Tag Archive: March


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.

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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.

A classic ‘cross-tyne’ service here and one that is sorely missed by certain bus enthusiasts. This 309/310 is vastly different to the one that is operational now. The fact that the ‘310’ runs into Newcastle instead of Sunderland now still seems strange to me. The ‘309’, to me, has always been a Newcastle – Blyth (or Whitley Bay) service even before its current incarnation.

I was going to post these old inter conurbation routes between Newcastle and Gateshead in some sort of order. But it dawned on me after posting the 24/25 timetable that the ’10’ was indeed operational in 1979. All services are operated jointly by PTE and Northern.

The ‘8’ more or less operates the same route as either the 15 or 15A (I can’t remember) does now between Newcastle and Kenton Bar Estate. It then operates via the current ‘Fab 57’ route to Fewster Square where it terminates.

The ‘9’ operates via the current 31 route between Montagu Estate and Newcastle then the ‘Fab 56’ route to Springwell Estate.

The ’10’ operates similar to its current route between North Kenton and Town (except it goes via Great North Road instead of Claremont Road) then, like the ‘9’ operates along the current ‘Fab 56’ route to Springwell Estate.

Another ‘Cross-Tyne’ service between Newcastle and Gateshead. The 24/25 started in North Kenton and followed more or less the same route between North Kenton and Grainger Street as the 10/11 do now (before they were diverted to serve the University and RVI). When they got to Gateshead, they followed the classic 24/25 routes to their respective destinations before they were merged into one 24 service and then absorbed into the Coaster-branded ‘2’.

One more express service before moving on to some of the regular services in this 1979 edition of the Tyne & Wear PTE bus timetable. This is an example of how buses used to compete with British Rail to destinations within Tyne & Wear. The ‘X2’ ran between Newcastle and South Shields direct along the Felling-by-pass to White Mare Pool then up the A194 to Tyne Dock, through Chichester and into South Shields. The journey took just 30 MINS!. 2 minutes less than the train (or Metro as it is now). I wonder if it ever kept to that timetable – a feat which would almost seem impossible now.

Another little observation about this services was that it was jointly operated by United (Now Arriva North East) and Northern. This must have been one the last United services ever to grace South Shields with its presence.