Stagecoach North East
ParentStagecoach Group
Founded1986; 38 years ago (1986)
HeadquartersSunderland, Tyne and Wear
Service area
Service typeBus and coach
Fleet437 (at April 2019)

Stagecoach North East operates both local and regional bus services in County Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland, North Yorkshire and Tyne and Wear, England. It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group, which operates bus, coach, rail and tram services across the United Kingdom.

Busways Travel Services

In July 1994, Busways Travel Services was acquired by Stagecoach Group, in a deal valued at £27.5 million.[1] Busways Travel Services Limited is now a holding company for the group's operations in the cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland and town of South Shields.

In spring 2003, a new depot was opened in Walkergate, at a cost of £6.5 million. It replaced the former depot of Newcastle Corporation Tramways in Byker – the site of which has subsequently been redeveloped.[2][3]

In July 2005, the company commenced operation of a five-year contract for the QuayLink network of services in Gateshead and Newcastle upon Tyne. Award of the contract saw the introduction of a fleet of ten single-deck Designline Olymbus turbine-electric hybrid buses – a project costing £7.7 million.[4]

In October 2011, a total of 26 double-deck diesel-hybrid Alexander Dennis Enviro400H buses were introduced in Newcastle on high-frequency services 39 and 40. Investment totalled £7.2 million, with £2.2 million from the Government's Green Bus Fund.[5][6][7]

From February 2014, a fleet of 40 gas-powered Alexander Dennis Enviro300 were introduced on a series of routes in Sunderland – a project totalling £8 million.[8][9][10]

In September 2018, weekend night bus services were introduced on five routes (N1, N30, N39, N40 & N88) in Newcastle upon Tyne.[11] In July 2019, the services were withdrawn due to low usage.

Cleveland Transit

In September 1994, Stagecoach Group purchased operator Cleveland Transit for £7.7 million.[12][13][14] Cleveland Transit Limited is now a holding company for the group's operations in the towns of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Stockton-on-Tees.

In the same month, the company registered a small network in Darlington, with operations commencing in November 1994. The company became a key participant in the Darlington Bus War. The following month, Stagecoach Group acquired Hartlepool Transport.[12]

Darlington Transport Company refused to sell to Stagecoach Group, with a subsequent inquiry by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission concluding that the actions of Busways were a "contributing factor" in the company's collapse.[12]

In August 2007, the group's operations in Darlington were transferred to Arriva North East. Following the takeover, a total of 28 vehicles and 78 drivers were transferred.[15][16][17]

In January 2022, with subsidy from the Tees Valley Combined Authority, Stagecoach launched a service between Middlesbrough and Teesport, which aims to assist with employment opportunities in the area.[18][19]

In September 2023, Stagecoach returned to Darlington, following the award of the contract for services 6 & 6A, linking Hurworth-on-Tees, Yarm and Stockton-on-Tees with Darlington and Teesside International Airport. The services provide a replacement for Arriva North East's 12 service, which was withdrawn the month prior.[20][21]

Tees Flex

Since February 2020, the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees have been served by the Tees Flex demand-responsive network – a three-year project valued at £3 million. Passengers can pre-book a bus by app, website or telephone, requesting pick-up and drop-off points within the serviced area, as well as destinations such as hospitals and train stations outside of the area. The network is served by a dedicated fleet of nine 16-seater Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses, branded in a blue livery.[22][23][24][25]

Fleet and operations


As of February 2024, the company operates from six bus depots across the region: Hartlepool, Slatyford, South Shields, Stockton-on-Tees, Sunderland and Walkergate.


As of April 2019, the fleet consists of 437 buses. The fleet consists mainly of diesel-powered single and double-deck buses manufactured by Alexander Dennis.


Fleet livery: past and present

The current standard fleet livery was revealed in January 2020, and consists of vehicles branded in a white base with blue, green and orange swirls, featuring the company's updated logo.[26][27] The former standard fleet livery was introduced over twenty years prior, and consisted of vehicles painted in a white base, with a blue skirt, and red and orange swoops.[28]


  1. ^ "Stagecoach continues expansion drive with purchase of Busways". The Glasgow Herald. 28 June 1994.
  2. ^ "Newcastle depot celebrates ten years". Bus & Coach Buyer. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Stagecoach invests £6.5m in new North East bus depot" (PDF). On Stage. No. 50. Spring 2003. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Backing for electric bus service". BBC News. 13 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Stagecoach orders 520 new vehicles for UK". Stagecoach Group. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  6. ^ "Stagecoach launches £7m eco-bus fleet". Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  7. ^ "Double success for Stagecoach at top bus industry awards". Stagecoach Group. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  8. ^ Hugill, Steven (12 February 2014). "Stagecoach North East will use 17 gas buses in Sunderland". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  9. ^ Cole, David (26 February 2014). "Stagecoach launches gas fleet in Sunderland". Bus & Coach Buyer. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Sunderland gas bus proves highly popular with passengers". Coach & Bus Week. 7 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Bus operator introduces night buses in Newcastle following customer feedback". Stagecoach. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  12. ^ a b c Monopolies and Mergers Commission (August 1995). "The supply of bus services in the north-east of England". Department of Trade and Industry. London: H.M.S.O. pp. 3–4, 92 & 182. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Stagecoach acquisition". The Times. London. 22 October 1994. ProQuest 318184012.
  14. ^ Smithers, Rebecca (7 December 1994). "Stagecoach profits gallop ahead". The Guardian. London. ProQuest 294858806.
  15. ^ "Bus service buy-out approved". The Northern Echo. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Stagecoach sells Darlington business". Bus & Coach Professional. 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on 8 November 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2024.
  17. ^ "Watchdog clears bus routes sale". BBC News. 23 August 2007. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  18. ^ Arnold, Stuart (17 January 2022). "New '101' bus service to Teesport backed with public money". Teesside Gazette. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  19. ^ Nolan, Laura (15 January 2022). "New bus service launched in this part of the North East to help people get to work". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  20. ^ Edgar, Bill (25 August 2023). "Why Darlington buses will be out of service in September as mayor blames operator". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  21. ^ "New operator for vital bus service". Darlington Borough Council. 6 September 2023. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  22. ^ "New On-Demand Tees Flex Bus Service Is Unveiled". Tees Valley Combined Authority. 7 February 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  23. ^ Payne, Mark (6 February 2020). "Bus services returning to cut-off Hartlepool villages in Stagecoach pilot project". Hartlepool Mail. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  24. ^ "New On-Demand Tees Flex bus service is unveiled". Stagecoach Group. 11 February 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  25. ^ Nolan, Laura (25 August 2020). "Tees Valley bus service expanded after popularity". The Northern Echo. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  26. ^ Deakin, Tim (2 February 2020). "Stagecoach new livery unveiled by group". Routeone. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  27. ^ "Stagecoach unveils people-powered new look buses as it marks 40 years of connecting communities". Stagecoach Group. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  28. ^ "Stagecoach mulls brand change". Routeone. 6 February 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2020.