Go North East (GNE), JH Coaches and Stanley Travel are working together to provide up to 28 buses and 52 drivers per day for a two-week rail replacement service while a section of the Tyne and Wear Metro is closed.
18 of the vehicles and 36 drivers are drawn from GNE’s own resource. The balance is provided by JH Coaches and Stanley Travel under contract. Together, the buses and staff are being used between Heworth and Regent Centre and Four Lane Ends until Sunday 28 February.
The rail replacement undertaking represents further collaboration between large and smaller operators in the North East that began earlier in the pandemic.
GNE and Stanley Travel are temporarily running some journeys on two Arriva North East services to assist Arriva while it is experiencing a staff shortage. That follows work with North East operators to run duplicate services earlier in the pandemic, and the NEBus ticket agreement that allows customers to use their tickets on any operator’s services that run along the same corridor.
Of the rail replacement cooperation, GNE Managing Director Martijn Gilbert says: “Working collaboratively is very much the spirit of those keeping services running during the pandemic. It is great that we are able to share this extra contracted work with local coach operators, a sector that has been particularly hit by the economic impact of COVID-19.”
The Tyne and Wear Metro is closed for two weeks while upgrade work is carried out to replace life-expired equipment and ahead of the arrival of new rolling stock.