Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Council and Arriva enroute to agreement

Redcar and Cleveland Council has held 'constructive' talks with bus operator Arriva North East to help secure improved services on a series of key routes across the Borough.

The Council's Main Overview and Scrutiny Committee will meet the company at a special meeting in Eston Town Hall on Thursday, July 6 to debate Arriva's new arrangements and the changes made since following detailed discussions between Council officers and the company's senior management.

Arriva has confirmed that, in response to customer comments, three service amendments have already been agreed - a commitment to run the 64A along the full length of Normanby Road, South Bank, a diversion via Skinningrove for the X56 journeys that end at Loftus and an additional school day only journey for the X56 to help students at Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough, to be introduced in September.

The Council's Cabinet Chairman Councillor Eric Empson said: "I am pleased to report that we have made meaningful progress in addressing our concerns with Arriva and these changes will certainly help.

"We are now looking forward to more open and constructive discussion with the company at our scrutiny session which, I am sure, will benefit everyone involved to have a clearer picture of the situation."

Arriva's commercial director Liz Esnouf, who will address the meeting, said: "We received a number of suggestions from customers and we're pleased that we've been able to make some changes which take these into account. It's really important people take advantage of these amended services as we can only run our buses where people will use them."

She added: "We find the continued dialogue with Redcar and Cleveland Council very helpful in further refining our commercial services. Working together to create the most effective network will benefit all.

"I hope we will reach a better understanding at the scrutiny meeting of what Arriva is working to achieve with our recent changes and welcome the opportunity to outline the pressures faced by bus operators with increasing costs and meeting passenger needs, while delivering value for money bus services."

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