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Old 6th January 2017, 11:24   #31
jcollins
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Originally Posted by Statto View Post
Crosville was one that started with letters, then as the network grew letters became numbers normally 100 plus, however in 1959 Crosville decided to renumber all there network with prefix letter instead so
Axx was North Wales Coast
Bxx Flintshire
Cxx Chester
Dxx Wrexham
Exx East Cheshire
Fxx Wirral
Gxx Wrexham Works or School services
Hxx Liverpool & Halton
Jxx some Halton joint services
Kxx Crewe, Nantwich
Lxx Limited Stop
Mxx Rhyl, Llandudno, Conwy
Nxx Bangor, Anglesey
Rxx Pwllheli, Porthmadog
Sxx Aberystwyth, Barnmouth
Txx Runcorn Busway
In 1979 journeys wholly in the Wirral area which were Fxx series were renumbered between 72 & 89.
The Crossville routes in Cheshire tended to retain their numbers (with the letters being dropped over time) but when other operators set up new routes they used 3 digit numbers like 288 for Knutsford-Wilmslow-Altrincham that led to the E17 Knutsford-Wilmslow going but the number 17 going didn't mean that 18 became 17 and 19 became 18 so it left a gap. (288 has since become 88 with the 288 number resurrected for the new contracted Altrincham-Manchester Airport service.)
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Old 6th January 2017, 12:23   #32
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In South Yorkshire, the services before deregulation used to be something like

1 - 99 - Sheffield services
100 - 149 - Rotherham services
150 – 199 - some Doncaster services
200 - 299 - "other" services (e.g. Sheffield - Penistone was the 239, Sheffield - Doncaster was the 277/278, lots of services in the Dearne Valley that crossed between the boundaries of Barnsley/ Rotherham/ Doncaster)
300 - 399 - Barnsley services
400 - 499 – other Doncaster services

(with a few exceptions where things didn’t neatly fit boundaries, or doubled numbers where an “out of town” service duplicated a local one, like the East Midlands Motor Services from Derbyshire)

For whatever reason, the lower numbered Sheffield services weren't particularly frequent (the 2 was an hourly outer circle, the 3 and 4 were hourly, the 5 was a Sunday only service with a handful of journeys...), I can’t remember a 6/7, the 8 and 9 were hourly “inner circle” - the flagship frequent routes had numbers in the fifties/ sixties/ seventies/ eighties. So that when First introduced their initial “Overground”, I think the second lowest numbered service was the 41 (could be wrong – the 33/34 were grey lines on the map as their combined section was every ten minutes – I think the 22 was the only proper Overground route below 41).

Then, the three main towns lost their three digit numbers – e.g. that the 137 in Rotherham became the 37, the 455 in Doncaster became the 55 (but some longer distance services gained an “X” – e.g. the X78 from Sheffield to Doncaster even though it wasn’t limited stop). This contrasts with West Yorkshire, where the Bradford/ Huddersfield/ Halifax/ Wakefield services have generally retained three digit numbers.

Things are about to go full circle, with Rotherham “town” services regaining their three digit numbers. Not for any nostalgic attempt to appeal to the good old days, but a more cynical reason – since Midland Road is closing, “Rotherham” services will be run from Olive Grove (Sheffield) or Leger Way (Doncaster), so having three digit numbers on Rotherham services avoids confusion on destination screens (e.g. drivers won’t accidently confuse the 40/41 from Sheffield to Manor Top with the circular service round northern Rotherham as the Rotherham routes will go back to being the 140/141 that they were thirty years ago).

Oddly, although SYT (the dominant operator in Sheffield) didn’t use low numbers for important routes, the competitors seemed shy of them too. SUT used 100/ 120/ 130 for their routes. Sheafline prefixed their services with a four (e.g. the 424 competed with the SYT 24 – a practice that SYT retained when they took over Sheafline and used them as a “low cost” Magicbus equivalent competing with SYT’s competitors – e.g. the 472 introduced to compete with the Mike Groves 72). Only the short lived South Riding used single digit numbers on some routes (but mirrored SYT numbers where practical – the 46 competing with the established 47 down one side of Gleadless Valley, with the 49 competing with the SYT 48 down the other side, the 85 competing with the existing 86 to Stannington).

Compare and contrast to Edinburgh, where LRT/ Lothian brought the numbers within the 1-50 (meaning an end to relatively long established cross city services like the 81, the 85/86, the 87). One quirk in Edinburgh was that LRT/ Lothian tended to avoid “X” services – limited stop routes were generally put in the seventies – as well as the aforementioned 85/86. So the 74 was the non-stop version of the 44, rather than the more obvious “X44” that now provides a similar peak hour express.

In some of central belt Scotland (West Lothian, Falkirk, Stirlingshire?), the councils required tendered services to be in the two hundred series (i.e. the 216 was the early morning/ evening/ Sunday version of the 16). At least this would avoid confusion if a different operator won the tender to run the anti-social journeys. IIRC for a while commercial Dunfermline town services were “seventy something” but the “eighty something” for the tendered equivalents.

Dundee used to have some quirky numbers. The 28/29 ran from Douglas to Lochee, where they diverged to two termini. But all eastbound services were numbered 26 (I could have understood if they were all numbered 28 or all numbered 29, but they all had a different number). “short” journeys on cross city services used to have a different number to make it obvious that they didn’t go any further (but this wasn’t like the West Midlands habit of using a suffix or prefix to denote a “part journey”, this was a totally different number). I think that a “short” 17 was a 35 and a “short” 22 was a 30, but that’s going back many years now…

Didn’t Belfast move to a literal “clockface”, with service numbers reflecting a clock face, in the way that the British A-road network radiates from London/ Edinburgh?

PS: Since we’ve had mention of the AD122, one of those other bus numbers that sticks in my memory was the Eastern Scottish/ Lowland Scottish X06 (which was the limited stop version of the 106, but easier for the driver to change to X06 on the old winding blind and leave the middle number untouched than it would have been to change to “X6” – are there any other services where driver convenience has taken priority?
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Old 6th January 2017, 13:00   #33
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PS: Since we’ve had mention of the AD122, one of those other bus numbers that sticks in my memory was the Eastern Scottish/ Lowland Scottish X06 (which was the limited stop version of the 106, but easier for the driver to change to X06 on the old winding blind and leave the middle number untouched than it would have been to change to “X6” – are there any other services where driver convenience has taken priority?
The brief X08 Halifax to Leeds express version of the 508 did the same thing.
I'm not sure if it was for easier interworking or to make it clearer it wasn't an express version of the 8.
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Old 6th January 2017, 17:14   #34
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The Crossville routes in Cheshire tended to retain their numbers (with the letters being dropped over time) but when other operators set up new routes they used 3 digit numbers like 288 for Knutsford-Wilmslow-Altrincham that led to the E17 Knutsford-Wilmslow going but the number 17 going didn't mean that 18 became 17 and 19 became 18 so it left a gap. (288 has since become 88 with the 288 number resurrected for the new contracted Altrincham-Manchester Airport service.)
Even Crosville Wales retained the Crosville number system until they became Arriva, so you have 1 Chester-Wrexham which was the D1, the old A1-A2-A3 are now the 11 group of routes, before d-reg the A1-A2-A3 went Chester-Caernarfon with a mandatory change of buses required at Rhyl.

Stagecoach 1 Chester-Liverpool was the old X8 Chester-Banks jointly worked with North Western, which for a couple of summers around 1996 merged with the Crosville Wales Coastliner to become Banks-Chester-Llandudno Junction, it was cut to Rhyl in 97, before being split in Liverpool & joint service ended, with the Liverpool-Chester X8 becoming the 1 early 00s when First brought in ALX300s for the route, the X8 was derived from the X7 Chester-Liverpool & X37 Liverpool-Southport they were created when Skelhorne Street Coach Station closed, they always used the upper Coach station level, there was a Sunday X9 which deviated via Chester Zoo.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Another example is the Northwich-Chester via Tarvin route which was E66 under Crosville & North Western, weirdly mid 90s it was operated by North Western & Devaway not sure if it was a joint service on 2 hourly frequency from each company, but operating every hour, however North Western kept E66, Devaway, numbered it X2, it's now 82 back to Arriva after GHA who operated it went bust.

Last edited by Statto; 6th January 2017 at 17:14. Reason: Double post prevention system
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Old 6th January 2017, 20:59   #35
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I remember at my aunt's in South Wales in thr 60s, Western Welsh didn't display route numbers at all, just the final destination.
I remember that too, in my case at a Welsh uncle's near Haverfordwest. WW was a BET company of course; at exactly the same time the Tillings Western National was displaying service number only, at least on single deckers. They did helpfully display a blind stating 'service' before the separate blind with the route number. As a Londoner used to four lines of intermediate points before the final destination display, I was unimpressed to say the least!
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Old 7th January 2017, 10:22   #36
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Another example is the Northwich-Chester via Tarvin route which was E66 under Crosville & North Western, weirdly mid 90s it was operated by North Western & Devaway not sure if it was a joint service on 2 hourly frequency from each company, but operating every hour, however North Western kept E66, Devaway, numbered it X2, it's now 82 back to Arriva after GHA who operated it went bust.
North Western also ran a similar route as X1 on Sundays and Bank Holidays and extended it to Altrincham via Lostock Gralam and Knutsford in an attempt to try and get people to use the service instead the train after the Sunday rail service was cut back to 3 hourly in 1992.

82 was a commercial Arriva service before GHA had it but Arriva decided the route wasn't still commercially viable and it went out to tender with GHA winning the contract, before enhancing it above the minimum service level required by the contract.
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Old 8th January 2017, 13:47   #37
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At deregulation, West Yorkshire routes were broadly grouped (with exceptions) as such:
0-99: Leeds services.
1-199: Wakefield/5 towns services.
200-299: North Kirklees (Dewsbury/Batley/Heckmondwike) services.
300-399: South Kirklees (Huddersfield/Holmfirth) services.
400-499: Not allocated to any area.
500-599: Calderdale/Halifax services.
600-699: Bradford services.

Services between the various metropolitan boroughs took the number from the location of the home depot- so Huddersfield to Halifax services were 343/4 managed by Huddersfield, and 502/503/537/538 managed by Halifax. The 2xx series was used additonally for some services to the South of Huddersfield, and for many cross-boundary services to South Yorkshire. Huddersfield to Wakefield also used the 2xx series and still does.
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Old 8th January 2017, 13:48   #38
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I remember that too, in my case at a Welsh uncle's near Haverfordwest. WW was a BET company of course; at exactly the same time the Tillings Western National was displaying service number only, at least on single deckers. They did helpfully display a blind stating 'service' before the separate blind with the route number. As a Londoner used to four lines of intermediate points before the final destination display, I was unimpressed to say the least!
I also seem to remember that Silcox did not display route numbers in the 70's, but they did more recently. Perhaps it was a 'welsh thing'.
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Old 8th January 2017, 18:05   #39
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I remember that too, in my case at a Welsh uncle's near Haverfordwest. WW was a BET company of course; at exactly the same time the Tillings Western National was displaying service number only, at least on single deckers. They did helpfully display a blind stating 'service' before the separate blind with the route number. As a Londoner used to four lines of intermediate points before the final destination display, I was unimpressed to say the least!
In provincial towns I also remember the very helpful "Local" or "Town Service".

Having said that, our local service contract involves buses switching back and forwards between 3 different routes are regularly end up with the wrong destination or route number on the blind.
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Old 8th January 2017, 18:21   #40
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Originally Posted by 61653 HTAFC View Post
At deregulation, West Yorkshire routes were broadly grouped (with exceptions) as such:
0-99: Leeds services.
1-199: Wakefield/5 towns services.
200-299: North Kirklees (Dewsbury/Batley/Heckmondwike) services.
300-399: South Kirklees (Huddersfield/Holmfirth) services.
400-499: Not allocated to any area.
500-599: Calderdale/Halifax services.
600-699: Bradford services.

Services between the various metropolitan boroughs took the number from the location of the home depot- so Huddersfield to Halifax services were 343/4 managed by Huddersfield, and 502/503/537/538 managed by Halifax. The 2xx series was used additonally for some services to the South of Huddersfield, and for many cross-boundary services to South Yorkshire. Huddersfield to Wakefield also used the 2xx series and still does.
There were also the 7xx routes in Keighley and a couple of other areas.
8xx routes were local minibuses round the larger towns.
9xx and Nxx were used for night routes.
Smaller town networks had initial prefix letters.
E for Elland
H for Hebden Bridge. And Honley.
M were Moors buses onto the hills above Keighley.
T were Todmorden services.
W were Wharfedale services serving Otley and Ilkley and surrounding areas.
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Old 8th January 2017, 22:02   #41
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In provincial towns I also remember the very helpful "Local" or "Town Service".

Having said that, our local service contract involves buses switching back and forwards between 3 different routes are regularly end up with the wrong destination or route number on the blind.
Very annoying - sometimes no information is better than the wrong information.
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Old 9th January 2017, 01:03   #42
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Western National was displaying service number only, at least on single deckers. They did helpfully display a blind stating 'service' before the separate blind with the route number. As a Londoner used to four lines of intermediate points before the final destination display, I was unimpressed to say the least!
This wasn't meant to be policy, but Western National made a lot of use of what were called "shunting blinds" when vehicles were moved around between garages. They had some proper blinds in stock for each garage, all vehicles could show destination and double deckers had another for intermediate points as well, while the numbers were shown with each digit separately. But when buses were transferred into Taunton garage, they either didn't have any left, or they didn't fit, so there were standardisd blinds at every garage that just showed "Service Number", "Town Service", "Private", and "Western National". So you might get "Western National" "Service Number" "204" turning up. It mainly seemed to afflict the town service double deckers rather than the country routes. The silly thing was, with only a few town routes (about six), nobody really knew numbers like 204 or 276, just destinations.

When a bus was to be moved on elsewhere the garage took out their own blinds and substituted shunting blinds. When you received one it was pretty easy just to leave them as they were. Crews like them too because you didn't have to wind them round at each end.
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Old 9th January 2017, 12:56   #43
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There were also the 7xx routes in Keighley and a couple of other areas.
8xx routes were local minibuses round the larger towns.
9xx and Nxx were used for night routes.
Smaller town networks had initial prefix letters.
E for Elland
H for Hebden Bridge. And Honley.
M were Moors buses onto the hills above Keighley.
T were Todmorden services.
W were Wharfedale services serving Otley and Ilkley and surrounding areas.
There was also R, presumably for rural. There was an evening Harrogate-Otley service oddly numbered R4A, never did find out why 'A; nor where R1-R3 were.
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Old 9th January 2017, 13:51   #44
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There was also R, presumably for rural. There was an evening Harrogate-Otley service oddly numbered R4A, never did find out why 'A; nor where R1-R3 were.
I don't remember the A in that number when I used to catch it around 16 years ago. It was fairly short lived. It replaced evening journeys on the 653. I've no idea why it had an R, but there were no other R services in Harrogate or the Otley area and I don't remember any others in West Yorkshire. I did wonder if NYCC subsidised other R services somewhere. I should have an old timetable for it somewhere.

South Emsall did briefly have S local routes - I don't think any of these still survive - I don't know the area well so I'm not sure if the routes have been incorporated into longer distance routes or have disappeared.

Nowadays, most of the prefixed routes have been replaced by routes in the 9xx series - apart form those in Hebden Bridge which went from Hx routes to individual letters on routes to 59x route numbering.

Honley and Todmorden retained their Hx and Tx numbering. Elland still has E routes but they're all completely different.

Last edited by Deerfold; 9th January 2017 at 13:52.
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Old 9th January 2017, 15:16   #45
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Originally Posted by 61653 HTAFC View Post
At deregulation, West Yorkshire routes were broadly grouped (with exceptions) as such:
0-99: Leeds services.
1-199: Wakefield/5 towns services.
200-299: North Kirklees (Dewsbury/Batley/Heckmondwike) services.
300-399: South Kirklees (Huddersfield/Holmfirth) services.
400-499: Not allocated to any area.
500-599: Calderdale/Halifax services.
600-699: Bradford services.

Services between the various metropolitan boroughs took the number from the location of the home depot- so Huddersfield to Halifax services were 343/4 managed by Huddersfield, and 502/503/537/538 managed by Halifax. The 2xx series was used additonally for some services to the South of Huddersfield, and for many cross-boundary services to South Yorkshire. Huddersfield to Wakefield also used the 2xx series and still does.
4xx is allocated to some Wakefeild/Castleford/Pontefract area services
7xx is also allocated to Ilkley & Otley services as well as already mentioned Keighley services, until most were renumbered into the K series last year.
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