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Frequently Asked Questions

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 Bus Station (extended to Aykley Heads) and Middlesbrough via Stockton. This service is known as the X12.

Who operates the X12?

The inter-campus bus service (X12) is operated by Arriva North East, a commercial bus company. The X12 is not a University owned or operated service. As a commercially operated public transport service, the X12 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 2015 to see which operators would be able to provide a service between Durham City and Queen's Campus. Of the companies that submitted tenders, only Arriva could provide the service we required within the budget available.

Why are the public allowed to use the X12?

The X12 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. This is a commercial route, therefore any member of the public can use the service.

Is there a cost for using the Inter-campus Bus service?

No. The service is free for staff and students between the set points of Durham Bus Station (extending to Aykley Heads/Dryburn) and Middlesbrough Bus Station, via Queen's Campus, Stockton. Free travel is available at all bus stops along the route.

When can I use the service?

The X12 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, Monday to Saturday changing to an hourly service during the evenings, and an hourly service on Sundays. Timetables are published on the web at:

Where can I find a copy of the timetable?

Timetables are available on the Arriva Website.

Printed pocket timetables are also available from the Durham Students' Union, JCR offices at Queen's Campus, Stockton, key receptions and libraries.

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 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 will I know the bus is running late?

Arriva have an App for all their bus services showing 'real-time' information. Please see for more detail.

What happens if the bus is full and I do not have the time to wait for the next service and I live on the route between Durham City and Coxhoe?

The University has an arrangement with Arriva where by staff and students can travel on either 56/57 and 57a bus services, also for free. Copies of relevant timetables can be found on the Arriva website at the below:

How is the route set?

The X12 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.

Are there any low floor / easy access vehicles?

Low floor buses will be in operation on all services.

How do I get the bus to stop whilst I am waiting at the bus 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.

How do I get the bus to stop at my destination when on the bus?

If you are travelling on the bus, you should alert the driver that your stop is approaching by ringing the bell (generally located on a metal post as a red push button with the word stop on it), 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 the Greenspace feedback form. 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 feedback about the service.

Reviewed July 2017