Go North East saves Quaylink services

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Operator’s MD questions rationale for Quality Contract Scheme after funding is pulled for the important service

The future of the Quaylink bus service has been secured thanks to Go North East.

Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council and lead Chief Executive on transport for the North East Combined Authority (NECA), announced last week that the city council was withdrawing its funding for the service. This followed a similar announcement from Gateshead Council, which also part funds the current service.

Go North East stepped in to save the bus, which links the Baltic, Sage, Gateshead College and St Peter’s Basin with Newcastle city centre and Gateshead Interchange.

Kevin Carr, Managing Director of Go North East, said: “With all our local authorities facing a funding crisis and some considering increasing council taxes, it’s inevitable that front-line services – including those buses funded by councils – will be hit.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to come up with a plan that will continue to provide a seven-day-a-week bus service to such an important part of Newcastle and Gateshead.

“But this must bring in to question the Combined Authority’s view that bus services are best controlled by local authorities – if they can’t guarantee a service as important as this, how can they guarantee improvements to the bus network?”