Nov 17 2012

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Stoke-on-Trent: Bentilee and Abbey Hulton bus routes could soon be day-time only

Three key bus services covering Bentilee and Abbey Hulton could be cut by First Bus to running just day-time services.

The number one, two and five services that operate through Bentilee and Abbey Hulton will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday.

The current proposals mean that the number one service from Hanley to Longton, which used to run until 11.45pm, would finish at 7.15pm from Monday to Saturday.

On Sunday the last service will run at 6.45pm

Service number two, which runs via Bentilee and Weston Park, would finish at 6.55pm from Monday to Saturday, and at 6.25pm on Sunday.

The plans for service five, which runs between Hanley and Abbey Hulton, have not yet been finalised but are expected be similar.

The Sentinel reports First Bus spokesman Ady Culpin, said:

“One of the changes is in relation to the Bentilee estate.

“The changes will affect every service as they would be withdrawn after 7pm.

“It is solely down to low patronage as there are very few people using them late at night.

“As we operate commercially, it is not viable to keep a service going that is not being used.” Linda Cave, of Priory Road, Abbey Hulton, is among regular bus users who were dismayed to hear about the potential cuts.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council have already held meetings with other bus companies to see if they could replace the First Bus services, should they be implemented.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and transportation said:

“We are talking to local bus companies to see if there is any interest in them taking on these services on a commercial basis.

“However, no offer to do so has been received by any operator.

“So, as things stand, these evening services will cease on the given date.

“There is no budget currently available for the city council to fund these services.”

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Mike Barnes

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