Northern General Routemaster deployed to assist on Go North East school services

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Go North East deployed 56 extra buses from last week to ensure there was sufficient extra capacity on its network as more schools and workers return and use the region’s buses.

The extras are covering both Go North East’s and some other bus operators’ services and have been implemented in partnership with Local Authorities.

Last week a 1964 Northern General Routemaster bus even helped out to provide additional peak time capacity.

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Running alongside a scheduled journey with a modern and fully wheelchair accessible bus, the vintage Routemaster, once a common sight in Tyneside, is reflective of the company pulling out all the stops to get extra vehicles on the road to provide a capacity boost to services.

The return to service of the vehicle, part of the North East Bus Preservation Trust collection since 2007 and originally new to Go North East’s predecessor, the Northern General Transport Company, was supported by the company last year as part of the opening of a replica Northern Bus Garage at Beamish Museum.

It was also intended to help engage with the local community and support communication of the company’s rich local history at a number of other events planned for this year, but sadly now cancelled due to the pandemic.

Go North East’s Managing Director, Martijn Gilbert, said: “Our hardworking team has gone to huge efforts to make sure our buses are clean and safe for everyone to use.

“As the schools reopen and more people return to work, we know buses will get busier and that’s why we’ve done everything possible to put extra capacity into the network.

“We’ll keep this under daily review as patterns of use and any issues emerge, but we want to assure customers that we’re doing all we can to pre-empt issues and are monitoring things very closely to ensure everyone can get to where they need by bus.

“There have been many fleet changes to help with this and it’s been a great opportunity to get the vintage Routemaster into service for a couple of weeks to help out with the additional capacity, whilst also raising the profile of everyone’s extra special efforts to bolster services and keep our region moving.”

PCN 762 was operated by Northern General, and is today part of the North East Bus Preservation Trust collection. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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