Trivia: historic joint services shared by more than 3 operators

Chris 76

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Before around 1970, when PTEs absorbed many municipal operators and the National Bus Company reorganised the territorial companies, routes shared between three or more operators were common. This was prevalent in South Wales and Lancashire/Manchester, where many interurban routes were shared by the municipal operators of the terminus towns, the local territorial company (such as Ribble or Western Welsh), and possibly another municipal from an intermediate town. The most operators I've found for a route is four. Route 292 Bury-Rawtenstall-Water (on the excellent Timetableworld website) was joint between Ribble and three municipals: Bury, Rawtenstall, and Ramsbottom UDC. Route 320 from Liverpool to Wigan was shared between Ribble, Lancashire United Transport, Wigan Corporation and St Helen's Corporation. I don't know if Liverpool City Transport was involved to make five. Does anyone know of other bus routes which were shared by four or more operators, for example the long routes through South Wales valleys to Cardiff and Newport? I'm interested in local bus routes, not the pooled coach services such as between Lancashire and Blackpool, or Liverpool to Newcastle.
 
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Contains Nuts

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Service 16 between Hanley and Leek via Cheddleton always had a variety of operators running it. At one point a few years ago it’s was run mainly by Procters but there were tendered journeys provided by Bakers, First PMT, D&G and Scraggs. Even in a 1964 timetable I have it is shown as a joint service between Procters, Berresfords and PMT.

It is now run entirely by D&G having been picked up through the 2015 Wardle Transport acquisition, who themselves took it on when Procters ceased trading. The tendered journeys have all been withdrawn over recent years so the service is now entirely commercially operated.
 

iantherev

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Newport - Rhymney Bridge had 4 operators from 1968-74 - Red & White, Western Welsh, and Gelligaer and Bedwas & Machen UDCs until the two Council operators merged into Rhymney Valley DC in April 1974. The Cardiff - Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff - Tredegar services only had three at the most.
 

Statto

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Route 39 Liverpool-Manchester, had Lancashire United, Ribble, Salford City & St Helens corporations, after the 1974 boundary change Lancashire United, Ribble, Merseyside PTE & SELNEC, which became GMPTE, although Lancashire United operated a majority of the service, Ribble had a share of the 39, i don't think they ever operated on it, it does appear in Ribble timetables.
 

SCH117X

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The Clifton Estate services in Nottingham were jointly operated by Nottm City Transport, South Notts and West Bridgford UDC. When Clifton Bridge opened over the Trent the City operated services were diverted albeit retaining the same service number. West Bridgfords bus operation was in the mid 60s acquired by the City so some services via Trent Bridge were then operated by them; this lead to two unique developments - a fleet of low floor front entrance double deckers with normal headroom at a time, when low floor buses were rare, in order to fit under a low rail overbridge. Also the retention of conductors long after all other City services had changed to one man operation as South Notts retained conductors almost to end of their existence and sale to the City. All South Notts vehicles were low enough, albeit without full height headroom, to fit under the railway bridge and their Gotham [that is pronounced Goat am by the way and not as per Batman] depot was built to the same low height.
 

Chris 76

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Newport - Rhymney Bridge had 4 operators from 1968-74 - Red & White, Western Welsh, and Gelligaer and Bedwas & Machen UDCs
That's a route I was thinking of. Bedwas & Machen was the Glamorgan equivalent of Ramsbottom UDC, fleet sizes in single figures or near enough, sharing the long route through their towns.
 

johnnychips

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Number 6 Glossop-Stalybridge-Ashton-Manchester was North Western, SHMD, Ashton Corporation and Manchester Corporation. All provided buses.
 

Deerfold

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.

Good call, I can't recall South Yorkshire Transport operating them and I think Yorkshire Woollen operated on the X33 at one point.

In the late 1970s in Co. Durham, there was a large new estate called Henknowle on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland. Firms applied to the commissioners for the right to operate there so it was decided that United Auto and OK Motor Services would operate it, with Lockeys on every 10th day! It operated like that for a short while before Lockeys pulled out.
 

Statto

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.

I remember mid 90s a company called Northern Bus with West Riding & Leeds City Link, each operator providing one bus on the X32
 

61653 HTAFC

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.
Similarly in the late 1990s were services 201/202/203 from Huddersfield to Leeds. Operated by Yorkshire Buses & West Riding (before they were both absorbed by Arriva) with Yorkshire Traction also running albeit less frequently.
Also there were the services from Huddersfield towards Denby Dale and Barnsley, which although still dominated by Tracky also had journeys operated by Yorkshire Rider (who never managed to get a foothold that side of town even to this day as First, despite numerous attempts); and by a smaller upstart with a minimum-effort livery of blue text on all-over white called Yorkshire Travel. However back then the assorted services round there were numbered all over the place, so the various different operators didn't often share numbers.
 

Ken H

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.
1974 WYPTE Leeds district timetable has 5
here is the timetable
 

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Roilshead

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1974 WYPTE Leeds district timetable has 5
When the White Rose Express pool launched on 18 October 1969 there was also an X34 Sheffield-Dewsbury-Cleckheaton-Halifax and both Hebble and Yorkshire were joint operators making a total of seven, it would have been eight as Mexborough & Swinton were to participate by virtue of the Mexborough-Rotherham sections of X35/X36, but had been absorbed by Yorkshire Traction on 1 October just before operations commenced (it had taken delivery of some dual-purpose Marshall-bodied Fleetline single deckers specifically for the purpose). In practice, operation was by Hebble (who operated Yorkshire's share), Sheffield (variously British Railways, Amalgamated Passenger Transport, and Sheffield Corporation), Yorkshire Traction, and West Riding, inter-working X31/2/3/4, and Yorkshire Traction operating X35/6. Bradford was entitled to one journey per week, and opted to accumulate mileage until it could substitute for a Yorkshire duty for an entire week (for which it produced a range of special high-value Ultimate tickets, not otherwise used); Rotherham held a non-operating financial interest. When Hebble withdrew from stage-carriage operations in February 1971 its share passed to Yorkshire (although the X34 had been replaced by additional X33 timings late the previous year) who also took over their own workings, reducing the number of operators to six. Then sometime the following year, as part of the integration of management of the Yorkshire and West Riding companies Yorkshire's enlarged share passed to West Riding (but operated out of the Yorkshire's Heckmondwike dept, where a number of West Riding vehicles were then based), further reducing the number of operators to five. This further reduced to four on the formation of South Yorkshire PTE, which acquired the Sheffield and Rotherham shares in 1974, at which time Bradford's share passed to West Yorkshire PTE - the remaining four then saw the pool through to deregulation.

The 68/X68 Sheffield-Penistone-Huddersfield-Halifax service was shared between Yorkshire Traction, Sheffield (British Railways, then Amalgamated Passenger Transport), Huddersfield JOC, and Halifax JOC, after the latter two became joint operators when the service was extended from Hudderesfield to Halifax and before Huddersfield's share was passed to Yorkshire Traction in 1969 as part of the dissolution of the JOC. Halifax purchased specially two TIM ticket machines for use on this service to address the problems posed by the limited fares range on their Ultimate machines.
 

SCH117X

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The Clifton Estates services in Nottingham I referred to earlier were the 61,61A,66,67 and 68; the 61 and 66 being short workings of the 68. Eventually those that were operated by the City over Clifton Bridge, long after WDUC had been amalgamated, were renumbered with the 6 replaced by a 4. By the 1980s the only City services over Trent Bridge were the 61A (all workings) and 68 (half share). The 61A was renumbered 61 (the latter having ceased to be used for short 68s) and the City 68 became a 69; the distinction allowed the introduction of one man operation. Today only the 48 survives as a result of service reductions largely due to the NET tram, which follows the route of the 48 through the estate. The parts away that were served by the 61A and 67 are now, in the main, served by the 3 which otherwise is primarily the old indirect Barton 54 service via Trent Bridge and Ruddington that the City took on after TrentBarton abandoned services to Ruddington
 

Deerfold

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The Clifton Estates services in Nottingham I referred to earlier were the 61,61A,66,67 and 68; the 61 and 66 being short workings of the 68. Eventually those that were operated by the City over Clifton Bridge, long after WDUC had been amalgamated, were renumbered with the 6 replaced by a 4. By the 1980s the only City services over Trent Bridge were the 61A (all workings) and 68 (half share). The 61A was renumbered 61 (the latter having ceased to be used for short 68s) and the City 68 became a 69; the distinction allowed the introduction of one man operation. Today only the 48 survives as a result of service reductions largely due to the NET tram, which follows the route of the 48 through the estate. The parts away that were served by the 61A and 67 are now, in the main, served by the 3 which otherwise is primarily the old indirect Barton 54 service via Trent Bridge and Ruddington that the City took on after TrentBarton abandoned services to Ruddington
When I was in Nottingham in the mid-90s there were competing services from Kinchbus - a 68 similar to the 48 and another I forget the number of, with the 48 being regarded as being South Notts - the only route they operated completely with the City boundary.
 

Manclad

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Regarding the X32/X33, in the early 90's....

X32 Sheffield-Barnsley-Leeds was operated by Yorkshire Traction, SYT/Mainline & West Riding. Skills (followed by Don Valley) operated a Sunday service for a while.
X33 Sheffield-Barnsley-Wakefield-Bradfoed was operated by Yorkshire Traction, Yorkshire Rider & West Riding

Mid 90's

X32 Yorkshire Traction, Northern Bus & West Riding
X33 Yorkshire Traction, West Riding & Yorkshire Rider. Nothing changed but Yorkshire Rider became Bradford Traveller

Late 90's

X32 Yorkshire Traction, Yorkshire Rider (Now called Leeds City Link) I seem to remember a period where Leeds operated on behalf of Mainline.
X33 Yorkshire Traction, Yorkshire (Wollen)

Later, the X33 became fully Yorkshire (Wollen) with the Arriva brand taking over
The X32 became fully Yorkshire Traction

Around the same area in the 90's, the X39 Sheffield - Penistone - Huddersfield was operated by Yorkshire Rider, Northern Bus and Yorkshire Traction over the course of the week. AFAIR, the full route was only operated on a Sunday until the late 90's.
 

SCH117X

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When I was in Nottingham in the mid-90s there were competing services from Kinchbus - a 68 similar to the 48 and another I forget the number of, with the 48 being regarded as being South Notts - the only route they operated completely with the City boundary.
The City Transport rebranded a lot of services as "South Notts" post their 1990 acquisition of the operator including Hoppa sized vehicles extending into parts of the City never served by the original company. Kinch (pre Wellglade) competed with City, or City "South Notts", on four routes according to this article http://archive.commercialmotor.com/article/2th-august-1990/17/build-up-in-nottingham
Certainly the 48 via Clifton Bridge https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/5900957474/ and 67 via Trent Bridge https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4980154381 (with the blind wrong for the direction being operated)
This picture shows a "7" which judging by the description in the window was either largely a 47 or 67 (unclear as to how it would cross the Trent) but to a different terminus (seemingly that used by short South Notts services along the main road past the estate) https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=128696
 

Deerfold

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The City Transport rebranded a lot of services as "South Notts" post their 1990 acquisition of the operator including Hoppa sized vehicles extending into parts of the City never served by the original company. Kinch (pre Wellglade) competed with City, or City "South Notts", on four routes according to this article http://archive.commercialmotor.com/article/2th-august-1990/17/build-up-in-nottingham
Certainly the 48 via Clifton Bridge https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnmightycat/5900957474/ and 67 via Trent Bridge https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4980154381 (with the blind wrong for the direction being operated)
This picture shows a "7" which judging by the description in the window was either largely a 47 or 67 (unclear as to how it would cross the Trent) but to a different terminus (seemingly that used by short South Notts services along the main road past the estate) https://thetransportlibrary.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=128696
My memory may be slightly faulty - I never caught the Kinchbus services as I rarely visited South Nottingham when they were still running. I am recalling a 48 every 10 minutes from each operator out of Broadmarsh. I only recall 2 Kinchbus services by 1992. I may have conflated the 48 and 67 into the 68!

I'll have the NCT/South Notts timetable book from 1992 - I'll have to see if it's to hand.
 

Bristol LHS

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Think I’m right im saying there was a period after Tees and District were carved out of United when the TyneLink Teeside to Tyneside services were three-way between Tees, United and GoAhead Northern. Later, United/Tees took the slower Sedgefield/Durham route for themselves and GoAhead ended up with sole responsibility for what is now the X9/X10 fast route via the A19.
 

Ken H

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My memory may be slightly faulty - I never caught the Kinchbus services as I rarely visited South Nottingham when they were still running. I am recalling a 48 every 10 minutes from each operator out of Broadmarsh. I only recall 2 Kinchbus services by 1992. I may have conflated the 48 and 67 into the 68!

I'll have the NCT/South Notts timetable book from 1992 - I'll have to see if it's to hand.
please scan it and send to timetableworld.com. they need more municipal timetables.
 

Deerfold

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please scan it and send to timetableworld.com. they need more municipal timetables.

I may when I have time.

Unlike most people, I've been busier than usual this past year.

I probably have a few they'd be interested in.

Somewhere (but hiding from me for some time) I have the 1988 book that Metro produced with all West Yorkshire timetables in.
 

TheGrandWazoo

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Think I’m right im saying there was a period after Tees and District were carved out of United when the TyneLink Teeside to Tyneside services were three-way between Tees, United and GoAhead Northern. Later, United/Tees took the slower Sedgefield/Durham route for themselves and GoAhead ended up with sole responsibility for what is now the X9/X10 fast route via the A19.
Correct - the X1 (via Durham) and X10 (direct) were interworked and operated by United (Durham), Tees (Middlesbrough) and Go Ahead Northern (Chester le Street).
 

bus man

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The express X32 Leeds - Sheffield and X33 Bradford - Sheffield had a silly number of operators.

If I remember correctly, they were West Riding, Yorkshire Traction, South Yorkshire Transport, West Yorkshire Metro and South Yorkshire PTE - with an hourly service on each route.
Before 1974 when the PTEs arrived wasn’t there more because the municipal operators each had a hand in it eg Bradford , Leeds, Halifax etc. I am assuming the memory isn’t playing tricks
 

Ken H

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I may when I have time.

Unlike most people, I've been busier than usual this past year.

I probably have a few they'd be interested in.

Somewhere (but hiding from me for some time) I have the 1988 book that Metro produced with all West Yorkshire timetables in.
I just got a 1974 Leeds district. All scanned and sent to TTW. Also a Lancaster City one ready to go. Got a Todmorden Joint one coming.
 

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