Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Gannin Along The Scotswood Road (2)


Looking at Go Ahead North East bus pictures, there seem to be plenty of vehicles labelled "Blaydon Racers" which, without too much strain on the imagination, might be gannin to Blaydon.
fbb thinks there was/is a 12A to go with the 12!

What the above probably shows is the danger and/or success of branding in practice. Clearly some of the above must have been a wrong allocation of vehicles and, possibly, some are services that no longer operate.

An article dated 2012 announces the arrival of a "new" service called "The Blaydon Racers" ...
... and elsewhere on line the progres of the brand is summarised in general terms.
The Go Ahead web site, however, offers no Blaydon Racers branding for ANY of its routes. but there are unbranded 49s of various kinds ...
... and equally unbranded 12s.
We will start with the Gateshead route which offers a simple (?) timetable ...
The 49 runs via Blaydon but, according to the timetable, the 49A does not. Bot look in the opposite direction ...
The 49 that arrives at Winlaton at xx43 leaves at xx53 (after ten minutes snooze) but as a 49A and NOT via Blaydon.

It is a loop; but buses change their number part way round and the ten minute wait at Winlaton means travelling the "long way round" offers littler advantage. In reality you have a 30 minute service via Blaydon to Winlaton and a 30 minute service to Winlaton but NOT via Blaydon/

Changing numbers part way round a loop is quite unusual. Again we only have a google-derivative map to help us.
Winlaton bus station is well tucked away at one end of the town centre along an uninviting back street called "Back Street" ...
... but the bus station itself is sweet enough in a minimalist sort of way!
You get departure lists, but not much else.
But the 49s present a cartographic mystery. The timetables show a common route as far as Swalwell Monument ...
... a k a War Memorial; not to be confused with Swalwell Tower (or old chimney ...
... a k a Lidl ...
... which is on the opposite side of the road. But the Go Ahead map suggests things are far less simple.
The Monument/Tower are just off the map, far left.

Maybe it is all to do with the early morning 49C?
Who knows? Without a proper map it would appear to be an unsolvable mystery.

But here is the 12 and 12A ...
... which loops via Winlaton as the 49/49A and changes its number half way butround as the 49/49A.

But look closely at the map.
It really IS gannin along the Scotswood Road (on the north bank of the river) crossing the replacement for the chain bridge ...
... and depositing you at Blaydon bus station. From here you would need to change to a 10/10A/10B and then walk to the estate where the races were once held.
By the way, there is some evidence that the 49 is now branded ...
... as "The 49" ...
... sometimes!

Written With Feeling
Hulleys, Derbyshire independent, have just announced a fares rise. The boss explains:-
Who would run a bus company, eh?

Tomorrow we go to The Netherahmds

 Next Metro blog : Wednesday 13th October 


  1. They have been changing route numbers in Aberdeen since the Sixties. Service 1/2 either had Garthdee (1) or Auchinyell (2). Today the change is RGU

  2. Services 49 and 49A aren't really a loop - merely a way of making logical use of vehicles where services are interworked and one version is longer than the other. I doubt anybody waits the 10 minutes at Winlaton, if even allowed by the driver!

    The following map might help: https://images-gonortheast.passenger-website.com/downloads/Gateshead%20Borough%20fare%20zone.pdf

    Neither the 12 nor the 49 are branded "Blaydon Racers" at present, which would be why the name isn't on the website.