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Blow for Darlington bus route campaigners
CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the return of a Darlington bus route have suffered a blow after an operator confirmed it could not guarantee the service would ever run again.
Passengers in the Glebe Road area of Harrowgate Hill have been left feeling like “prisoners in their own homes” after the termination of the 6a and 6b bus service.
The route, run by Arriva, takes in Whinfield, Harrowgate Hill and Springfield.
However, a shorter detour, which was previously covered by public subsidies, also went around Glebe Road, Laburnum Road and Mayfair Road, between Salters Lane West and North Road, was stopped after public subsidies were cut.
Councillor Gill Cartwright, who has twice petitioned for the return of the Glebe Road service, organised a public meeting earlier this year for residents to address Arriva officials.
Coun Cartwright, ward member for Harrowgate Hill, said she was upset by the decision, made by Arriva’s scrutiny committee.
She said: “It is very disappointing because it seemed Arriva had taken on board what we were saying.
“There are quite a lot of elderly and disabled people who live on that bus route and it was a vital service for them.
“They now feel trapped and prisoners in their on homes because without a bus, they cannot get out and attend doctor’s or hospital appointments, or even get to the shops.
“A skeleton service could still run buses every hour or two hours and allow people to get around and carry out their daily living, and that would be greatly appreciated by many people.”
Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said the company had listened to passenger’s demands but could not guarantee a change for the 6a and 6b buses.
He said “We will be reviewing the comments regarding the 6a and 6b service in early 2013.
“However, unless the current situation changes we are unable to promise that this service will be reinstated in the Glebe Road area.
“Nevertheless, following points raised at the scrutiny committee, we are very pleased to offer customers a low floor service on the X66 Darlington to Middlesbrough bus and the requested loop on service 6 to Whinfield.”