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Changes To Bus Services Will Isolate People

Major changes to local bus services operated by Stagecoach in South Shields are being criticised by Councillors because of lack of consultation and the effect on local communities.

Councillor Bill Brady and his Whiteleas Ward colleagues have expressed great concern about they way the changes, which are due to come into force on April 20th, have been drawn up.

Councillor Brady said: "Apart from the fact that the changes to night time and Sunday services to and from Whiteleas will considerably reduce the level of services, large numbers of people will be effectively isolated from bus services."

"After 5.30pm at night buses will not go to the top of Whiteleas Way. Journey times will be greatly increased. Some areas of the town, particularly the Lowe Top, will be completely cut off with the complete withdrawal of the No 5 service."

Councillor Brady and his colleagues have already expressed great concern at the way the changes, which effect eight main services (Nos 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 16 and 17) have been announced without any consultation with Councillors or members of the travelling public.

"We are supposed to be encouraging people to use public transport, and here we have a bus company reducing the level of service to areas of the town which are most dependent on bus services", he said.

The changes will be discussed at the next meeting of the West Shield Community Area Forum which takes place at 10.00am on Thursday April 18th at the Community Fire Station, John Reid Road, South Shields.

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