Bus operator replacing long-serving L94s with low carbon vehicles

A FOND farewell to a loyal servant of the roads in County Durham also helped provide food for the needy over the recent festive period. Hundreds of guests and staff attended the special event staged by the region’s largest bus operator to say ‘goodbye’ to Scania L94-type buses, which have served the North-East for almost 20 years. Go North-East is ‘retiring’ the L94 as part of its investment in the latest generation low carbon buses.

The event, at Go North-East’s Saltmeadows Road depot, in Gateshead, was the company’s way of marking the role played by the L94 in regional public transport. It featured a display of the outgoing vehicles, exhibition stands, memorabilia, refreshments, while a free shuttle bus service using retiring L94s took guests from the depot to the town centre, where a commemorative Scaniale IPA was served up in The Central Bar. As part of the valedictory, Go North-East raise GBP1,000 for the local foodbank ahead of the busy Christmas/New Year period, with bus and truck manufacturer Scania providing sponsorship and employees of the bus company volunteering to help run the event.

Managing director Martijn Gilbert, of Go North East, said: “It was great to see so many people braving the cold to come and say farewell to a bus type that has served us so well.

“As with all things, there comes a time when you have to say goodbye.”

The buses, with distinctive ‘smiley-faced’ fronts, are being replaced by the next generation of low-emission, environmentally friendly vehicles.

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