Planned changes to service 168

15 February 2023

What are we consulting about?

We are seeking customer feedback on our proposal to withdraw the 0705, 0727, 0805, 0827, 1705, 1727, 1805 and 1827 trips on service 168.

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 several 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 May 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.  Cancelling 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 168 currently operates hourly (0705-1842) Monday – Saturday daytime.

We are proposing to cancel the Monday – Saturday 0705, 0805, 1705 and 1805 trip from East Rainton to Easington Lane. During September 2022 an average of 2 customers travelled on these trips.

We are proposing to cancel the Monday – Saturday 0727, 0827, 1727 and 1827 trip from Easington Lane to East Rainton. During September 2022 an average of 1 customer travelled on these trips.

How would customers be affected by our proposed changes?

The first bus on a Monday to Saturday from East Rainton (towards Easington Lane) would depart at 0905, with the last 168 bus on a Monday to Saturday from East Rainton (towards Easington Lane) departing at 1605.

The first bus on a Monday to Saturday from Easington Lane (towards East Rainton) would depart at 0927, with the last 168 bus on a Monday to Saturday from Easington Lane (towards East Rainton) departing at 1627.

Customers wishing to travel outside of the new 168 operating hours would be required to use alternative bus services (Go North East 20/20A/35/35A/X1) that may additionally require an interchange.  Some customers may be required to walk further distances to access these alternative services.

Your views?

This consultation was open from Wednesday 15 February – Wednesday 8 March 2023. All feedback received on or before Wednesday 8 March 2023 was taken into consideration.

During this consultation we received 1 response from a customer. This was opposed to withdrawal of service for Hetton Park Estate before 1900. We have reviewed the number of customers using this service, and it is not at a level that would justify the continued operation.

We have therefore decided to progress with our planned changes. 

Trips at 0705, 0805, 1705 and 1805 will be cancelled on service 168. The last day of their operation will be Saturday 13 May 2023.

We appreciate that where services are withdrawn or change a small number of people may have difficulty accessing alternative transport – if you are concerned you will not be able to make a journey contact us at [email protected] or on 0191 2020 747 so we may offer advice and support.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to provide us with their views.

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