Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Residents angry at loss of bus detour into Darlington estate
DISABLED and elderly bus users living on a Darlington estate have hit out at plans to remove the detour that brought a regular bus service within easy reach of their homes.
The number 14 Arriva service between Harrowgate Hill and Skerne Park currently operates a short detour down Henry Street, Gurney Street and Katharine Street, off North Road, before travelling through Albert Hill and Hundens Lane.
Local residents say the detour is important for the high proportion of people with mobility problems living in the area, which means many struggle to reach bus stops on North Road.
But, from October 27, the number 14 service will become the extended 14B service for Whinbush - with the Henry Street detour removed for a more direct route down North Road.
An Arriva spokeswoman said residents would be able to access a bus from North Road every seven or eight minutes and that changes were necessary to improve services to Whinbush.
The ward councillors for North Road – Anne-Marie Curry, Alan Macnab and Fred Lawton – said: “We found out from a resident - we are appalled that we were not informed by Arriva.
“We have real concerns about people living in this area who have mobility issues. Many already have to walk up a steep hill to get the 14 bus and the extra distance to North Road will be too much for many.
“Many people also say that if they do get to North Road the buses are usually full and they can’t get on them anyway. Some people who say they will be forced to use taxis to get about.”
Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said: “From 27th October we will be making improvements to services in Darlington; this includes extending the 14B to Whinbush every 30 minutes during the day, doubling the frequency compared to the existing service 6.
"This improvement has been made at the request of local residents and local councillors and could only be achieved effectively and sustainably by extending service 14B.
"Residents of Henry Street and Katherine Street will still be able to access Arriva services close by on North Road which operate at least every seven to eight minutes.”
Resident Amy Atkinson, who uses the number 14 service, said: “Many members of the flats in Henry Street use this service as they don't have a great amount of mobility, they find it easy to walk out of their doors and on to the bus which is always on time.
“They can get on the bus and know they will be able to have a seat.”
Comments are closed on this article.