Drivers cop abuse as tensions boil over with bus timetable overhaul

Bus drivers cop abuse as timetable tensions boil over NOT HAPPY: Shane Hattander, of Jesmond, found the timetable rollout confusing. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers
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MIXED FEELINGS: Jesmond woman Louise Parker was lukewarm, describing the changes as “half and half”.

TweetFacebookKeolis Downer confirmed an incident on a 110 bus occurred, but suggested it was unrelated to the timetable.

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New bus timetable facing first test under private operator Keolis DownerNewcastle bus changes anger Hamilton’s Beaumont Street tradersKeolis Downer says new bus network big step ahead for NewcastleA spokesperson said ithad been reported to police.

“Safety of our drivers and the community is our highest priority,” she said. “Keolis Downer is not aware of any incidents from the rollout of the new network.”

But several people witnessed bus drivers being verbally accosted, including Vicki Warren, of Adamstown.

She tried to intervene when a fellow passenger began abusing a driver who had stopped to look at the timetable.“I said: ‘give the guy a chance’,” she said, adding that she thought the new timetable was going to be a good thing for the city.

MIXED FEELINGS: Jesmond woman Louise Parker was lukewarm, describing the changes as “half and half”.

A couple from Merewether, who did not want to be named, were less impressed.

They spoke to theHeraldfrom a bus stop on Stewart Avenue, where they had been waiting half-an-hourfor a service that was usually a five to 10 minute wait.

“It’s pretty ordinary,” the woman said. “We could have been home by now.”

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Shane Hattander, of Jesmond,found the rollout confusing and saidmore signage was needed.

“Iwas getting the bus from Adamstown and thought Ihad missed two buses but I hadn’t,” he said.

Jesmond woman Louise Parker described the changes as “half and half”.

“Instead of the bus dropping me at work, I have to walk for five minutes,” Ms Parker said.

“If it’s raining it’s a bit annoying, but I can still get to work, so it’s not too bad.”

Darren and Sarah Payne live in theLower Hunter and said the service from Charlestown to the Wickham interchange was very convenient.

NOT HAPPY: Shane Hattander, of Jesmond, found the timetable rollout confusing. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers