Night buses

Discussion in 'Other Public Transport' started by Ivo, 24 Oct 2011.

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  1. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    The discussion in the thread about 24 hour train services in ten years' time (here) got a bit out of hand as bus mentions kept cropping up, so I thought that it would be worthwhile making a new thread for the subject of night buses.

    Everyone knows that London has a comprehensive night bus network, with TfL themselves claiming that "most areas of Greater London have easy access to at least one night bus", but where else has such systems? Please add some examples below, citing whether the routes in question are actual 24/7 services, Friday/Saturday clubber services, or in practice just late finishers.

    Brighton has a fairly well-developed night bus network, with six services (N12, N29, N69, N96, N97, N98) providing Thursday to Saturday night services to all manner of local areas, including Newhaven, Eastbourne, Lewes, Uckfield, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Shoreham, Worthing and local parts of Brighton, with Stagecoach also chipping in with the N700 on the western corridor, but also has a full night service on routes N7 (Hove to the Marina) and N25 (for the Universities).

    Bristol has Friday and Saturday (I think; could be wrong on those dates :?) night services to all parts of the city, which are timed to meet in the centre and as such through fares are available.

    Bath has night services to both Universities (although we only get one an hour against six), albeit only until approximately 0300 and then only during term time.

    Reading has several routes throughout the town operating late into the night, but apart from the odd Friday/Saturday service only the 17 runs right through the night (hourly between Earley and Tilehurst).

    Anyone else got anything to add? There are plenty out there!
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2011
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  3. Greenback

    Greenback Emeritus Moderator

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    Swansea has no night buses and never has, not even at New Year. Llanelli has very few buses after 1800!

    Sorry to be negative!
     
  4. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    NCT and Trent Barton run night buses in Nottingham but most are until around 3am Friday and Saturday nights. Trent Barton's 'indigo' bus to Long Eaton then East Midlands Airport runs 24/7.



    Manchester night buses: http://www.tfgm.com/buses/nightbus.cfm
     
  5. Ze Random One

    Ze Random One Member

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    Go North East runs a small selection of services, mostly Saturdays only, in the North East:

    N20: Durham - Carrville (Fridays & Saturdays)
    N21: Newcastle - Chester le Street - Durham (Fridays & Saturdays)
    N21: Newcastle - Chester le Street (All other nights, although I understand this may be ceasing at the next timetable change, 30 Oct)
    N56: Newcastle - Washington - Sunderland (Saturdays)
    N58: Whitley Bay - Newcastle - Heworth (Saturdays)
    N97: Newcastle - Whickham (Saturdays)
    Last journeys are usually around 0330, with the exception of N21, and all of them are hourly.
    Sadly these buses don't run on New Year's Eve, and no local transport runs on New Year's Day in the North East (only long distance services)

    Go South Coast are quite extensive night bus operators:
    - Wilts & Dorset run their "more" branded routes (Bournemouth) m1 and m2 through the night on Fridays and Saturday nights, although it is worth noting that the final departures on these routes aren't until well after midnight on other days.
    - Bluestar (Southampton) run no less than 8 night routes at the weekend, travelling as far as Winchester on one route.
    - Southern Vectis (Isle of Wight) run 5 night routes at the weekend, and again a number of routes run until well gone midnight 7 days per week.

    Other Go subsidiaries:
    Brighton & Hove have already been mentioned.
    Metrobus (outside of the TfL area) run a 24h Crawley - Gatwick service, and a Friday/Saturday Brighton - Three Bridges service (which can connect with the hourly Southern train to Gatwick and London)

    Oxford Bus and Stagecoach in Oxfordshire run a few weekend night routes (principally on the BrookesBus branded network IIRC)

    The interesting thing about the majority of Go's night services is that they are run without subsidy.

    I know that Diamond Bus (for the brief period they were owned by Go) attempted to set up a night bus network for the Birmingham, but ultimately failed (to this day, I find it bizarre that in such a big city, the last public transport departures are usually before or around midnight).

    Away from the Go-Ahead group, I understand that Lothian Buses has a comprehensive night bus network, and that Glasgow has some sort of skeleton service overnight, with a somewhat more comprehensive service at the weekend. I'm pretty sure Aberdeen has some sort of night bus service at the weekend too.

    Manchester's Night bus network is fairly reasonable at the weekend, and the Manchester - Airport 43 bus I know is 24/7/365 (even Christmas Day, IIRC).

    Leeds, IIRC, only has one overnight line, the 95, which I believe serves a number of student residences and the universities, and runs until 3am Mon-Sat.
     
  6. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    Edinburgh im sure has nightbuses through the week! Glasgow used to but only at weekends and from City only . The 66 which was my local route in Glasgow even ran on Christmas Day hourly.
     
  7. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Edinburgh has an extensive night bus route, mainly hourly (some more frequent, and with more at pub and club kicking out times) on the major routes- used it a fair bit years ago when I was at uni.
    website is here
     
  8. Oracle

    Oracle Established Member

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  9. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Bristol night buses also run on New year's eve.
     
  10. Pumbaa

    Pumbaa Established Member

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    Liverpool used to have several key routes running N on Fridays and Saturdays. They've now been withdrawn.
     
  11. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    You can still get to Birkenhead every night and to New Brighton, West Kirby and Runcorn at the weekends.

    I'm sure route 86 (city to airport) used to run 24 hours but it doesn't appear to do so any more.
     
  12. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    West Yorkshire used to have quite a few nightbuses. I used to catch the N53 from Halifax (there were 3 each of N51, N52, N53 each Friday and Saturday at 2345, 0100 and 0215. Two were circulars. Mine went Halifax - Sowerby Bridge-Hebden Bridge). Immediately before the withdrawal the N53 used to be standing room only on a double decker at 0215 but they were withdrawn thorigh "lack of use" around 2000. Bradford used to have the 938 Bradford - Keighley which ran 3 times a night (run by a different company to the day service). Leeds had the 921-928, the last of which disappeared last year. There was a brief Leeds-Bradford-Halifax service in the laste 90s which handily ran when I briefly went out with a girl who lived in Leeds. And a brief 2330ish Leeds - Halifax M62 service ran in th mid 2000s - when I caught that the driver said it was the only time he'd ever driven the whole route instead of diverting into the garage just before reaching Halifax. Huddersfield had a few numbered 95x

    There's been various experiments with night services in Leeds focussing on Student areas - I suspect they might have some luck with services to Bradford, Wakefield, Keighley etc if actually promoted (the night bus timetables always seemed to be next to impossible to get hold of even if you knew they existed).

    The 95 is very odd as during university holidays *only* the night service runs.

    South Yorkshire used to have quite alot of long distance nightbuses linking various centres but these all seem to have disappeared.

    Maun Motors used to run a network of late routes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire shortly after deregulation - I've got a timetable for some of these somewhere.
     
  13. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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  14. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    True.

    There were a good number of Sheffield Night Buses (in SYT days), back when all "last buses" were 23:15. These Night Buses had different routes to the "Day Buses", there were also "Early Bird"/ "Workers" services in the early hours of the morning (taking people to heavy industry...).

    Under Mainline these were gradually merged/ withdrawn (with one bus having to do a bigger loop, meaning a less direct journey), but Nightclubs sponsored various buses (including ones to and from a "super club" in the Don Valley, miles from anywhere).

    First withdrew many of the remaining night buses, or replaced them with (weekend) midnight departures on their busiest services. However, they did introduce a 24/hr service on the 52 to Crookes (later extended hourly to Woodhouse) - this was before the 24/hr services were introduced in Glasgow, but it didn't lead to any more late night Sheffield services.

    The 52 was cut back to midnight, and for a long time there were no late night services (other than a short-lived Student 80A/80C loop, since withdrawn).

    TM Travel introduced three services (N1/ N2/ N3) last year, but they didn't last long (all were completely different to any "day" routes, and generally in areas that TM Travel don't run any "day" buses in.

    Stagecoach are introducing a half hourly N52 at weekends from the end of this month (same route as the "day" service, but with different timing points, to suit the pubs on West Street etc).

    Whilst Sheffield currently has no night buses, Barnsley has one (the Stagecoach N66, similar to the daytime 66), despite not having the same student population - it appears to be working well.

    Doncaster had some a couple of years ago, but these were different to "day" routes.

    There's a strange list of places with/without them. Birmingham doesn't have any (as has been said), but Mansfield/ Hull do have some (IIRC). There was even a St Andrews night bus a few years ago, despite Dundee not having any.
     
  15. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    Why would Wigan need a 7-night service if Manchester is mostly only on Fridays and Saturdays? I think the 43 goes without saying though; the route it takes surely would need a 24-hour service!
     
    Last edited: 25 Oct 2011
  16. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    A few of the Manchester ones are every night - 42, 43, 142.

    The 192 runs Thursday as well.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, Mansfield has prontos from Nottingham at 0005, 0130, 0305 with the first two continuing to Chesterfield and 2355, 0125 and 0250 from Chesterfield (again the first two run to Nottingham) all run FS.
     
  17. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Wigan has always had a very large night time economy going right back beyond the Wigan Casino, large number of nightclubs and bars.
     
  18. sonic2009

    sonic2009 Established Member

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    Gloucester and Cheltenham have night buses on a Fri & Sat Night.

    N10 Cheltenham - Lower Tuffley via Brockworth,Gloucester

    N94 Cheltenham - Gloucester
     
  19. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    I didn't know there was an N10? Never been on an N94, but the day service is excellent.

    Another Night service, and I am very disappointed to have omitted this: The Stansted Aircoach X30 [officially a bus service, much like the Stagecoach X5] between Stansted Airport, Chelmsford, Rayleigh and Southend. There is also one to Colchester, the X22, but it seems to be in limbo at present, and then I'm not sure if it even had a night service after TGM took over.

    And speaking of Southend and Colchester, both have had night services on Friday and Saturday nights, but none remain. Colchester's is a very recent withdrawal; it still ran four months ago.

    Regarding Birmingham, is there really no case for, at the very least, an N79? If they can run a tram (even if it isn't as popular as forecast) eight times an hour during the day, surely they could run at least one bus during the night?
     
  20. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    I'm not sure how much demand there would be that way at night, I do think it is surprising that there are no night buses at all, I'd have thought one would run to the airport.
    I'd try and get a few buses running in each major direction out of town (alas my knowledge to the south of town is poor). The N115 to Sutton via Lichfield Road and Erdington could be a candidate as well as the N55 extended from Chelmsley Wood to the Airport and an N74/N126 to Dudley.

    I remember my parents once saying that the 67 used to run hourly throughout the night "back in the day"
     
  21. sonic2009

    sonic2009 Established Member

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    You can't use.normal tickets on the service. Its £3 flat fare. It doesn't use the gold 94 buses, it uses older Dennis Tridents same that are used on the 94u service.
     
  22. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  23. Ivo

    Ivo Established Member

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    I thought the 79 route shadowed the Metro? Or am I out-of-date again? :?
     
  24. SS4

    SS4 Established Member

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    The 79 was superseded by the 75. I believe the 75 follows the old 79 route (which follows the metro until at least West Brom iirc) but it terminates at Wednesbury instead of Wolverhampton. It's not entirely surprising because I can't imagine anyone riding the 79 from Brum to Wolves the time is horrendous even without the infamous Soho Road traffic
     
  25. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Even so, the route the Tram takes is not particularly a popular route with high public transport demand.
     
  26. Pumbaa

    Pumbaa Established Member

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    I was unaware of those. 86 never ran 24 hours other than overnight Friday and Saturday. The 500 may have done though at some point.
     
  27. W-on-Sea

    W-on-Sea Established Member

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    The Oxford night bus network is much more than just the Brookes Buses, with routes out to, at least, Wantage, Abingdon + Carterton as well as Oxford suburbs. True, there's only anything like an extensive service on Fri + Sat nights. And the usual, fantastic, Stagecoach Gold buses are used on the night versions of the S1 and S2. In fact, am on a daytime one now, and what a luxury they are!
     
  28. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    Well somehow I managed to get from Wavertree to the airport by bus at 2am on a Thursday morning about 4 years ago !
     
  29. cuccir

    cuccir Established Member

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    I actually did a masters dissertation on night-bus services in Tyne and Wear (Self-promotion alert: I also did a stand-up set recently talking about some of this research I'm 4 views away from 100 hits so if you're very board and have 8 minutes spare :) ) and I spent a few hours googleing for nightbus provision across the country, just for an interesting stat in the introduction.

    I was surprised by how many services there are (were: this was in 2007). Relatively few urban services run 7 nights a week; Newcastle has one and I seem to recall that Glasgow (as mentioned), Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham all had at least one route every night. But I'd say that most cities over 100,000 in population have at least one night-bus route at weekends.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It is indeed, new times just went up in my nearest bus-stop and they've dropped the midweek ones
     
  30. Smethwickian

    Smethwickian Member

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    That was one of the ones in the early PTE days, inherited from Birmingham City Transport. There were hourly routes - from city on the hour, from outer terminus on the half hour - on the main roads to Quinton, Grove Lane, Handsworth, Great Barr (Scott Arms), Chester Road (Yenton), Castle Vale, Perry Common, Tile Cross, Sheldon, Hall Green, Maypole, West Heath, Longbridge and Bartley Green - if I remember correctly, as I'm doing this at work, from memory. The daytime service numbers were N suffixed - 9N, etc. All ran from city 11.30pm then midnight to 4am (weekdays) or 6am (Sundays), the standard times for daytime buses being 5am (Sunday 7am) to 11pm. All started from Colmore Row in Birmingham city centre, regardless of the daytime terminus.

    Early PTE innovations extened the relevant routes to West Bromwich, Oldbury, Halesowen, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Chelmsley Wood and the Airport, still reachable within the one-hour cycle for a single bus per route.

    But it all seemed to fall apart bit by bit after deregulation. Some routes were dropped - the West Bromwich and Oldbury routes being first to be combined in a large loop with consequently unattractive journey times.

    Similar changes were later made to many others - passengers for Kings Heath having to travel all the way via Hall Green, I think, for example.

    Some were dropped altogether, some became Friday night/Saturday morning and Sat night/Sun morning only.

    Mojo's link to a 2007 press release was flagging up an attempt to revive the network by shifting the terminus to the burgeoning Broad Street nightlife area.

    Clearly it didn't work and they soon petered out. One or two operators tried to keep the odd route going, but I think by mid-2009 there was nothing.

    Today, despite its size, I believe (again, correct me if I'm wrong off the top of my head) Birmingham city centre's only local bus departures after 0010hrs are (early Tue-Sun) a 900 to the Airport and (I think) a 0040 service 9 to Halesowen.
     
  31. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Interesting, given that (AIUI) nowadays the National Express West Midlands services avoid Broad Street late at night at the weekends (was there much trouble that forced such diversions?)
     
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