Go North East industrial action is set to end and local bus services will resume on Saturday December 2. 

The North East Joint Transport Committee has welcomed the news that the situation has been resolved and encouraged local people to get back onboard following the launch of new affordable fares and improvements across the network in recent weeks.   

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “It is great news that this industrial dispute has been resolved and buses will serve our communities once again. 

“I hope local people get back on the bus without delay – especially in the run up to the busy Christmas period. I understand that Go North East will be making travel free for the next seven days which is a move that I welcome and support. 

“Once that offer has ended, bus travel is still great value - earlier this year we brought in a £1 single bus fare for young people aged 21 and under which is still available – now with a £3 cap for unlimited travel by bus, Metro and Ferry across the entire North East. These fares are great value and have already generated over 5 million sustainable journeys while also helping to open up many new opportunities for our region’s young people.  

“We also recently launched new adult fares for unlimited travel by bus, Metro and Ferry across the entire region for £6.80, alongside local versions for travel wholly within County Durham for £4, wholly within Northumberland for £5, and wholly within Tyne and Wear for £6. Combined with investment to speed up buses with more bus lanes and priority at key traffic junctions, greener electric vehicles and better bus information, we hope this will encourage more people back onboard in the coming days.  

Cllr Gannon acknowledged the harm the strike action has caused to the local economy and public confidence in public transport and said: “Go North East’s failure to provide bus services during the strike period will have undoubtedly caused lasting damage to peoples’ confidence in using buses, and the impact will be profound, worsening the long-term decline in bus use which was accelerated during the pandemic.  

“I sincerely hope that the operator now looks closely at how to regain the trust of the public.

"I have long held the view that the current commercial bus system - which removed the ability of local councils to regulate or control bus services - is wrong and works against the needs and wants of local communities and passengers. The new Mayoral Combined Authority will have powers to deliver bus services differently – and this is already happening in Manchester.

"I have asked for a report into the options and I and my fellow Leaders and Mayors will be looking at them very closely indeed.”