Big Bus Conversation 2023

Help us continue to 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 in 2021, the public asked loud and clear for a local bus strategy; people want to know what our plans are to improve the bus network. Responding to feedback from people of the North East, we created the Bus Service Improvement Plan in 2021, which was then refreshed in 2022.

Now, it’s time to refresh the plan again and we’d like you to give your say in the latest stage of the #BigBusCoversation.

Following the publication of the Government’s ‘Bus Back Better’ national strategy, the North East is in the midst of 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!

Your feedback will help to set priorities as we continue to improve the way the North East bus network operates. To share your views, please fill out the following short survey.  There’s questions about how you currently feel about buses, our priorities for improvements and then some questions to help us understand a bit about you. 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.

Get involved and share your views with us! Click the button below to fill in the survey, or if you’re struggling to access, then send an enquiry to

The Big Bus Conversation runs from 31 July until 8 September 2023. Terms and Conditions can be found here.

Unable to access the online survey? We’re out and about across the region, so why not come and say hello and let us know your thoughts?

  • Tuesday 22nd August10am – 2pm: Sunderland, Winter Gardens, Burdon Rd, SR1 1PP
  • Wednesday 23rd August, 10am – 2pm: Durham, Riverside Park Ropery Lane, Chester-le-Street, DH3 3PL
  • Thursday 24th August10am – 2pm: Gateshead, Metrocentre, St. Michaels Way. NE11 9YG
  • Friday 25th August10am – 2pm: South Tyneside, The Market, River Drive, South Shields, NE33 1JN
  • Tuesday 29th August10am – 2pm: North Tyneside, Spanish City Plaza, Whitley Bay, NE26 1BG
  • Wednesday 30th August 10am – 2pm: Northumberland, Wentworth Long Stay, Alemouth Road, Hexham, NE46 1QE
  • Friday 1st September 10am – 2pm: Newcastle, Grainger Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 5JG

Your views matter

People are passionate about buses and we want to hear from you! Last time we asked you, people said…

“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

What do you think?

Let us know in our survey here.