About us

Employing over 6,000 local people

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Started by Tom Cowie in Sunderland in 1938 as a motorcycle dealership and becoming known as Arriva in 1997, the group consists of the former United and Northumbria operations in the North East, now operating 470 buses and employing 1,700 local people.

Arriva was acquired by Deutsche Bahn in 2010 but remains a non-listed plc registered in Sunderland, with its Group HQ in Doxford Park, employing a further 285 people in the region.

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Born out of the Northern General bus company, the Newcastle and Gateshead based management buy out of the company has gone on to become today’s Go-Ahead Group plc with both bus and rail operations across the UK and beyond.

The group remains registered here in the North East (on Newcastle’s Grey Street), with Go North East operating over 1,000 buses and employs over 2,000 local people, and a further 100 people employed in the Newcastle Group HQ.


Stagecoach North East came out of the former Tyne and Wear city operations of Newcastle and Sunderland ‘Busways’ with the sale of the PTE’s then Municipal bus operations, including South Shields, and with additional operations added from Stockton and Cleveland Transit.

Part of the Scottish based Stagecoach plc, the North East business operates 437 buses and employs 1,337 local people.


A-Line Coaches is a family business that was established in 1973 within the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

Since then A-Line Coaches have enjoyed wide and varied bus and coach operations. Initially relying on coach use, they take their passengers on a private hire basis to local events, race meetings, coastal trips, UK tours and also run local contract operations.

Gateshead Central are the fastest growing taxi company in Gateshead. With 150 vehicles, 6 different offices and a range of services offered, it truly is a 24 hour business.

Gateshead Central operate the largest mini bus and wheelchair accessible fleet in the North East of England with minibuses capable of carrying up to 16 passengers and wheelchair vehicles able to carry up to 2 wheelchairs and 8 passengers. The company also operate a number of mainstream local bus services under contract to Nexus.

L & G Coaches is a family run business which was founded in February 2018 by local entrepreneurs Lee and Gemma with two double decker buses.

It has since developed a growing customer base and has been able to expand the fleet to six double deckers. L & G have recently started operating from their new depot in Birtley, making further investments to develop the business. They currently have six employees working in their ever growing operation.

Stanley travel is a premium provider of total public transport solutions. Based in Stanley, Co. Durham, the company has been a leader in taxi, mini coach and coach transport since its establishment in 1961.

Catering for all parties, Stanley Travel provides coach and bus vehicles from 1 to 75 passenger seats with wheelchair access across the full range.

With 83 staff, over 70 vehicles and thriving of a strong family underpinning, Stanley Travel offices are fully manned, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

With roots tracing back as early as 1901 – Station Taxis has created a well-known corporate image that makes the company a staple and identifiable brand across the North East region.

After bus deregulation, Station Taxis became involved with TaxiBus operations, running two shuttle services between several Sunderland University buildings. Since then the company has continued to grow, now employing over 440 people and operating almost 200 vehicles; making it the largest taxi company in Sunderland.

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