Mayor Steps In To Provide School Transport In Darlington

Tees Valley Combined Authority | Published on: 5th September 2023

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A new bus service has now launched between Teesside Airport and Hurworth for students returning to school for the new term, it was confirmed today (5 Sept).

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has confirmed that the Combined Authority will fund journeys between Teesside Airport and Hurworth, via Darlington Town Centre, for pupils.

The journeys, operated by bus company Hodgsons, will be based on Arriva’s former Service 12 and will call at all stops along the route.

The Mayor has stepped in to provide this short-term solution following Arriva’s decision to object to a new interim Stagecoach service that would have operated on this route between 4 September and 21 September.

Despite this objection, the new Stagecoach service will begin on 21 September for all local people, and start even earlier if it gets the go-ahead.

The temporary bus will be open to students only and will show “Hurworth Scholars Only” on its destination board.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen said: “Thanks to Arriva looking out for their own interests rather than those of our children, we found ourselves in a situation where for the first few weeks of the term there would be no bus on this route to get kids to school.

“Frankly this is a disgrace, and I have been working across political lines with the leader of Darlington Borough Council to try to get the Traffic Commissioner to reverse their decision to delay the new service.

“However, we cannot afford to wait for this decision and that is why we have stepped in to provide a temporary solution to make sure that our kids can get to school.”

Councillor Stephen Harker, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “We have been acutely aware of the gap in bus services between Hurworth, Middleton St George and Teesside Airport, while the Traffic Commissioner reviews its decision to refuse a short-notice request for the reintroduction of a service along the route.

“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to put plans in place, at short notice, to ensure that the dozens of students who relied on the old number 12 service to get to school, will still be able to get to their lessons.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in putting these short-term measures in place.”

The morning service will leave the Airport’s terminal building at 0744, calling at Oak Tree (0748), The Devonport (0753), Dinsdale Station (0757), Morton Park Morrisons (0804) and Darlington Town Hall (0822), arriving at Hurworth’s All Saints Church at 0837.

The return service, at the end of the school day, will depart from All Saints Church at 1542, calling at The Comet (1548), Tubwell Row (1559), Morrisons (1618), High Stell (1624) and Teesside Airport (1630).

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