Essential bus routes which connect Gateshead villages have been saved as part of a review of the network in the wake of service cuts made by commercial operators.
The public transport body, Nexus, has worked closely with local MPs and councillors to reinstate three bus routes serving communities in north Durham and the south of Gateshead following a period of public consultation.
Durham County Council and Nexus have worked together to maintain the 29 service operating between Newcastle, Gateshead, Kibblesworth, Ouston and Chester-le-Street.
The 28 and the 28B are also maintained. The 28 provides bus services Monday to Saturday day time between Gateshead, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birtley , Ouston, and Chester -le Street. The 28B runs in the evenings between Newcastle, Gateshead, Kibblesworth, Birtley, Ouston and Chester-le-Street but on Sundays runs Newcastle to Kibblesworth only.
Nexus has retained the funding for the TB14 taxi bus service which maintains a vital link between Kibblesworth and Birtley.
Without some these interventions the village of Kibblesworth would have been left with no bus links at all.
Blaydon MP, Liz Twist, said: “In places like Kibblesworth, a lot of residents were concerned that they would be isolated and lose all forums of public transport through the village. Nexus we able to stop this from happening through their rescue package.
“I want to thank Nexus for their commitment to transport across the area and keeping our communities connected.”
Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “We have taken further steps to make sure that villages like Kibblesworth and Birtley have a good local bus service, as well as links into Gateshead, Newcastle and Durham.
“We have worked with Durham County Council to save these essential after cuts that were made by commercial operators.
“This was of particular importance in Kibblesworth, which would have been left without any bus services if we hadn’t of come up with a rescue package.
“Nexus can afford to support these new improvements to bus services thanks to funding from local councils in Tyne and Wear and the last of the additional support the Government provided during the pandemic."
Nexus announced a £4.5m rescue package to recast the network in Newcastle and North Tyneside as Stagecoach and Go North East made cuts in March.
It followed this with a further £4.3m rescue package and network review in Sunderland, South Tyneside and Gateshead announced earlier this month.
The further improvements announced today add to both packages, and are based on feedback from resident and local councillors.