Working from Gateshead Interchange to accommodate areas such as Gateshead College, Heworth Interchange and the QE Hospital, "Loop" services 93 and 94 were among the first in Go North East's network to be given a separate identity, dating back to a developed version of the 2004 fleet livery of red and blue with yellow swoops.

▸ Background: the "Loop" title was chosen specifically because of the circular status that its designated 93 and 94 routes operated under: where one travels in a clockwise direction, and the other anticlockwise, to the same start and terminus point.

▸ Livery: the livery for the fourth instalment of the brand carried on the 4-colour variation introduced on the 2012 version, which saw a series of different coloured rings emitting from a pink circle in the centre. In this instance, a figure-of-eight shape was now the primary subject of the different colours and illustrated, more clearly, how the two services were based on a circular status. The shape covered near enough the full height of the vehicles, including over the windows. In addition to the figure-of-eight, a promotional sticker of matching colours was applied to a window on each side to inform passengers of the early until late operation of the two routes.

Route branding followed the guidelines of many other newly-released brands at the time and was given the same simple yet effective appearance: via points written in white text along the cant rails, in the FF DIN Black font, with each location separated by a bullet point. In this case, frequency information was placed within the figure-of-eight shape, and was more distinct than than of the preceding variant — the 3rd version of "Loop" had illegible route information since it was typed on a path inside one of the white rings. Because of the vinyl cutting procedure between vehicle panels, it restricted readability even further for text that intersected with them.

The livery for the fourth edition of the "Loop" brand was the last prior to the introduction of the 2019 'roadstripes' house style, which would be applied to every Go North East livery following its inception. By the time the brand's follow-up of "East Gateshead Loop" was unveiled, the majority of the operator's fleet had undergone the transition into the house style, and most of the brands released prior to its enforcement had been discontinued or adapted.

▸ Routes: throughout its active life, the brand was allocated to routes 93 and 94. Gateshead Interchange represented the starting and terminating points of both routes, from which both covered Team Valley, Low Fell, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Felling Square, Heworth Interchange, and Gateshead College. Service 93 operated in the clockwise direction, stopping at Gateshead College from the interchange, while the 94 travelled in the anticlockwise direction, heading from the interchange towards Team Valley.

▸ Vehicles: the three subsequent versions of "Loop" from the original had the same eight Scania L94UB/Wright Solar vehicles (fleet numbers 5219–26) allocated to it throughout its active life; all but the earliest version of the brand had a black base colour as that was a developed edition of the 2004 fleet livery. The fourth livery design saw the Wright Solar vehicles carry two each of the blue, orange, green and pink colour variants, which saw the large figure-of-eight shape and its colour-matching promotional sticker tinged in the different colours: 5219–20 in blue, 5221–22 in orange, 5223–24 in green, and 5225–26 in pink. Beforehand, each of the vehicles had been branded in the same four colour variants of the brand's third design.

▸ Discontinuation: the brand's allocated Wright Solar vehicles were gradually withdrawn from service starting in December 2019. Earlier that year, Go North East announced their intention to remove the entire vehicle type from their fleet because they were ineligible for engine conversions to the lower-emission Euro 6 standard. Some of the vehicles were purchased by other operators for further use, while a large quantity of them were sold for scrap.

In the year between the removal of the brand and the introduction of its replacement, "East Gateshead Loop", the 93 and 94 were first given general allocation of corporate Optare Versa vehicles. Shortly afterwards, when plans were put in place to have the services upgraded to double-decker vehicles to accommodate larger capacity journeys, both corporate and "Toon Link"-branded Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 vehicles were assigned to them. Incidentally, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic weeks later, which elicited social distancing between onboard passengers, meant the decision to allocate the deckers was advantageous. Double-deckers were kept on the services following the ending of restrictions in July 2021.

Four drawings can be seen below: 5220, 5222, 5223 and 5225, which carried the blue, orange, green and pink variants of the "Loop" brand's fourth livery design respectively.
Date last modified: 6th October 2021

Related pages:
▸ "Loop" [v3] — preceded this variation of the brand
▸ "East Gateshead Loop" — succeeded the brand

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