A BUS operator is calling on people to use a reinstated evening service or risk losing it forever after a disappointing trial run.
In mid-June bosses at Stagecoach North East, who had been working closely with Hartlepool Borough Council and the Tees Valley Bus Network Partnership, brought back the Number 6 evening service for a trail period.
The temporary service, which links Hartlepool town centre and the Clavering area, is operating from 6pm until 9.45pm every 20 minutes, on Sundays to Thursdays, including Bank Holidays.
But now the service is again at risk due to underuse during the ongoing trial.
Phil Medlicott, managing director of Stagecoach North East, said: “Take up of the service has been quite slow and we are currently only carrying 50 per cent of the passenger numbers needed, which means Service 6 is now under threat unless there is a significant change.
“The service provides a safe and efficient travel option and as we are only six weeks through the trial, we would urge those who originally wanted the services to use them, or risk losing them for good.
“We are very keen to see passenger numbers on the reinstated service increase so we can continue running them and serve the community.”
Labour councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee who has campaigned hard for the services to be re-introduced along with his fellow councillors Rob Cook and Marjorie James has called on people to use it.
Coun Jackson said: “As a council we have worked hard with Stagecoach to introduce the evening Service 6 between the town centre and Clavering and we do hope that the take-up increases to make it viable.”
Since Sunday, June 15, Service 6 operates an evening service from 6pm until 9.45pm every 20 minutes between Hartlepool Town Centre and Clavering from Sundays to Thursdays and on Bank Holidays.
The existing Friday and Saturday timetable has continued to operate across the town. The Sunday to Thursday evening trips departs from Victoria Road, and do not serve the Central Library bus stops on York Road. Friday and Saturday evening buses continue unchanged.
A decision to permanently reinstate the services will be based on the findings of passenger numbers.