Tag Archive: Tyne


I recently received a request asking about a 588 service which ran to Washington. This is the only 588 service which I can find amongst my collection:

588

As you can see, it did not run as far as Washington in 1979. By 1985 the service had disappeared completely, presumably absorbed into the 540/541 services which ran between Monkton Lane – Jarrow – Harton Hospital – Seaburn (540)/Horsley Hill (541). If anyone has more information about the 588 service, then please feel free to post a comment.

As I don’t really update this blog that much now, I would like to take the opportunity to make you aware of another site which makes these old timetables available to view. North East Buses (link: http://www.northeastbuses.co.uk ) is an enthusiast site which encourages debate about not only buses, but all forms of public transport, past and present, in the North East of England. Unlike other bus enthusiast groups/sites, this is open for anyone to view and contribute. The forum contains a section called ‘The Bygone Era’ where, upon joining, a vast array of old timetables are available to peruse and download. Check it out!!

[Message to Brandon: Please feel free to ‘steal’ anything I’ve posted here. Bus timetables (and anything else which belonged in the Public Domain), ultimately, belong to the public, not the collector!]

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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.

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.

Here is another service that still exists albeit with a different service number. The 230 between Sunderland and Hartlepool has now been replaced by services 23/23A/23B/23C. Some of these routes still traverse the entire route whilst others terminate at Peterlee. The service is still ran jointly by Go North East and Arriva North East (or Northern and United as they were then known) which is something of an oddity these days. I’m not sure how this arrangement was handled in 1979 but in 2011 it is hugely simplified with Arriva running the day service, and GNE operating on Evening and Sundays.

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.

Wheatley Hill once had quite a few services operating into Sunderland. The ‘215’ is another example of this. This service largely operated through Wingate, Shotton Colliery then onto Peterlee and up through Easington but a small number of journeys used to operate via Castle Eden too.

Yet another bus operating between Sunderland and Middlesbrough. This one operates via Peterlee,  Wheatley Hill, The Trimdons and Sedgefield before going down the A177 into Stockton and into Middlesbrough.

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.