Bus company link-up gives passengers added ease

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Bus passengers using services in Cumbria and the north east will now have easier travel thanks to an agreement between two companies.

A deal has been struck between Stagecoach and Arriva North East, which means customers using buses across the area can benefit from added convenience through fully integrated ticketing.

From yesterday daily and weekly tickets that can be bought by Stagecoach customers in Cumbria can be purchased and used on services operated by both companies.

This means passengers who want access to Stagecoach’s full Carlisle network will no longer have to wait for a Stagecoach bus to be able to buy their weekly ticket.

Likewise, those travelling to locations in the north east served by Arriva, can now catch any Cross Pennine bus with the same ticketing scheme.

The agreement also applies to M-Ticketing, with each operator accepting the other's mobile tickets. They are working on a new feature accepting each other's smart tickets.

The two firms have previously worked together to create Cross Pennine, a new service for the 685 route between Carlisle, Brampton, Hexham and Newcastle.

Matt Cranwell, managing director for Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire, said: "This ground-breaking agreement means customers now no longer have to worry which bus they catch as all tickets will be on sale on all Cross Pennine buses.

"The new agreement makes using Cross Pennine really easy and we are looking forward to welcoming even more customers on board this growing service.

"The improvements are an example of how working in partnership with other bus operators and local authorities can deliver practical improvements for passengers. We hope to further develop the offer for our customers in the future working in partnership."

Nick Knox, area managing director at Arriva, said: “We are pleased that all the hard work that has been done by Stagecoach, Arriva and our local authority partners in Cumbria and Northumberland has set the basis for delivering this exciting new ticketing development, following the launch of the new look Cross Pennine service late last year.

"This really will give customers complete ticketing flexibility, improving value and convenience, and we look forward to further developing the Service 685 Cross Pennine with Stagecoach in the future."

To celebrate the start of the agreement the companies are hosting launch events today (WED) with free giveaways and a bird of prey demonstration.

Stagecoach will be based in Market Square, Carlisle city centre, between 10am and 4pm while Arriva will be in Hexham town centre.

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