Bus services facing cuts in South Shields as Stagecoach reports drop in passenger numbers
Evening bus services are set to be cut in two areas of South Shields as transport bosses face falling customer numbers.
From Sunday, March 24, Stagecoach will make a raft of changes to services across South Tyneside.
Under the plans, service X20 will no longer serve Westoe in the evenings, and Service 30 will not serve Chichester in the evenings.
Operations manager, Janine Fowley, revealed the changes at the West Shields, Cleadon and East Boldon Community Area Forum.
Councillors heard the changes would see two services cut from each route after 7pm.
She told the meeting: “We’re going to be reducing our services from evenings, especially the 30 and X20.
“We’re projected to lose £35,000 on those services over the financial year and can’t sustain that sort of loss.”
A statement on the bus operators website states: “Due to low customer numbers, the evening timetables are revised, with journeys on both services running every two hours.”
Evening customers will be offered an “alternative hourly link to and from South Shields, via either Boldon or Fellgate - each every two hours, running clockwise or anticlockwise.”
Ms Fowley added: “Daytime services will be unaffected but in the evenings, where we need to get as many people on the buses as possible, that isn’t happening. We need to cut our cloth accordingly.”
The comments follow an announcement by Stagecoach last month to move more than 50 jobs from South Shields to Sunderland.
Councillors were told that the planned changes would not impact on service levels.
Head of commercial at Stagecoach North East, David Parker, added service changes from part of a wider review to provide new links and improve timekeeping.
He said: “We periodically review our services, to check that we’re best meeting the needs of the majority of customers, and we recently conducted a full review of how people are using our bus services across South Tyneside.
“As a result, we’ve made some changes, which provide some new links, change some routes and aim to improve timekeeping on a number of services.
“Whenever we make changes, we appreciate that some people would prefer things to stay as they were and so take great care to consider all the implications, including discussing the proposals at community forums.
“We will respond in detail to any customers and local councillors expressing particular concerns, to explain how we’ve reached these decisions.”
Full details of the timetable changes are at www.stagecoachbus.com
Other bus timetable changes
Other service changes from March 24 include:
Services 10, 11: Trips retimed to run a few minutes earlier or later.
Services 17, 18: To improve access to South Shields Asda, all journeys are revised to additionally serve Coronation Street.
Due to low customer numbers, the Monday to Friday early morning Service 17 trip via Templetown is withdrawn.
On Saturday mornings, the Service 17 at 6.57am from Whiteleas will run via normal route, along Stanhope Road.
Services E1, E2, E6: Evening journeys will additionally stop on Vine Place in Sunderland.
The Service E1 Monday to Friday trips at 6.22am and 06.52am from Marsden will commence from New Crown at 6.13am and 6.43am.
Service X34: Timetable revised, especially during Saturday afternoon periods .
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service