North Tyneside hospital row prompts Lib Dem call for NHS bus service for Tyneside

August 12, 2009 3:20 PM

The continuing row over the location of a new NHS emergency care hospital for North Tyneside proposed for Moor Farm roundabout, Cramlington, has prompted the Lib Dems to call for a new NHS-supported bus service to be introduced for Newcastle and North Tyneside.

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone, who is a North Heaton councillor and member of the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority, has highlighted the needs of patients and relatives without transport of their own, both in respect of the potential new facility and in terms of existing NHS units in the area.

He has called upon the NHS Trust to work alongside Nexus and bus companies to provide a new service linking the hospital facilities in the city, citing correspondence from constituents who do not have their own transport, complaining at the difficulties in accessing provision.

He said "Since Stagecoach cancelled the 49 route and made major cuts to the 3 service, infirm and elderly constituents in parts of Newcastle East frequently tell me that they are unhappy that it is very difficult to access sites such as the Freeman Hospital from parts of the East End due to the absence of a suitable north-south bus link. If a new hospital is built for North Tyneside on a site by the A19, it is equally unlikely to be accessible for many people in the area without transport of their own."

"Currently the NHS provides its own transport shuttle service for staff working across sites. I would like to see the NHS consider financially supporting a new accessible bus service linking existing sites in Newcastle, including the General, RVI, Freeman, and Walkergate, as well as any new site in North Tyneside, designed to provide a "missing link" in the existing bus network, which would be open to ordinary passengers including patients, carers, and visitors."

"I would welcome consideration of this idea by Nexus and the local NHS Trusts, and will seek to promote this idea if elected".