Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, has delivered another blistering charge that bus giant Arriva ‘is ignoring East Cleveland’ after the timetables detailing massive changes to the local network became public.
“I met with senior managers of Arriva North East just a fortnight ago and told them of my fears based on the broad proposals for change that they outlined to me. As the saying goes, the devil is in the detail and now we have seen the timetables it is clear that there are a lot of little horned creatures out there, and who will make daily travelling more difficult for local people who have to rely on Arriva as a local monopoly bus operator.
“The timetables show, for example, that passenger’s from Guisborough and Skelton who wish to get to Whitby will not, as was originally promised, get a quick change from the 5 bus – which now will only go as far as Easington – on to a connecting 4 bus. Instead they face of wait of about a quarter of an hour. Guisborough passengers can, in theory, get the X93 bus which travels via the A171 Moor Road, but as everybody knows, in the summer period, this is normally full by the times it gets to Guisborough.
“Commuting to work from parts of East Cleveland will be harder. For Skelton, Lingdale and Boosbeck passengers, there will be no fast bus on the X3 route through to Middlesbrough until well after the rush hour has gone at past 9.00 a.m. All the buses before will be terminating at Redcar and that gives problems for commuters from Marske too. There will still be difficulties too, for passengers from the Hunters Hill area of Guisborough who – although Arriva have not yet got round to displaying the timetable on their website – will find that they will only have two buses in the morning to get them to work.
“Guisborough will be hard hit with the effective loss of the 28 service from Hunters Hill, problems in getting to and from Whitby and a loss of buses from the Hutton Lane area, people will be justifiably angry. I did ask Arriva to hold a public meeting in Guisborough so they could both justify their position and also listen to local objections and they said that they would consider this. Now we have seen the detail of the service cuts, such a meeting is needed more than ever.”