Big Bus Conversation

Help us shape the future of our Bus Network #BigBusConversation

Did you know that the bus network is the most used form of public transport in the North East? Buses play a critical role in the lives of people across the region, accounting for over 160 million journeys each year. When we consulted on the North East Transport Plan, the public asked loud and clear for a local bus strategy; people want to know what our plans are to improve the bus network.

Following the publication of the Government’s ‘Bus Back Better’ national strategy, the North East is working on a major project which aims to breathe new life into the North East bus network, delivering an Enhanced Partnership (EP) for the region

An EP is a formal partnership agreement between local authorities and local bus operators which sets out clearly how the network will look, feel and operate in the future. An EP is required to secure future funding from Government for our bus network and deliver many improvements for customers to make it better, more efficient and user-friendly for passengers.

We need your help to make our bus network even better!

By working together, our seven North East local authorities and local bus operators NEbus have developed some big ideas for how to make the bus play an even greater role in the North East which we have outlined in ‘Your Vision for Buses’.

Are they the right ideas? That’s for you to say: we want to know what you think, if you agree or disagree or if you have a great idea on how to improve bus services across the region.

Find out more

Read our aspirations for the North East Bus Network and share your views with us! We want to hear from people across the region so get involved and have your say.

To request Your Vision for Buses in an alternative format, please email

Thank you for your interest in the Big Bus Conversation. The survey has now closed and feedback is being reviewed by the regional bus team.

“We want to know what the public think about our plans so far and I urge people to get involved in the Big Bus Conversation to join this important discussion.

“We need to take action to encourage people out of their cars and onto sustainable public transport as the region recovers from the impact of the pandemic. Tell us how we can help you to do that. We are listening and now is the time to let us know what you’d like to see.”

Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee

Your views matter

People are passionate about buses and we want to hear from you!

“I used to use the Q2 and Q3 all the time when I lived on the Quayside because of the lack of parking spaces in the city centre. Now we both work from home we hardly use any public transport. When we do go out it’s by car. Overall the buses in the North East could be updated, more electric buses would be great!”

Maoge Hou, Newcastle

“Buses in Durham are reasonably frequent, reliable and very affordable – even more so now with the wrinkly pass!”

Eric Sampson, retired, Durham
Eric Samson

“I don’t get the bus until it is an absolute last resort. I find it difficult to know where and when to get one, depending on where I need to go. I find driving and the Metro much easier. Getting a bus usually takes a lot longer to travel indirect routes.”

Emma Staw, South Shields

“I haven’t used a bus for some years now. Opting more to use the car purely for convenience. I live around 5 minutes’ walk from a bus stop but don’t have the slightest idea about frequency or cost. I would consider using the bus more if I had this information readily available – maybe even an Uber-style tracker of buses, that way you can gauge if you have time to make the bus or not. I feel protection for passengers could also be addressed.”

Kevin Sung, North Tyneside

“I use my car not the bus, it’s the convenience of going door to door for me. Being elderly and having walking difficulties, I need to get as close to a place as possible. I used to love going about on the buses using my pass but it’s not just doable anymore.”

Raymond Wylie, Whickham

Why do we need change?

From mid 2018/19 to end of 2019/20 there was increase of 1 million passenger journeys in the North East. We must grow and maintain our bus network to handle the increase in bus journeys from all across our region.

Peak-hour congestion, particularly at city centre river crossings, is leading to poor air quality and unreliable bus journeys for local people. If we can convince North East residents to use the car less and the bus more, many issues across the region can be greatly improved!

Buses reach and connect communities where other types of transport can’t – providing a lifeline for people across the North East in both rural and urban areas. Upgrading the connectivity of our bus network will bring our region together and give people more opportunities – for education, work and leisure.

The North East currently has the lowest life expectancy of all the English regions. This vision aims to ensure that buses play their part in helping us achieve better health outcomes for everyone.

The new Go North East Voltra buses serving Gateshead and Newcastle are fully electric and the electricity used to power them comes from zero emissions sources like solar, wind and hydro power. If we can run more buses that have less of an impact on the environment, our region will thrive.

Get involved and share your views with us! Fill in the survey, email

#BigBusConversation #NorthEastBuses