The key terms and conditions

Use of the key smartcard (“the key”) and M-ticket on a mobile device is subject to these Terms and Conditions together with:

Getting the key smartcard

  • Registration for the key is available at simplygo.com/thekey or by telephone on 0191 420 5050 and from other places in person as advertised. On registration you will be asked for your name, address, date of birth and contact details as the key is registered to an individual.
  • Your key card will be processed and posted to you within a few days of receiving your application.
  • The first key smartcard is available free of charge to anyone of any age (although it isn’t necessary for those under five) or those eligible to an English National Concessionary Travel Pass.
  • The key smartcard remains the property of Go North East and we reserve the right to withdraw an individual key or the key scheme generally, at any time.
  • The key can only currently be used on Go North East services. This will be extended in due course with the North East Smart Ticketing initiative.
  • The registered holder of the key agrees to keep their personal details up to date either by changing their details through our website or by letting us know by telephone on 0191 420 5050. This will enable us to switch off and replace the key when lost or to deal with enquiries about an individual key.

Buying tickets for the key smartcard

  • Tickets can be bought online at simplygo.com/thekey, by telephone on 0191 420 5050 or from our offices at Metrocentre public transport interchange, Washington Galleries bus station and Chester-le-Street Front Street as advertised. Certain tickets maybe be bought on the bus. Details of our full range and where they can be purchased can be found at simplygo.com/thekey.

  • If you purchase a ticket online for your key smartcard or are looking to do that today, please note that tickets bought before 9pm will be ready for use the following day.
  • Tickets that are bought after 9pm may take until the day after next for the ticket to be transferred to the key smartcard.
  • Tickets bought on the bus or from our travel centres will be added to the key smartcard at the time of purchase and available to use straight away.

Using the key smartcard

  • Tickets available on the key are valid as advertised at simplygo.com/thekey.
  • On boarding a bus the key must be placed on or near the key reader so that the reader indicates it has been properly read by making an audible “bleep” and showing a green light. Only when you have received a positive confirmation of the key reading as shown above are you treated as having made valid payment for that journey.
  • Tickets on the key are valid until midnight or end of service (whichever is later) on the expiry date of the ticket. Some tickets are not valid on our night bus services which run overnight and have an “N” in front of their service number as per our terms and conditions for each ticket type.
  • Get Around tickets can only be purchased and used with a valid Get Around key smartcard and by the person shown on the Get Around key.
  • Where multibuy tickets are purchased the next ticket will start when it is first used on the bus after the previous ticket has expired.
  • You cannot use the key unless it has valid tickets on it and you are responsible for managing this. However, Get Around key smartcards issued to under 18’s can be used to get discounted single fares on our services as per our terms and conditions for under 18 discounts. The discounted single fare will be activated only if there is no valid Get Around ticket on the key.
  • The key is valid for travel by one person, per journey within the validity of the ticket being used. The key is not transferable and may be used only by the person for whom the ticket was purchased and is named or pictured on the key when used. If a key is transferred, it will be confiscated and both the person to whom it was issued and the person to whom it was transferred or attempted to be transferred, will be liable to prosecution.
  • The law states that it is an offence for a passenger to use, or attempt to use, a ticket which has been altered or defaced, a ticket issued or another person where that ticket is not transferable, or an expired season or other such ticket without reasonable excuse. The company will prosecute passengers who break the law in this way.
  • Holders of the key do not have precedence over other passengers and the company cannot be held liable for the consequences arising from any lack of accommodation on a particular journey.
  • Drivers and officials of Go North East may inspect the key at any time and you must show it to them on request.

If you lose your key or it is stolen

  • The loss, theft or failure of the key must be reported to Go North East as soon as possible by calling 0191 420 5050 so the key can be cancelled to prevent others from using it. As a basic security check we will ask you to confirm your details before we cancel your key.
  • We cannot prevent the unauthorised use of a lost or stolen key until it has been reported by the registered holder to us, when it will be cancelled. Cancellation will normally take place within 48 hours. Until it is cancelled, you will be liable for the unauthorised use of the key.
  • Go North East will not be liable for any travel costs incurred between the reporting or a lost or stolen key and the receipt of your replacement key.

Replacing your key smartcard

  • There’s no need to call us for a new one – the £5 replacement charge can be paid online. You can do so by logging into your key card account on our website. Once you're logged in simply click ‘home’, ‘lost your card?’ and then follow the on screen instructions.
  • The replacement key will have the same validity as the key it has replaced and we will credit it with the tickets that were stored on the lost key at the time of effective cancellation. Once cancelled, a key cannot be “re-activated”.
  • Where your key is faulty you will need to return it to us. We will replace it free of charge and will endeavour to replace any unused tickets. If we believe your key has been tampered with in any way we may withdraw it without refunding the remaining value. A driver or other official of Go North East is entitled to retain any key which they believe has been tampered with, is being misused or which has become electronically unreadable. Where a key has become corrupt, we will replace it.
  • We reserve the right to refuse to replace the key and are not responsible for any travel costs incurred while the key is being replaced.

Ticket refunds

  • We have a standard refund policy which applies in all cases; this is available to view on our website.
  • A refund is only available to the original purchaser and proof of purchase may be requested.
  • Refunds are not to be confused with the transfer of outstanding tickets from a lost, stolen, or damaged key as covered above.

Data Protection and Security of your Payment

  • Go North East takes your privacy very seriously. Go North East will not pass your information to third parties outside of the Go-Ahead Group plc unless required by law. Go North East processes and stores personal data in accordance with the latest Data Protection Act legislation. Our full privacy policy is available at simplygo.com.
  • For the key, the data we hold includes, title (Mr/Mrs/Ms/Miss etc), first name, and surname, address, telephone number, email address, date of birth and gender. For Get Around key holders we also hold a photograph of the user, and for those over 18 details of the college or university attended.
  • When using the key our system records the location, date and time a key was used. This information is used anonymously for our own research and development. We will never pass on the specific details of journeys made to anyone other than the registered holder of that key unless we are required to by law. Customers using the key can view details of their personal journeys made on their key using their online account or by calling 0191 420 5050 .
  • We have taken many steps to ensure the security of your payment transactions including the adoption of the payment industry standard PCI DSS. Go North East does not hold any information about your financial transaction other than details of the type of tickets you purchase and when and where the purchase was made.
  • Go North East will only use information that you have supplied for administration (including development and maintenance of our systems), customer service, our own research, and detection and prevention of crime.
  • If you have ticked the relevant box on the application form, you agree that we may also contact you to keep you updated with information about Go North East services such as timetable changes and fare changes and also to inform you of special offers and our other related products and services. If you have accepted that you are willing to accept emails from Go North East, you will be sent emails to your specified email address. You can opt out from receiving emails, by logging into your account at simplygo.com/thekey and changing your preferences.

Company Details and Variation of Terms

Go North East is registered in England No 2057284 and its registered office is 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 6EE. Go North East is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group Plc. Go North East reserves the right to vary these terms and conditions from time to time and without notice.