A councillor says residents have been left confused after claiming a bus operator performed a U-turn by going back on a promise to reinstate a route.
Durham county councillor for Passfield, in Peterlee, Joan Maslin, said elderly residents were overjoyed after she relayed news from the local authority that the number 22 Durham–Hartlepool bus was to be re-routed to include Southway after Southway was cut from the route in March.
The Durham Independent Group councillor said this would have been good news for people living in Helford Road and Southway as pensioners were having to walk all the way to Our Lady of the Rosary Church to catch the bus.
But after Coun Maslin was told by the council that the bus was to revert to its original route, Arriva North East said this was not the case.
Arriva’s area managing director Nick Knox said the original change had to be made to provide a reliable and sustainable service for passengers on the number 24 route and confirmed the operator was unable to serve Helford Road and Southway.
He said “timings of the current route are crucial to us providing a reliable service” though route options will be reviewed. But Coun Maslin said: “Pensioners living in Helford Road and Southway will be absolutely devastated.”
The county council’s sustainable transport manager Andy Leadbeater said the authority was told of the return to Southway from the end of July. But Arriva then said it wishes to consider the issue further.
Those unable to walk to current bus stops can book the council’s Link2 dial-a-ride bus on (0191) 3835383.