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As it says in the title, this service ran between Sunderland and Darlington via Peterlee, The Trimdons,  Sedgefield and Newton Aycliffe. If you wanted to travel from Sunderland to Darlington now it would probably involve an Explorer ticket as the quickest way would to get the Prince Bishops ’20’ or ’20X’ to Durham and transfer there. Is there even a bus between Peterlee and Darlington now?

Moving on to longer distanced services now, starting with the ‘2xx’ series which revolves around buses operating from the Sunderland area into Co. Durham and Cleveland. The first example is the 212. This service ran between Sunderland and Middlesbrough via Ryhope, Peterlee, Wingate and Stockton following much of the same route as Arriva’s 21A service and, until recently, Go North East’s 211.

This service has never really changed with one exception. In 1979, it was operated jointly by United and Tyne & Wear PTE.

More United services in the western suburbs of Newcastle. This time we have the 84 which operated from Marlborough Crescent to Throckley via Sandyford and Westerhope. And the 85/86 which operated a circular route serving Slatyford, West Denton and Denton Burn. These routes have now been largely absorbed into the Stagecoach operated 11 and 39 services. Arriva North East, a successor to United, have recently been awarded a contract by Nexus to operate a route between Throckley and West Denton. Along with another Nexus contracted service, the 4, Arriva North East/United Automobile Services once again have a presence in West Denton after years and years of inactivity.

United Automobile Services (now Arriva North East) once ran a few services through the western suburbs of Newcastle and that is the theme for the next few posts. We begin with the 82 & 83, two services that were later replaced by the Tyne & Wear PTE/Blue Bus Services/Newcastle Busways operated X82/X83 services,  then amalgamated into the singular X82 route that is currently operated by Stagecoach Newcastle between Throckley and Newcastle.

One noticeable change to this service is that it once terminated/started from Marlborough Crescent Bus Station.  Now it operates direct from Eldon Square Bus Concourse which is more convenient for shoppers as opposed to a now demolished bus station near a busy train station which, at the time, would have been better for transport links. Another change is the curtailment of services to Throckley. Heddon is still still served a a couple of long-distance services but Ouston Camp (also known as Albemarle Barracks) does not have a bus service anymore. I guess if you’re a squaddie there now, a car is essential.

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. See how it compares to now. In Gateshead, there’s no Interchange yet and West Street is a bi-directional as is The High Level Bridge. Sunderland has changed somewhat in recent years but other than that, things are more or less the same as they are now.

Once upon a time, there were various ferry crossings on the River Tyne that allowed people to cross from one side to the other. Today all that remains is the Shields Ferry but in 1979 there were still two crossings in operation. The Mid-Tyne Ferry ran between Hebburn and Walker/Wallsend. The ferry is also a setting in the 1971 film ‘Get Carter’, in a scene where Jack Carter (Michael Caine) disposes of several adversaries by a way of a loaded shotgun. More information about the various river crossings (including the Mid-Tyne& Shields Ferries)can be found at this excellent resource Bridges on the Tyne, I suggest that you all check it out.

The ‘585’ was a bus that ran ‘in the dark’ so to speak replacing the Shields Ferry on early morning/late night journeys. It was also used as a ‘Ferry Replacement’ bus service although I don’t know if that ever happened. The ‘585’ is still operational today with Kingsley Coaches, who have just recently won the contract to run it.

As a special bonus. Here’s footage from the film ‘Get Carter’ featuring the Mid-Tyne Ferry and the Wallsend Landing. It also contains in-depth analysis of the the scenes used. Some might like it, some might not. Comment on it if you wish!!

As with the 310, this is another long-missed ‘cross-tyne’ service. However, this service did not always to go Sunderland as it did in later years. This service originally went to Lukes Lane Estate in Hebburn which a short service shuttle operating between Jarrow and Lukes Lane only to maintain a regular half-hour link. One bus an hour extended to Cramlington and was jointly operated by United and Northern.

Two routes that complement the more recognized services of the 310/319. The 311 was a works service that ran one journey in each direction ferrying workers across the Tyne from Jarrow to Hadrian Road in the morning with a return journey operated in the evening. The 318 is a bit more interesting as it operates from Jarrow to Cullercoats, Monday to Saturday, maintaining an a all-day service.

The ‘301’ has seen many changes throughout its route history but it has always maintained its status as a ‘cross-tyne’ service. This 1979 version saw it operate from Whitley Bay along its current route (now ‘coaster’ services 1/2 before its recent re-routing through Marden Estate) to Gateshead, then on to Lobley Hill via Bensham Road/Lobley Hill Road terminating at the ‘west-side’ of the estates there. The ‘302’ has seem lots of changes too but the service always seems to integrate with the ‘301’ in some fashion. In 1979 it was no different, operating from Whitley Bay to Redesdale Park via North Shields and Wallsend.