Tag Archive: Transport


Before the Metro was built, cross tyne services between the suburbs of Newcastle and Gateshead were the norm rather than the exception they are today. Here is an example of a service operating between Leam Lane Estate (Staneway/Woodburn) and Fawdon Lane (16) and Hollywood Avenue in Gosforth (17) via Heworth (before the interchange), Sunderland Road & Great North Road.

These service were operated jointly by the PTE (now Stagecoach Newcastle) and Northern.

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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.

 

Animal Anderson

Ok, I know this is not strictly timetable related. But it is ‘old’ (and amusing) and it covers how a Tyne & Wear PTE employee should act with a slight nod given to the upcoming deregulation era. Animal Anderson driver lookalikes used to frequently appear on the ‘CC1’ Derwent Coaches route which operated primarily between Whickham and Ryton (then into Newcastle in later years) although their actual conduct was usually friendly and welcoming (I’m sure you’ve all got a story to tell about ‘local’ bus companies and their drivers). Conversely, although they don’t dress like Mr Anderson, I’ve encountered many a driver with a similar attitude both past and present.

Anyways, here’s the video. Enjoy.



Continuing on the theme of express services. Here is a curious little express service between Jarrow and Washington.

Was there ever much demand for a Washington to Jarrow express? – You could make the argument for Hebburn being an area of industry, or that Washington was a place for shopping, but the service starts at a peculiar time (09:35) to be of any use for workers, and surely people in Hebburn and Jarrow would use local facilities for shopping or, better still, venture in town. This service was replaced, in part, by the ‘526’ which also served Heworth, Leam Lane and Concord. Nowadays, there is no direct service between Jarrow and Washington.

 

The first couple of timetables to be published here come from the May 1979 edition of the Tyne & Wear PTE travel guide:

Located on page 625 are two express services (when express meant express!) that have long since disappeared.

 

The ‘X7’ ran between Newcastle (Marlborough Crescent) and Winlaton Bus Station and operated ‘non-stop’ along Scotswood Road. I am too young to remember this service but it looked an efficient way to get into Town (although one would have to walk from Marlborough Crescent along Clayton Street into the City Centre). I think it may have been replaced, in part, by the introduction of the ‘632’, a service which is not present in this guide.

The ‘X8’ had a longer lifespan lasting until the de-regulation of bus services in October 1986. Looking at the route, it would appear that this service was incorporated into the ‘X95’ and ‘X96’ services that operated during the late 80s and 90s.

Both were operated by Northern.

To compliment the Sunderland map I uploaded earlier on, I decided to upload the South Tyneside counterpart. This guide was released approximately a year later in May 2000. In comparing the two overlapping areas together, there does not seem to be a lot of change (except the ‘X22’ follows the ‘527’ route between Tyne Dock and Jarrow instead of going via Simonside and York Avenue). But compare this map to the current South Tyneside map from Nexus (available here) and you’ll probably notice a vast reduction in the amount of choice you had in service. Another striking thing is that South Tyneside once had regular services to/from Metrocentre at the weekends in the ‘X22’ and the ‘M42’. I guess no-one travels from South Shields to Metrocentre anymore!

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!