Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, is to introduce a major upgrade to its express X9 and X10 routes, that run between Middlesbrough and Newcastle via the A19, serving Stockton, Norton, Billingham, Peterlee, Dalton Park, Heworth and Gateshead.
The upgrade comes just three years after Go North East invested £1.6m in seven brand new ADL Enviro400 Euro 6 double-deckers with wi-fi, comfortable leather seats, USB power sockets, tables and next stop audio-visual announcements.
From 5 September, the routes will be operated by luxury coaches to improve reliability and will come with USB charging, power sockets, air-conditioning and comfy seating.
These coaches will be running on the service until autumn, before bigger and even better ones, from Plaxton, arrive with all the same creature comforts, as well as having free onboard Wi-Fi.
The coaches will also come with a double-door, extra wide, front entrance offering wheelchair and priority seating spaces.
From the same date, there will be some changes to stopping arrangements in Newcastle city centre to accommodate the coaches and improve access to leisure facilities.
The services will terminate at the bus stop opposite St Andrew’s Church, near The Gate, rather than serving Eldon Square Bus Station.
Unlimited travel between Middlesbrough and Newcastle is available for just £8.50 a day and £35 a week.
Go North East’s managing director, Martijn Gilbert, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing this upgrade to our express route between Middlesbrough and Newcastle.
“These coaches will provide our customers with an extra comfort whilst they run fast and direct via the A19 and will play an important part in delivering congestion busting low carbon travel to help support the economic recovery of the region.”