Decision to scrap Saturday 710 bus service postponed

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THE Saturday 710 bus service that runs from Kelso to Newcastle and the Metro Centre is set to continue, after Northumberland County Council admitted that a decision to scrap it from Easter this year had been too hasty.

The popular service has won a temporary reprieve after residents and parish councils from communities along the route, which stops at Coldstream after Kelso, reacted angrily to the decision, organising protest meetings and raising petitions.

Northumberland County Council announced it was to withdraw its subsidy from the service four weeks ago, saying it did not constitute a “good use of public money”.

But the move sparked anger in local communities, where the Saturday 710 was said to be a lifeline to some elderly residents. The furious backlash has this week prompted the authority to postpone any decision regarding the future of the service.

Ian Coe, transport support manager at NCC, said any decision about the future of the service would be postponed until he had had the opportunity to review it again, and to hold a meeting locally so that everyone’s views could be taken into account. In the meantime the service will continue running as normal.

Mr Coe said: “I am very conscious of the strong and well-expressed views of everyone who has contacted us asking for the withdrawal to be reconsidered.”