Nexus, Stagecoach, Go North East and South Tyneside Council have got together to launch a Better Bus Network for South Tyneside.
The four partners got together at Jarrow Bus Station to mark the start of a unique collaboration that will start with major changes to routes and timetables from 13 June.
The Better Bus Network will deliver improved bus services right across the borough, including more evening and weekend journeys.
There are also improved links between local neighbourhoods, South Tyneside Hospital and other community health, shopping and leisure destinations.
Cllr Iain Malcolm, leader of South Tyneside Council said: “The new better bus network represents a big improvement in local transport services for South Tyneside Council and shows what can be done by working together to make people’s day-to-day lives easier.”
“Following its launch on 13 June, we will continue to work closely with our transport partners to ensure the scheme evolves successfully and should it prove as effective as we hope, it could act as a model of best practice for other areas across the region.”
John Conroy, Managing Director, Stagecoach North East, says: “The Better Bus Network is an innovative approach to enhancing bus services across South Tyneside and we are delighted to be involved in the project.
“The changes will have a positive impact on the community both in terms of creating an increased sense of stability across the network and in supporting the local economy during what remains a challenging and unpredictable economic climate.”
Peter Huntley, Managing Director of Go North East said “We have been very pleased to work in partnership with Gateshead Council for the last two years and look forward to bringing the benefits of partnership working to South Tyneside.
“Services like our ‘Crusader’ link between South Shields, Jarrow, Hebburn and Newcastle are already a huge success with their dedicated staff and buses, special low fares and direct links and we will mark the partnership launch with a further increase in Crusader frequency – to a bus every 10 minutes.”
Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: “This was an ambitious project bringing together all the parties needed to deliver better public transport for South Tyneside, and we feel sure people will notice the difference.”
Everyone in South Tyneside is to receive information about the changing services in their area in a door-to-door leaflet campaign timed to coincide with services changing on 13 June.
Information is also being provided by operators on buses and online at nexus.org.uk.
The Better Bus Network is being launched following a detailed consultation with local people on where and when they wanted to travel. Nexus held consultation events across South Tyneside and bus operators conducted their own surveys.
The result is a network in which Nexus and operators have worked together to plan a mix of commercially-operated and publicly-funded bus services that knit together to ensure the whole community has the best possible service, meeting the local area plans South Tyneside Council has for the borough.