Go North East have launched an open top Santa bus that will tour the North East up until Christmas Eve after annual Christmas events have been cancelled due to covid-19.
The bus features its very own Santa and has been decorated with Christmas lighting which have been donated by Parkside Community Centre.
Go North East’s non-stopping Santa bus will not stop at any of the locations but will be moving slow enough for children to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas.
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The Santa bus will pass locations across Sunderland and South Tyneside from Tuesday December 15 and Christmas Eve.
Go North East’s managing director Martijn Gilbert, said: “We’re delighted to be spreading some festive cheer this Christmas, especially at a time when a lot of events can’t go ahead as they usually would.
“The Santa bus will be touring the region and although we can’t advertise exact times and attract crowds, we’re asking you all to keep your eyes peeled as it passes through your area.”
A timed schedule will not be published to avoid any crowding, but a summary is available so people can keep their eyes peeled each evening as it passes through the region’s villages, towns and cities.
See below for the full locations and dates:
Tuesday 15 December – Washington, Wardley Estate, Leam Lane, Heworth, Sunderland Road, Gateshead Interchange, Bensham, Whickham, Fellside Park, Swalwell, Metrocentre, Dunston, Blaydon and Winlaton Bus Station.
Wednesday 16 December – Chester Road in Sunderland, Penshaw, Shiney Row, Bournmoor, Woodstone Village, Chester-le-Street, Pelaw Estate, Pelton, Beamish, Stanley Bus Station, Annfield Plain, Leadgate, Consett Bus Station, Lanchester Witton Gilbert, Aykley Heads and Durham Bus Station.
Thursday 17 December – Houghton-le-Spring, Hetton-le-Hole, Low Moorsley, Easington Lane, South Hetton, Easington Village, Peterlee, Hordon, Easington Colliery, Dalton Park, Murton, Dawdon, Parkside, Seaham Harbour, Deneside, Seaham Grange and Ryhope.
Friday 18 December – Sunderland Park Lane, Roker, Whitburn, East Boldon, West Boldon, Hebburn, Lukes Lane, Heworth, Gateshead Interchange and Low Fell.
Saturday 19 December – route to be confirmed soon – get the latest updates and information on Go North East’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Sunday 20 December – South Shields, Marsden, Westoe, West Harton, Simonside, Jarrow, Chirton, North Shields, Tynemouth, Preston Grange, Wallsend, Byker, Newcastle Quayside, Newcastle and Sage Gateshead.
Monday 21 December – Concord Bus Station, Donwell, Blackfell, Oxclose, Lambton, Vigo Lane, Harraton, Fatfield, Washington Galleries, Town End Farm, Downhill, Hylton Red House and Witherwack.
Tuesday 22 December – Newcastle, Coast Road, Battle Hill, New York, Monkseaton, Whitley Bay, Earsdon, Shiremoor, Palmersville, Longbenton, Gosforth and Jesmond.
Wednesday 23 December – route to be confirmed soon – get the latest updates and information on Go North East’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Christmas Eve – The tour will run during the day visiting Sunderland, Chester-le-Street, Pelton, Ouston, Birtley, Team Valley, Gateshead Interchange and Low Fell.
The company is encouraging people to share their photos on social media using #GNESantaBus and will soon be launching a competition.