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Go North East to cut express coaches to improve accessibility on key routes

We're pleased that Go North East will improve accessibility on key bus routes after we raised concerns about their express coaches.

Image: A view of a bus platform outside a bus station.

North East bus and coach operator will remove inaccessible express coaches from its X10 and X9 routes which run from Middlesbrough to Newcastle.

Go North East has confirmed it will remove inaccessible express coaches next month, replacing them with accessible low-level buses.

A large number of RNIB service users raised concerns about the coaches in 2020, so we investigated the accessibility of the express coaches Go North East run on the X10 and X9 routes.

We got in touch with fellow regional stakeholder groups and it was clear that travellers with low mobility and low vision found the buses inaccessible.

How RNIB responded to the challenge

Together with Newcastle Vision Support and North East Action on Transport, we wrote to Go North East to outline our accessibility concerns and highlight the current Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations and the Equality Act 2010.

Following this, we’re delighted Go North East has confirmed the coaches will be removed from its fleet by next month.

One blind service user has responded by saying:

“It’s very significant that they’ve decided to change the buses as they were not accessible for visually impaired people, disabled people, or people with prams.”

Also, Go North East has invited RNIB and stakeholder groups to visit its Gateshead depot to assess the proposed low level buses which will replace the current fleet and discuss accessibility in greater detail.

Find out more about our campaigning for inclusive journeys.