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Rethink new one-direction bus route which leaves Hastings Hill residents high and dry

November 16, 2020 10:10 AM
By Stephen O'Brien

Local Lib Dem councillors are calling for a rethink on a new bus route in Sunderland which takes residents in Hastings Hill to the nearby ALDI supermarket - but doesn't bring them back again.

Stephen O'Brien outside Pennywell ALDI

Councillor Stephen O'Brien outside ALDI on the former Dewhirst site at Pennywell

Councillor Stephen O'Brien has warned that an extension to a bus route in Sunderland which begins today (Monday 16th November) risks leaving people high and dry by only running in one direction.

Stagecoach's 18/18A route through Grindon will now be extended by serving the ALDI supermarket at Pennywell, on the former Dewhirst site.

The extension of the route is designed to help people who can't or don't want to walk through the notorious subway under the A183/Chester Road, which is the only way to cross the dual carriageway between the supermarket and the neighbouring Hastings Hill and Grindon estates

But as the bus will only run in one direction the local Lib Dem Focus Team wants Stagecoach to rethink the route so people can get the bus home with heavy bags of shopping.

Commenting, Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Hasitngs Hill Stephen O'Brien said:

"This new extension to the 18/18A bus to link up the Thorney Close, Grindon and Hastings Hill areas with the new ALDI supermarket on the former Dewhirst site at Pennywell is a great idea in theory, helping locals who can't walk very far and those who don't want to use the notorious subway between the supermarket and the estate.

"But because the bus will always travel in a clockwise direction around this new loop it means people living in Hastings Hill can get on the bus to get to the Supermarket, but they can't get back again.

"This leaves pensioners having to get off the bus and walk from the shops on Gerrard Road or from Grindon Infants School as they are the nearest stops to Hastings Hill on the way back from the supermarket. People are facing a long walk home with bags of heavy shopping, defeating the whole point of the new bus in the first place.

"I've started a petition from local residents and hope that Stagecoach can rethink this new route so that some services can stop in Hastings Hill in both directions."