The local bus network in Tyne and Wear is made up of services operated and funded by private bus companies (about 90%) and also services operated by private bus companies but which are funded by Nexus (about 10%). The services which are funded by Nexus are typically those operating when levels of demand are too low to justify commercial operation by the private companies, for example, early morning, late evening, Sunday daytime journeys or in some cases we fund extensions and/or diversions to existing commercial services. Where possible, the routes funded by Nexus are designed to mirror the routes which are operated commercially by the private bus companies – as this makes the network easier for customers to understand.
We have recently been advised by Stagecoach that they plan to make some changes to their network in Newcastle. This review includes planned changes to the Monday – Saturday daytime services 18 and 32/32A (both services where Nexus currently fund all evening & Sunday journeys). In response to the Stagecoach proposals, we plan to maintain the existing evening & Sunday timetable/route for service 18/18A. However, in respect of services 32/32A we plan to make some changes to the evening & Sunday journeys and we would like to know your views on our plans.
The current daytime services 32/32A operate a circular route through within and around Newcastle City Centre. Services 32/32A serve City Centre – RVI – Spital Tongues – Newcastle College – Elswick – Benwell – Fenham – Cowgate – Blakelaw – Kenton – South Gosforth – Longbenton DSS – Four Lane Ends – Heaton – Byker – City Centre. Service 32 operates clockwise and service 32A operates anti-clockwise. The daytime journeys are currently operated by Stagecoach and operate half-hourly throughout the majority of the day with slightly lower frequencies during peak periods.
All evening & Sunday journeys on services 32/32A are currently funded by Nexus. Journeys at these times serve City Centre – RVI – Benwell – Cowgate – Blakelaw – Kenton – South Gosforth – Freeman Hospital – Four Lane Ends – Longbenton DSS – South Gosforth – Kenton – Blakelaw – Cowgate – Benwell – RVI – City Centre. Journeys from the City Centre towards the Freeman Hospital operate as service 32 and the return journey from Freeman Hospital via Four Lane Ends to the City Centre operates as service 32A. These journeys are provided hourly each evening and half-hourly Sunday daytime and are operated by Arriva on our behalf.
We have been advised by Stagecoach that they plan to amend the route and timetable for the Monday – Saturday daytime journeys on services 32/32A. Under their plans, the daytime route would follow the existing route between the City Centre – Blakelaw, operating on this section half hourly (as now). From Blakelaw, journeys would then continue hourly operating a clockwise loop serving Kenton Bar Estate – Kenton Shops – Montagu Estate as service 32, and operating an hourly anti-clockwise loop as service 32A. These changes form part of a wider Newcastle network review by Stagecoach – for further details, or for the opportunity to comment on their planned changes please visit the Stagecoach website.
In response to the proposed Stagecoach changes to the Monday – Saturday daytime 32/32A, we plan to amend the evening/Sunday timetable and route for services 32/32A. We propose to retain the existing route between the City Centre and Blakelaw with journeys continuing to operate hourly each evening and half-hourly on Sunday daytime over this section (no change). All evening journeys and alternate Sunday daytime journeys would then continue from Blakelaw to Kenton Shops direct via Kenton Lane and from there would operate an anti-clockwise loop of Kenton Bar Estate (serving Halewood Avenue, Kirkwood Drive, Hillsview Avenue, Quentin Avenue and Hazeldene Avenue) before continuing back towards the City Centre via Blakelaw. Passengers seeking to travel to/from South Gosforth, Freeman Hospital or Four Lane Ends would be able to use the revised Stagecoach services 6/7/8.
The Sunday daytime journeys which would terminate in Blakelaw would operate as far as the final bus stop on Etal Lane (at the entrance to Cheviot View Estate). These buses would then turn at the Ponteland Road roundabout before commencing a return journey back towards the City Centre via Cragston Avenue.
Please see the route diagram attached below which shows the proposed changes.
Our planned changes would align the evening & Sunday journeys more closely with the revised daytime Stagecoach service 32/32A. Montagu Estate would not be served by the evening & Sunday service 32/32A – as is the case now. The operator for all evening & Sunday journeys would be confirmed following a tender exercise. Any changes required following this consultation will be introduced with effect from Sunday 30 April 2017.
This consultation has now closed. The consultation was open from 8 - 24 February 2017. We received 9 e-mails and the consultation web-page was viewed 360 times. We would like to thank those who responded for taking the time to provide us with their feedback on our plans.
In light of the comments received, we have decided to introduce the changes (as set out within the consultation) with effect from Sunday 30 April 2017. From this date the Nexus funded evening/Sunday journeys on services 18/18A (which will continue to operate to the existing route/timetable) will be operated on our behalf by Central Taxis of Gateshead. The revised route/timetable for the Nexus funded evening/Sunday journeys on services 32/32A will be operated on our behalf by Go North East.
Please see below for the new evening/Sunday Nexus funded 32/32A timetable.