Extra buses and a special £6 ticket - how Great North Run bosses are hoping to reduce South Shields queues and provide smooth travel this year

Extra buses and a special new Great North Run offer will hopefully be just the ticket for runners and spectators at this year’s event – and help reduce queues at South Shields after the race.

A special £6 Great North Run Rover ticket – which can be bought in advance – will be valid on Sunday, September 11, covering all Metro, bus and ferry services plus the express shuttle buses from South Shields seafront direct to Newcastle.

The agreement between Nexus and Arriva, Stagecoach and Go North East also aims to speed up the traditional long queues to get home from South Shields after the race, with extra buses also now set to run from the town centre interchange alongside Metro trains.

Great North Run founder Sir Brendan Foster welcomed the new partnership which it is hoped will make travel simpler and smother for runners and spectators.

The new Great North Run Rover ticket wristbands. Photograph: JIM APPLEBY

He said: “It is great to hear that the Metro and bus companies are working together to improve the experience of everyone who will be out and about for Great North Run.

“Whether you’re a runner, spectator or volunteer, hopefully this initiative will make it easier to get around on the day.”

After three years of pandemic related cancellations and changes, the Great North Run is returning to South Shields in September for the first time in its traditional format since 2019, much to the delight of crowds and businesses in the borough.

Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: “We’re delighted to see transport operators working together to provide a special one day travel ticket on Great North Run day.

Nexus has teamed up with local bus companies to provide a one off travel ticket to help people get to and from the event. Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

“We are always extremely proud to host the spectacular finish line and we can’t wait to welcome it back this year.

“It’s such a special event that brings thousands of people to South Shields seafront. Anything that makes the process of getting around much simpler and smoother for both runners and spectators is fantastic news.”

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Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Metro operator Nexus, added: “We’ve got together with bus operators to help people get home from South Shields smoothly and speed up the queues in the town centre.

“In addition to buses leaving from Bents Park, as they have done in previous years, there will be buses leaving South Shields interchange later in the afternoon alongside the Metro. Customers will be able to choose between the Metro to all destinations and a bus to Newcastle city centre as they reach the front of the queue.

“Public Transport coming together for the Great North Run adds up to a better day for runners and spectators as we look forward to working with event organisers and South Tyneside Council to bring the run home.”

The wristband style ticket can be purchased from the Nexus website or as an advanced paper ticket from from Metro ticket machines.

Steve Walker, Managing Director of Stagecoach North East and chairman of joint ticketing company NTL said: “We’re all looking forward to the Great North Run returning home to South Shields and we want to make it easier for everyone to get around.”