A BUS service aimed at providing a “lifeline” to stranded villagers is changing its route to include another pick-up thanks to funding from ward councillors.
The number 65 service was launched after the villages of Elwick and Dalton Piercy, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, were hardest hit after bus companies axed daytime and evening services as a result of Hartlepool Borough Council removing its £287,000 supported bus services funding in 2011.
It currently runs three times a day on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays between the villages of Elwick and Dalton Piercy and Hartlepool town centre but operator Paul’s Travel is changing the route from Thursday, July 3 to include Egerton Road. It is also set to operate on a Saturday.
Conservative councillors Ray Martin-Wells, Brenda Loynes and George Morris have each donated £1,000 from their Rural West ward budgets to Elwick Parish Council, which is helping fund the service.
The service used to stop at Egerton Road until it was stopped but thanks to the new funding pick-ups will start again.
Sue Little, who runs Paul’s Travel with husband Paul, said: “We are very grateful to the ward councillors and we hope more people use the service.”
Coun Martin-Wells said: “I would encourage residents to use this facility to the maximum. As long as the major bus companies continue to neglect our residents we will continue wherever possible to fund this service.” Elwick and Dalton Piercy Parish Councils and Hartfields help to subsidise the bus service.
The bus service currently starts at 9.15am from Elwick, before driving to Dalton Piercy and then along a route including Merlin Way, Hartfields, Ryehill Gardens, Victoria Road, Maritime Avenue, Mainsforth Terrace and Stockton Street.
Buses also leave Elwick at 11.15am and 1.15pm and the last bus to leave town is at 2.30pm. Concessions can use their free passes. Call Paul’s Travel on (01429) 236360.