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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Haltwhistle: Vital bus link returns to town

BUS passengers are celebrating after winning a two year campaign to ensure a popular route in South Tynedale accommodates elderly residents.

From left, Gose Guerrero, Mary Schollick, Jenny Pandrich and Muriel Guerrero are delighted that the 185 service will include Park Road in Haltwhistle.

Since 2010, the 185 service has not included Haltwhistle’s Park Road on its vital route between the town and Gilsland.

Now passengers have persuaded transport bosses to revert to the original timetable for the route, which is managed by Cumbria County Council, and operated by Newcastleton-based Telford’s Coaches Ltd.

Leading the campaign, Gilsland resident Jenny Pandrich, said: “Nobody understood why it was changed in the first place because we could see no benefit in missing out Park Road.

“There are quite a lot of older people living in that area, and we nagged and nagged for it to be changed back to the way it was.

“It is to the credit of Telford’s and Cumbria County Council that they have listened to us, and they have now changed it back to the way it was.

“They have said it is for a trial period but we are hopeful that it will be very much a success.”

The route has traditionally gone from Gilsland to Greenhead via Longbyre, and up Greenhead Bank on to the B6318 Military Road.

For the past two years, the bus has continued along the Military Road to the Roman Army Museum, before turning down Comb Hill on its way into Haltwhistle.

But now it goes from the museum to Park Road, before travelling through to Haltwhistle town centre.

The 185 service is popular with shoppers, and is an outlet for many people to access services in Haltwhistle.

Coun. Ian Hutchinson, the Haltwhistle representative on Northumberland County Council, which contributes funding towards the 185 service, said: “This bus service is a vital link for people to get around a rural area.

“For elderly people living in Park Road and the west end of Haltwhistle, it enables them to access the town centre and I am delighted that the route has been amended to accommodate the needs of those passengers.”

The 185 service starts its route in Carlisle, and stops at Crosby on Eden, Brampton and Low Row, on its way to Gilsland and Haltwhistle.