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Sunday, 27 January 2013
Councillor Scott Dickinson at the bus stop next to the shops in Hadston.
Northumberland Gazette Published on Sunday 27 January 2013 06:00
The axing of a vital bus service will leave communities isolated and vulnerable residents cut off, angry councillors have said.
The criticism follows news that the 20/X20 will no longer serve Hadston Square and Amble Links Estate, which Arriva says is due to ‘low usage’.
It comes as part of planned changes for the company’s bus network in north Northumberland, and the alterations are due to come into effect next month.
But it has been slammed by Coun Scott Dickinson and Coun Robert Arckless, who believe it will have a severe impact.
Coun Scott Dickinson, who is the chairman of East Chevington Parish Council, said: “I am saddened, disappointed and dismayed at the final decision to remove the number 20 service coming into Hadston, which connects residents to Ashington, Amble, Widdrington and areas along the route.
“The decision has been made without consultation and will now cut off residents, such as the elderly, who can’t walk the distance to the only collection stop in our area.
“Our area for some of the most vulnerable, elderly and disabled users has now been cut off preventing them for getting around, impacting on work and social activities.
“There has been a systematic decimation of services that will have a detrimental impact on the community.
“I have never been contacted so much by residents and they feel they have yet again been unfairly treated.”
He claimed that neither Arriva nor Northumberland County Council had consulted on the issue – which he described as ‘deeply concerning’ – and called for a rethink of the changes.
Coun Robert Arckless, ward member for Amble, said he had been in touch with both the county council and Arrvia about the cut.
He added: “I am absolutely furious about what Arriva is doing.
“They are cutting adrift a sizeable number of their own perspective passengers, leaving the Links Estate totally isolated.
“I don’t think Arriva has the first idea what a huge difference it will make to the quality of life of some of the most vulnerable people who are going to be cut adrift.
“It is appalling. It is a well-used service and people at the Links Estate badly depend on it. I am really worried about this.”