Hexham MP urges bus firm Arriva to improve its rural service

Concerns about the reliability of a bus service through Northumberland have been raised by a local MP

Arriva bus services
Arriva bus services

Concerns about the reliability of a bus service through Northumberland have been raised by a local MP.

Hexham’s Guy Opperman has written to bus company Arriva to complain about what he describes as the “appalling” 685 service between Newcastle and Carlisle.

He says the unreliability of the service is causing serious problems for passengers in communities on the route, such as Heddon on the Wall, Hexham and Haydon Bridge.

Mr Opperman said: “I have raised this bus service before with Arriva and I’m afraid things haven't improved. The list of complaints I have had from constituents is endless.

“Buses that are late, running out of petrol or overheating, that is if residents are lucky enough to catch the bus in the first place. The real problem is that seemingly it is never on time.”

Mr Opperman claims some people are missing work, and even hospital appointments, because the service is so unreliable. He says one woman was left standing for 30 minutes and he has had numerous reports of buses not turning up at all.

He has written to Sunderland-based Arriva calling for action to tackle the problems. His letter says sorting out the issues must now be an “absolute priority” for the company, and says he is happy to meet senior management to discuss the situation.

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