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Who moves the baggage at the Great North Run?

Date 28 Sep 2007
Author The Editor

It's not just the runners that need to be taken care of at the Great North Run, it's all their baggage as well. There's a few hundred of tonnes of it to be moved – a task carried out by transport group Nexus. An estimated 50,000 pieces of baggage have to be transported between the race start and finish lines by a fleet of 39 double-decker buses.

Staff from the Nexus Bus Services Department will be up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to make sure the operation goes to plan. This year is the 20th that Nexus has been responsible for ensuring that the runners' baggage arrives at the finish line in South Shields on time, and, crucially, in the correct order.

Nexus makes sure the baggage buses are loaded in an orderly fashion on the start line on Newcastle's central motorway. They are then sent on their way to the finish on the South Shields sea front, where more Nexus staff make sure they arrive in the right place and that they are unloaded in a safe and orderly manner.

Nexus' District Bus Manager, Vince Hills, said: "It's our busiest day of the year. We are on site from the 6am to make sure everything goes like clockwork and we are there for most of the day. "It's a huge logistical operation to get that many buses parked up in the correct place for when all the runners come in, but we always make sure they are in the correct order so that there's no confusion at the finish. "Like me, a lot of the lads have been organising the baggage buses for the last 20 years so we've got a great feel for what's required of us on the day. We all enjoy the challenge and along with the Sunderland air show, where we organise the park and ride service, this is one event we all really look forward to."

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