A BUS company is introducing a new route in County Durham to to replace one being provided by another operator. 

Arriva North East is making a number of changes to its services in the New Year to try and improve frequency and punctuality of buses.

The added service means Scarlet Band, which operates a tendered route for Durham County Council, will no longer be running its number 58 bus from Saturday. 

Arriva will be adding its new route from Sunday. 

Nick Knox, area managing director of Arriva North East, said: “We’re acutely aware of the important role public transport plays in connecting communities and are pleased that we can ensure that local residents are still able to access reliable and convenient bus services.

“Our January service revisions provide new links, better frequency and punctuality improvements and I hope these changes will be welcomed by our customers.”

Among the changes being made is the introduction of a new service 58 between Durham and Hartlepool, which runs on evenings from Monday to Saturday.

And it is also altering its 57/57A service between Durham and Hartlepool to accommodate a route previously served by Scarlet Band's 58/58A bus, extending from Kelloe to Hartlepool via Quarrington Hill, Cassop, Thornley, Wheatley Hill, Wingate, Station Town, Hutton Henry (towards Durham only) and Hart.

The 57A will continue to run between Durham and Hartlepool, but via Kelloe (Sharon Avenue, not Woodland Crescent or Morley Crescent) as well as Trimdon Grange, Trimdon Village and Deaf Hill.

As a result, buses will not serve the stops at the Red Lion and Belgrave Court in Coxhoe.

Alternative journeys are available on the X12 for most customers in this area, says the company.

Other changes are being made on the number 56 between Durham and Bishop Auckland, including a reduction in the number of buses on a Saturday morning, the 86 between Toft Hill and Trimdon Village and 6 between Durham and Barnard Castle to try and improve punctuality of the services.

Meanwhile there will be later buses on the number 22 between Durham and Peterlee between Mondays and Saturdays.

Full details can be found on the company's website.

The 58 bus which was operated by Scarlet Band ceased because Durham County Council decided it would no longer commission the service, as Arriva wanted to increase its commercial operation in the area.