Monday 6 December 2021

Economic Bus Rides (1)

Reduced blog : due to pressure of stuff.

Monthly Christian meetings yesterday and today!

Building Background for Buses

The PTEs (Passenger Transport Executives) seemed a good idea at the time, but were, in many ways, strangely constructed. In fbb's home (at the time) Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster Corporation transport operations became South Yorkshire PTE but Barnsley (Yorkshire Traction) was not absorbed. Only the municipal fleets were merged.

No one seems to know why. Yorkshire Traction was state owned to it would be just as easy to make it Part of the PTE as it was to merge the corporation fleets and operations.
Newcastle City operated trams and then trolleybuses.
Whilst south of the Tyne the Gateshead and District Tramway Company operated the trams. There's a clue in the company name!
From this came the Northern General Omnibus Company, now Go Ahead Northern. Thus a similar state existed as in South Yorkshire. 

When Tyneside PTE began it was Newcastle City Transport with a new name.
fbb thinks the PTE yellow was a richer shade, but it might just be that buses were repainted and shiny.

Northern remained outside of PTE ownership although the company was persuaded to adopt Newcastle colours for its local routes.
Tyneside PTE began Tyne and Wear PTE ...
The livery was unchanged, but the logo now included the new name and an extra pictogram.
Two municipal operations were added to that of Newcastle Corporation. These were Sunderland where red and cream trams had begat green buses ...
... and South Shields Corporation which were painted blue.
South Shields also operated trolleybuses ...
... also in blue. There were trams as well ...
... but the system was small and the normal fleet colour was red.

Confusing, eh?
The trolleybus network was much larger with a fleet of 61 vehicles and 11 routes. fbb must confess to being totally ignorant of the South Shields operation and will be putting the matter right as soon as possible.

The whole subject is too complex for a brief blog, but we now know that the second version of the PTE included three municipal operations, all bus, by the time of its creation. 

The next phase in the story is the preparation for arms length operation and subsequent privatisation.

We will get to the mysterious route E1 - promise.
For the record, we should mention that Tyne and Wear PTE, now named "Nexus", was the progenitor and operator of the Metro system from 1980.
In December 2009, DB Regio was named as the preferred bidder to operate the Metro, with the contract for operating the system signed in February 2010, and the handover of the service taking place in April 2010.

In March 2016, Nexus announced that they did not intend to renew the contract with DB Regio, following the contract ending in 2017, after stating that they were dissatisfied with the operator due to missed performance targets.

In April 2017, Nexus took over direct operation of the system for a planned period of two years, with the intention to re-tender the contract. The RMT trade union, however, has argued that the direct operation should be made permanent, and operation of the system should remain in public ownership. As of March 2021, the Tyne and Wear Metro network is still under public ownership, with services operated by Nexus.

But the former PTE bus system(s) were privatised and remain so, having been bought by Stagecoach.

 Next Economic bus blog : Tuesday 7th December 


No it isn't, It's Day 6

From about 2000BC, the Bible tells the tale of a series of "big names" that get lumped together as "The Patriarchs". They were, initially tribal leaders of a nomadic people called the Habiru. (That's right, our word is "Hebrews"). In order they were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses.

Although details of the "wandering tribes" are sparse outside the Bible, there is enough evidence to show that the lives of the Patriarchs did impinge on the history of the nations that flourished in these far-off times.

At a time of "ethnic cleansing" Abraham's family was expelled from Ur and moved to Haran.

From here the family abandoned its settled but tented life ...
... living similar lives as nomadic shepherds of the area still do today. Abraham's adventures took him to the lands around the settlement of Jerusalem, (The Peaceful City, "Salem" of the Jebusite people) then to Egypt and back again.

Abraham was "called by God" and given a promise that he would father a whole nation - we call then The Jews.

The Patriarchs quickly learned a simple principle. Have Faith in God, keep Following His laws and His guidance and things would go well. Turn to other gods, pagan practices and stray from God's morality and things would go badly.

When they did - they did, often spectacularly.

But the promise remained, despite the Failure in the Garden of Eden and despite the failures of the Patriarchs and those who followed them.

The Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,

But I will curse those who curse you.

And through you I will bless all the nations.

"Bless ALL the nations?" An odd thing to attribute to a tribe of nomadic shepherds in Mesopotamia, living around 2000BC!



  1. South Shields was absorbed into Tyneside PTE when it was set up. The PTE livery changed from using the cream relief and maroon lining of Newcastle to white relief with blue lining.

  2. Regarding PTEs and NBC - West Yorkshire PTE also comprised just the Municipals (Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds) plus some independent operators that it acquired. It seemed happy to leave West Riding & Yorkshire Woollen in NBC hands, although their services and fares were gradually co-ordinated with the PTE's.