ARRIVA bosses have blamed buses running late in Darlington on the town's Pedestrian Heart and traffic problems.
Company chiefs made the claims at a heated public meeting at Skerne Park last night.
The Park East community partnership, which incorporates Skerne Park, had called Monday's meeting to quiz Arriva on the estate's unreliable bus service.
Tony Stevens, Darlington depot manager, said: "We have a problem in Darlington - and that problem is too much traffic coming into town.
"It's purely, simply traffic. By 8am, North Road, Coniscliffe Road, Woodland Road, are full."
- Northern Echo: Pedestrian Heart blamed for buses running late
The Echo's headline is slightly skewed, as problems caused by the Pedestrian Heart works will go away in time while problems with congestion will only get worse unless we get people out of their cars and onto public transport, bikes or their own two feet.
Unfortunately, while buses are unreliable and get stuck in the same traffic as cars people will not give them a chance. Darlington needs more bus lanes.
A proposed bus lane on North Road was not put in place because of protests from residents. This morning, and most mornings, there were only seven cars parked on North Road where this lane was proposed (from Thompson Street to Morrisons); otherwise buses could have a clear run cutting a huge chunk of time from their journey and make the bus much more attractive to those living in the North of the town.