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Hundreds of Go North East bus drivers set for inflation-busting £2,400 pay rise

Press release -

Hundreds of Go North East bus drivers set for inflation-busting £2,400 pay rise

Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, has made its drivers an unprecedented offer to increase pay by £2,400 per year. If the proposal is agreed payments will be backdated to 1 July.

Bosses at the firm have agreed to stick with an inflation-busting pay proposal despite making losses of £4.3 million in its most recent published accounts.

If the proposal – which also involves some standardisation of working practices across its six depots – is accepted, drivers will also be guaranteed a further inflation-linked pay increase next year.

Go North East business director, Ben Maxfield, said, “The two most talked about inflation measures, CPI and RPI, are currently running at 6.4% and 9.0% respectively. Our offer of 9.11% beats both these figures and means our driver pay package will be among the very best in the region.

“Unite the union are so far refusing to engage with the offer and are balloting on industrial action.

“Unite is claiming without any attempt at justification, that driver pay is not keeping up with inflation. Quite simply, it is a false flag, and one that could lead to unnecessary industrial action and needless disruption for passengers. Unite would be striking for something they have already been offered.”

18 August 2023


Notes to editors:

Go North East runs a network of bus routes across the North East region including Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and surrounding areas.

The Go-Ahead Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of public transport, enabling more than a billion passenger journeys each year on its bus and rail services. Go-Ahead places great importance on partnership, adopting a collaborative approach with governments, local communities and strategic partners; developing and operating services that create long-term value for all.

For more information about Go-Ahead Group visit

Press and media contacts:

Ben Maxfield

Business Director, Go North East

Telephone: 07890 436531



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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
117 Queen Street
NE8 2UA Gateshead