I am very pleased to confirm that, after a number of months of lobbying of GO NorthEast by myself, they have agreed to resolve an anomaly in the bus fares on the number 10 bus. For many years people getting onto the 10 bus in Prudhoe west of the Dr Syntax bus travelling to the Metro Centre, Blaydon or Newcastle have paid substantially more in bus fares than residents living in East Prudhoe.
It was a situation inherited by GO when they inherited the route from Arriva. This is because we are in a fare zone that stretches from the Dr Syntax to Corbridge! So if you live in Prudhoe you pay the same to get to Newcastle as people who live miles further away. If you get on the bus at The Halfway stop in Prudhoe, this means a return to Newcastle is £4 instead of £2.80 at the next stop.
GO North East told me yesterday that from 17th April fares from the Halfway and Old Eltringham School stops to Newcastle, Blaydon and the Metro Centre will be the same, potentially saving residents a lot of money.
I must pay tribute to GO. They have been a revelation since taking over the bus service, running the 10 much more frequently and using new Mercedes buses. They have improved the 11 service (which was the 604) for west residents by cutting out underused stops further east and they have brought back the Prudhoe town service on an unsubsidised basis, when Arriva was charging the county and unsustainable £4 per passenger.
As a result, their user numbers have gone through the use and I am told the 10 and the 11 are some of the fastest growing bus services in the country. It seems that public transport is like any other good, if you promote a quality product, more people will buy it. Good news.