Go North East has invested over £500,000 in five new Optare Solos for its rural services in Hexham and West Northumberland. The buses feature 29 leather seats with seatbelts and offer free Wi-Fi. They will be used six days a week from early morning until early evening on the operator’s Tynedale Links services. Working in partnership with Northumberland County Council and parish councils, a late night bus on Saturdays on service 74 also gives residents of Ponteland, Stamfordham and Matfen an opportunity to enjoy a night out in Newcastle. Last year, the Go-Ahead owned company was able to restore a commuter link lost decades ago with a through bus from Bellingham to Newcastle via Hexham, providing a service for workers and college students from the North Tyne valley. In late spring/early summer, the Solos will be joined in the fleet by a batch of new Wrightbus StreetLites for Go North East’s Prince Bishop services between Sunderland and Durham.
MD of Go North East, Kevin Carr, said, ‘Since 2010, we’ve replaced Hexham’s fleet of buses on our “Ten” service along the Tyne Valley not once but twice. New single deck buses proved so popular that they were replaced with new double deckers. Now our local Tynedale Links buses have been replaced with new low carbon emission buses that provide a better customer experience and are good for the environment. Hexham’s bus fleet is now one of the cleanest in the country.’