Go-Ahead lays on Christmas bus services to support key workers and enable family gatherings
Go-Ahead buses will run essential services over the Christmas period to support key workers and to enable families to hold long anticipated festive gatherings, in keeping with Government guidelines.
Go-Ahead’s local bus companies run nearly 3,000 buses across England, employing over 8,500 people. They will be running services throughout Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with a small number of routes providing special services on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day buses include routes serving local hospitals, together with buses to Gatwick Airport run by Metrobus. On the Isle of Wight, where there has traditionally been a high demand for services on Christmas Day, Southern Vectis will run regular buses on five routes.
Bus services provided by Go-Ahead’s companies have run throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling people to get to work and providing a safe, clean environment for people to get to shops, relatives and leisure destinations.
Various safety measures have been introduced including enhanced vehicle cleaning, provision of hand sanitiser, social distancing and encouragement of passengers to make contactless payments. All Go-Ahead bus companies feature When2Travel on their websites and apps, providing dynamically updated information on seat availability.
Katy Taylor, Chief Strategy and Customer Officer, said: “Large gatherings may be off the cards but people across Britain want to have as normal a Christmas as possible. Many families will be anticipating getting together after seeing little of each other this year, and key workers will need to travel safely over the festive period. We know how vital our services are for many people at this time and we look forward to welcoming customers on board.”
The majority of Go-Ahead bus companies are operating a normal service on Christmas Eve, with some running a Saturday timetable and some services finishing early, at around 8pm. For evening travel, please check your local bus company’s website for timetable information.
Go South Coast, which provides services within Dorset, Hampshire Isle of Wight and Wiltshire will be running several special services on Christmas Day.
Southern Vectis – which serves the Isle of Wight - is running the most comprehensive Christmas Day bus provision in the UK, with services running on routes 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9. Preview filming and interview opportunities available.
Morebus’ m1 and m2 routes have been extended to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to help NHS employees and those visiting loved ones. Bluestar will be running their Bluestar 18 and a variation of Bluestar 1.
Metrobus will be operating Fastway route 10 linking Gatwick Airport with Crawley, maintaining a 24 hour service throughout.
A combination of special services and Sunday services will be running by all Go-Ahead bus companies, apart from Plymouth Citybus and Go Cornwall where there will be no service.
New Year’s Eve
On New Year’s Eve many Go-Ahead bus operators will be running Saturday services with an early finish around 8pm.
Brighton & Hove Buses. Metrobus and Go South Coast will be operating night buses throughout the evening.
New Year’s Day
Brighton & Hove Buses will be running a Sunday service on New Year’s Day, and Go North West will continue to provide the free city centre bus service for Transport for Greater Manchester.
Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel Go East Anglia and Go South Coast will be running special services.
Preview filming and interview opportunities will be available for Isle of Wight services
Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies. Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world. Employing around 30,000 people across our businesses, typically over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aim to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.
Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. We have a strong presence in London, with around 24 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for Transport for London. Outside London, we principally serve high-density commuter markets, including the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, we operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland.
The rail division operates two franchises in the UK, three contracts in Germany and one in Norway. In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through our 65 per cent owned subsidiary, Govia, which is 35 per cent owned by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for around 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises. In Germany and Norway, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead.