Commuters give thumbs up to Sunderland to Newcastle express

The new express bus
The new express bus
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Readers have given the thumbs up to a new express bus route which will run between Sunderland and Newcastle.

Stagecoach North East says its new X24 inter-urban express route will start on Monday.

Billed as an alternative to using the Metro system, the service will operate every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday from Fawcett Street in Sunderland city centre to Pilgrim Street in Newcastle.

The transport firm says the new service, which also runs evening services at 7.24pm in Sunderland and 8.10pm in Newcastle respectively, has been introduced due to a high level of customer demand.

An adult single will cost £2.80, while an all-week Tyne and Wear Megarider will cost £13.35.

The service will travel via Chester Road in Sunderland and Gateshead High Street.

Steve Walker, managing director at Stagecoach North East, said: “After listening to our customers, we are delighted to launch this new service to benefit passengers travelling between Sunderland and Newcastle.

“The new X24 service represents a further investment from Stagecoach North East and demonstrates our commitment to delivering more choice, more value for money and more opportunities to travel whether business or pleasure.”

To launch the new service, Stagecoach North East is offering an introductory fare to passengers on the route, with a one week ticket for £5 from January 30 to February 4, and £10 from February 6 to 11.

Echo readers took to our Facebook page to have their say on the new service.

Bob Jackson said: “At least it’ll be more reliable than the Metro.”

Paul Burnicle wrote: “I have always found it a pain to drive to and park in Newcastle but I find it a doddle to park in Sunderland town centre so for me I can park in the town and jump on the bus.”

And Paul Summerside wrote: “Much better than one hour 10 mins on the 56.”

Some people however said that it could negatively affect trade in Sunderland city centre.

Stevie Smith wrote: “Another service to take shoppers away from Sunderland.”

Rachel Bell argued: “It’s not the transport options that are driving people to shop out of the city, it’s the lack of variety within our city centre.”

Ed Tutty said: “Why is it going to Newcastle?

“Shouldn’t we be ‘bring Newcastle to Sunderland’.

“Less money spent in the town centre.”