A BUS provider will consider putting on extra services to the Ravenhead Retail Park when the new M&S store opens next month – if retailers are willing to offer short-term funding.

Hatton’s Travel currently run the number 12 bus route directly to the retail park from the town centre every half hour, between 9am and 5pm.

However, if M&S and other retailers agree to fund the new routes on a short term basis, the bus firm are willing to put on an extra six routes starting around 7am and running until 8pm.

Marks and Spencers will be closing its Church Street store on March 2 and moving to the new complex on the retail park, on March 14.

There has been concerns raised that non-drivers and pensioners, who are loyal shoppers at the town centre store, will struggle to access the retail park.

Hatton’s director Brian Hatton, whose firm have been circulating leaflets promoting the service, said: “Providing that the demand is there we are more than happy to put on more times for people to get from town to the retail park.

“But we cannot take on that financial risk, that’s why we are asking retailers to fund the extra routes on a short term basis.

“If the demand is there then we will take them on ourselves and I will put on bigger vehicles and even put buses up to every 15 minutes providing there is a need.

“We listen to what our customers want.

“We’ve recently changed the route of the 12 to go direct to the retail park to help customers, so it’s all down to them wanting the extra service and using it."

An M&S spokeswoman acknowledged that the bus company are in discussions with retailers across the Ravenhead Retail Park.