What are we consulting about?
We are seeking customer feedback on our proposal to revise the route and timetable of service 568.
Why are we considering changes to services?
In July 2022 Nexus carried out a widespread review of local bus services in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland at a time when commercial companies were making cuts to their own routes. As part of this rescue package, we introduced or kept on a number of routes, including this one, with marginal customer numbers. This allowed us to continue to review the route to see if passenger numbers would grow over time. Contracts for bus services that we currently fund in Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland are due to end in July 2023 and we have now looked in detail at how the current contracts are performing. This review has highlighted some services which we consider are no longer offering good value for money due mainly to a long-term change in travel patterns following the pandemic. Revising these poorly performing services would allow the limited amount of funding that we have available to be spent on maintaining or improving services in areas that are less able to access alternative bus services.
What changes are we proposing?
Service 568 currently operates hourly Monday – Friday daytime (0713-1741) and Saturday daytime (0814-1732).
We are proposing to revise the route of this service to additionally serve The Lakes Estate in Heworth and extend to serve Marian Drive in Bill Quay, this would effectively replace the proposed withdrawn service 515 in these areas. Other sections of the route currently served by service 568 would be unchanged.
Timetable changes would be required, and we propose to cancel the 0713 and 1723 trips due to low customer usage. During September/October 2022 an average of less than 1 customer travelled on each of these Monday – Friday trips. The overall frequency of the service would remain unchanged operating hourly on a Monday – Saturday daytime.
How would customers be affected by our proposed changes?
Existing customers travelling on sections of the current route would incur some timing changes between 5 and 10 minutes.
The first bus on a Monday – Friday from Heworth towards Bill Quay would depart at 0812, then at 07 minutes past the hour until the last trip at 1607.
The first bus on a Monday – Friday from Bill Quay Marian Drive towards Heworth would depart at 0825, then at 20 minutes past the hour until the last trip at 1620.
The first bus on a Saturday from Heworth towards Bill Quay would depart at 0907, then at 07 minutes past the hour until the last trip at 1607.
The first bus on a Saturday from Bill Quay Marian Drive towards Heworth would depart at 0920, then at 20 minutes past the hour until the last trip at 1620.
This consultation was open from Friday 05 May – Friday 19 May 2023. All feedback received on or before Friday 19 May was taken into consideration.
Following a further review, we have decided to progress with our planned changes, with some additional minor changes to maintain service provision in Monkton Business Park at peak times.
The first bus on a Monday – Friday from Heworth would depart at 0813, this trip will operate via Gosforth Terrace and then direct via A185, Mill Lane to serve Monkton Business Park before returning as reverse of route to Heworth via Gosforth Terrace.
The last bus on a Monday – Friday from Heworth would depart at 1618, this trip will operate via Lakes Estate, Gosforth Terrace and then direct via A185, Mill Lane to serve Monkton Business Park before returning to Heworth via A185, Gosforth Terrace.
The new timetable will be effective from Sunday 23rd July 2023.
We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide us with their views.
In addition to this consultation, Nexus are also keen to hear your views concerning local bus services more generally. Write to us, and let us know where you’d like to get to on local buses…
I’d like to a bus to, Commercial Team, Nexus House, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4AX
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