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Cut-off Hadston villagers try to get Arriva bus service restored

A NORTHUMBERLAND community which has been axed from a bus route is fighting to get the decision reversed.

A NORTHUMBERLAND community which has been axed from a bus route is fighting to get the decision reversed.

People at Hadston, near Amble, have been left up in arms after bus company Arriva decided that a service which came into the village every day on an hourly basis would no longer do so.

The bus had been vital to people wanting to access health, childcare and community facilities, shops or visit friends.

Villagers have now contacted Arriva and set up a petition calling for the service to once again serve Hadston.

The number 20 from Amble to Ashington entered the village from the B1330, traveling along Hadston Road and Bondicar Road before turning round and continuing South via the B road.

However, as of February 3, the service no longer turns off the B1330, leaving a walk of half a mile from Hadston to the nearest stop the bus calls at.

The bus, which connects with the X20 onto Newcastle, was used by villagers wanting to go shopping at Ashington and Amble, visit friends or attend hospital appointments at Wansbeck General.

It was also used by people travelling into Hadston to use its doctors’ surgery, children’s centre, community cafe, shops and post office. Pensioner Joan Flanighan, 71, of Simonside Crescent, used the service two or three times a week and has no car.

Mrs Flanighan, a volunteer at the community cafe, said: “We have to walk up to the top of the road, which is maybe half a mile.

“But if you have shopping when you come home it is really heavy. It is up hill as well.

“There are quite a few people that can not manage to walk up to the top of the road. Some people are getting a taxi up to the top of the road which costs an extra £3.”

Scott Dickinson, chairman of East Chevington Parish Council and company director at Hadston House youth and community project, has written to Arriva, plans to invite them to a meeting of the council and set up the petition.

He said: “This is a clear example of a service being taken away without any consultation on the impact it would have.

“It has left people high and dry.”

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said changes to the service had been made “to improve reliability”.

“These changes will see us provide customers with a faster and more reliable service between Amble and Ashington, and on into Newcastle,” he added.

“Unfortunately, it does mean that the few passengers that were using the service in the Hadston Square area will no longer be directly served.”

 

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