Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mixed news on bus services in Whickham, Sunniside and Burnopfield

Changes to bus services will take place in February. Some of the most relevant to eFocus readers are as follows:

643: from 19th, the 8.16am, 3.16pm and 5.16pm services from MetroCentre are being withdrawn. The Saturday service will be withdrawn completely. (Thanks to our eagle eyed readers who spotted the mistake in our December eFocus when we first raised the possibility the service may be cut – we mistakenly said it was run by Stanley Taxis but is actually run by Classic Coaches. Our apologies.)

40 and 43: from 25th, the 40 service will be withdrawn and replaced by a revised 43. Between Whickham and Sunniside it will go via Fellside Park and Burnthouse Lane, rather than Broom Lane. Between Burnopfield and Stanley it will go via Tantobie and Tanfield Lea. From Stanley it will go to Durham City bus station. It will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime, twice per hour on Sunday daytime and hourly in the evening.

44: from 25th, the service will operate down Broom Lane rather than Whaggs Lane and will be extended to Durham City bus station. It will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and hourly evenings and Sundays.

97: from 25th the Sunday evening service will be reduced from every 30 minutes to every 45.

98: from 25th, the service will operate in a reverse direction down Broadway and Fellside Park. It will also terminate at Newgate St in Newcastle, rather than Eldon Square. The first Saturday service however is to be withdrawn. (Readers may recall that the anomaly of the bus shelters on the Sunniside Road bound side of the Broadway being redundant as no full service used them. That has now been solved.)

638/9: the 638 will be withdrawn from 25th. The 639 will run every 30 minutes and be renumbered the 69. Sunday daytime service will be every 30 minutes and Sunday evening service will be hourly.

700: the Rowlands Gill to Stanley, via Burnopfield service is being withdrawn.

770: the service is to be renumbered X70 and will have the frequency increased from hourly to every 30 minutes. On Sundays, it will be numbered 70. The service however will no longer stop at the Windy Hill area of Bensham.

We do not yet have a solution to the problem of travelling between Sunniside and Dunston where we are missing the direct link. Also, access to the Whickham Health Centre is still poor, and the rerouting of the 44 down Broom Lane rather than Whaggs Lane means the stop to go to the doctors in now opposite the Whickham War Memorial, rather than just outside the surgery. We’ll keep you in touch with progress.

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