A MUCH-VALUED bus service is to be maintained, despite a council stopping its subsidy.

The Leven Valley Coaches Ltd bus that travels from Port Clarence to Wolviston and then Billingham was expected to stop running after Stockton Borough Council decided to stop its £300,000 annual bus subsidy.

However, following discussions between the council and the company, the firm has decided to maintain the service.

Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Coun Mike Smith said: “The massive financial challenge the council is continuing to face meant we had to make the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw the £300,000 subsidy we pay to bus operators to help sustain some rural, weekend and non-commercial routes.

“I’m delighted that Leven Valley Coaches Ltd has worked with us in such a positive way which has meant our communities continue to have access to bus services.

Leven Valley Coaches Ltd has also recently agreed to run a service to Stillington, serving both Bishopton Avenue and Carlton. The new service will provide access to North Tees Hospital and Summerville Farm.

In January Arriva also confirmed that it was going to include Hartburn in a re-route of its Number 6 bus service between Stillington and Stockton Town Centre.