Bus users in Berwick-upon-Tweed will be noticing some changes when they are catching the bus in and around the town in future.
Using joint funding from the County Council and Tesco, the highway layout in Golden Square has now been redesigned to provide access kerbs, improved lighting and larger bus shelters. Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council has agreed to maintain the improvements to Golden Square in future.
The County Council has also been working with Tesco, and bus operator Perryman’s to pilot real time passenger information technology.
The pilot in the town uses mobile phone technology to send real time passenger information to new electronic screens located on the bus stops in Golden Square and at two other points in the town – on the shelters at North Road and at the Tesco store in Tweedmouth. The screens show when the next buses are due.
Users of internet enabled phones can also access information about the nearest bus stops, services and times by going to www.nextbuses.mobi and entering their postcode, street / town or bus stop code. Leaflets about this new service are available from the Tourist Information Centre in Marygate.
Alternatively, by texting ‘Traveline’ to 84268 together with the code for the specific bus stop, a text message will be sent to the phone which gives the times for the next 5 buses due to leave the stop. The codes for bus stops can be found at the bus stop itself, on www.iplanner.travelinenortheast.info or by calling 0871 200 2233. (Please note that the Traveline text messages cost 25p each plus the standard network rate).
This technology, together with the new electronic screens, allows people to find out when their next bus is due and how much time they have left before they need to leave the shops, cafes or their homes to catch the bus. It is hoped that using this technology will reduce unnecessary waiting at the bus stop.
Cllr Simon Reed, executive member for infrastructure and environment said: “The County Council hopes that the improvements that have been made to Golden Square will make a positive difference to bus passengers and we would like to thank Tesco for their help in funding these improvements and the Town Council for agreeing to maintain them in future.
“The new electronic screens together with the text service now available should help people to make the most of the time they have in the town and we look forward to hearing what residents and visitors think of the changes.”
Michael Raper, Tesco Store Manager said: “Tesco are committed to making a positive impact in every community we serve. I am pleased that we have been able to support improvements to the town bus service. We have received some great customer feedback on the real time bus information screen in the store.”
Berwick Town Mayor, Councillor John Robertson said: “We have needed these facilities in Golden Square, where for a long time passengers have had no shelter or seating whilst waiting for their buses. The new shelters are a welcome addition to the town, and the real time information is an added bonus which should be a help both to residents and visitors in planning their journeys.”
If you would like to comment on these changes please email Gary.McBride@northumberland.gov.uk or telephone 0845 600 6400.