We appreciate that over the last two weeks there have been issues with the punctuality and capacity on the Q3 services. There are numerous factors which have resulted in the service not being as punctual as usual and we are working with the operator, Go North East, to resolve these as soon as possible.
In terms of reliability, GNE, like many operators across the country, are dealing with an acute driver shortage at the moment as an ongoing consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, some issues on Osbourne Road have delayed the service in recent days. The problems last week were compounded by Go North East being the victim of a cyber attack. Whereas normally vehicles are monitored remotely via GPS and online tracking tools, with GNE able to then reallocate resources where there are issues, this wasn’t possible and it resulted in significant disruption to services. It is hoped that this is now resolved and we hope that reliability will quickly improve as a result.
The other major challenge has been around the significant number of students needing to access services to travel to the temporary home of the Great Park Academy at Gosforth Academy. It is not the responsibility of the NGP Consortium or Estates Office to provide home to school transport, but we are working with Nexus and GNE to identify options to increase capacity in peak periods and we’ll provide an update as soon as we have one. We will also pass on any feedback sent to us, to them.