A range of improved bus links across South Tyneside is being introduced from Sunday (July 31) following consultation with passengers.
The improvements are being made as part of the South Tyneside Better Bus Network partnership, launched last year to bring together bus operators, South Tyneside Council and Nexus.
The route changes include improved links from Hebburn to Jarrow, South Tyneside Hospital and South Shields, the return of a direct bus link through the Tyne Tunnel to North Shields, and new and revised routes in and around the Boldons.
Both Nexus and commercial operator Go North East are making changes. Local councillors and passengers have been consulted and the changes co-ordinated to maintain important local links.
Director of Customer Services for Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “These network changes will improve bus services for passengers in South Tyneside. The aim was to make sure that people get where they need to be, at the right times for them.
“It has been done in response to the feedback received during a public consultation process. We would like to thank everyone who took the time and effort to provide their views on how bus services could be improved.”
Councillor Tom Hanson, Vice Chairman of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, said: “Public transport has a major part to play in the Borough’s prosperity both now and in the future and we need to make sure that services are the best that they can be.
“Our residents rely on buses to take advantage of job opportunities across the Borough and beyond and a reliable service also improves quality of life by providing access to schools, shops and all kinds of leisure facilities.
“We want local people to have confidence in public transport so that they can travel safely and conveniently and it is pleasing to see that these improvements to the bus network have been drawn up in consultation with local people.”
New route details in full:
New and extended routes 88/88A (Go North East). These two routes together will offer a bus every 15 minutes from Luke’s Lane estate and Hebburn town centre to Jarrow, South Tyneside Hospital and South Shields. The services will take different routes through Hebburn, to give the best possible local links every 30 minutes. The 88 will go via Monkton lane and Hartleyburn, while the 88A will go via Argyle Street and Campbell Park Road, replacing the current 16 and 530 services.
Extended route 9 (Go North East) from Jarrow through the Tyne Tunnel to North Shields, reinstating the direct connections from South Tyneside and Sunderland to North Tyneside every 30 minutes, all day, 7 days a week.
A new fast express X3 (Go North East) to link East Boldon and Boldon Asda to Newcastle and Sunderland. Go North East are making changes to routes 9 and 26 in and around Boldon as a result.
New route 559 provided by Nexus to link Heworth, Fellgate, Hedworth and Boldon Colliery (maintaining links between Fellgate and Hedworth in place of the 26).
New route 516 (provided by Nexus) replacing the 16 and TB 502 between South Shields and South Tyneside District Hospital.
Changes to TB503 route (provided by Nexus) to allow for the withdrawal of the TB502.
Minor Changes to 515 route and timetable (provided by Nexus) based on customer feedback, to better reflect people’s travel patterns.