A BUS company is bucking the trend after announcing two new routes straight to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
The news from Midland Classic has been welcomed by a champion for the elderly who said the company received a round of applause from members of Swadlincote 50+ Forum following its decision.
Many complaints have been received about Arriva Midlands’ direct route to the hospital being cut.
Gill Farrington, chairman of the 50+ Forum, said her members had a meeting with Midlands Classic which announced its new routes.
She said: “The company was given a resounding round of applause for that, but I want to remind everyone to keep using these services so they can afford to run them.” Its first new service, the number 19, will restore quick and direct links from Measham, Donisthorpe, Short Heath and Overseal to Burton town centre and will continue onward to Burton railway station and the hospital. The first arrival in Burton will be at 8.47am.
Existing service 9 (which currently terminates at Branston) will also continue from the town centre to the railway station and the hospital. Both services combined will provide a half hourly frequency from Swadlincote, Newhall, Brizlincote Valley, Burton and Horninglow to the hospital. This will also bring buses back to Norton Road, Burton, after an absence of four and a half years.
Following a meeting with Mrs Farrington and Mike Lacey, who represents Newhall on Derbyshire County Council, Arriva decided to review its routes which had been cut. Many routes were then reinstated including Springfield Road, and Midway, but there was still no direct route to the hospital.
Mrs Farrington said: “Complaints have included people wanting to go from the Goseley Estate, in Hartshorne, to Burton’s Queen’s Hospital.
“They now have to go from Goseley to Swadlincote to Burton and then change buses again to get to the hospital.”
Now Mrs Farrington has thanked the forum members and Arriva for taking notice of the forum and its 150-signature petition, saying: “I was expecting Springfield Road to be reinstated, but was led to believe that the Midway route would not be.”
The changes will take effect from Monday, July 25.
MIDLAND Classic has also announced its further expansion with a list of new routes and timetables.
Service X12 will benefit from extra peak hour and early evening journeys. Certain buses will be routed via Parkway (for Centrum 100) and Morrison’s to assist workers in that area.
Service 10 will operate from the Acorn Inn to Beans Covert via New Street and Anglesey Road to replace the withdrawn section of service 9. This will give Branston and Anglesey Road residents a direct bus to and from Sainsbury’s, the railway station and Burton Town Hall.
Service 17 will benefit from a new journey from Stretton at 1pm to Burton which will continue to Stapenhill’s Clay Street at 1.15pm.
Service 21 — the company’s original service — is largely unchanged but the gap on school day afternoons ceases to exist with the introduction of a journey at 3.25pm from Burton to Swadlincote. There will also be a further school day journey from Burton to The White Horse, in Stanton at 2.55pm.
Service 21E will be withdrawn between Burton town centre and Queen’s Hospital. The Sunday service will be increased to provide seven journeys each way compared to four at present.
The route will be reversed between Burton and Overseal.
Keith West, communications manager for the company, said: “Many of these enhancements are being introduced as a result of feedback from regular passengers and requests from would be travellers.” Timetables will shortly be available from local libraries, and tourist information centres.