‘Hail and ride’ hoppa service

Gregah Roughead has been successful in his bid for bus services to reach Dock Road

Gregah Roughead has been successful in his bid for bus services to reach Dock Road

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A teenage politician’s campaign to extend the route taken by Berwick’s hoppa bus to include Dock Road has been successful.

After being contacted by numerous Tweedmouth residents, 19-year-old Gregah Roughead kickstarted the campaign, getting more than 300 petition signatures.

After months of keeping up the pressure, the street has now been included in a revised timetable announced at the town council’s environment and regeneration committee meeting last week.

Councillor Roughead said: “After campaigning for the route to be changed, I am glad that a recommendation to include Dock Road has been brought back to the table and I am sure that those residents who originally contacted me about the route will be pleased with the outcome.

“The problem of Dock Road and lower Main Street in Tweedmouth not being serviced by public transports seems likely to be solved.

“I would like to thank everyone who supported the campaign or signed the petition as they helped make this happen.”

Lib Dem colleague Julie Pörksen added: “It’s great news that Gregah has managed to get a better service for local residents. I hope that new route will be well used and be an example of how bus services can be improved to suit local residents.”

The town centre hoppa service was introduced by the town council last year and currently runs on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday between 10am and 3pm.

However, a grant of £6,580 has been agreed with The Get Going Fund which will add a Wednesday, market day, to the schedule.

The revised timetable will start on July 8.

Alternate services will run along Dock Road but will need to terminate and turn before reaching Spittal to avoid encroaching on commercial routes.

It is also proposed to introduce a hop on hop-off daily fare and a family ticket (costs to be confirmed).

It is planned to produce a promotional leaflet to inform passengers of places of interest on the route to support the hop-on hop-off ticket.

Mayor Isabel Hunter said: “I think a hop-on hop-off ticket is an excellent idea which will be used by both locals and visitors.”

The vehicle, which currently has Adapt branding on it, will also receive a makeover with a view of Berwick to be put on it.

Councillor Alan Turnbull said: “I think that’s a good idea because when you see it going around town at the moment I am sure some people must be confused about what it’s doing.”

The council also plans to market the service after failing to meet its passenger targets for 2013.

This includes better signage at the stopping points, better signing on the vehicle and a more informative timetable leaflet distributed to visitor attractions and accommodation providers.

Councillor John Robertson said: “We have three years to try and make it cost neutral. After that we lose our grant subsidy. It’s therefore in our interests to make sure we promote it as well as possible and encourage people to use it.”

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