685 Cross Pennine Launch
Members of the public and Sele First School joined us yesterday at Hexham Abbey to experience the 685 Cross Pennine as well as a fantastic birds of prey display!
The event was in celebration of a new agreement between Arriva North East, Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire which means that our customers in the area can benefit from added convenience through fully integrated ticketing.
Goody bags were handed out on the day and a competition was held for Sele First School to design their very own bird house. The lucky winners, James and Maisie, will now have their designs come to life!
The full range of daily and weekly tickets can be bought and will be accepted regardless of which company’s bus customers use. This means that customers who want access to Stagecoach’s full Carlisle network will no longer have to wait for a Stagecoach bus to be able to buy their weekly ticket. Likewise those travelling to Cobalt Business Park and other locations in the North East served by Arriva can now catch any Cross Pennine bus.
The landmark agreement also applies to M-Ticketing with each operator accepting the other's mobile tickets. As well as this, the partners are working on accepting each other’s smart tickets with this feature hopefully going live later in the year.
In November last year changes to the timetable were introduced to improve punctuality and make every journey take the same route. The Cross Pennine buses also got a fabulous new soft green look inspired by the north Pennine landscape which they serve.
The 685 Cross Pennine allows you to explore the Pennines, running from Carlisle through Brampton, Haltwhistle, Hexham and Corbridge to Newcastle. Buses run up to every hour between Newcastle and Carlisle (up to every 30 minutes between Brampton and Carlisle).
Arriva and Stagecoach are also offering customers the chance to purchase return travel for just £5 on the 685 service until the 29th of May 2017 as part of the promotion.
Matt Cranwell, Managing Director for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire said: “This ground breaking agreement means customers now no longer have to worry which bus they catch as all tickets will be on sale on all Cross Pennine buses. The new agreement makes using Cross Pennine really easy and we are looking forward to welcoming even more customers on board this growing service.
“The improvements are an example of how working in partnership with other bus operators and local authorities can deliver practical improvements for passengers. We hope to further develop the offer for our customers in the future working in partnership.”
Nick Knox, Area Managing Director at Arriva said: “We are pleased that all the hard work that has been done by Stagecoach, Arriva and our local authority partners in Cumbria and Northumberland has set the basis for delivering this exciting new ticketing development, following the launch of the new look ‘Cross Pennine” service late in 2016. This really will give customers complete ticketing flexibility, improving value and convenience, and we look forward to further developing the Service 685 Cross Pennine with Stagecoach in the future’’.