No Go in the North East

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With a view over the Tyne to Newcastle behind, a pair of GNE double-deckers approach Gateshead Interchange; NK11 BGZ carries the operator’s standard livery, whilst newer NK67 GNV behind is branded for The Angel route 21 to Durham. JONATHAN WELCH

Jonathan Welch takes a brief look at the now resolved strike action which has troubled Go North East over the last three months

We generally don’t cover strikes in CBW’s news pages, as they’re often fast-moving, and it’s the nature of a weekly publication that by the time it lands in readers’ hands, the situation has changed or moved on. The last thing we’d want to do is give out incorrect information, especially where people’s livelihoods or ability to plan important travel are affected.

Whilst many operators around the country, including in London, Manchester and Glasgow have been affected by calls for strike action in a drive to improve pay and conditions since the pandemic, it’s been impossible not to note the long-running industrial action at Go North East, with both sides digging in their heels, leading to three months of uncertainty for staff and passengers alike.

When I passed through Gateshead and Newcastle in the week following resumption of services, middle of the day buses seemed to be carrying average loads, but were also operating free for a week as an apology to passengers from Go North East for the disruption they had faced.

Back on 17 August, trade union Unite reported that 1,300 of its members at the Go-Ahead Group operator had been balloted for strike action following below-inflation pay offers, warning that a walk-out could take place if what it called a ‘derisory’ offer that ‘included cuts to terms and conditions’ wasn’t improved.


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