Go North East has taken delivery of three new Optare Solos for the Sunderland Connect route that links the city’s main visitor attractions.
They are in a new blue livery with the Wearmouth Bridge on the side and are equipped with audio and visual announcements.
The Sunderland Connect service 700 is paid for and operated through a partnership between Sunderland City Council, Nexus and the University of Sunderland. Head of bus services at Nexus, Mike Scott, says: “This investment will help us to build on the success of Sunderland Connect, which is an affordable and convenient bus service that is popular with shoppers, visitors and students.”
Sunderland City Council Cabinet member for environment and transport, Cllr Amy Wilson, says: ” The joint funding of the 700 with our partners at Nexus and the University of Sunderland is another demonstration of this city’s commitment to promoting public transport, and working together to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions.”
Sunderland Connect, which was launched in 2011, serves the main university campuses and several points of interest and utility around the city, including Sunderland Hospital, Park Lane Interchange, the Wearmouth twin bridges, Empire Theatre, the Stadium of Light, Sunderland Aquatic Centre, the National Glass Centre, West Sunniside and the Winter Gardens.
It operates to all these locations every 15min Monday to Saturday daytimes, and extends to Roker Beach during the summer months.
Mike Foster, estates project manager at the University of Sunderland, adds: “The Sunderland Connect 700 service provides a vital link for many of our students between The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s and the City Centre Campus. As a university we are committed to minimising our environmental impact, by adopting sustainable practices throughout our business. We are delighted that the low emission engines fitted in the new Optare Solo buses will help us achieve the objectives set out in our environmental strategy.”