Families from across the region can now enjoy free children’s travel on any Arriva, Stagecoach, or Go North East service until the end of the summer.
This summer, up to three children aged 11 or under can travel for free when accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over with a valid ticket or pass. The offer is available all day, every day, right through the school holidays until Sunday 4 September.
The move comes following last week’s meeting of Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet, where Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and the five Local Authority leaders voted to enter into a new agreement to work with the region’s bus operators to improve local bus services and grow passenger numbers.
The Enhanced Partnership aims to deliver a range of improvements to local services and the Kids Go Free scheme demonstrates the partnership’s commitment to future collaboration.
At a time of rising costs, this deal will help families go the extra mile – literally – in taking advantage of everything the region has to offer. It will help keep kids entertained during the holidays, and make it easier for families to support our local businesses, town centres and attractions.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Kids Go Free offer is exactly the kind of initiative our partnership with the region’s bus operators aims to bring to the residents of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool. The offer will help local parents and carers plan exciting and cost-effective days out with the kids over the summer holidays.
“This latest move will make our public transport network a real option and accessible for all at a time when other prices are rising. There’s lots to see and do across Teesside and we want to inspire our young people and make sure they know how great it is a place to live, showing them they don’t need to go to big cities for excitement, fun and entertainment.
“I hope this will be a chance for them to explore all corners of our region, make some memories and keep their hard-earned money in our area for the good of local businesses.”
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet Member for Transport and Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “This is a fantastic example of how we are working in partnership with bus providers to offer a service across the Tees Valley that is accessible and affordable for everyone. There’s lots of free family fun this summer across our region and this offer will help families take full advantage of what’s going on without breaking the bank.
“In addition, travelling by bus helps to reduce congestion on our roads and helps to reduce our personal carbon footprint. The recent heatwave is a reminder to all of us that we need to take action now if we are to tackle climate change.”
Arriva North East Commercial Director, Kim Purcell, said: “We want to bring families back to public transport this summer, and this fantastic offer makes it easier and cheaper to enjoy fun days out in the region at a time when other costs of living are continuing to rise.
“The north east’s three big bus companies have come together with Tees Valley Combined Authority to create a simple, great value offer available on all local public transport across Tees Valley.”
Stagecoach North East Managing Director, Steve Walker, said: “Take The Kids For Free is a fine example of the new ways we, as local operators, work collaboratively with local authorities to improve the public transport offer for customers, increase passenger numbers and drive the use of buses as a sustainable solution.
“With so many things to see and do across the Tees Valley this summer, now is the time to get there by bus.”
To find out more, visit www.enjoyteesvalley.com/kidsgofree