Saved village bus service moving on

Councillor Paul Stradling (right) with Keith Pygall in Sunderland Road Horden . Picture by FRANK REID
Councillor Paul Stradling (right) with Keith Pygall in Sunderland Road Horden . Picture by FRANK REID

A coach operator which restored a lifeline bus service through Horden has made improvements and is launching another route.

Peterlee-based Pygall’s Coaches stepped in last year to replace the Arriva 23 Hartlepool to Sunderland service, re-routing it though Sunderland Road after council chiefs pulled Horden from the route it took.

A year on, the 230 service is continuing to operate, with a further two-year contract thanks to contributions from the village’s county council representatives, Labour councillors Paul Stradling and June Clark.

But rather than competing with buses between Seaham and Sunderland, starting on December 12, the 230 terminates at Seaham, adding Dalton Park and new council offices at Seaham’s Spectrum Business Park to the route.

But coach company boss Keith Pygall has issued a “use it or lose it” message for the 230.

He says although it has an average of 100 daily passengers, only three to 10 are full fare-paying and the rest are concessionary users of the service.

The bus runs through Horden to Seaham five times a day.

People can catch the bus at 7.30am, 10.09am, 12.09pm, 2.09pm and 5.09pm.

Pygall’s is also launching a new X27 Saturday service.

It will operate between Thornley, Wheatley Hill, Shotton, Peterlee, Horden and Easington, via The Galleries, in Washington, to Gateshead’s Metrocentre.

It started on December 14, just in time for Christmas, setting off at 9.30am and arriving at the Metrocentre at 11am for people to shop.