Since August 2018, the "Join the Team!" brand has acted as a mobile advertisement for Go North East's recruitment programme, showcasing the benefits from being a part of "Team GNE".
▸ Livery: "Join the Team!" replaced Go North East's earlier driver training livery, which saw the operator's standard corporate livery, at the time, be used with the additional presence of two L-plates on the front face.
The rebrand, which took place in mid-2018, saw the fleet's allocated Wright Solar vehicles be repainted into a light blue base colour, with an abundance of vinyls spread across the faces of the vehicles highlighting the benefits from joining the Go North East team, including the likes of free travel benefits on the Tyne and Wear Metro and Ferry services as well as the North East's three largest bus operators: Arriva, Go North East and Stagecoach; online and in-store discounts to a number of retailers; and free training and uniform.
The livery features illustrations of characters, intended to be Go North East's engineers and bus drivers. They are presented showing joyous body language by jumping up with their arms waving in the air. Speech bubbles can be seen coming from their mouths, denoting some of the aforementioned benefits from being part of the team. A number of dots and swirl shapes are placed around various the vehicles, perhaps representing confetti and party streamers, in order to make out that the staff work as part of a happy, dedicated team and enjoy their role in the company. An orange banner is situated along the vehicles' cant rails, displaying the web link that leads to any open vacancies that the operator may have, as well as the various depots around the region that members of staff can operate from (Gateshead, Hexham, Chester-le-Street, Peterlee, Consett, Percy Main and Sunderland). Finally, a message reaching out to drivers and engineers is positioned at the rear end of the cant rails to encourage any potential and prospective employees to become a member of their crew.
▸ Vehicles: since at least 2017, the Driver Training fleet at Go North East has been allocated seven Wright Solar vehicles, all of which had been formerly used on services in the network. The introduction of "Join the Team!" saw fleet numbers 4961-65, 5202 and 5210 be repainted, which had previously carried a plain red base livery (apart from 5210, which had carried the operator's 2016 red, white and blue fleet livery for a short period of time).
The Wright Solar vehicles were transferred to the Driver Training fleet due to the highly-discussed intention to remove the entire vehicle type from the Go North East fleet, which was eventually fulfilled in mid-2020 after ten months of gradual phaseout. The Solars in the Driver Training fleet now act as the only remaining vehicles of their type in service at Go North East, albeit never for actual routes.
▸ Routes: since "Join the Team!" is focused on training Go North East's future bus drivers, the branded Wright Solar vehicles do not operated on any routes. Furthermore, they would not be compatible with working a service due to the absence of their destination blinds, which are required to display the route that is being operated to passengers.
A drawing of 4961 is seen below, depicting the "Join the Team!" livery.
Date last modified: 10th July 2020
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