Bus Service Numbers

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by EbbwJunction1, 3 Jan 2017.

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  1. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    Weirdest named one is Transdev Lancashire 152 Preston-Burnley which is also known as Hotline, at least Red Express, Whichway, Mainline names make a bit of sense, Hotline makes no sense.
     
  2. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    Originally, Liverpool allocated nos. 1 - 49 for tram services, and 50 upwards for motor bus services.

    For the bus services, there was initially allocation blocks of numbers according to the areas served by the buses to/from the city centre.
    For example, "5x" routes went towards the Bootle / Litherland / Seaforth areas.
    "6x" Fazakerkey / Norris Green
    "7x" Wavertee / Childwall / Huyton
    "8x" Smithdown Road / Aigburth Road / Speke.

    It was not totally simple, as "cross-city" buses used the same blocks of numbers. So, and which still exists in modified form, 61 was Aigburth Vale - Old Swan - Seaforth (in 1939, according to "Liverpool Transport" by JB Horne & Bruce Maund.

    As trams were withdrawn, replacement bus routes sometimes used the same numbers. After the trams had gone, any new bus routes might use "vacancies" in the number series.
     
  3. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Witchway makes more sense! Whichway just sounds lost.

    I don't see how Hotline makes less sense than Mainline.
     
  4. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Member

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    Hotline hasn't replaced the actual number, despite how eager the current management would be to do this.

    It doesnt work scrapping the number Trent Barton style as in various situations the brand has to be abbreviated, so you end up with RA, TP, SKY, CC, IGO, IF etc used on departure screens, apps, journey planners etc.
     
  5. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    I think that there is much history associated with individual bus route numbers, and passengers do not like changes to the the numbers they know and love. As an example, London Country routes south of the Thames were generally in the 4XX series. When London Country was broken up for privatisation, Kentish Bus took over the routes in the SE London borders/NW Kent area and tried to renumber the routes. The 477 became the 17, the 402 became the 22 and so on.

    However, within a short time they reverted to the old familiar numbers!
     
  6. CatfordCat

    CatfordCat Member

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    What made it more entertaining is that the public had - on some routes - the choice between green buses running on the route numbers that had been in place since the mid 30s or yellow / maroon buses on route new route numbers.

    The green 477s were Transcity - picture (not mine) here
     
  7. PeterC

    PeterC Member

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    Bucks CC brokered a joint service between High Wycombe and Chesham by Carousel and Arriva as route 1. They continue to different local destinations in Chesham and are branded Red1 and Blue1. Confusing for passengers when Carousel substitute one of their blue school service vehicles.

    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.
     
  8. Dai Corner

    Dai Corner Member

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    Looking at Newport Transport's map there is some logic in that

    15/16/17/18/19 go up Malpas Road to Bettws and Malpas
    26/27/28/29 go along Caerleon Road to Caerleon / Cwmbran
    30/34/35/36/37 go along Cardiff Road to Cardiff, Duffryn, Celtic Springs and Rhiwderin
    42/43 go down Corporation Road to Lliwerry and Spytty Park
    73/74 go along Chepstow Road to Chepstow

    Although after that it falls down as, for example, the Alway and Ringland services which also use Chepstow Road are 6 and 8, the 60 goes to Monmouth via Caerleon but the 62 and 63 go to the villages on the eastern fringes if Newport.

    NAT have numbered their Newport services sequentially N1/N2/N3 etc

    Stagecoach is just a mess with oddities such as the 15 and X15 being completely different routes - a legacy of takeovers and mergers over the years.

    http://www.newportbus.co.uk/_literature_132686/NEWPORT_BUS_ROUTES_MAP_OCT_2016
     
  9. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    Before the busway, Cambridge used to have 2x 1,2,3 which all stopped in the city centre. It's because the "Citi" buses were technically "Citi 1", but if you weren't particularly vigilant, you definitely could have gotten on the 1 to Huntingdon. (This now runs, I believe, as the 1A).
     
  10. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    The Busway routes are now just single letters - A, B, C, R and U (though R and U only use the southern Busway).

    Whippet still runs a 1A to St Ives which does not use the Busway.
     
  11. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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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.)
     
  12. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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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?
     
  13. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    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.
     
  14. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    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.
     
  15. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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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!
     
  16. jcollins

    jcollins Veteran Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2017
  17. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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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.
     
  18. MotCO

    MotCO Member

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    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'.
     
  19. PeterC

    PeterC Member

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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.
     
  20. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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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.
     
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