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Go North East launches ‘Chatty Bus Champions’ to help tackle loneliness epidemic

Amid research highlighting three in 10 Brits go at least one day a week without speaking to anyone and in a bid to support North Easterners who maybe battling with loneliness, Go North East is introducing ‘Chatty Bus Champions’ to three of its busiest routes on Tuesday 29th January.

The move by the award-winning company, comes after the research, undertaken by ComRes on behalf of Greener Journeys, found that almost two in three people admit to feeling lonely, particularly younger people. The poll of 2,000 people also highlighted that a third of those surveyed deliberately catch the bus to have some human contact while two thirds of bus users believe the bus creates strong community ties.

From 9.30am-3pm on Tuesday 29th January, Chatty Bus Champions will be boarding around 30 buses on three of Go North East’s most popular services, including:

  • X9/X10 from Newcastle to Middlesbrough via Peterlee and Dalton Park;
  • Angel 21 from Durham to Newcastle with stops in Chester-le-Street and Gateshead;
  • X21 Castles Express from Bishop Auckland to Newcastle via Spennymoor, Durham, Chester-le-Street and Gateshead.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Go North East, explains: “The bus is the original social network and this research shows just how vital a lifeline it is for those who feel lonely or excluded.

“Through our Chatty Bus Champions, we want our passengers to have a fun and engaging journey – be that through taking part in a quiz, playing a game on one of our convenient upper deck tables or having a good natter with their neighbour. The whole point is to make everyone feel happier as a result of being on the bus.”

The research comes ahead of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy which is due to launch this month, with the aim of tackling the growing problem of isolation felt by Brits nationwide. The strategy is expected to include loneliness-combating policies resulting from factors including rising old age, a change in work patterns and the growing use of technology.

More information about the Chatty Bus initiative can be found by visiting gonortheast.co.uk/chatty-bus.

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On the Go since 1913

Around 175,000 journeys are made on Go North East bus services every day to travel around this wonderful region. Travelling to work or education, to visit friends and family, to have a night out, or to visit one of the region's many tourist and leisure attractions.

For over 100 years, Go North East has connected the region's towns and villages with the cities of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland and currently operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and into Tees Valley.

Employing over 2,000 local people, with a fleet of almost 700 buses and coaches and an annual turnover of £100m, the company is the regional subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group plc, one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport.

Go North East
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NE8 2UA Gateshead