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Wheels in motion for more bus services across the city

Published: Tuesday, 9th April 2024

Extra journeys are being introduced on a number of bus routes so that residents can enjoy improved access to work, healthcare, retail and much more.

Some of the journeys are being reintroduced following an absence of some years, and the decision to tender out eight bus routes across the city is the first phase of a commitment to ensure that the city’s residents are connected to the people and places they need to improve their wellbeing and make use of ‘greener travel’.

It is thought the new journeys will help thousands more people get around and will play a key role in reducing congestion in the city.

A spokesperson for Stoke-on-Trent City Council said: “Improving the city’s transport links is a key priority for Stoke-on-Trent City Council and is part of our wider vision of creating a healthier, wealthier, safer, greener, cleaner and fairer city for all.

“We understand that people want better, more reliable and more affordable transport and today’s announcement delivers on a key element of the city council’s commitment to improving the public transport system in Stoke-on-Trent.

“We are committed to transforming our local transport network and we want to ultimately increase the number of people using public transport to get to school, college, work and our town centres.”

The improved bus routes are:

  • Service 6 (City Centre – Longton) – one additional journey on weekday mornings departing Hanley at 07:15, operated by D&G bus.
  • Service 8 (Ball Green – Norton – Smallthorne – City Centre) – new Sunday service, to be operated once an hour by First Potteries.
  • Service 11 (Longton – Bentilee – City Centre) – Monday to Saturday evening service introduced between Longton and Hanley every hour, run by First Potteries.
  • Service 23 (Newstead - Blurton – Stoke – City Centre) – the existing Sunday service is extended beyond Blurton to Newstead, with a revised timetable, still being operated by First Potteries.
  • Service 26 (Park Hall – Bentilee – Berry Hill – City Centre) – Stantons of Stoke will operate extra journeys (one per hour) on this off-peak service, which is extended beyond Dividy Road, to provide a more direct link between Park Hall and Hanley.
  • Service 36/36A (Meir / Meir Park – Longton – City Centre – Burslem – Tunstall – Kidsgrove) – new evening services running on Mondays to Saturdays, combining services 3, 6, and 6A with certain journeys travelling across the city, reducing the need to change buses in Hanley. Operated by First Potteries, there will be buses up to every 30 minutes through until late evening.
  • Service 50 (Lightwood – Longton – Pool Dole (Fenton) – City Centre) – more journeys are being added to the services by Stantons of Stoke, with the route extended beyond Longton to serve Star and Garter Road and the lower section of Lightwood Road.

In January, Stoke-on-Trent City Council advertised a number of opportunities for new and extended bus services through its £5.7 million Bus Service Enhancement Scheme.

The scheme forms part of a wider Bus Service Improvement Plan for the city which has been developed following the city council’s successful bid for £31.6 million from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The services listed above are likely to start from April 15, 2024 and April 28, 2024, respectively, and will run until March 31, 2026.

The second phase of the Bus Service Enhancement Scheme will see tenders for further routes advertised over the coming weeks.