Go North East

Angel 21 bus at the Angel of the North
Parent Go-Ahead Group
Founded February 1987
Headquarters Gateshead
Service area County Durham
Tyne & Wear
Service type Bus services
Depots 9
Fleet 656 (August 2016)
Chief executive Kevin Carr
Website www.gonortheast.co.uk

Go North East is the largest operator of bus services in North East England operating services in the counties of Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland with a fleet of 691 buses.

It operates through two divisions, North and South, and was previously known as the Northern General Transport Company and Go-Ahead Northern. It was the foundation of today's Go-Ahead Group.


Wright Cadet bodied VDL SB120 in the traditional livery in May 2009
Wright Solar bodied Scania L94UB in Fab Fifty Six livery in April 2009
Mercedes-Benz Citaro in Silver Arrows livery
East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Trident 2 in Coaster livery in April 2009
Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart in Wallsend Links livery in May 2009
Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian in Yellow Buses livery in May 2009

In February 1987 as part of the privatisation of the National Bus Company, a management buyout led by Martin Ballinger and Chris Moyes purchased the Northern General Transport Company.[1][2] It was the first company of what is now the Go-Ahead Group.[3]

Early expansion saw the acquisition of certain smaller competing bus operators in North East England including Gypsy Queen in 1989[4] 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 England.[5]

Go North East previously operated in the Darlington area in late 1990s, mainly services connecting through to Bishop Auckland, Gateshead and Newcastle.


Go North East's headquarters and central engineering department are based at separate locations in Gateshead and Tyne & Wear.[6]

North Division

The North Division (Go North East Limited)[7] operate services from three depots in three counties. The division operates many trunk services as well as local services around Gateshead, North Tyneside, West Durham and Southern Northumberland.

Depots are located at:[6]

South Division

The South Division (Go Northern Limited)[9] operates services from six depots in two counties. The division operates many trunk services as well as local services around Sunderland, County Durham and South Tyneside as well as providing National Express services.

Depots are located at:[6]

Route branding

Go North East introduced route branding in 2006. Route branding involves giving each service or group of services its own vehicles and identity. Branded services have bold and colourful liveries and their own logo. Many brands are unique, however, there are some brands which are similar to those of other operators.[10]


As at October, the fleet consisted of 696 buses and coaches.[11]


Go North East's fleet livery was for many years red, light blue and yellow. However many buses have been route branded in specific liveries, resulting in a multi-coloured fleet. Buses that aren't route branded were painted in a red base, carrying the "Northern" logos. From late 2013, the "Northern" logos have started to be phased out, with the company now opting to use the Go North East logos instead.[12] Coaches operating services under contract to National Express are painted in the client's livery. Now a new corporate livery has been done, red at the front, blue at the back separated by a white strip.


  1. NBC sale at half way point Commercial Motor 16 May 1987 page 21
  2. Chris Moyes obituary The Times 18 September 2006
  3. History Timeline Go-Ahead Group
  4. Gypsy taken over Commercial Motor 11 January 1990 page 29
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
  6. 1 2 3 Depot Locations Go North East
  7. "URI". Data.companieshouse.gov.uk. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  8. "Anticipated acquisition by Go North East Limited of the bus operations of Arriva Northumbria Limited in Hexham, Northumberland" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  9. "URI". Data.companieshouse.gov.uk. 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  10. "Home : Go North East". Simplygo.com. Retrieved 2016-10-17.
  11. Go North East
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2014-08-09.

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