Northern General Transport Bus Depot Official Opening

Northern General Transport Bus Depot Official Opening

We’re here today at Beamish to celebrate the opening of our bus depot as part of our Remaking Beamish project – a £20m development, across a 3 to 4 year programme which is absolutely fantastic, so it’s been an exciting opportunity for us to open something else for our visitors, the last thing we opened was our welfare hall as part of Remaking Beamish and this is the next thing to open in the project so this is going to enhance and really enable us engage further with our visitors to the museum this is going to house some transport which gets our visitors around the museum which is absolutely brilliant The museum is becoming increasingly busy as an attraction people expect to be carried around it, it’s a large site and we’re looking at 750,000 visitors a year, we need to consider how we move them and the tramway for many, many years has been at the core of that increasing we are expanding our bus operation so the 1950s Town is slightly remote from the tramway route so the buses are the obvious solution we have 8 vehicles which will be used to support that service  and these will be based and maintained in this facility here and we’re looking at something like, in numerical terms, 40% extra seats per hour which is what these vehicles can provide so from a visitor point of view, that means queueing less for a vehicle to get them back It is important to us for the bus depot to be open and very visual so obviously the fleet would be in use everyday this has always been a feature at the tram depot where people wander to the railings to look optimistically in trying to see the collections behind with the depot we’re going to let people in to the building itself so they can see the vehicles but they can also look through the viewing gallery, into the workshops in order to see how we maintain them I’m immensely proud to be standing here today at the opening of the Northern General Transport bus depot it is hugely important for the museum, for the community in terms of the development of STEM skills giving the museum a much better facility to maintain and operate its important fleet of buses from and from our perspective as the local bus operator, is the museum is replicating an immensely proud part  of our 106 year and growing history we have nearly 750 buses and 2,000 employees in the region and therefore this is an important part of recognising the great work of the company over many years Go North East, the bus company, has long been a museum friend and has been an active participant in various museum activities, we know many of our employees and customers come visit here but also, this is a really important tourism attraction in the area we’re delighted to be running bus services past the front door and then lastly we’re really proud of our history and by working in partnership with Beamish we’re able to keep that long history alive forever – that’s really important We have had 2 vehicles here today, the Routemaster which I just mentioned isn’t technically ours, but we are sponsoring it this year and have helped put it back on the road and then we’ve also had one of our more modern Optare Versa buses here today that is used on the number 28 bus service which passes the door and brings many staff and visitors here and we’ve actually painted that in a traditional replica livery – the colour scheme is the same as SOS bus and we’ve done that as a special for today, for the bus depot unveiling – that’s now going to go in to service on our number 28 bus route, as a mobile advert for Beamish, for the Northern General Depot and to promote the bus links – as sustainable and accessible transport to bring hopefully more visitors here to Beamish and continue to support the great work that’s going on here so we’re obviously very grateful to our supporters and their enthusiasm for us   we have the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Reece Foundation and Go North East all of whom have supported us throughout the project, financially and in kind and it’s their enthusiasm which has really helped make this possible and it’s great to see on a day like today, including the modern Go North East bus which has been liveried in the same livery as one our vehicles it kind of shows that it’s a genuine integral part of their business as much as it is for Beamish to be part of the community I’d just like to say a big, big thank you to all the partners involved with the project Reece Foundation have played a huge part in what’s going on behind us but also the many employees and of course the volunteers here and the people which come to make it all worthwhile, to actually come and support and visit if you haven’t been for a long time, do come!

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. That modern bus in historical livery looks amazing! I hope liveries of that type come back into common use since it really improves the look of the vehicles.

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