Go North East

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Go North East
20190417-Go-North-East-NK66EWA (cropped).jpg
Wright StreetLite, branded in the 2019 variation of the company's corporate livery.
Parent Go-Ahead Group
FoundedFebruary 1987;34 years ago (1987-02)
Headquarters Gateshead, Tyne and Wear
Service area
Service typeBus and coach
Fleet691 (as of 3rd January 2021)
Managing DirectorMartijn Gilbert
Website www.gonortheast.co.uk

Go North East is the largest of the three main bus operators in the North East of England, the others being Arriva North East and Stagecoach North East. It operates both local and regional services within and across North East England, as well as in North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. [1] [2]


The company was previously known as the Northern General Transport Company, and Go-Ahead Northern. It was the foundation of today's Go-Ahead Group.


An Optare Solo SR in the 2016 variation of the company's corporate livery. Go North East 634 NK61FJO Bus.jpg
An Optare Solo SR in the 2016 variation of the company's corporate livery.

In February 1987, as part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, a management buyout led by Martin Ballinger and Chris Moyes saw the purchase of the Northern General Transport Company. [3] [4] It was the first company of what is now the Go-Ahead Group. [5]

Early expansion saw the acquisition of certain smaller competing bus operators in North East England, including Gypsy Queen in 1989, [6] and Low Fell Coaches in June 1992. Go-Ahead Northern also became a National Express contractor, operating services to the Midlands, North East, North West and South West of England.

Until the early 2000s, Go North East operated local services in the Darlington. The company also operated from a depot in Bishop Auckland, which closed in 2006, with the majority of local services (but no vehicles) transferred to Arriva North East. [7]

In June 2018, East Yorkshire Motor Services was acquired by Go-Ahead, bringing an end to 30 years of family ownership. Now re-branded as East Yorkshire, it will continue to run as a standalone company within Go North East. [8]

List of Acquired Companies

Fleet and operations

A large part of the Go North East fleet is made up of vehicles manufactured by Alexander Dennis, Optare, Volvo and Wrightbus. As of 3rd January 2021, the fleet consists of 691 buses and coaches. [9]

Operations were previously split between a North and South division. However, all operations are now under one management structure.

The former North division operated services in Gateshead, North Tyneside, West Durham, Northumberland and the Tyne Valley.

The former South division operated services in Sunderland, County Durham and South Tyneside, as well as National Express coach services.


As of March 2020, Go North East operate from nine bus depots:

Livery and branding

Go North East introduced route branding in 2006 – a practice which involves giving each service, or group of services, a recognisable identity, colour scheme and logo. Route branding has led to Go North East adopting a multi-coloured fleet. Examples of Go North East's route branding include Angel , [13] Green Arrow, [14] QuayLink , Tynedale Links [15] and X-Lines. [16]

For many years, Go North East's fleet livery consisted of red, light blue and yellow. Following this, vehicles without route branding were painted in a red base, carrying Northern logos. By the end of 2013, the Northern logos began to be replaced, with the company opting to instead use the Go North East corporate logo.

In 2016, a new corporate livery was introduced, with vehicles painted red at the front, and blue at the back, separated by a white strip, with a tagline and website featuring above the windows (below the lower deck windows on double-deck vehicles).

This proved to be short-lived, and in 2019, a new-style corporate livery has been introduced. This features a lighter shade of blue at the rear, with the curved white separation strip being replaced with a double white and yellow line.

Coaches operating services under contract to National Express are painted in the client's (mostly white) livery, featuring company's blue and red logo. [17]

A series of Go North East's private hire coaches are currently being repainted in to retro-inspired heritage liveries, as part of the Northern Coaching operation. [18]


  1. Formerly operated by Arriva North East, until the acquisition of the company's operations in Northumberland and the Tyne Valley in 2010.
  2. Opened in 2019, as a replacement for the former depot at Stanley.
  3. Opened in 2014, as a replacement for the former depots at Sunderland Road (Gateshead) and Winlaton.

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  1. "Go North East Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 11 March 2020.
  2. "East Yorkshire Motor Services Limited". Companies House. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  3. "NBC sale at halfway stage". Commercial Motor. 16 May 1987. p. 21. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  4. "Warm tributes to ex-Go Ahead chief". The Journal. 14 September 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  5. "History Timeline". Go-Ahead Group. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  6. "Gypsy taken over". Commercial Motor. 11 January 1990. p. 29.
  7. "Transport improves for Valley residents". The Northern Echo. 9 June 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  8. "Go-Ahead Welcomes East Yorkshire Motor Services into Go North East". Go North East. 18 June 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  9. "Weekly Disposition 3 January 2021" (PDF). Go North East. 28 June 2020. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  10. "Anticipated acquisition by Go North East Limited of the bus operations of Arriva Northumbria Limited in Hexham, Northumberland" (PDF). Office of Fair Trading. February 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  11. "Go North East unveils new £3.5m Consett base". Go North East. 18 March 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  12. "Go North East opens new 'super depot'". Coach & Bus Week. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  13. "£4.5million boost for popular Angel bus service". Go North East. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  14. "Out with the old and in with the new as Go North East invests £1.8 million in state of the art environmentally friendly buses for its Green Arrow services". Go North East. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  15. "GNE invests £500k in Optare fleet for Tynedale Links". Coach & Bus Week. 11 April 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  16. "£720,000 investment from Go North East in state of the art environmentally friendly buses for its X30 route". Go North East. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  17. "New Identity for National Express Group". National Express. 15 November 2007. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  18. "Northern Coaching". Go North East. Retrieved 25 February 2020.