Major changes to Services in Newcastle

from 30th April 2017




From 30th April 2017, there will be changes to the route and timetable of Services 1, 6, 7, 8, 15, 15A, 18, 22, 30, 31, 32, 32A, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, X47, 62, 63, 71, 72, X77, X78, X79, 82, X82, 87, X87, 88, X88 & 100.

Service 1 will be revised to terminate at Coach Lane Campus, no longer serving Four Lane Ends, with no replacement on this portion of the route. This change will result in a reduction to the PVR of 1 vehicle.

Services 6, 7 & 8 will be extended from Freeman Hospital via Dovedale Road and Benton Road to Four Lane Ends, replacing some links currently provided by Services 32 & 32A. During the middle of the day, Services 6 & 7 will additionally continue across to Forest Hall, replacing Service 18 on this section of the route. In addition, on Sundays, Service 6 extend from Kingston Park to Freeman Hospital. The Monday to Saturday frequency of Service 6 will be slashed by 50%, operating only hourly, while Service 7 continues to operate half hourly. Service 8 will no longer serve the Monarch Road area of Newcastle Business Park. Despite the route extension, the reduction in frequency means the overall PVR will reduce by 1 vehicle.

Services 15 & 15A will be completely withdrawn. Local links in Montagu and North Kenton will be provided by curtailed Services 32 & 32A, however journey times from these areas to the City Centre will be significantly increased due to the circuitous route of Services 32 & 32A in Newcastle's west end. The section of the route between the City Centre and Walker via Jesmond Vale will be replaced by rerouted Services 32 & 32A. Alternative facilities between Fenham Hall Drive and the RVI are provided by revised Service 36. The withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A will see a reduction in PVR of 4 vehicles.

Service 18 is curtailed to operate between Benton, Freeman Hospital and Walker only. The link from Freeman Hospital to Forest Hall is partially provided by revised Services 6 & 7. There is no replacement between Walker and Wallsend, though alternative facilities are already provided on Services 12, 22 & 40. The route in Longbenton is revised to replace Service 62 on Stoneleigh Avenue. Monday to Friday peak time buses are reduced to run every 40 minutes. These changes will see the PVR reduce by 1 vehicle.

Services 32 & 32A will be heavily revised. The route from City Centre to Kenton Bar is unchanged, however buses no longer continue to Four Lane Ends instead replacing Services 15 & 15A operating a clockwise (Service 32) or anticlockwise (Service 32A) terminal loop via North Kenton and Montagu estates. The link from Blakelaw and Kenton to Four Lane Ends is provided by revised Services 6, 7 & 8. The section of the existing route to the east of the City, between City Centre and Four Lane Ends is withdrawn largely without replacement. Instead Services 32 & 32A will operate via the existing Service 15/15A route to Walker, via Jesmond Vale. These changes will see the PVR reduce by 1 vehicle.

The route of Service 36 is revised, operating via Spital Tongues and Richardson Road (for the RVI) to New Bridge Street and Blackett Street, replacing the direct link between Fenham and the RVI currently provided by Services 15 & 15A.

The frequency of Services 39 & 40 is reduced, with each service operating every 12 minutes with increased time added to timetables due to congestion. These changes will see the PVR of both services reduce by 1 vehicle each.

Supposedly to improve reliability (!), Service X47 is revised to terminate at the nightmare that is Eldon Square Bus Station, no longer serving New Bridge Street or Blackett Street. Buses will observe stops on Claremont Road and Claremont Place (for the RVI and University). The frequency of Service X47 is slashed by a third, with buses reduced to only every 15 minutes. As a result the PVR will be reduced by 2 vehicles.

The route of Service 62 will be revised in Longbenton, with buses operating direct via West Farm Avenue, replacing Service 18. There will also be minor timing changes to Services 62 & 63 with an additional vehicle added to the operating schedule to assist with timekeeping, thus seeing the PVR increase by 1 vehicle.

Service 71 will be revised to operate via Hillhead Estate, replacing Service 72 on this section of the route. Additionally, Service 71 will no longer operate via Ponteland Road in Throckley, and will therefore operate direct from Newburn Road into Hexham Road. In the city centre, buses will operate via a new one-way terminal loop, stopping on Westgate Road, Grainger Street, Market Street and Blackett Street. Buses will therefore no longer run via Newgate Street. All journeys are retimed.

The frequency of Service 72 is slashed by half, with buses operating hourly. The route will be revised with buses no longer serving Hillheads Estate (see Service 71 for alternative facilities). Instead buses will serve the Golf Club and Hillhead Road, replacing Service 71 on this section of the route. In the city centre, buses will operate via a new one-way terminal loop, stopping on Westgate Road, Grainger Street, Market Street and Blackett Street. Buses will therefore no longer run via Newgate Street. Also, there will be no service after 8pm. All journeys are retimed. This change results in a reduced PVR of 1 vehicle.

The timetables of Services X77, X78, X79, X87& X88 are revised, and buses will observe stops along Claremont Road (for the RVI and University).

The frequency of Service X82 is slashed by a third, with buses operating every half hour during the main daytime period and only hourly in the evening. Service X82 will once again observe all stops between Denton Burn and Lemington Road End. This change results in a reduced PVR of 1 vehicle.

The route of Service 87 will be revised in the city centre, with buses operating via a new one-way terminal loop, stopping on Westgate Road, Grainger Street, Market Street and Blackett Street. Buses will therefore no longer run via Newgate Street. All journeys are retimed.

Service 88 is withdrawn in it's entirety without replacement. This results in a reduced PVR of 1 vehicle.

The frequency of Service 100 is reduced, with buses running up to every 10 minutes, seeing a reduction in PVR of 1 vehicle.

There will be minor timetable changes to Services 22, 30, 31, 35, 38 & 68.

Services 10, 11, 12, X63 & 68 are unchanged.



ANALYSIS: Impact of the changes


Unlike the recent rounds of changes in Sunderland, where there have been some positives, it's hard to find very much other than savage cuts in the Newcastle changes. Many areas will experience a significantly decreased frequency of service while many direct links will be severed completely. The number of new links introduced is negligible but will be highlighted where they occur.

Benton loses direct links to Wallsend as a result of the curtailment of Service 18 to terminate at Walker.

Blakelaw is one of the most severely affected areas, seeing a markedly reduced service with the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the complete withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A and the 33% reduction in frequency of Service X47. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour through Blakelaw reduce by 23%, from 22 to 17. In addition to reduced frequency of service, Blakelaw loses direct links to Heaton, North Kenton and Fenham Hall Drive as a result of the changes to Services 32 & 32A and the withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A. On the positive side, Blakelaw gains direct links to Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8 and improved links to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X47, X77, X78, X79, X87 & X88.

Byker loses direct links to Forest Hall, resulting from the curtailment of Service 18. There's also a reduced frequency of service to Walker, Wallsend, City Centre, Dumpling Hall and Chapel House, resulting from the changes to Services 39 & 40.

Chapel House sees a reduced frequency of service with the 50% reduction in frequency of Service 72 providing just one bus per hour via Westerhope. There's also a loss of direct link between Chapel House and Hillheads Estate and a reduced frequency of service to Byker, City Centre and Wallsend on Service 40..

Cowgate is affected by the withdrawal of Services 15, 15A & 88 and the cuts to Services X47 & 72. Cowgate loses direct links to Fenham Hall Drive, North Kenton, Fawdon, Coxlodge, South Gosforth and Four Lane Ends. There's also a reduced frequency of service to City Centre, Kingston Park, Chapel House, Slatyford, Westerhope and Newbiggin Hall. On a positive note, Cowgate experiences an improved frequency of access to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X47, X77, X78, X79, X87 & X88.

Coxlodge is affected by the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the withdrawal of Services 32 & 32A between Kenton Bar and Four Lane Ends. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour through Coxlodge reduce by 30%, from ten to seven. In addition to reduced frequency of service, Coxlodge loses direct links to Heaton, Byker, North Kenton, Cowgate and the RVI. On a positive note, Coxlodge gains direct links to Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8.

Darras Hall, Ponteland and Newcastle Airport benefit from improved links to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X77, X78 & X79.

Elswick loses the direct link to Four Lane Ends as a result of the curtailment of Service 1, but through the rerouting of Services 32 & 32A gains direct links to Byker, Walkergate and Walker.

Fawdon sees a reduced frequency of service to Kingston Park, Coxlodge, Gosforth, South Gosforth, Freeman Hospital, Blakelaw, Newbiggin Hall, Westerhope and West Denton on to MetroCentre due to the reduction in frequency of Service 6. The withdrawal of Services 32 & 32A in this area means direct links are lost to Heaton, Byker, North Kenton, Cowgate and the RVI. There is also a reduction in frequency of service to Kenton Bar, Cowgate, Fenham, Benwell, Elswick and City Centre due to the curtailment of Services 32 & 32A, though the frequency of service to Four Lane Ends is increased (via a longer route) through the extension of Services 6, 7 & 8.

Fenham sees a reduced frequency of service to Kenton Bar, Cowgate and the City Centre, resulting from the withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A. The curtailment of Services 32 & 32A means direct links from Fenham to North Kenton, Fawdon, Coxlodge, South Gosforth, Four Lane Ends and Heaton are all lost. There is also a reduction in frequency of service to Blakelaw, Kenton Bar and City Centre, though the frequency of service to the RVI is increased through the rerouting of Service 36.

Four Lane Ends loses direct links to Coach Lane Campus, Heaton, Fenham, Elswick, Benwell, Coxlodge, Cowgate, North Kenton, Scotswood and Slatyford through the curtailment of Services 1, 18, 32 & 32A but gains new direct links to Kingston Park, Newbiggin Hall, Westerhope and West Denton on to MetroCentre and an improved frequency to Fawdon on extended Services 6 & 7. The frequency of sevice to Gosforth and South Gosforth is slightly increased, but via a more protracted route.

Forest Hall loses direct links to Heaton, Byker, St Peter's Basin, Walker and Wallsend through the curtailment of Service 18 but gains new direct links (off peak only) to Gosforth, Coxlodge, Fawdon, Kingston Park, Kenton Bar, Blakelaw, Newbiggin Hall, Westerhope and West Denton on to MetroCentre on extended Services 6 & 7.

Freeman Hospital receives a reduced freqency of service to Fawdon, due to the 50% cut in frequency of Service 6 and loses the direct link to Wallsend due to the curtailment of Service 18. A Sunday daytime link to Kingston Park is however introduced and Services 6, 7 & 8 provide an improved frequency of service to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall (off peak).

Gosforth and South Gosforth experience a reduced frequency of service to Fawdon, Kingston Park, Blakelaw, Newbiggin Hall, Westerhope and on to MetroCentre resulting from the 50% reduction in frequency of Service 6. The withdrawal of Services 32 & 32A on this section of the route further compound the reduced frequency to Fawdon and Blakelaw while also reducing the frequency of service to North Kenton, Kenton Bar, Cowgate and the City Centre. Connections to Four Lane Ends are slightly more frequent, though via a more protracted route and Benton Park Road is left with no service. The changes to Services 32 & 32A also result in the loss of direct links from Gosforth to the Heaton and Byker and links from both Gosforth and South Gosforth to the RVI. The extension of Services 6, 7 & 8 provide a new link from Gosforth to Longbenton and Forest Hall.

Heaton, though the withdrawal of Services 32 & 32A on this section of the route, loses direct connections to Gosforth, Coxlodge, Fawdon, North Kenton, Kenton Bar, Blakelaw, Fenham and the RVI. Heaton Road also loses both of it's services (18 and 32/32A) to Four Lane Ends and the curtailment of Serivce 18 also sees the loss of connections from Heaton Road to Forest Hall.

Kenton Bar is another disproportionately adversely affected area. It is affected by the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the complete withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour around Kenton Bar reduce by 38%, from eight to five. Indefensibly, this leaves the estate with no direct link to the City Centre, seeing a trip which currently takes 20-25 minutes on Service 15 require more than double that on the magical mystery tour that is Service 32. In addition to reduced frequency of service, Kenton Bar loses direct links to Heaton, North Kenton and Fenham Hall Drive as a result of the changes to Services 32 & 32A and the withdrawal of Services 15 & 15A. On the positive side, Kenton Bar gains direct links to Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8 and improved links to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X47, X77, X78, X79, X87 & X88.

Kingston Park is particularly negatively affected, seeing a markedly reduced service with the 50% reduction in frequency of Service 6, together with the 33% reduction in frequency of Service X47. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour to Kingston Park reduce by 38%, from eight to just five. On a more positive note, Kingston Park gains direct links to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Service 6 and improved links to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X47, X77, X78, X79, X87 & X88. These changes also see the introduction of a Sunday daytime service between Kingston Park, Freeman Hospital and Four Lane Ends on revised Service 6.

Longbenton loses direct links to St Peter's Basin, Walker and Wallsend through the curtailment of Service 18 but gains new direct links to Gosforth, Coxlodge, Fawdon, Kingston Park, Kenton Bar, Blakelaw, Newbiggin Hall and Westerhope on to MetroCentre on extended Services 6 & 7.

MetroCentre sees a reduced frequency of service with the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the reduced frequency of Service 100. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour from the MetroCentre reduce by 20%, from ten to eight. On a positive note, the MetroCentre gains direct links to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8.

Newbiggin Hall sees a reduced frequency of service with the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the complete withdrawal of Service 88. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour through Westerhope reduce by 17%, from 12 to ten. Westerhope gains direct links to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8 and improved links to the RVI and University through the revised stopping arrangements for Services X87 & X88.

North Kenton, due to the route curtailment of Services 32 & 32A, loses direct links to Fawdon, Kenton Bar, Blakelaw, Fenham, Elswick, the RVI, Byker, Heaton, South Gosforth, Coxlodge and Four Lane Ends.

Scotswood is affected by the curtailment of Service 1, losing the direct link to Four Lane Ends.

Slatyford is affected by the withdrawal of Service 88 and the cuts to Services 1 & 72. Slatyford loses the direct link to Four Lane Ends and will have a reduced frequency of service to Chapel House, Cowgate, City Centre, Westerhope and Newbiggin Hall.

Throckley sees a reduced frequency of service with the 33% reduction in frequency of Service X82, coupled with increased journey times, partly due to increased stopping points along the route.

University and RVI experience an improved frequency of service and improved links to Fenham, Cowgate, Blakelaw, Newbiggin Hall, Newcastle Airport, Ponteland, Darras Hall, Kingston Park and Kenton Bar resulting from the revised stopping arrangements for Services X47, X77, X78, X79, X87 & X88 and the rerouting of Service 36. Less positively, direct links are lost to Coxlodge, Fawdon, North Kenton, Heaton, Gosforth and South Gosforth, due to the curtailment of Services 32 & 32A.

Walker loses direct links to Forest Hall, resulting from the curtailment of Service 18. There's also a reduced frequency of service to Byker, City Centre and Dumpling Hall on Service 39. On a more positive note, Walker gains new connections to Elswick, resulting from the rerouting of Services 32 & 32A.

Wallsend loses direct links to St Peter's Basin, Heaton, Freeman Hospital, Longbenton, Benton and Forest Hall, resulting from the curtailment of Service 18. There's also a reduced frequency of service to Byker, City Centre and Chapel House on Service 40.

West Denton sees a reduced frequency of service with the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, though does gain direct links to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall, resulting from the route extension to these services.

Westerhope sees a reduced frequency of service with the 25% reduction in frequency of Services 6, 7 & 8, together with the 50% cut in frequency of Service 72 and the complete withdrawal of Service 88. Taken together, these changes see the number of buses per hour through Westerhope reduce by 30%, from ten to seven. Westerhope gains direct links to Four Lane Ends and Forest Hall (off peak), resulting from the route extension to Services 6, 7 & 8.



Newcastle's PVR overall will reduce by 15 vehicles, with both depots losing 8 from their PVR, offset by a single PVR increase to Services 62 & 63.

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