Stagecoach North East

Stagecoach North East is one of the three major bus operators providing local and regional services in North East England alongside Arriva North East and Go North East. The company is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group, and is made up of two formerly municipal operations: Busways Travel Services and Cleveland Transit.[1][2]

Stagecoach North East
StagecoachBus.jpg
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC, branded in the company's former corporate livery, seen at Gallowgate in Newcastle upon Tyne.
ParentStagecoach
Founded1986
HeadquartersSunderland
Service area
Service typeBus and coach
Depots6
Fleet437 (as of April 2019)
Websitehttps://www.stagecoachbus.com/about/north-east

In 2018–19, Stagecoach North East operated a distance of 19 million miles, with a total of around 61 million passenger journeys made over the course of the year making it the third busiest Stagecoach bus subsidiary in the UK after Stagecoach London and Stagecoach Manchester.[3]

It is made up of 5 sub-division brands: Stagecoach in Newcastle, Stagecoach in Sunderland, Stagecoach in South Shields, Stagecoach in Hartlepool and Stagecoach on Teesside

Busways Travel ServicesEdit

 
An Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-decker bus operating in Newcastle City Centre.
 
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 in the company's former corporate livery, part of the South Shields fleet.
 
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 bodied Scania Gas Bus operating a service in Sunderland.

Stagecoach's first presence in the North East of England came with the purchase of Busways Travel Services.[1] Busways was purchased in July 1994 from its employees and management shareholders.

Busways Travel Services Limited is now a holding company for Stagecoach North East's operations in Newcastle, South Shields and Sunderland, the three locations in which Busways operated.

Stagecoach in NewcastleEdit

Stagecoach in Newcastle is the largest division of Stagecoach North East, and one of the three major bus operators in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, alongside Arriva North East and Go North East. Stagecoach provides local services within the city proper although a small number of services do extend beyond out city limits into other parts of Tyne and Wear.

Stagecoach in Newcastle also operated the NewcastleGateshead City Sightseeing tour; however, the franchise agreement was ended in 2018.

In 2019, Stagecoach in Newcastle launched "The Seasider" open-top service. The launch of the coastal service coincided with the end of the company's City Sightseeing franchise agreement, with the open top double-deckers being deployed onto this new route, in order to engage with a new customer base in North Tyneside, which takes in the sights of the North East's coast. The route serves North Shields, Cullercoats, Tynemouth and Whitley Bay.

Other Stagecoach services operating in the city belong to different subsidiaries including the X24 and X34 express services between Newcastle and Sunderland which are part of the Stagecoach in Sunderland brand; and the 685 Cross-Pennine route between Carlisle and Newcastle which is operated by Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire.

Stagecoach in South ShieldsEdit

Stagecoach in South Shields operates mostly local services within South Shields, with further services linking the town with Gateshead, Jarrow, Newcastle and Sunderland.[4]

Stagecoach in South Shields is the eventual successor to South Shields Corporation Transport.

Stagecoach in SunderlandEdit

Stagecoach in Sunderland operates a large network of local services in the city, with Arriva North East and Go North East also operating in and around the city.

Only one of the routes operated by Stagecoach in Sunderland's Wheatsheaf depot leaves the city's boundaries, this being the X24 express service (running from Sunderland to Gateshead and Newcastle).

Services E1, E2 and E6 also operate beyond the city's boundaries (running from Sunderland to Seaburn, Whitburn, Marsden and South Shields), however this group of services are ran from the depot at South Shields.

Stagecoach in Sunderland is also home 40 Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 bodied Scania Gas Buses. These are currently the only batch of this type within the Stagecoach group.[5] The vehicles run primarily on routes 3, 12, 13, 16 and 20.

Cleveland TransitEdit

In September 1994, Stagecoach purchased Cleveland Transit.[2] Cleveland Transit also owned Kingston upon Hull City Transport, which is now part of Stagecoach East Midlands.

Darlington Transport Company[6] refused to sell to Stagecoach, and a Competition Commission inquiry later concluded:

"It was the combination of Busways' actions in recruiting so many of DTC's drivers so quickly, registering services on all its routes and running free services which caused DTC's final collapse. We find these actions to be predatory, deplorable and against the public interest. The adverse effects which we identify are the disruption of the orderly sale of DTC and the deterrence of future competitive entry into local bus markets where Stagecoach is present, with implications not only in the reference area but elsewhere."[7]

In December 1994, Hartlepool Transport was purchased by Stagecoach,[8] with the Darlington division of the company being sold to Arriva North East in 2007.

Stagecoach in HartlepoolEdit

Stagecoach in Hartlepool operates a small network of local services in and around the town of Hartlepool. It also operates route 1 (from Hartlepool to Seaton Carew and Middlesbrough).[9]

From February 2020, the area is also served by Stagecoach's Tees Flex network, a pre-bookable service running in and around Teesside, Stockton on Tees, Darlington and Redcar and Cleveland. Services are operated by a dedicated fleet of branded Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses.

Stagecoach on TeessideEdit

 
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 branded in The Zone livery, seen in Stockton-on-Tees.

Stagecoach on Teesside operate a number of local services in the Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees areas, as well as route 36 (running from Middlesbrough, Stockton and Billingham to Greatham and Hartlepool).[10]

Arriva North East also provide services in Teesside, extending out in to North Yorkshire and the Tees Valley, as well as Tyne & Wear and County Durham.

Go North East also operate a limited number of services in the area, serving Teesside with the X9 & X10 express (running from Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Billingham to Peterlee, Dalton Park, Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne).

From February 2020, the area is also served by Stagecoach's 'Tees Flex' network, a pre-bookable service running in and around Teesside, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington and Redcar & Cleveland. Services are operated by a dedicated fleet of 'Tees Flex' branded Mercedes Sprinter minibuses.

Former operationsEdit

Stagecoach in DarlingtonEdit

After being purchased by Stagecoach, Busways became a key participant in the Darlington Bus War, with the establishment of Stagecoach in Darlington. In 1995, the operation of Stagecoach in Darlington passed from Busways to Cleveland Transit.[8]

In August 2007, Stagecoach's Darlington depot was sold to Arriva North East, along with 28 step-entrance Dennis Darts.[11][12][13] Arriva North East's original Darlington depot was closed, with operations consolidated at the former Stagecoach depot, before moving to a new facility at Faverdale.

Fleet and operationsEdit

FleetEdit

 
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 Hybrid in the company's special green livery operating in Newcastle City Centre.

Stagecoach North East currently operate a fleet of 437 single and double-deck vehicles (as of April 2019).[3]

Most Stagecoach North East vehicles are branded in the now 20-year-old Beach Ball design corporate livery, originally launched in 2000.[14] The livery consists of vehicles painted white, with a blue skirt, and red and orange swoops.

Since 2007, Stagecoach North East have invested heavily in hybrid buses. Stagecoach in Sunderland is also home 40 Alexander Dennis Enviro 300 bodied Scania Gas Buses. These are currently the only batch of this type within the Stagecoach group. The vehicles run primarily on routes 3, 12, 13, 16 and 20. Stagecoach in Newcastle is served by large fleet of Alexander Dennis Enviro400 double-decker buses including the Enviro400 Hybrid and more recently the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMC buses. These double decker buses operate on many of the city's high frequency routes.

The new Stagecoach livery was launched in January 2020, and features three different liveries, based on the type of service operated: local, long-distance and specialist.[15]

DepotsEdit

Stagecoach North East operate services from six depots:

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Busways Travel Services Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Cleveland Transit Ltd". Companies House. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b "About Stagecoach North East | Stagecoach". www.stagecoachbus.com. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  4. ^ "South Shields Bus Guide" (PDF). Stagecoach. Retrieved 11 November 2012.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Gas buses | Stagecoach". www.stagecoachbus.com. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  6. ^ Companies House extract company no 2003023 Darlington Transport Company Limited
  7. ^ "The supply of bus services in the north-east of England". Competition Commission. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012.
  8. ^ a b Cleveland Transit Ltd The 500 Group
  9. ^ "Hartlepool Bus Guide" (PDF). Stagecoach Bus. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  10. ^ "Teesside Bus Guide" (PDF). Stagecoach. Retrieved 11 November 2012.
  11. ^ Cheaper travel for passengers as Arriva takes over Stagecoach's Darlington services Arriva 9 May 2007
  12. ^ OFT grants Arriva clearance to take over Stagecoach's Darlington operations Arriva 23 August 2007
  13. ^ Watchdog clears bus routes sale BBC News 23 August 2007
  14. ^ "Stagecoach mulls brand change". routeone. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  15. ^ "January 30th 2020: Stagecoach unveils its 20:20 Vision". Steven Knight Media. Retrieved 25 February 2020.

External linksEdit