In amongst the X Lines branded services are a few Xs yhat are not X Lines. The X66 links Gateshead with the MetroCentre, a service which has, thankfully, lost its Contravision overkill ...
... in favour of something more restrained. The X66 is unchanged.
There are X50 footy specials and the X62.
Peterlee Purples X62
We propose that this service is cancelled, with the majority of journeys still possible by using other services and/or changing buses.
This sounds grim, until your realise that the X62 is not an X Lines high profile route but merely one trip each way between Peterlee and Durham.
But, here and there, we see frequency reductions by one tick or more.
We are proposing that the frequency is revised (they mean reduced) to every 15 minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes and every 30 minutes on Sundays ...... here from every 12 to every 15, a 20% cut.
This is nearly always accompanied by the plainsong incantation that we met yesterday.
There are some journeys, particularly early morning, in the evening and on Sundays which do not carry enough customers to cover the costs of operating them. We are working closely with local authorities on any possible replacement options, noting budget challenges.
The detail of these morning, evening and Sunday trims is not yet revealed.
But now comes a torrent
Services 28, 28A & 28B This service does not have enough customers travelling to cover its running costs and sadly that means that Go North East can no longer sustain operating it. Although Go North East can no longer operate this service independently, it's possible some journeys may remain with Nexus and Durham County Council currently considering alternative options to ensure local communities remain connected.
This is a "round the villages" route between Newcastle, Gatedhead and Chester-le-Street.
Withdrawn completely unless Durham comes up with some money. The 29 is in yellow and quite hard to see on the map but it has an affinity with the 28A
This service does not have enough customers travelling to cover its running costs and sadly that means that Go North East can no longer sustain operating it. Although Go North East can no longer operate this service independently, it's possible some journeys may remain with Nexus currently considering alternative options to ensure local communities remain connected.
Service 30 is a "local" for the community of Stanley
This service does not have enough customers travelling to cover its running costs and sadly that means that Go North East can no longer sustain operating it. Although we can no longer run this service independently, we are in discussions with Durham County Council about alternative options to ensure that Quaking Houses continues to have a bus service.
Service 30 is the only route that penetrates the delightfully named community of Quaking Houses.
The bus runs the full length of Third Street ...... turning at a huge turning circle for a small bus.Service 6 passes by at the end of the road!It would be sad to see this delightful, but presumably uneconomic, service die.
And there's more. Here are some other services which are proposed for total withdrawal.
Sunderland District Blonde 38, 38A & 38C Unfortunately, there are not enough customers using these services for them to continue to operate, and so these services would be withdrawn in their current form.
Sunderland District Violet 55 Unfortunately, due to low passenger numbers, this service would be withdrawn.That is a half hour frequency gone. OK, it supplements the 20 and X20 but the loss of the 55 represents a huge chunk of bus provision along this main road. Peterlee Purples 62 & 62A Due to low passenger numbers, these services would be cancelled, but we are in discussions with Durham County Council about alternative options available to ensure that local communities still have a bus service.Another chunk has been excised from the combined services in this area.
A strange route. It serves communities on the south bank of the Tyne ...... But then avoids Gateshead itself and skirts round to Heworth and Wardley. Unfortunately, the number of customers using this service is not enough to cover the costs of operating it, therefore we propose that service 69 would be cancelled. It is possible to continue to make the journeys from this service using other buses and changing services.Its focus is the huge Queen Elizabeth Hospital and there will be hardship for hospital patients if (when?) it goes completely/ Little Pinks 82This is a typical Washington "infill" service, doing lots of little bits that the "big" services cannot do. Unfortunately, the number of customers using this service isn’t enough to cover the costs of operating it, and so Go North East would no longer be able to operate this service. We are in discussions with Nexus about alternative options available.Another 30 minute frequency gets the chop. Venture V3 Venture recreated the name of a much loved independent. The V3 is part of a small network in the Consett area and the only bus that serves "The Dene". This service does not have enough customers travelling to cover its running costs and sadly that means that Go North East can no longer sustain operating it. We are in discussions with Durham County Council regarding a potential reinstatement of service V5 to maintain access to The Dene, Leadgate and surrounding areas.
fbb does not have the skill to analyse these changes in terms of buses removed from the network; but it looks like about a 25% cut overall.
This is from a company that has a good reputation for publicity (printed as well as the inevitable "on line") and for branding and promoting their services in an attractive way.
If Go North East are scything 25% from their services, what chance the usual suspects (Arriva, Stagecoach and First) having to do a great deal more?
It is not looking good for the industry but even worse for passengers.
Tomorrow and Thursday we go to two geographical extremes.
Next Island blog : Wednesday 25th May
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