Arriva receives funding boost to improve bus services in Darlington

Arriva was selected for a boost in funding after the company’s performance in the city was previously described as “disastrous” by angry residents who called for better service after reporting missed work and hospital appointments.

After more than a year of problems, the operator was repeatedly asked by city residents to make improvements, and many passengers lost confidence in the operator. And although more drivers have recently been hired, people continue to report their problems with the services. Cockerton Cllr Jan Cossins said at a recent council meeting: “People have and lose their jobs because they are consistently late for work. That’s not good enough, I think we may need to look for another operator.”

Now the Government has confirmed that Arriva will receive funding to improve its performance after Darlington MP Peter Gibson raised the issue in the House of Commons. Transport Minister and County Durham MP Richard Holden said: “Arriva North East will receive a financing agreement. I look forward to the cooperation [Mr Gibson] and other colleagues to ensure that this money not only supports existing bus services but also potential new ones in the right places.”

The investment is expected to come from new funds that will be donated to the Tees Valley Combined Authority, which has decision-making power in local transport. A TVCA spokesman said: “Our Tees Valley allocation from the BSIP+ fund was announced last week at £1.5million. The money can be used to support existing services, improve those services, or provide new services.”

“We will now review our existing network and determine how we will allocate the money by working closely with operators. We want to make sure the money has the maximum impact to improve and improve services for passengers.”

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Arriva has apologized to residents for the ongoing problems and said improvements are being made – and hopes the new funding will benefit its services.

“We welcome the government’s announcement that it has made funds available to transport authorities to support local bus networks,” said a spokeswoman.

“While it has been clear to the bus industry that this is not at the level required to keep all services running, we look forward to working with colleagues at TVCA to identify where funding to support services may be available , which no longer cover their own operating costs.” ” Arriva receives funding boost to improve bus services in Darlington

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