Go North East Fleet Go North East's 728
January 2019 Go North East Photograph by Daniel Graham
This vehicle has entered service at Deptford Depot, on "Sunderland Connect" services 700/701.
January 2019 Go North East Photograph by North East Malarkey
Prior to entering service, this vehicle has received "Sunderland Connect" branding.
January 2019 Go North East Photograph by Daniel Graham
In May 2018, Nexus offered a new tender opportunity to operators in the North East of England, to operate the daytime "Sunderland Connect" 700 and evening 701 services. The tender is designed to promote and continue the public transport links in Sunderland between Park Lane, Clanny House, City Campus, Park Lane, Aquatic Centre, St Peters Campus, West Sunniside and Park Lane, to offer a service to the general public and university students and to be branded as the ‘Sunderland Connect’ service. Since the contract's inception in 2012, Sunderland City Council provided the winning operator with three Hybrid Optare Solos to operate the services, but this year the contract changed so that the vehicles were instead owned by the operator, although the livery to be carried by the vehicles still remained the responsibility of the scheme partners to specify. Go North East were awarded this contract in July 2018, to commence from September 2018, winning the tender based on providing three brand new Euro 6 low-carbon Optare Solo SRs, with a 'Euro 5' bus being the intended spare vehicle. Dispensation has been allowed since September to continue using the Hybrid Optare Solos owned by Sunderland City Council, pending delivery of the new minibuses. Delivery of these vehicles has now commenced. Internally; they feature Esteban Civic V3 seating complete with leather and soft topper foam for added comfort; two-colour Tarabus 'Wood Effect' flooring; and blue accent lighting, which is fitted underneath seats and on the stairwell, to provide extra light on the gangway. Like all of Go North East's new vehicles; they feature Wi-Fi, 'Next Stop' audio-visual announcements and USB connections as standard, although this is the first time USB power sockets have been included on an Optare new-build.
January 2019 Go North East
Following the end of the Arriva North East industrial action, this vehicle has transferred from Chester-le-Street Depot to Peterlee.
January 2019 Go North East
Following temporary loan to Crook Depot, this vehicle has now returned to service at Chester-le-Street.
January 2015 Go North East
Ahead of upcoming service changes, this vehicle has lost its special centenary livery, having been repainted into a plain purple base livery.
January 2018 Go North East
This vehicle has been sold to A-Line Coaches, Pelaw.