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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the inter-campus bus service?

The University has contracted with Arriva, a commercial bus operator, to provide free transport for staff and students between Durham and Stockton. This service is known as the X1. 


Who operates the X1?

The inter-campus bus service (X1) is operated by Arriva North East, a commercial bus company. The X1 is not a University owned or operated service. As a commercially operated public transport service, the X1 has the same issues as all public road transport, including delays caused by traffic congestion and adverse weather conditions.


Why Arriva?

The University carried out a tender exercise during 2010 to see which operators would be able to provide a service between our two campuses. Of the three companies that submitted tenders, only Arriva could provide the service we required within the budget available.


Why are the public allowed to use the X1?

The X1 is a commercial route that operates between Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne. Arriva have to submit details of the route to the Traffic Commissioners and the route is then fixed. The University has arranged to pay Arriva an annual sum to enable staff and students to use the service (free between Queen’s Campus Stockton and Durham City Bus Station) but as a commercial route any member of the public can use the service.


What will the X1 service cost me?

The service is free of charge to all staff and students on production to the bus driver of a valid Campus Card. If your Campus Card is not up to date, you will be charged the public fare for your journey. The X1 free service is limited between the set points at Harvard Avenue, Stockton and Durham Bus Station. From Durham Bus Station to Aykley Heads, adjacent to Keenan House, the X2 operates and this is also free of charge between these two points. If you wish to travel outside of the Stockton – Durham City X1 and X2 routes, then the normal Arriva fare will be charged. Staff and students can also travel free of charge on Services 56 and 57 before 10.00am on weekdays during University terms on the routes between Coxhoe and Durham Bus Station, (including between Durham Bus Station and the Science Site) but you can only board at stops that the X1 uses along this section of the route.


When can I use the service?

The X1 service operates throughout the year, including vacation periods, and staff and students can use the service at any time. This is a half hourly service during the day time and early evening, Monday to Saturday (changing to an hourly service later on) and an hourly service on Sundays. Timetables are published on the web at:


Are there any low floor / easy access vehicles?

Low floor buses will be in operation on all services.


How is the timetable set?

Each year the University reviews the timetable with Arriva to see if there are any changes required that would make it easier for staff and students to meet their commitments. Unfortunately, in an institution as complex as the University it is not possible to provide a service that meets the needs of everyone.


How is the route set?

The X1 service is registered by Arriva with the Transport Commissioners as a public service route.
Although the University can negotiate with Arriva about many aspects of the service, as a private company Arriva will decide on the route that best suits their commercial and operational needs.

Why does the University Bus Timetable include a note that some bus times are approximate only?

This is because there are different types of Bus Stops! Arriva operate what are known as “timing points”. These are stops along the way where a bus is expected to depart at exactly the time shown in the timetable. At other stops, the driver may be a little early or late, depending upon the traffic conditions (which are very difficult to predict and vary at different times of the day).

But at a “timing point” the driver should not depart before the timetabled time, although of course the bus could be running late.


How do I get the bus to stop?

If you are waiting at the bus stop, and see your bus coming, the accepted way to get the bus to stop is to put out your arm clearly and in plenty of time so that the driver can stop safely. 

If you are travelling on the bus, you should alert the driver that your stop is approaching by ringing the bell shortly before the bus reaches the stop.


Am I allowed to smoke on the bus?

Smoking is not permitted on the bus. For other do's and don'ts when travelling on the bus, please refer to Arriva's Conditions of Carriage, which can be found at the following;


What do I do if I have a complaint?

In the event that you do have an unfortunate experience with the inter-campus bus, please go to our feedback form which can be found here. You will need to provide details of the date and time of the incident, as well as a description of what occurred. You can also use this form to provide more general feeback about the service.


Reviewed August 2013