Readers with better memories than mine may recall me having a bit of a rant or two about changes to my local bus service. Well, some time has passed, and for reasons which will become clear to anyone who reads every word, it’s a good opportunity for an update.
The full gory details of the changed services are in the previous posts, so I won’t go back over those again. One thing I did find during the period when I was getting the bus home was that at a little after 6pm, the return journey via Grainger Street, Neville Street and the Redheugh Bridge was less subject to hideous delays that the route over the Tyne Bridge. Not so bad. But my main problem was when coming home from Tesco’s and having to walk a wee bit further than I really want to with heavy bags of shopping. Mutter.
But then, a change occurred! Another operator, Arriva, introduced two new services – the 153 and 154, which ran over the same route as the 53 and 54 did before they were fiddled with, but omitting the Newcastle stretch. Quite handy, as it meant that I could actually get a bus back from Gateshead. Of course, this was being run as a purely commercial venture, and stopped running at around 6pm, so it wasn’t any use to me in the evenings. And for no doubt sensible commercial reasons, Arriva were charging slightly more than Go North East for the equivalent journey (how to win over customers…).
That ran for a month or so. On my way to work on Monday, I noticed a sign taped to one of the bus stops which said that Arriva had given up and taken their buses home. At the time, I assumed that they hadn’t been making enough money from the services to justify continuing them.
But today, all became clear. On my way to Tesco’s, I spotted another sign taped to the bus stop. This one said that with effect from tomorrow, the 53 would once again run down Brinkburn Avenue. Apparently, running down Rectory Road had been “an experiment” which has led to delays because of obstructions at bus stops and bad parking. Funny, that.
So as from tomorrow, I have my bus service back. Good thing, too.
 Hi Sam!
 Cue Speedy Gonzales impression…
 The leaflets they published a few months ago didn’t say that…