At these unprecedented times, the region’s largest bus company, Go North East, are working hard to maintain services but customer demand and available resources are significantly reducing, so from Monday 23 March the bus operator will still be running routes but to Sunday frequencies.

For most routes this means a Sunday timetable but with extra morning peak buses. If routes do not normally have a Sunday service, then special timetables will operate.

Go North East will run these enhanced Sunday timetables between Mondays and Saturdays to ensure that they can run buses reliably, whilst buses will return to their normal Sunday timetables each Sunday.

The enhanced Sunday style service from Monday to Saturday includes some services that would not usually run on a Sunday that will have special timetables, and there will be additional morning journeys on most routes to help ensure people can still get to work.

Go North East are encouraging customers to use contactless payments or the Go North East app when travelling to minimise physical contact, with customers also able to track live moving buses on a map with the app.

The bus operator has additionally confirmed that concessionary travel pass holders can now travel free of charge at all times in Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland, to help them access shops and vital services earlier in the day.

The company will also stop issuing paper tickets to concessionary bus pass holders to help further reduce contact.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Go North East, said: “We’re doing everything we can in these unprecedented times to keep the wheels moving on our buses, whilst also trying to protect our workforce and secure jobs in the face of a significant downturn in demand for bus travel.

“This revision to our service levels is designed to help us match resources to customer numbers and help ensure buses run reliably under the current situation, giving our customers peace of mind in knowing that their bus will turn up.”

To view Go North East’s special timetables, visit www.gonortheast.co.uk/coronavirus.