Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fears Villages Could Be 'Totally Cut Off' HOPES NEW PS150K TRIAL WILL TACKLE RURAL BUS CHAOS

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Fears Villages Could Be 'Totally Cut Off' HOPES NEW PS150K TRIAL WILL TACKLE RURAL BUS CHAOS

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEX METCALFE Local democracy reporter alex.metcalfe@reachplc.com @Mecs_LDR

TRANSPORT bosses are to look at whether "totally cut off" Stockton villages could get their bus service back thanks to a new pilot.

Stagecarriage ran the X8 service from Stillington through to Teesside Park and James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough, as well as routes through Long Newton and Yarm and services for schools and colleges.

But the firm went into administration late last month and the service went with it.

Now the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has agreed to look at including West Stockton villages in an 'Uber-style' bus pilot later this year on the back of calls from Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham. Stillington and Whitton parish councillor Judith Turner said her village had been "totally cut off ".

She believed the loss of the service would indirectly affect about 3,000 people, with children "marooned" in the villages during the holidays.

Cllr Turner added: "It's criminal. There should be some sort of service - even if it was just two or three times a day.

"Anything short of a regular bus service isn't going to work."

The former parish chairwoman shared concerns about people getting to the Park Lane doctors surgery in Stillington from neighbouring villages.

And she had other worries about older folk getting to hospital appointments.

Cllr Turner said: "Once somebody cannot drive, whether they are older or younger, or cannot afford it, they are stuck and have to rely on other people.

"It's no good for 16-year-olds wanting to get to work - we've had this situation before and it really stuffed things up for people.

"What annoys me more than anything else is the fact there are so many people affected - it's not just a little hamlet of 200 people, Stillington is a big village and we're not in an isolated area."

Taxis to hospitalsThe Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) is rolling out an 'Uber-style' bus pilot later this year in parts of Darlington, West Hartlepool and East Cleveland. …

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