Go North East
|Service area||County Durham
Tyne & Wear
|Service type||Bus services|
|Fleet||691 (July 2014)|
|Chief executive||Kevin Carr|
- 1 History
- 2 Operations
- 3 National Express Services
- 4 Night Buses
- 5 Route branding
- 6 Ticketing
- 7 Fleet
- 8 Livery
- 9 Go North East acquisitions
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In February 1987 as part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, a management buyout led by Martin Ballinger and Chris Moyes purchased the Northern General Transport Company. It was the first company of what is now the Go-Ahead Group.
Early expansion saw the acquisition of certain smaller competing bus operators in North East England including Gypsy Queen in 1989 and Low Fell Coaches in June 1992. Go-Ahead Northern also became a National Express contractor operating services to the Midlands, North East, North West and South West England.
The North Division (Go North East Limited) operate services from five depots in three counties. The division operates many trunk services as well as local services around Gateshead, North Tyneside, West Durham and Southern Northumberland.
Depots are located at:
- Sunderland Road, Gateshead - 'Sunderland Road'
- Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead - 'Saltmeadows'
- Rothbury Terrace, Percy Main - 'Percy Main'
- Cromwell Place, Winlaton - 'Winlaton'
- Tyne Green Lane, Hexham - 'Hexham' formerly Arriva North East
The South Division (Go Northern Limited) operates services from five depots in two counties. The division operates many trunk services as well as local services around Sunderland, County Durham and South Tyneside as well as providing National Express services.
Depots are located at:
- Picktree Lane, Chester-le-Street - 'Chester-le-Street'
- Deptford Terrace, Sunderland - 'Deptford'
- Industrial Road, Hertburn Industrial Estate, Washington - 'Washington'
- High Street, Stanley - 'Stanley'
- Cook Way, North West Industrial Estate, Peterlee - 'Peterlee'
- Strothers Road, High Spen - 'High Spen'
- Jarrow Bus Station, Jarrow - 'Jarrow' (Merged with South Shields)
- Park Lane, Sunderland - 'Park Lane' (Merged with Philadelphia and moved to Deptford)
- Philadelphia - 'Philadelphia' (Merged with Park Lane and moved to Deptford)
- Lady's Walk, South Shields- 'South Shields' (Merged with Deptford)
- Bondgate, Bishop Auckland - 'Bishop Auckland' (Sold to Arriva North East, flagsip services transferred to Chester-le-Street)
- Unit 7 Jubilee Industrial Estate, Ashington - 'Ashington' (Sold to Arriva North East in exchange for Hexham depot)
- Hadrian Road, Wallsend, Services merged with Percy Main
National Express Services
- 326 Newcastle to Luton Airport
- 332 Newcastle to Swindon
- 380 Newcastle to Liverpool
- 530 Newcastle to Paignton
- 580 Nerwcastle to Liverpool
- 663 Newcastle to Skegness (summer only)
Go North East operate a number of night bus services (with an 'N' prefix) throughout the region. Night Buses are often based on the daytime equivalent of a particular service but sometimes slightly revised to serve as many areas as possible. Night Buses have their own dedicated tickets, and no other tickets or passes are valid for travel on these services.
Since 2006, Go North East have been 'branding' services. This involves giving each service or group of services its own management, staff, vehicles and identity. Most branded services have bold eye-catching liveries, their own logo and many are quite unique and special to the areas they serve. For example, brands such as Coaster celebrate the award winning coastline North Tyneside has to offer, while brands such as Red Kite celebrate the diverse wildlife their respective routes serve. The Cobalt Clipper, Doxford Clipper and the Team Valley Clipper brands are for services which provide frequent links to major areas of employment using distinctive and easily recognisable designs to welcome passengers aboard. All buses still carry Go North East fleet names in addition to these new 'brandings' as well as either Go North East or Go Northern legal lettering.
The list below shows the brands currently used
Go North East also uses the brand Yellow Bus for its Special Services Vehicles and the Brand Northern as its Standard Fleet Livery.
|Brand Name||Image||Service Number(s)||Vehicle Type(s)||Depot||Emissions standard||Base Colour|
|Angel||21||Volvo B5L Hybrid/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini
|Chester-le-Street||Euro 5 (Hybrid)||Green/Yellow|
|Blaydon Racers||49 • 49B • 49C||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Riverside||Euro 5||Red|
|CityLink||58 • [N58]||Optare Versa||Riverside||Euro 5||Orange|
|Coaster||1||Scania OmniCity||Percy Main||Euro 4||Blue|
|Cobalt Clipper||309 • 310||Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||Percy Main||Euro 5||Silver|
|Crusader||27||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Riverside||Euro 5||Silver|
|Drifter||60||Wright Streetlite (60)||Deptford||Euro 5||Blue|
|East Durham||59/201/202/204/206/208/209/210/239/265/923||Dennis Dart MPD/Plaxton Pointer||Peterlee||Euro 3||Yellow|
|Fab Fifty Seven||57||Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown (Dual Door)||Riverside||Euro 3||Blue|
|Fab Fifty Six||56 • [N56]||Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||Deptford||Euro 5||Orange|
|Fast Cats||X35 • X36||Scania L94UB/Wright Solar||Deptford||Euro 3||Black|
|Highwayman||97 • [N97]
98 • 98A
|Scania L94UB/Wright Solar||Riverside||Euro 3||Light Green|
|Laser||35 • 35A • 35B • 35C||Mercedes-Benz Citaro
Scania L94UB/Wright Solar
78 • 78A
|Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown||Chester-le-Street
|Connections 4||4 • 922||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Washington||Euro 5||Blue|
|North Tyne Links||80 • 40 • 41||Dennis Dart MPD/Plaxton Pointer||Percy Main||Euro 3||Green|
|Prince Bishops||20• 20A • X20• [N20]||Scania L94UB/Wright Solar||Deptford||Euro 3||Purple|
|Pronto||X21 • X46(Peak Times only)||Volvo B7TL /Plaxton President||Crook (Sharing with Weardale)||Euro 3||Blue|
|QuayLink||Q1 • Q2||Optare Versa||Saltmeadows||Euro 5||Light Yellow|
|Red Arrows||X1 • 921||Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini
Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2
|Washington (X1, 921)||Euro 5||Red|
|Cobalt Connect||19||Scania OmniCity||Percy Main||Euro 4||Red|
|Saltwell Park||53 • 54||Wright Streetlite||Riverside||Euro 5||Green|
|Silver Arrows||2A • 2C||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Deptford||Euro 5||Silver|
|SimpliCity||61 • 42||Optare Versa||Deptford||Euro 5||Purple|
|South Tyne||88 • 88A||Optare Versa||Washington||Euro 5||Lilac Purple|
|Ten||75px||10 • 10A • 10B||Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||Riverside
|Diamond||43 • 44||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Stanley||Euro 5||Orange|
|Loop||93 • 94 • 93A • 94A||Scania L94UB/Wright Solar||Riverside||Euro 3||Black|
|The Orbit||51 • 52 • 51A • 52A||Optare Versa||Riverside||Euro 5||Purple|
|Red Kite||45 • 46||Scania OmniCity||Stanley||Euro 4||Red|
|The Waggonway||28 • 28A||Scania L94UB/Wright Solar||Chester-le-Street||Euro 3||Maroon|
|Toon Link||11 • 31 • 32 • 47||Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse
Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown
|Tynedale Links||H1 • H53 • 74 • 683 • 686 • 688 •689||Dennis Dart MPD/Plaxton Pointer
Volvo B6BLE/Plaxton Concept 2000
|Tynedale Express||X84 • X85||Scania L94UB / Wright Solar||Hexham||Euro 5||Orange|
|Venture||V1 • V2 • V3 • V4 • V5 • V6 • V8 • V9 • 130 • 143 • 704||Optare Solo SR||Consett||Euro 5||Yellow|
|Whey Aye Five 0||50 • 50A||Scania OmniCity||Chester-Le-street||Euro 4||Blue|
|Tyne Tees Express X9/X10||X9 • X10||Volvo B7TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2||Riverside||Euro 3 (B9TL Euro 5)||Maroon|
|Sunderland Connect||700 • 701||Solo SR (Hybrid)||Deptford||Euro 5||Green|
|X66||X66||Mercedes-Benz Citaro(Bendy)||Riverside||Euro 5||Gold|
|The OK Way||18||Dennis Dart MPD||Crook||Euro 3||Red/Cream|
|The Lambton Worm||34 • 34A||Optare Versa||Chester - Le - street||Euro 5||Green|
|Wear Tees Express||X7||Mercedes-Benz Citaro||Peterlee||Euro 5||Maroon|
|Nexus Bus||All Nexus Contracts||Solo SR||Saltmeadows, Deptford||Euro 5||Red, Grey|
|Great Park Park and Ride||X40, 40A||Scania L94UA/Wright Solar Fusion (Bendy)||Sunderland Road||Euro 3||Blue, Green, Black|
|Northern||Any Route||Volvo Plaxton President, Volvo Wright Renown, Volvo Wright Cadet, Dennis Trident East Lancs Lolyne, Dennis Trident Plaxton President||Any Depots||Euro 2, Euro 3||Red|
Single fares can be purchased from the bus driver on all services, with the price usually incrementing with increasing distance travelled. In localised areas, a single flat fare may be offered; or alternatively, a two-tier fare system with one flat fare for short journeys and another flat fare for longer journeys. Such tickets are designed to reduce passenger confusion and speed up boarding times. Return tickets offer a considerable discount from the price of two single tickets, and such tickets are marketed by Go North East as "Cheap Day Returns".
If a passenger will make multiple journeys on the same day, it is often cheaper to purchase a Day Ticket. Some branded services listed above have their own range of day and weekly tickets for exclusive use on that particular brand. Young people between the ages of 18 and 22 in full-time education can apply for a GetAround ID card to purchase tickets which allow unlimited travel at a fraction of the normal price.
Go North East have divided their operating network into seven colour-coded zones, and this is known as Buzzfare. The zones are:
- Orange Zone
- - covering Blyth, Ashington, Bedlington, Matfen, Corbridge, Hexham and Allendale Town.
- Blue Zone
- - covering Cramlington, Whitley Bay, Tynemouth, North Shields, Wallsend, Cobalt Business Park, Killingworth, Newcastle Airport and Newcastle City Centre.
- Purple Zone
- - covering Newcastle City Centre, Gateshead, MetroCentre, Crawcrook, Team Valley, High Spen, Washington and Heworth.
- Red Zone
- - covering South Shields, Jarrow, Hebburn, Boldon, Hylton Castle, Sunderland, Doxford International, Houghton-le-Spring, Seaham, Dalton Park, Murton and Hetton-le-Hole.
- Green Zone
- - covering Chester-le-Street, Stanley, Beamish, Sacriston, Durham, Belmont and Great Lumley.
- Cherry Zone
- - covering Consett, Leadgate, Castleside, Chopwell, Prudhoe, Stocksfield and Wylam.
- Turquoise Zone
- - covering Peterlee, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Norton, Darlington, Spennymoor and Bishop Auckland.
Buzzfare tickets can be bought daily, weekly, monthly and annually and can be purchased online, by telephone. Customers can choose to buy tickets for one zone, for two zones, or a three zone+ ticket allowing unlimited travel across the entire Go North East network.
In June 2010, Go North East pioneered the use of Smartcard ticketing for its bus services called the key. A trial was carried out on Prince Bishops service 20 between Sunderland and Durham to test the equipment.
The key smartcard was launched across all of Go North East in May 2011 with ticket available to buy online, on the bus, over the telephone and from Go North East's own travel centres.
As at July 2014, the fleet consisted of 691 buses and coaches.
Go North East's fleet livery was for many years red, light blue and yellow. However many buses have been painted in route or brand specific liveries, resulting in a multi-coloured fleet. Buses not route branded are now all over red carrying the "Northern" sub brand. Coaches operating services under contract to National Express are painted in the client's livery.
Current vehicle types
- Double deck
- Single deck
Former vehicle types
- Double deck
- Leyland Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine
- Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH
- MCW Metrobus
- Bristol VRT ECW highbridge/Williowbrook
- Routemaster Leyland Engined/Front Entrance
- Volvo Olympian/Northern Counties Palatine I (Due to get withdrawn soon once all Volvo Plaxton Presidents have been refurbished from being in London Central livery to Go North East Standard Livery and converted to single door and repainted red and branded "Northern")
- Volvo Olympian/East Lancs Pyoneer
- Single deck
Go North East acquisitions
- Gypsy Queen
- The Venture Transport Company
- Stanley Taxis (Local bus services only)
- The Langley Park Motor Company
- Tyne & Wear Omnibus Company Limited (Immediately sold to Busways)
- Carryden Limited (Local bus services only)
- Low Fell Coaches
- Shaws Coaches
- Star Travel (Local bus services only)
- JH Hammell (Diamond)
- OK Motor Services in March 1995
- Derwent Coaches (Local bus services only)
- Armstrongs of Ebchester
- Northumbria Coaches (Local bus services only)
- Redby Bus & Coach (Local bus services only)
- Calvary Coaches (Local bus services only)
- NBC sale at half way point Commercial Motor 16 May 1987 page 21
- Chris Moyes obituary The Times 18 September 2006
- History Timeline Go-Ahead Group
- Gypsy taken over Commercial Motor 11 January 1990 page 29
- Go-Ahead annual report 30 June 1994 Go-Ahead Group plc
- Go-Ahead annual report 29 June 1996 Go-Ahead Group plc
- Depot Locations Go North East
- Companies House extract company no 2057284 Go North East Limited formerly Go Gateshead Limited
- Anticipated acquisition by Go Ahead North East Limited of the bus operations of Arriva Northumbria Limited in Hexham, Nortumnberland Office of Fair Trading 26 May 2010
- Companies House extract company no 132492 Go Northern Limited formerly The Northern General Transport Company Limited
- Arriva plans Bishop Auckland take over Bus & Coach Professonal 30 January 2006
- National Express Coach Handbook - 8th Edition. British Bus Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-1-904875-78-9.
- Go North East Night Buses
- Go North East Branded Routes
- Single and Cheap Day Returns
- Go North East - Fleet Allocation Go North East
- Companies House extract company no 2813677 Tyne & Wear Omnibus Company Limited
- Companies House extract company no 626949 OK Motor Services Limited
- The Go-Ahead Group Plc and OK Motor Services Limited: A report on the merger situation Competition Commission 1996
Media related to Go North East at Wikimedia Commons