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Councillors Win Concessions To Retain Bus Services

Following announcements of the withdrawal of a number of bus services in evenings and at weekends serving residential estates in South Tyneside, representations from a delegation of local councillors have resulted in some services being retained.

Councillor Paul Waggott, Leader of the Council, together with the Council two representatives on the Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Authority, Councillor Tom Hanson and Councillor Peter Boyack, and other local councillors met with representatives of NEXUS and the bus operator Go-Coastline and pressed the case for retaining some services.

As a result a new hourly service to Low Simonside, Kirkstone and Fellgate to be numbered 522 will be introduced and the existing 528 service to Lukes Lane will be extended to serve the same areas of Jarrow.

The delegation pressed for the improvements following the bus operator's decision to withdraw the 521, 532 and 544 services to these areas in the evenings and at weekends. The councillors succeeded in winning the concessions to help to minimise the impact of the withdrawal of these services for people living on the estates at Fellgate, Lukes Lane, Low Simonside and Brockley Whins.

Councillor Waggott said that as the result of a very positive approach the Council representatives succeeded in persuading NEXUS and Go-Coastline to retain the two new services for people living in the areas most affected by the new bus services arrangements which come into operation on April 12th.

He said: "Bus services are not just about operating only profitable routes. There is a social and economic need to provide services especially for those who do not have access to cars or other forms of transport. It is Council policy to promote social inclusion to give people access to jobs, social and family visits at all times of the week."

Councillor Tom Hanson, who is a local Bede Ward councillor and a Vice Chairman of the PTA, said : "Together with Councillor Boyack, I will seek to represent the best interests of local people. As members of the PTA we will continue to support the provision of the very best possible bus services for all areas of South Tyneside. Everyone is pleased that NEXUS and the bus operator listened to out concerns and responded in such a positive way."

Councillor Waggott added: "The successful outcome means that people living in the areas most affected by the changes to the bus services will not be isolated in the evenings and weekends

Full details of all the changes and the retained services will be announced before April 12th in a joint statement by NEXUS, Go-Coastline and South Tyneside Council.

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