D&G bus ‘abandons residents’ after Saturday service cut
Residents say they feel ‘abandoned’ after cuts to a Newcastle service left them without a weekend bus. D&G routes 94 and 94B between Bradwell and Newcastle – which had previously ceased on a Sunday – will no longer operate on a Saturday at all.
Passengers will now have to walk to Porthill or the A34 to catch the nearest Newcastle bus, with elderly residents saying it could take them up to half an hour. One accused D&G of “letting residents down” as schedule changes went into effect this week.
Residents of Bradwell have the support of Borough Councilor Andrew Fox-Hewitt, who says he is ‘beyond disappointed’ and ‘very angry’ about the cuts. He says he is calling for a meeting with D&G bosses and will raise the matter at the next Newcastle Borough Council meeting.
READ: D&G apologizes as Saturday services axed in schedule shakeup
The number 94 Newcastle-Congleton service passed through Bradwell, Tunstall, Chell and Biddulph on Saturdays. The 94B service covered Newcastle, Wolstanton and Bradwell.
Residents waiting at the bus stop near Hanbridge Avenue shops this week told StokeOnTrentLive they were ‘drained’ from the cuts – with one saying he planned to speak to the MP for Newcastle Aaron Bell.
Stoke City fan Michael said he was counting on the Saturday service to take him to Newcastle where he could catch another bus to the bet365 stadium. The 65-year-old said: “I haven’t seen any notices on buses about it and I don’t use the internet. I only knew about it because a guy mentioned it to me in passing. I I have the impression that it was done in peace.
“The thing is, they stopped Sunday service, now it’s Saturday, and then they’ll stop completely. We’re stuck here. I feel like they just abandon Bradwell.
“I use it a lot on Saturdays to see Stoke. Now I’ll have to walk to Porthill to catch the bus and if the weather is bad I’ll get soaked through.
“I plan to talk to Aaron Bell about it. The government wants us to use public transport more, but it’s made it difficult for us. The bus company will say people don’t use it, but it’s very popular , especially in the early morning.The elderly are particularly dependent on this service.
Josie, another Bradwell resident, said she would be “just stuck” after the cuts. The 78-year-old said: “I’m disabled and I’ll just be stuck. It’ll stop me from doing what I want to do.
“I am really disgusted, really disappointed. It was only an hourly service but it made a difference. Now I will have to stop or walk to Porthill which would take me around half an hour and I would find it very difficult – and then it would be the same on the way back.”
A 61-year-old woman, who said she used the bus to get to her Saturday shifts from her home in Bradwell. She said: “They must think the people of Bradwell don’t need the bus on a Saturday, but I’m not happy about that at all.
“Normally, there are at least two of us waiting for the first bus on Saturday. I will have to leave home at least 20 minutes earlier to get to work.
A 77-year-old woman, also from Bradwell, had not heard of the cuts and was shocked by the news. She said: “I think it’s not right to take the buses off us on a Saturday. I walk on a crutch and it’s not easy to get to Porthill when you’re not walking very well.
“Years ago we could get direct buses to Hanley and Blurton from Bradwell and you could go anywhere. It’s not nice not being able to go anywhere you want.”
Andrew Fox-Hewitt, who has been a Labor councilor in Bradwell since 2017, said locals had contacted him and his fellow councilors about the cuts. He said: “I’m beyond disappointed about this – I’m very angry. It will have a devastating effect on the community.
“What is really concerning is that this bus service responds to social isolation, especially among the elderly. We are in a cost of living crisis and cutting public transport makes no sense .
“About three years ago (co-counsellor) Annabel Lawley and I met with D&G when the 94 service was threatened and managed to secure it. I will speak to them urgently to find out what equality impact assessments have been made, and I will raise this issue at the next board meeting.
“I just don’t buy the argument that it’s a drop in demand and I want to see that service restored and expanded.”
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