New operator Spirit Buses to serve Northumberland

A new bus company has been formed to serve Coquetdale residents in Northumberland.

Rothbury-based Spirit Buses has been granted a two-vehicle O-Licence and has bought two 2002 Caetano Nimbus-bodied Dennis Darts to run a direct service from Rothbury to Alnwick.

The new network launches on 1 September, with a depot at Rothbury Industrial Estate.

Owner Steve Hurst, 29, who is also the Transport Manager, has worked for transport authority Nexus as well as Go North East, Arriva, Northum-bria Buses and Rothbury Motors.

He decided to start the company in 2012, and has spent much of the last two years conducting research among Rothbury residents to find out what kind of bus service they wanted.

The service will run to Alnwick and back, with links to Alnmouth Station, several times a day, six days a week, with a reduced service on Sunday.

There is also provision for at least one bus service a week for most villages in Coquetdale to Alnwick.

The two buses are currently being liveried in a red-and-yellow scheme designed by Mr Hurst to reflect Northumberland’s flag.

It’s expected the services will be attractive to tourists as well as residents, thanks to the link with Alnmouth station and support from Northumberland National Park.

Says Mr Hurst, who is from Rothbury: “Over recent years there’s been such a decrease in services, but there’s still a huge demand from local people for public transport in the area.

“The local support’s been absolutely brilliant. One of the reasons for the company name is the spirit of the local people.”