Go North East

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Go North East bus 3962 Volvo B7TL Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini NK06 JXE The Angel livery in Newcastle 9 May 2009.jpg
Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL in The Angel livery in May 2009
Parent Go-Ahead Group
Founded February 1987
Headquarters Gateshead
Service area County Durham
Tyne & Wear
Service type Bus services
Depots 10
Fleet 723 (August 2015)
Chief executive Kevin Carr
Website www.simplygo.com

Go North East is the largest operator of bus services in North East England operating services in the counties of Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland with a fleet of 691 buses.

It operates through two divisions, North and South, and was previously known as the Northern General Transport Company and Go-Ahead Northern. It was the foundation of today's Go-Ahead Group.


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Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian in Yellow Buses livery in May 2009

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.[1][2] It was the first company of what is now the Go-Ahead Group.[3]

Early expansion saw the acquisition of certain smaller competing bus operators in North East England including Gypsy Queen in 1989[4] 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.[5][6]


Go North East's headquarters and central engineering department are based at separate locations in Gateshead and Tyne & Wear.[7]

North Division[edit]

The North Division (Go North East Limited)[8] 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:[7]

  • Handy Drive, Gateshead - 'Riverside'

South Division[edit]

The South Division (Go Northern Limited)[10] 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:[7]

  • 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'
  • Prospect Road, Virginia Buildings Industrial Estate, Crook - 'Crook'

Former depots[edit]

  • 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, flagship services transferred to Chester-le-Street)[11]
  • Unit 7 Jubilee Industrial Estate, Ashington - 'Ashington' (Sold to Arriva North East in exchange for Hexham depot)[9]
  • Hadrian Road, Wallsend, Services merged with Percy Main
  • Sunderland Road, Gateshead - 'Sunderland Road' (Merged with Winlaton and moved to 'Riverside')[12]
  • Cromwell Place, Winlaton - 'Winlaton' (Merged with Gateshead and moved to 'Riverside')[12]
  • Delves Lane, Consett - 'Consett' (Merged with Stanley)

National Express services[edit]

Go North East have for many years operated express services under contract to National Express.[13]

Night buses[edit]

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.[14]

Route branding[edit]

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 Tyne Tees Xpress and the Wear Tees Xpress brands are for services which provide frequent links between Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside 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.[15]


As at October, the fleet consisted of 696 buses and coaches.[16]


Go North East's fleet livery was for many years red, light blue and yellow. However many buses have been route branded in specific liveries, resulting in a multi-coloured fleet. Buses that aren't route branded were painted in a red base, carrying the "Northern" logos. From late 2013, the "Northern" logos have started to be phased out, with the company now opting to use the Go North East logos instead.[17] Coaches operating services under contract to National Express are painted in the client's livery.

Go North East acquisitions[edit]

  • 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)[18]
  • Carryden Limited (Local bus services only)
  • Low Fell Coaches
  • Atkinsons
  • Shaws Coaches
  • Star Travel (Local bus services only)
  • JH Hammell (Diamond)
  • OK Motor Services in March 1995[19][20]
  • 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)


  1. ^ NBC sale at half way point Commercial Motor 16 May 1987 page 21
  2. ^ Chris Moyes obituary The Times 18 September 2006
  3. ^ History Timeline Go-Ahead Group
  4. ^ Gypsy taken over Commercial Motor 11 January 1990 page 29
  5. ^ Go-Ahead annual report 30 June 1994 Go-Ahead Group plc
  6. ^ Go-Ahead annual report 29 June 1996 Go-Ahead Group plc
  7. ^ a b c Depot Locations Go North East
  8. ^ Companies House extract company no 2057284 Go North East Limited formerly Go Gateshead Limited
  9. ^ a b 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
  10. ^ Companies House extract company no 132492 Go Northern Limited formerly The Northern General Transport Company Limited
  11. ^ Arriva plans Bishop Auckland take over Bus & Coach Professional 30 January 2006
  12. ^ a b http://northeastbuses.co.uk/news/article.php?id=210
  13. ^ National Express Coach Handbook - 8th Edition. British Bus Publishing. 2012. ISBN 978-1-904875-78-9. 
  14. ^ Go North East Night Buses
  15. ^ https://www.simplygo.com/our-services/
  16. ^ [1] Go North East
  17. ^ http://northeastbuses.co.uk/news/article.php?id=157
  18. ^ Companies House extract company no 2813677 Tyne & Wear Omnibus Company Limited
  19. ^ Companies House extract company no 626949 OK Motor Services Limited
  20. ^ The Go-Ahead Group Plc and OK Motor Services Limited: A report on the merger situation Competition Commission 1996

External links[edit]

Media related to Go North East at Wikimedia Commons