Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 09.19.46The north east’s largest bus operator continues to plough 100 percent of its profits back into improving services – as it invests £6.9m on new buses.

Gateshead-based Go North East has bought 47 new vehicles for a range of its most popular services. The new buses are part of a programme of investment to ensure its fleet is as modern and efficient as possible. The move comes just 18 months after a significant £30m spend on 100 new vehicles and a new super depot in Dunston, Gateshead.

Go North East has a fleet of 660 buses and is the north east’s third largest employer with 2,100 staff. The company runs services in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham and Teesside.

The first of the new buses have just been introduced on its X66 Metrocentre Gateshead express route and were launched by the Metrognomes who now feature on the new livery.

The firm’s Red Kite service which follows the Red Kite trail from Newcastle and Metrocentre to Rowlands Gill and Consett will receive new vehicles, as will the Lime service. The Lime is being renamed Coast & Country to reflect that it follows the coast to country cycle track from Consett to Sunderland passing through Stanley, Beamish and Washington.

A number of the firm’s other routes will also benefit from the investment thanks to the company’s strategy whereby the newest buses are cascaded down to refresh the whole fleet and remove the oldest vehicles from service.

The vehicles will be phased in over the next few months and are fitted with leather seats, LED lighting, wood effect flooring, free wifi, next stop announcements and USB and plug sockets. The vehicles are also fitted with the latest micro hybrid engine technology which recovers braking energy to power on board systems that would otherwise require power from the engine, thus reducing fuel consumption and improving emissions.

Managing director Kevin Carr said: “Each year we have reinvested every penny of our profits back into improving services. These new vehicles will ensure our fleet is one of the most modern in the country.

“We have very loyal customers and we continue to innovate commercially to ensure they stay with us, by giving them features they tell us they appreciate including free wifi, plug sockets, next stop announcements and comfortable seats.”

A series of launch events are planned over the spring and summer to introduce the new vehicles and new brands into their local communities.