Wooler bus service is just the '˜smart' ticket

Gifts have been presented to the 1,000 passengers to use new smart ticketing services on bus services between Wooler and Alnwick.

Tuesday, 26th December 2017, 07:36 am
Peter Cowell (owner PCL Travel), Kirsten Francis (NCC), Alan Ingleton, Cllr Anthony Murray (Wooler Councillor and Civic Head), Cllr Glen Sanderson (County Councillor and Portfolio Holder for Environment and Local Services), and Alex Kerr (Driver 470 service Wooler to Alnwick)

PCL Travel was awarded a contract to deliver the 470 and 473 services by Northumberland County Council in September.

Since then the firm has been investing in the service, purchasing two modern fuel efficient Optare Versa 48 seat vehicles which are fitted with seat belts and have low floor and wheelchair access.

Further investment then followed with the installation of smart ticketing machines, which in the future will allow live tracking of the 470 and 473 bus services using the Nexus live travel map.

The ticket machines were provided as part of a north east wide initiative that saw six of Northumberland’s small bus operators benefit from a subsidy to install machines and enable smart ticketing.

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To celebrate their introduction, PCL Travel offered a £20 voucher to the passenger purchasing the 1,000th ticket on both services.

In little over one week the 470 bus service carried it’s 1,000th passenger, Alan Ingleton from Alnwick, who uses the service twice daily to access employment at Eglingham.

A few days later the 473 also carried its 1,000th passenger, William Parkin from Wooler, who was travelling to Alnwick for leisure reasons.

Coun Murray, Wooler member, said: “These services provide key transport links to education, employment and social activities and I am pleased that the county council is able to provide ongoing support to them. I am delighted that so many passengers are using them.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for public transport, added: “I very much welcome the investment PCL Travel has made in these services.”