West Midlands bus routes 334 and 339


West Midlands bus routes 334 and 339
334 / 339
Overview
Operator National Express West Midlands
Finesse Coaches
Sandwell Travel
Midland Bus Company
Vehicle Volvo B6LE
Dennis Dart
Route
Start Walsall
Via Darlaston
End Bilston

The 334 and 339 are two bus routes in the West Midlands, United Kingdom.

Present

Services 334 and 339, are operated by the regions biggest bus operator National Express West Midlands. The 334 is also operated by two other smaller operators, Sandwell Travel and Finesse Coaches, while the 339 is operated by Midland Bus Company. They are the only two Walsall services which serve Bilston, and one of only 5 Walsall services to enter the City of Wolverhampton.

The routes follow the Wednesbury Road, followed by the Darlaston Road and finally the Walsall Road from Walsall to Darlaston, which is the same route as services 9 and 333 & 337 take, meaning that along this section of the route competition is rife.

From Darlaston the 339 serves the Herberts Park Estate estate, before joining the Moxley Road and following the same route as service 79 into Bilston, while the 334 goes through the local Rough Hay estate and then The Lunt area of Bilston.

The 339 is operated on a half hourly basis during Monday - Saturday daytime while the 334 is operated at a half hourly Monday - Saturday daytime frequency by National Express West Midlands and Sandwell Travel, while a random frequency is operated by Finesse Coaches, a Thandi company. During the evening and on Sundays, NXWM operate an hourly service on the route.

NXWM use Volvo B6LEs on the route, while all the other operators use Dennis Darts.

History

  • De-regulation - 1998 Chase Bus Services introduce a brand new innovative route linking Walsall and Bilston via Moxley and Darlaston. They number this route service 6. National Express West Midlands (Then West Midlands Travel) decide this is a good idea and also begin operating the route but use service number 339. This service also serves the Herberts Park area of Darlaston for a short period, before following exactly the same route as the 6. West Midlands Travel already operate a service via Bilston, the 334 to Wolverhampton.
  • 1998 - Travel West Midlands shorten the 334 to terminate at Bilston. All three companies continue to operate their routes at the same frequencies, West Midlands Travel operate each route at half hourly frequency, while Chase Bus Services operate the 6 every 20 minutes. Also during 1998 Travel West Midlands start using brand new low floor easy access Volvo B6LEs on their routes. Travel West Midlands also operate service 639 between Walsall and West Bromwich via Manor Hospital, Alumwell Darlaston, Herberts Park & Wednesbury at an hourly daytime frequency. During Evenings they operate the 639A, a service subsidised by the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive (CENTRO), between Walsall and Herberts Park via Manor Hospital, Alumwell & Darlaston. The 639A is very similar to the 639, but follows a slightly different route in the Alumwell area and also serves Franchise Street in Darlaston.
  • Early-1999 - Arriva Midlands start operating the 639A in place of Travel West Midlands under their Stevensons operation.
  • Mid-1999 - Travel West Midlands start operating another variation of the 639, the 639E. This service operates irregularly during weekday morning peaks and during the day and follows the same route as the normal 639.
  • 2000 - All operators on the 639/A/E start using Low Floor Easy Access Buses
  • 2003 - Birmingham Motor Traction take over Arriva Midlands as operator on the 639A. These journeys are renumbered 639.
  • 2003 - Travel West Midlands start operating the 334 on a Monday - Saturday evening. They now have competition on the route in the form of City Way Travel a small company which is part of the Thandi group. They operate the route at a half hourly weekday peak frequency and a half hourly Saturday daytime frequency.
  • 2003 - Following the new competition the frequency on the 6 is reduced to half hourly on weekdays, but remains every 20 minutes on Saturdays.
  • 2004 - The 639E is withdrawn by Travel West Midlands.
  • 2005 - Chase Bus Services withdraw their service 6. A2Z Travel quickly pick up the route, but choose to use the number 339. This service is run Monday - Saturday every half hourly. Meanwhile, Birmingham Motor Traction are replaced by Choice Travel on the evening 639 journeys to Herberts Park. Travel West Midlands shorten the 639 to terminate at Wednesbury instead of West Bromwich. Additionally they adjust their last journey on the 639 to be a 639E service terminating at Herberts Park. This follows the same route as evening workings.
  • 2006 - Golden Line Buses and J Line Buses (another Thandi Company) start operating on the 334 at hourly frequencys.
  • 2007 - A Sunday service is introduced on the 334 by Travel West Midlands. The route is still using buses bought new for it in 1998.
  • 2008 - J Line Buses licence is revoked. They stop operating the 334. Additionally City Way Travel licence is revoked, but this company is replaced by another Thandi Company, Finesse Coaches.
  • 2008 - Sandwell Travel start operations on the 334 on a Monday - Saturday at hourly frequencys.
  • October 2008 - A2Z Travel withdraw off the 339. They are instantly replaced by brand new Walsall operator, Midland Bus Company, additionally, Choice Travel services on the 639 are withdrawn due to a termination of subsidisation by Centro.
  • November 2008 - National Express West Midlands announce plans to completely withdraw all their services on the 639 and 639E. They agree, after discussions with the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, to reroute service 339 to serve Herberts Park.
  • January 2009 - National Express West Midlands reroute its journeys on the 339 so that they serve the Herberts Park Estate.
  • December 2009 - Golden Line withdraw off the 334 route.

Route

334

339


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