Green Party campaigner calls for better bus shelter in South Shields town centre

A campaigner is calling for better seating and shelter at a temporary town centre bus stop.

David Francis is campaigning for a better bus shelter for those using the number 12 service
David Francis is campaigning for a better bus shelter for those using the number 12 service

David Francis says passengers are being left exposed to the elements as they await for the number 12 service at the stop in Chapter Row, South Shields.

Meanwhile, further up the road, shelters have become surplus to requirements with buses no longer stopping at them.

He is calling for the service to be relocated to the unused shelters to enable people to have some protection from the winter weather, or re-route services to nearby Coronation Street.

The call comes following pervious meetings with residents living in the Town Centre and Lawe Top area over the bus services.

A number had raised concerns about reliability and inadequate shelters with several hundred people signing a petition calling for improvements, which were passed on to Nexus and Go North East.

Since then, services have improved and Mr Francis says he has been tole by Nexus they will be replacing the seating at the bus stop in Mile End Road, near St Stephen’s church.

However, the issue with the temporary bus shelter still remains.

Mr Francis, who is a Green Party campaigner said: “These services are a lifeline for many local people, especially older residents who rely on them both for their shopping, and in order to combat isolation.

“With the worst of the winter weather approaching many people are very worried about waiting for buses, with no shelter or seating. I’m calling for action, to meet the needs of local people.”

A spokesman for Nexus said: “Buses will no longer use this stop when the new £21 million South Shields Transport Interchange opens.

“As this is the only route that uses the stop near the Jobcentre on Chapter Row we wouldn’t put in a shelter for just a few months, and we have no funding at the moment for new shelters, except where they are part of wider developments.

“We hope people using this stop to catch buses to the Lawe Top will bear with us until the new interchange opens this summer.”

The £21m interchange is part of the second phase of the £100million 365 town centre regeneration masterplan. It aims to bring together a modern bus station and relocated Metro station.

The interchange is scheduled for completion in the summer. Demolition of the existing Metro station will be completed following the construction of the interchange.