North East bus operators and Nexus talk partnership

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The North East Bus Operators’ Association (NEBOA) has welcomed an invitation from Nexus PTE to hold a series of workshops aimed at hammering out a deal to improve services in Tyne and Wear.

The sessions will explore how operators, Nexus and councils can work in together to deliver improvements such as investment in fleets, improved reliability and journey times, ‘smart’ ticketing, a new customer charter for passengers and better value fares.

NEBOA Chairman Kevin Carr said: “These workshops should provide an opportunity for Nexus, councils and all the key players in public transport to fully engage with bus firms and participate in the process of developing a partnership agreement.

“I firmly believe we’re making progress towards a partnership which delivers the ITA’s bus strategy in an affordable and effective way.”

NEBOA’s partnership offer already includes fares deals for 16- 18 year olds, a new ‘Bus2Bus’ ticket and proposals which will produce savings for councils and the operators are keen to find ways that the idea can be further developed.

The proposal would establish Partnership Boards in each area of Tyne and Wear, ensuring the best possible services are provided across the county.

Carr said: “We already run two successful partnerships, in East Gateshead and South Tyneside, which have provided us with considerable experience of using the partnership approach. A county-wide partnership would reap benefits for local councils and, most importantly, our passengers.”

Tobyn Hughes, Director of Customer Services at Nexus, told CBW: “We’re looking forward to this chance to work through the options for partnership with NEBOA. We have highlighted our concerns with NEBOA’s initial response to our invitation to form a partnership, and hope it can be improved on through this continuing dialogue.”