As the country begins to emerge from restrictions on travel, work and shopping, Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, has been accredited with ‘Good to Go’, a new UK-wide tourism industry standard and consumer mark from VisitBritain.
VisitBritain who have been working with the UK’s national tourism organisations, including regional partners such as Visit County Durham and NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
The new standard and supporting mark is a sign of businesses being able to demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and check they have the required processes in place.
Go North East has passed with flying colours, thanks to enhanced cleaning regimes, social distancing processes, a number of safety measures that have been in place for some time, and is the next step in getting people to return to public transport by giving them confidence.
Safety measures include PPE and protective screens, floor vinyls for guidance on aspects such as social distancing, posters advising on things like seating arrangements and face coverings, and so much more.
Go North East has also introduced two innovative website tools. The first, ‘When2Travel’, allows customers to look at journeys up to two weeks ahead, using a sophisticated prediction engine to forecast how quiet the bus will be on each journey and down to individual parts of the journey.
The second tool that the company recently introduced complements ‘When2Travel’ by showing customers live data on the day, displaying how quiet or busy the bus is in real-time, as well as indicating if it is a single or double-decker, and if it has any features such as free Wi-Fi and USB charging.
Stephen King, commercial director at Go North East, said: “It’s great that we can be accredited with the ‘We’re Good to Go’ tourism industry standard mark to give confidence to our customers, reassuring them that we’re adhering to the latest government guidelines, and allows us to be part of the unlocking of the country.
“We implemented various measures early on, including enhanced cleaning regimes, and have continued to adapt and improve safety aspects as further advice has been issued from government.
“Our buses are clean and safe, so we’re here for when you need us.”