Network One, the travel ticket covering any bus, the Metro and ferry, has been extended to include travel in County Durham and Northumberland making it easier for people to travel around the region using buses and the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Working together, the region’s transport companies, local authorities and the Joint Transport Committee, have worked in partnership to deliver integrated ticketing across the region throughout all seven local authority areas.

The North East has one of the oldest integrated and multi-operator transport ticketing schemes in the UK, with Network One providing travel tickets that can be used across all bus and Metro services, as well as the Shields Ferry, for over 30 years in Tyne and Wear.

Now people living outside of Tyne and Wear who travel in to use the Metro or other bus services will be able to buy one ticket that is valid throughout their journey.

The new ticket option, called ‘All Zones Plus’, can be bought on any mobile app of the region’s main bus companies, Go North East, Stagecoach and Arriva for travel on bus and Metro services – and the Shields Ferry.

At the same time, existing Tyne and Wear Network One All Zones tickets can now be purchased on a Pop smartcard which means that people can use one smartcard for multi-modal travel across the region regardless of which operators they are travelling with.

Steve Walker, chair of Network One Ticketing and managing director at Stagecoach North East, said: “Network One has long provided ticketing for customers in Tyne and Wear who use buses, Metro and the Ferry.

“It has also long been an aspiration for us to extend these tickets into County Durham and Northumberland. The travel work area has grown across the region, and I am pleased that this is now a reality making it easier for people to travel around the region.”

Martijn Gilbert, chair of NEbus and managing director at Go North East, said: “Partnership working has never been stronger in the region, with everyone working to an even more integrated and sustainable public transport network, which is crucial as the regional economy recovers from the pandemic.

“Improving ticketing and information through technology with mobile apps and smartcards are tools that have been in place at individual operators for many years.

“It is great that these tools have come together across all bus operators and Metro to make things even easier and simpler for customers.

“Our work does not stop here though as we will be continuing to work with Stakeholders,  Nexus and the Metro, to further modernise and expand ticketing offers into the future, with contactless bankcard ticketing now available on all of the region’s main bus operators, and concepts such as ‘Tap on Tap off’ bankcard ticketing now in trial operation on three local bus routes, with more to come.”

Cllr Gannon, chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee and leader of Gateshead Council, added: “The launch of Network One as a truly regional integrated ticket is great news for passengers across the North East travelling by bus, Metro and ferry.

“This is a major customer development and a direct result of the close partnership working between the North East Joint Transport Committee and local bus operators. It goes to show the huge improvements we can make to everyday journeys, hopefully encouraging more people onto public transport, driving a green, sustainable recovery from the impact of the pandemic.”