MP backs residents’ bus plea

Iain Wright
Iain Wright

RESIDENTS had the backing of Hartlepool MP Iain Wright as they put forward plans to extend a town bus service.

Around 40 residents from the Ryehill Gardens area of Hartlepool attended a meeting in a bid to extend the route of Stagecoach’s Number 3 service.

They want the service to turn into Ryehill Gardens, off Hart Lane, and do a short loop on to Elmwood Road and Broomhill Gardens.

Mr Wright told the Mail a number of pensioners in the area find it difficult to access the service as it is now.

He said even if the service takes in the Ryehill Gardens loop just once a day, then it is a step in the right direction.

Sandy Gallagher, Stagecoach North East operations manager at the Hartlepool depot, attended the meeting, which was organised by Labour councillor Allan Barclay and was held at Ryehill Gardens.

Stagecoach bosses said they are unable to extend the service during peak times, but are looking into the possibility of extension during off-peak periods.

Mr Wright said: “There was a big strength of feeling at the meeting.

“Between 30 and 40 residents were there to demonstrate how they feel the need for a bus service.

“Even if it is just once a day it is a huge help to the residents if they are wanting to go into the town centre.

“If there was, say, a two-hour window before it picked them back up, it gives them a chance to get their groceries, do their shopping and go to the bank.

“It would prove to be a huge help.

“What we are trying to do is give everyone in Hartlepool as good a bus service as possible.”

John Conroy, managing director of Stagecoach North East, said: “Unfortunately due to limited time availability in the schedule we are unable to extend the Number 3 bus service during peak times.

“We are currently in the process of evaluating the logistics of possibly extending the service during off-peak times and will provide an update in due course.”