Monday, 11 October 2021

NOT Gannin Along The Scotswood Road (2)

 It All Began Witth the Song ...

... which tells of a bus trip to the famous Blaydon Races where, fbb suspects, it was more about the fairgound, Newcy Brown and Stottie Cake than actually watching horses run!
fbb then moved on to look at today's bus services, beginning with those that would not get you to Blaydon because they use the A66 north of the river Tyne. The relatively new X Lines X84 and X85 speed their way to Hexham; seen here beneath the ponderous bulk of Hexham Abbey.
Also via Hexham but not via Blaydon is the 685, in theory joint between Arriva and Stagecoach.
But don't, whatever your urge for bus information, seek help from Arriva as they do not acknowledge Stagecoach or any of their journeys on the useless Arriva web site.

So we now turn to buses that DO run via Blaydon. Back in the days of the great Great Britain Bus Timetable, the "local" route to Hexham was the half hourly 602.

Before we attempt to match this with today's operation, it is worth reminding our readers that, despite generally being voted "good" for publicity, GoAhead does not produce a network map. That used not to matter because Tyne and Wear PTE did - and it was a good 'un!

It isn't any more.

fbb tried using it ...
... but searching "by service no." produced a few bus routes and a list of addresses.
Nothing via Blaydon.

He tried "Blaydon" but that was equally unproductive.
So the old man gave up. Scanning Go Ahead's list of routes, the first one to mention Blaydon was route 10 - which seemed to go everywhere, man!
Over the years it seems to have accumulated the trips to Hexham from its beginnings branded as "Ten" - something of a feeble brand for Go Ahead North East.
Recent apparitions have been as the "Tyne Valley Ten" with pretty pictures on the side.
The very latest re-brand, however, has a touch of the XLines look, but isn't; it is still the "Tyne Valley" but now with a numerical "10".
In reality, it is actually the 10, 10A and 10B. We really need a proper PDF map, but we are not getting one.

Fortunately we have the help of a PDF timetable on the web site which begins to clear the Tyneside map-less fog a little; fbb does not know whether the leaflet included a map.

On-line the ten group begins with a ten minute frequency between Newcastle, Metrocentre, Blaydon and Crawcrook.
fbb guesses that the 10, 10A and 10B will then splurge outwards from there.
There is Crawcrook on the B6317 not far beyond Blaydon. 
The time point is the Fox and Hounds.
The route summary ...
... is correct. But don't expect the frequency ...
... anywhere except between Crawcrook and Newcastle!

The 10 runs on to Hexham, like the 602 of old; and the 10B says it goes to Tyne View Retail Park. Oh, how we love a retail park!
fbb suspects that the lovely 10B terminus is the modern equivalent to Arriva's "Low Prudhoe" of old.
We do have a map of sorts on the Go Ahead site, but its one of those Google derivatives and it is not very helpful. It does, however show what might be the 10B terminus ...
... which is probably the scorched earth patch on this Google Earth view below.
Seems plausible?
fbb thinks that the former "Low Prudhoe" terminus was probably Prudhoe Station, easily recognised on the map above! Here buses can turn in the car park and passengers can enjoy the lavish facilities as they interchange between bus and train.
And there's a 10B doing it!
Two bits of rail infrastructure are worth peering at, however. There is the lovely footbridge ...
... and beyond it the wondrously tall signalbox.
So that's the 10 and 10B, four buses an hour to Prudhoe with two going forward to Hexham.

There are two more 10As to make up the ten minute service as far as Crawcrook.

The half hour service reaches Rockwood Hill estate "green" ...
... but how they get there is complex and, without a map, almost impossible to work out. Here the Go Ahead map is utterly useless.
On the map above the 10A bus icon is at the Rockwood Hill "terminus" but buses seem to go round the Woodside loop in opposite directions (shown as "backwards" times printed green in the PDF timetable).

The journeys going on to High Spen and Blackhall Mill seem straightforward.

The !0A turns where the village runs out ...
... looping via the estate road on the right. The river Derwent (one of several) is on the left and the terminating bus will have passed a shop and post office ...
... which has served the populace for many long years.
Alas, the Ship Inn is now subsumed into a much rebuilt terrace of private dwellings.
Now all fbb has to do is to sort out the routes via Woodside and Rockwood Hill and he will be fully informed about the Tyne Valley 10.
GBBTT table NQ01 is not sufficiently detailed to help. 

Maybe Traveline?

And maybe later in the week!

Oh dear! The 10, 10A and 10B do not go gannin along the Scotswood Road. They all run via the MetroCentre on the south bank of the Tyne.

More investigation needed?

Rail Replacement Chaos

On-line reports suggests arrangements for rail replacement services between Three Bridges and Brighton at the weekend were chaotic, with long queues, missing buses and a lack of information for those having to wait.

So no surprise there them.

fbb decided to see just what "arrangements" were advertised by Notwork Rail - and this was the very appropriate message on their web site.

That thought would be echoed by those waiting!

On a Happier Note (1)

From Tim Dunn, a very atmospheric snap of the last Eurostar of the day arriving at St Pancras.

On A Happier Note (2)

LNER arrives in Lincoln sidings with the 1606 from Kings Cross.

A question for tomorrow - Does ANYTHING now go gannin along the Scotswood Road to Blaydon?

 Next Blaydon blog : Tuesday 12th October 


  1. There is a perfectly clear map of the 10A routing around Rockwood Hill and Woodside in the PDF timetable that FBB refers to, but seemingly he has cropped this out of his screenshots...?

  2. Dearest FBB,

    Here's a copy of the Tyne Valley Ten timetable leaflet -

    You'll see full route maps and detailed maps for the looping arrangement around Woodside.

    Go North East does have a full network map too -

    The full network map isn't available on the website at the moment as it was recently updated. It'll be uploaded very shortly though.

    P.S. I'm one of the timetable leaflet designers for GNE - if you need any help getting digital copies let me know!

  3. Yes, I was in those queues for the Brighton Mainline. No signage for which queue was for which service, which was unusual in my experience, also very limited signage in bus windscreens, again unusual. One of the support staff advised that (a) buses were taking too long to get round and (b) a number hadn't even turned up. Traffic in Brighton was horendous on Sunday morning due to the half marathon. Several regular operators were absent or had a much reduced presence - I supsect they just didnt have the spare drivers. There was probably half the number of buses on layover at each end than you usually see. When it's running properly you normally get three buses loading simultaneously at Three Bridges (fast, stopping and Lewes) and two at Brighton (fast and stopping). This weekend there were often zero hence the queues. Staff were doing their best with the resources they had.

    The Brighton to Lewes RRP a couple of weeks ago was more or less non-existant after 3pm. If the bus companies don't have the drivers, there's not much anyone can do.