BUS chiefs have confirmed they will reinstate 80 per cent of axed services after a successful trial period.
Stagecoach North East started a six-month trial on the number 1 and number 7 services through Hartlepool, warning passengers that they would have to “use them or lose them” for good.
The trial period was started after pressure from passengers upset when the services were taken off the timetable after 6pm, leaving many people stranded and unable to get transport into the centre of town from outlying areas including the Headland and Seaton Carew.
The resulting patronage numbers have ensured that 80 per cent of the services have been permanently reinstated.
Stagecoach managing director Phil Medlicott said: “We are delighted the Use it or Lose it campaign has been such a huge success and that 80 per cent of the reinstated services are now permanent in Hartlepool.
“However, to ensure the services remained on a permanent basis we needed them to fully utilise the extra journeys, which they certainly did in impressive numbers.
“We hope this marks the first stage in further improvements to routes across the town.”
Councillor Peter Jackson, chair of the council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “Bus services remain a high priority for the Council and we’ve worked closely with the Headland Parish Council, Stagecoach and the wider community to re-introduce these vital services.”
Councillor Jim Ainslie, chair of Headland Parish Council, added: “This is excellent news for the people of Hartlepool, particularly those living on the Headland.
“It’s really encouraging that the large majority of reinstated services are going to stay. Buses are a lifeline to many residents of our town, enabling them to travel around the town and beyond to meet family and friends.”