By Linda Richards and Nick Whitten

A bus service shake-up has sparked an angry backlash.

Two services are being slashed by Go North East and one by Stagecoach as a new look timetable comes in from September 3.

Officials at both companies insist they have revised the timetables and put in extra routes to sufficiently cover the losses and increase the number of buses on more popular routes.

But already, residents in areas where buses are being cut have reacted angrily to the service shake-up.

Go North East's 645 service linking Sunniside in western Gateshead and Newcastle will go as well as its 10A MetroCentre to Clara Vale service.

Meanwhile Stagecoach is withdrawing its number 49 service from Wallsend to Throckley, via the Freeman Hospital, Gosforth and Kingston Park, in Newcastle.

Coun Jonathan Wallace who represents Whickham South and Sunniside said: "Residents of the Sunniside Estate in particular are feeling cut off from a decent bus service.

"The 645 was a lifeline for many as a service running through Whickham Village and Dunston Hill.

"The loss of this service is a heavy blow and it comes on top of the lack of services down Sunniside Road to Gateshead.

"People have already raised concerns with me about being able to get from the Sunniside Estate to the Whickham and Dunston."

Coun Yvonne McNicol, who represents Watergate, said, "The 645 is an important service for residents of the Watergate Estate and its loss will cause much hardship for many people.

"The loss of the 645 will be felt in Dunston Hill as well. It is a popular and important service for many residents and I am surprised and quite angry it is being axed."

But Martin Harris, Go North East's commercial manager, hit back and said the 645 is being replaced by a new number 40 service. …

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