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Bus service must be no footnote; VOICE OF THE NORTH.

IT was good to read your article regarding the success of our new Kirknewton bus service to Wooler (The Journal, September 7).

We campaigned long and hard for this vital service, frequently being advised by the gloom-mongers that we didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting it.

But here it is and it is proving to be a great success with local people.

There are regularly nine or more passengers on the bus. While this may not seem a large number in urban bus route terms, it is pretty good for Kirknewton and the other hamlets through which the bus travels.

As the article states, Route 266 is being trialled on a "use it or lose it" basis. We are grateful to Glen Valley Tours and Northumberland County Council for giving us the chance to prove, during this trial, that the link is being well used and we hope and expect that the route will become permanent.

Many of us are finding that driving is becoming ever more challenging, even in rural areas like ours, and there are those who have never driven, for whom this bus is an absolute godsend.

It enables us to shop, to visit banks, the Post Office and the library. And most importantly, to attend doctors' surgeries without the worry and hassle of trying to organise a lift into Wooler in order to do these things.

It is easy to take buses for granted, but winters bite hard in our part of the world. This service will be crucial in ensuring that we have the means to travel to Wooler during bad weather. It is essential that we do all we can to ensure that Route 266 does not become a mere footnote in the history of North Northumberland. HELEN BLOWERS, Kirknewton, Northumberland
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 9, 2010
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