Arriva have just announced that they are to cancel their bus services to Lancaster Park with effect from 22nd January 2017. They have concluded that they cannot sustain a consistently reliable service on the 33 and X16 routes, particularly with the unpredictable nature of congestion in Newcastle. They have therefore stated that they will “redeploy the time normally taken to operate the Service 33 to ensure improved reliability on Service X16 to Kirkhill and Newcastle.”
This decision is significant as it paints a clear picture of just how difficult it is for residents (both current and future) to be able to depend on reliable bus services at a time when:-
· Local and national policies insist that we should be reducing dependence on cars; and
· The Mitford Estates application for land West of Lancaster Park claimed to be able to have buses calling into their development and to improve services to Lancaster Park.
Did Mitford Estates and their consultants actually talk to Arriva?
If a service is to be provided to the new development, would that actually mean that the X16 service to Kirkhill and Newcastle be reduced?
There is no joined up thinking here.
What we need is a round town bus service that connects residential areas to the bus station, train station and facilities such as the Health Centre.