- West Midlands bus routes 369 and 370
Overview Operator National Express West Midlands Vehicle Volvo B6LE Route Start Walsall Bus Station Via Green Lane, Reedswood Retail Park, Beechdale, Lane Head, Short Heath, New Invention (The Square), Coppice Farm, Wednesfield, New Cross Hospital & Heath Town End Wolverhampton City Centre70 Overview Operator National Express West Midlands Vehicle Volvo B6LE Route Start Walsall Bus Station Via Green Lane, Reedswood Retail Park, Beechdale & Dudley Fields End Bloxwich Town Centre70A Overview Operator National Express West Midlands Vehicle Volvo B6LE Route Start Walsall Bus Station Via Green Lane, Reedswood Retail Park, Beechdale, Reedswood Retail Park & Green Lane End Walsall Bus Station
The 69, 70 and 70A are three National Express West Midlands bus services in the West Midlands, England. The services all link Walsall with the Beechdale Estate, with the 69 then extending to Wolverhampton via New Invention & Wednesfield and the 70 extending to Bloxwich via Dudley Fields.
The Beechdale Estate was a new council housing development in the mid 1950's.
To serve this new estate Walsall Corporation Transport introduced a new Trolleybus service from Walsall (Town End Bank) which was numbered '40'.
Originally, and much to the disgrace of the residents of the estate, the destination was shown as "GYPSY LANE ESTATE" (Gypsy Lane referred to a road in the area, since renamed Leamore Lane). This was promptly changed to "BEECHDALE ESTATE" following numerous complaints.
The '40' service terminated just north of Stephenson Square, the main shopping and community area of the Beechdale Estate, where it turned around in a small clockwise loop.
In 1961 service '40' was withdrawn and replaced with a new circular trolleybus service the '33'. This service started off the same as the '40' but continued from Beechdale to serve the other nearby council estate of Dudley Fields before travelling through Bloxwich and Leamore before arriving back at Walsall.
In 1970 trolleybuses were replaced by motorbuses on this route by West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive which had taken over Walsall Corporation Transport on 1 October 1969.
The routes were also renumbered at this time, having all been numbered 33 previously:
- 333 - Walsall - Leamore - Bloxwich - Dudleys Fields - Beechdale - Walsall
- 334 - Walsall - Beechdale - Dudleys Fields - Bloxwich - Leamore - Walsall
- 335 - Walsall - Beechdale - Walsall
After deregulation in 1986, all three services were rerouted to serve Stephenson Square, Cavendish Road and Bloxwich Lane, leaving the northern part of Stephenson Road unserved by buses with the exception of a short-lived Midland Red North service, the X1 between Cannock and Birmingham.
At the same time as the route change the 333 became the 371, the 334 the 370 and the 335 the 370A.
- 1990 - Chase Bus Services began operating a brand new service from New Invention to Walsall at a half hourly frequency, in competition with then West Midlands Travel service 341. The 364 operated from slightly past New Invention to Coppice Farm and travelled via Lane Head, Beechdale & Green Lane, instead of Lodge Farm, Bentley and Reedswood which the other services along this corridor all travelled via.
- 1991 - Chase Bus Services increases the frequency of its service 364 to every twenty minutes.
- 1992 - West Midlands Travel begin operating on the 364 route. This causes a reduction in frequency by Chase Bus Services and then by West Midlands Travel.
- 1998 - It is known that the following services are all operating: 364 - Walsall - Green Lane - Reedswood Retail Park - Beechdale - Lane Head - Short Heath - New Invention - Coppice Farm, 369 - Walsall - Green Lane - Reedswood Retail Park - Beechdale - Lane Head - Short Heath - New Invention - Pool Hayes - Ashmore Park - Willenhall, 369S - Willenhall - Little London - Pool Hayes Comprehensive School - Pool Hayes - New Invention - Short Heath - Lane Head - Beechdale - Reedswood Retail Park - Green Lane - Walsall, 370 - Walsall - Green Lane - Reedswood Retail Park - Beechdale - Dudley Fields - Bloxwich - Leamore - Walsall, 370A - Walsall - Green Lane - Reedswood Retail Park - Beechdale - Reedswood Retail Park - Green Lane - Walsall & 371 - Walsall - Leamore - Bloxwich - Dudley Fields - Beechdale - Reedswood Retail Park - Green Lane - Walsall.
Service 364 is operated by Chase Bus Services and National Express West Midlands (then Travel West Midlands). Chase operate the service during Monday - Saturday daytime at a frequency of every 15 Minutes on weekdays and every 20 Minutes on Saturdays, whilst TWM operate the service during the same periods at a constant half hourly frequency. There is no evening or Sunday frequency. Service 369 meanwhile is operated solely by National Express West Midlands at a frequency of every 20 minutes during Monday - Saturday daytime. On schooldays service 369S is also operated between Willenhall and Walsall for pupils of Pool Hayes School who live in the Little London area of Willenhall in the morning. The return journey terminates at Noose Lane, Little London and only commences from Pool Hayes School. The 370 and 371 operate between Walsall and Bloxwich only during Monday - Saturday daytime, again operated by TWM, both travelling via Beechdale. The 370A also operates during Monday - Saturday daytime. All services operate to a 20 minute frequency. During the Evening and on Sundays, the 370 and 371 are operated to a half hourly frequency by Travel West Midlands following full circles.
- 1999 - Chase Bus Services reduce the frequency of service 364 so it now operates every 20 minutes during Monday - Saturday daytime.
- January 2000 - Travel West Midlands withdraw off service 364 completely. Meanwhile, the 370 and 371 start operating only full circles, running half hourly during daytimes and evenings everyday of the week, with the 370A running every 10-20 Minutes during Monday - Saturday daytimes.
- 2002 - Travel West Midlands increases the frequency of the 370 and 371 so they run every 20 minutes during Monday - Saturday daytime, causing the 370A to run to the same frequency.
- 2003 - Travel West Midlands reverts the 370, 370A and 371 back to the timetable operated between 2000 and 2002. Meanwhile, Chase Bus Services reduces the 364 frequency to every 20 - 40 Minutes during weekday daytimes, and then every hour on Saturdays.
- July 2005 - Travel West Midlands service 369S is withdrawn.
- 2007 - Arriva Midlands buy-out Chase Bus Services. As such, the 364 is now operated by Arriva Midlands, who renumber the service the 64. Additionally, Travel West Midlands withdraws service 371 and shortens service 370 to terminate at Bloxwich. The 370 will operate to a frequency of every 30 minutes during Monday - Saturday daytimes and evenings and all day Sundays. The 370As frequency is also increased so a combined 7-8 Minute Monday - Saturday daytime frequency operates between Walsall and Beechdale. As a result, the 369 moves to Stand B in Walsall Bus Station, away from other Beechdale and New Invention services.
- 2008 - Arriva Midlands withdraws off service 64. As such, Travel West Midlands reroutes the 369 to serve the Coppice Farm Estate at the same time reducing the frequency to every half hour. Meanwhile, Beechdale Branding appears on 5 Volvo B6LEs that become standard vehicles on the 370 and 370A. This branding lasts just under one year.
- November 2009 - National Express West Midlands moves service 369 back to Stand N (for Beechdale services), in doing so replacing certain 370A journeys. In effect, the 369 is incorporated into the 370/A Walsall - Beechdale timetable, maintaining the previous frequency between the two areas.
- July 2011 - As part of the Wolverhampton and West Walsall bus network review by Centro, there are changes to the services. The routes all lose the 3** of their numbers, with the 69 route then being amended so from Coppice Farm buses continue to Wolverhampton via Wednesfield, New Cross Hospital & Heath Town, in place of Willenhall and Pool Hayes.
Currently the 69, 70 and 70A all follow the same route up until Beechdale, travelling from Walsall Bus Station along Green Lane and then serving Reedswood Retail Park and the Sainsbury's branch there. From here the 370A circles through the estate to return back to Walsall via the reverse of the above, whilst the 370 drives through the estate to continue on to Bloxwich via Dudleys Fields and the 369 also drives through to continue to Wolverhampton via Lane Head, Short Heath, New Invention, Coppice Farm & Wednesfield, New Cross Hospital & Heath Town. Combined the three services, which are all operated by low-floor easy access Volvo B6LE buses give a combined peak time frequency of every 7–8 minutes to Beechdale.
- Sainsbury's Reedswood
- Lane Head
- Short Heath
- New Invention
- Coppice Farm
- New Cross Hospital
- Heath Town
Bus routes in the West Midlands Birmingham and Solihull Coventry Sandwell & Dudley Walsall Wolverhampton
79 126 529
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