Bus companies in the North East are giving customers the chance to take their kids for free through special offers launched to coincide with the start of school Easter holidays.
Fare-paying customers will be able to enjoy free travel for up to three children aged 11 and under across local public transport in Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and Durham for a month until 7 May.
The Tyne and Wear Metro and Shields Ferry already have in place a permanent deal for customers to take the kids for free when they travel.
Transport bosses have welcomed the offers launched by bus companies Arriva North East, Go North East and Stagecoach North East as the first benefits of an ambitious new bus partnership with local councils to grow sustainable public transport and fight the climate emergency.
Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Transport North East, said: “We’re working in partnership with the bus operators and Nexus to make public transport cheaper, easier and greener – by far the best way to travel around our amazing region.
“It’s great news that our region’s bus companies are expanding this great value offer, already available on the Metro and the Shields Ferry, to include buses.
“People travelling with children can enjoy great value travel on public transport across Tyne and Wear, Northumberland and County Durham. If you’re travelling by any combination of bus, Metro and the Shields Ferry, each fare-paying adult can bring along up to three children aged 11 and under for free.
“This offer will help families to get out and about on public transport more affordably over the Easter break, enjoying our fantastic region whilst maintaining a low carbon footprint.”
Each bus company has introduced its own offer and customers should check on board or via company websites and social media for detailed terms and conditions. Customers with Network One tickets including Day Rover and Explorer can also take up the offer. Some season tickets are excluded from offers, as well as customers who do not pay for their travel.
Nexus, the public body which oversees local transport in Tyne and Wear, is extending the offer to community bus services it contracts, alongside its existing Take The Kids For Free promise on Metro and the Shields Ferry.
Steve Walker, Managing Director at Stagecoach North East, said: “After such a challenging couple of years, we're delighted to introduce this free travel offer for children travelling with a fare-paying adult, allowing families to explore the many great spaces on offer which our buses serve across Tyne and Wear.
"As the weather starts to improve and families get back to spending time together, it's time to leave the car at home, save some money and keep the kids entertained this April.
“This free travel offer for children provides families with a great opportunity to make the most of our connected public transport, whether it is to meet up with friends, visit family members or experience all that the region has to offer."
Stephen King, Commercial Director at Go North East, said: “The Easter Holidays are always a great opportunity to get out with the kids as a family or with friends and relatives.
“The kids go free offer across our regional bus network and with our Network One partners which includes Stagecoach, Arriva and Tyne & Wear Metro, enables everyone to get out and about without the worry of rising fuel costs this Easter to explore this wonderful region and the attractions, towns and cities it has to offer”.
Kim Purcell, Commercial Director of Arriva North East, said: ‘’We are delighted to be offering families a great opportunity to travel by bus, with their children travelling free over the Easter period. We will be supporting the multi-operator offer as a member of Network One Ticketing Ltd. and are very pleased to be extending this to Arriva products* too.
“Arriva are proud to support the aspirations of the North East Bus Service Improvement Plan to encourage more people back to public transport.’’
Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director of Nexus, said: “We launched our Take The Kids For Free promise on Metro and the Shields Ferry last summer, and since then it has helped us lead the way in rebuilding passenger numbers since the pandemic.
“It is brilliant to see bus companies testing the offer themselves and I hope families take advantage of it to get back on the bus, so it can become a permanent part of travel in our region.”
*Terms and Conditions apply.
For more information visit: https://www.transportnortheast.gov.uk/kidsgofree/