Tag Archive: Houghton-le-Spring


In all of the Tyne and Wear PTE I’ve seen up until 1985, the 234 was also known simpy as ‘Trimdon’. Operated by Trimdon Motor Services, this bus operated between Houghton-le-Spring and Stockton via Salters Lane (which included the villages of Haswell and Wingate), through the Trimdoms and Fishburn to Sedgefield and down the A177 to Stockton. In later years, this service was extended from Houghton into Sunderland and operated by United after TMS sold their business to them.

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The old 231 was an epic journey between Newcastle and Hartlepool that stopped everywhere and took nigh on two hours to complete. There was a limited-stop express service that also operated between Newcastle and Hartlepool (X5), so I don’t think that this service was aimed at anyone who needed to commute between the two areas. But, as mentioned, the X5 was a limited-stop service that stopped only at ‘the timing points shown’ without any additional stops. So if you lived in a village/community that the X5 did not stop at; then you were stuck with the 231.

Both services operated a similar route between Houghton-le-Spring and Hartlepool operating via Peterlee and Blackhall Rocks. Before the routes merged so to speak, the X5 operated the exact same route as the current ‘Red Arrows’ X1 services does now via Washington, whilst the 231 operated via Chester-le-Street and Birtley. The 231 started/terminated at Worswick Street whilst the X5 operated from Eldon Square via Worswick Street although in later years both services went to Eldon Square once Worswick Street had closed down. Both services were operated jointly by United and Northern.

The route between Sunderland and Durham is now a flagship route for Go North East’s ‘Prince Bishops’ branded 20/20X services. This route has always attracted a high frequency of bus services but once upon a time at least two buses an hour used to extend beyond Durham to Bishop Auckland.

Unlike the other Sunderland to Darlington service, this one was operated jointly by Northern and United and operated through Houghton-le-Spring, West Rainton and skirts around Durham City Centre by serving the villages to the east (Pittington, Sherburn) before going to Coxhoe, Ferryhill and Newton Aycliffe.

To kick things of here, I have uploaded an old Nexus Public Transport Map covering Sunderland, Washington & Houghton-le-Spring circa 1999. The map is divided into eight separate images for your viewing pleasure. I did try to combine the image to create one big map but my photo-shop skills are not up to much and I failed immensely.  It is my intention to complete this task (unless anyone wants to combine these images for me) and to create a two page PDF file available to download. When I have this sussed, I will update here and let you all know . In the meantime, just click on the image to view.

Some interesting bus routes appear on this route map. Perhaps the most interesting (and unknown) route was the ’33’ operated by Sunderland Busways/Favourite which ran from Low Pittington to Metrocentre through Houghton-le-Spring.

Also, George Bell Travel (GBT) seem to be giving Wear Buses and Sunderland Busways a run for their money in South Sunderland.

Did anyone ever travel on these services? Please feel free to comment!