Thanks to the team from Arriva North East for coming down to the St Catherine's Community and speaking to my North West Durham constituents. But especially thank you also to everyone who attended and took part. You could tell how important an issue this is to people from how packed the room was.
After Burnopfield and Consett, this was Richard's third public meeting with operators.
There were some great points raised which were:
- General reliability of the service, especially the school time running of the X46
- Failure of the buses to always start where they say they’re going to start and consistency
- Integration of the X46 & X1 to ensure that people don’t miss the Tow Law connection + lack of weekend & bank holiday services to Tow Law
- Not always having double-deckers on the main route - which means they’re overflowing by the time they hit Willington at peak times
What was most refreshing was that Arriva confirmed that the main route remains fully commercially viable and that most of the driver shortage and timetable reliability issues are being worked on and that they have made good progress.
In addition to further specific complaints, general points around the need to see reliability improvements in the app, as well as a more logically integrated bus timetable. Tangible differences can be made to make the service one that can be relied upon.
Commenting, Richard Holden MP said:
"I hope that Arriva take this on board, go away and come back with the improved service we need and deserve. To their credit, it seemed that they want to improve the service and help drive up ridership.
"I’m looking forward to hearing back in full from them soon and will post an update to all who were able to come and online too."