Tag Archive: Washington


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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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.

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.

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!