Friday, July 25, 2008

Statement from Alan Milburn MP on Arriva's Recent Changes

Arriva's recent changes to bus routes in the Borough have caused widespread concern in the north end of town.

The breaking of link between Whinfield and Harrowgate Hill/North Road during the evening and Sundays has been particularly keenly felt.

(This is despite the Tories' desperate tactics to try and pin the blame on the Council. Of course, this was a commercial decision by Arriva over which the Council had no say at all).

Labour's Mark Burton in Harrowgate Hill has raised a huge petition against the changes, and we've been pressing Arriva too.

We've also all been in contact with our local MP Alan Milburn, who's had an urgent meeting with the bus bosses. He's issued the following statement today:

"In the last few weeks I have been inundated with complaints about changes to bus services made by Arriva in Darlington. These concerns have come from people in many parts of the town, especially in the Whinfield, North Road and Harrowgate Hill areas. Many of the people who are most affected by the changes are elderly and disabled people who rely on bus services the most.

I asked Arriva to meet with me so that I could put my constituents concerns on the table. The meeting which took place yesterday was useful and I hope productive. Arriva acknowledged that the changes they made have revealed real concerns among the travelling public. They assured me that they were listening carefully to those concerns. I asked them to look again at how the new services are operating and they have agreed to do so. Specifically, in response to many concerns about bus services in the North end of Darlington, they agreed to look at what could be done about Sunday and evening services.

Arriva have promised to come back to me as soon as possible with proposals. When they have done so I will come back to you. In the meantime I will continue to raise concerns with the company. I am very grateful to all the people, including local councillors, who have raised their concerns matter with me so far. Public pressure is important in persuading Arriva to get the right bus services for the local community."

This campaign will run and run, and we will be keeping local residents updated re progress.


Anonymous said...

Nick you say..."Arriva's recent changes to bus routes in the Borough have caused widespread concern in the north end of town."

Why hasn't the Hurworth bus got a "quirky" nick name like all the other new routes?

What about The Hurworth Hunter because you never know where to get it at!

Darlington Councillor said...

Suggest it to Arriva, anonymous!

Anonymous said...

You will not know if you do not use the buses Councillor Wallis so I will educate you on the facts that the 6A and 6B buses [those that replaced the 23,24 and 26 services] run ahead of schedule on the anti clockwise 6B service arriving in town up to ten minutes ahead of the timetabel. It then waits outside Boots until it dare pull into prebend Row. It goes without saying that passengers do not want to sit there - they want to be getting on their way - wherever they are heading - work, shopping, appointments etc. No passengers are picked up outside Boots - you will make a note please that the 6's are the only buses that also have only ONE stop to get on from town this is not equality for the people using these buses. Town hall officers have been arware of this since the buses altered due to the pedestrian heart - other routes have since been given two bus stops to get on.We now need Cabinet members to wake up to the realities that the residents have endured fro some time. Arriva blame costs and council - councillors blame arrive - we suffer on a daily round of walking and getting cold and wet toing and froing.

Anonymous said...

When is Mr Milburn bringing the Arriva people to a meeting with the community?

He did say that he was going to arrange it when he was at harrogate hill club