Start-up operator taking on first ever bus routes

Start-up operation, Northstar Bus, is to take on its first ever routes from 22 July 2024.

Two of the three routes are currently operated by Go North East, while the other (599) is a brand new service, funded through the North East Combined Authority’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

The services are:

  • 599 – between Sunderland and Hebburn, via Royal Hospital, Pallion, Castletown, IAMP, Nissan and Jarrow.
  • 643 – between Sunniside and Metrocentre ASDA, via Whickham.
  • 939 – between Sunderland and Team Valley, via Concord and Washington Galleries.

“Already, we are proving that we can offer Local Authorities better value-for-money than our competitors…” – Dan Graham, Northstar Bus MD

Dan Graham, Northstar Bus MD, told B&CB: “It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point, but it is incredibly rewarding for Northstar to be taking over the operation of its first contracts from 21 July. My aim for Northstar was to combine the best bits of professional standards from large Plc operations, with the attention to detail, passion and entrepreneurial flair of the very best independent operators, to deliver to Local Authorities and bus users a high-quality service with care and efficiency. Put simply, ‘we get it, and we care!’

“Already, we are proving that we can offer Local Authorities better value-for-money than our competitors, through our skill and experience in tender bidding, as well as our attention to detail on cost management.”

New operator Northstar launches in north east

Service 599 is to be operated with two Euro VI AD Enviro200s, which were new to Transdev London Sovereign in 2011 and previously operated with London United. They will be repainted in Northstar livery ahead of the contracts starting, as well as being fitted with electronic LED destination displays.

Services 643 and 939 are to run either with a Euro V ADL Enviro300 (which was new as a demonstrator vehicle with National Express West Midlands, but most recently served with Adventure Travel), or Euro V Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents (new to, and previously with, Stagecoach East Scotland). Route allocations will vary depending on whether it is term-time or school holidays, as they will work around schools.

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