A COUNTY Durham bus depot has closed for good after bosses were forced to make a "difficult decision" to leave the site after a number of years.

The Go North East "outstation depot" in Peterlee officially closed on Saturday (March 26) just over two weeks after staff across the company were first told.

In an internal memo to drivers, the company said consultations with Unite the Union had begun as it said staff and services had been transferred to neighbouring depots.

Read more: Fears major bus depot in County Durham could close after more than 100 years

It comes as the company earlier this month faced concerns from drivers who believed the depot in Chester-le-Street could be at risk of closure due to its age.

The Northern Echo: The depot at Peterlee in County Durham Picture: GOOGLEThe depot at Peterlee in County Durham Picture: GOOGLE

Last night, the company said it remained "totally committed" to continuing services across East Durham as it moved to reassure customers there would be no impact.

Based on the North West Industrial Estate, the company had operated services serving much of County Durham including Seaham, Horden, Easington and Durham.

Read more: Behind the scenes at Go North East's depot in Consett in County Durham

The company said the decision to close the depot had been due to a change in landlord and from storm damage to a building it occupied as an office.

Following the closure, the company said the majority of services had been transferred to its depot in Sunderland, while the remainder had been moved to Chester-le-Street.

The Northern Echo: Peterlee bus station Picture: GOOGLEPeterlee bus station Picture: GOOGLE

Stephen King, Commercial Director at Go North East, told The Northern Echo: "Following a period of uncertainly after the exit of our landlords, and now major damage to the buildings that we occupy at Peterlee as a result of the recent storms, including excessive water ingress which is also affecting the electricity supply, we have had to make the difficult decision to withdraw from these premises and move our colleagues and buses that operate from there to our other existing sites in Sunderland and Chester le Street.

Read more: Staff at Go North East bus firm allocate £30,000 to their favourite charities

"We remain totally committed to our East Durham operations, with all bus services continuing to operate without any change as a result of this operational move."

As with a number of businesses across the North East, QC Space Ltd, which operates the site in Peterlee, saw a portion of its site impacted after Storms Arwen and Eunice.

It is understood that the firm had already began permanent repairs to the affected building following the damage.

The company chose not comment on Go North East’s departure.

The Northern Echo: The depot in Chester-le-Street Picture: SARAH CALDECOTTThe depot in Chester-le-Street Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Earlier this month, Go North East refuted any suggestion its Chester-le-Street depot would close after concerns were raised over the future of the Picktree Lane site.

That came after Transport North East suggested the popular Newcastle to Durham route would operate from Gateshead, instead if a bid to make the fleet electric is successful.

At the time, Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director at Go North East, said: "Our Chester le Street depot could be part of that if the bid is successful, in fact we currently have a full electric bus on trial on our popular Angel 21 route running from the depot as we speak."


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