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350
Management
Operated by National Express West Midlands
Garage Walsall
Vehicle MCW Metrobus/Leyland Lynx
Peak vehicle requirement 1
Route
Start Walsall Bus Station
Via Walsall Manor Hospital
End Walsall Bus Station
Length About 1 mile
Service
Level 07:50 - 18:12 Monday - Friday, 09:55 - 18:12 Saturday. No service on Sunday
Frequency Every 30 minutes
Journey time 17 minutes
Night No service
351
Management
Operated by National Express West Midlands/Arriva Midlands
Garage Walsall Depot/Cannock Depot (Delta Way)
Vehicle MCW Metrobus or Leyland Lynx/Any/Any
Peak vehicle requirement 3 (NXWM)/2 (ARR)
Route
Start Walsall
Via Bloxwich & Cheslyn Hay
End Cannock/Hednesford (Arriva Midlands)
Length 6 Miles
Service
Level 05:55 - 23:40 Monday - Friday, 06:35 - 23:40 Saturday, 08:07 - 23:57 Sunday
Frequency Every 30 Minutes Mon - Sat Daytime, Hourly Evenings & Sundays
Journey time 45 minutes to Cannock/53 minutes to Hednesford
951A
Management
Operated by National Express West Midlands
Garage Walsall Depot
Vehicle MCW Metrobus or Leyland Lynx/Any/Any
Peak vehicle requirement 3 (NXWM)
Route
Start Birmingham
Via Walsall, Bloxwich & Cheslyn Hay
End Cannock
Length 12 Miles
Service
Level Monday - Friday; 06:15 - 09:00 & 16:00 - 18:30, Saturday, Sundays and Bank Holidays; No Service
Frequency About Every 60 Minutes Peek Time Monday - Friday
Journey time 70 minutes to Cannock

National Express West Midlands (Ex-Travel West Midlands) routes 350 and 351 were two routes that were operated in and around Walsall, before the 2011 Walsall & Wolverhampton Network Review, with route 350 being merged (partly) with routes 335 & 336,and route 351 becoming route 2 (partly).

External Sites Edit

Network West Midlands Official Tmetable 

351 & 951AEdit

National Express West Midlands Routes 351 & 951A are two busy bus routes linking Cannock with Cheslyn Hay in Great Wyrley with Bloxwich, Walsall and Birmingham in the West Midlands (county), England.

Old HistoryEdit

Service 351 was very busy route operated by National Express West Midlands linking two bustling town centres Walsall and Cannock which over the years have undergone a number of changes. with the nearby Manor Hospital.

The origins of service 351 go back to the early part of the 20th century when a service was introduced between by a company that later became widely known as "Midland Red". Pre-deregulation when operated, the service ran from Hednesford - Cannock - Wasall - Birmingham via what it is now known to have become:- 51, X51, 351 and 951. The route has undergone so many changes in the past, its hard to keep up with what's going on.

Since deregulation (26 October 1986) all parts of the route have been consistently operated by West Midlands Travel. Although various other operators seeing the route as a busy one have attempted to compete but have all subsequently withdrawn from the service. Such operators have included Tame Valley Travel, Birmingham Coach Company (later known as Diamond Bus), Chase Bus Services, Zaks Coaches and A2Z Travel. However, the only part of the route which has kept consistent competition is Arriva. Who have provided the route between Hednesford and Walsall. It has forced National Express West Midlands on so many occasions in reducing their operations.

Resent HistoryEdit

Pre-1999

  • 351 - Walsall - Cannock A off-peak service run Monday-Fridays by (then as Travel West Midlands) via Bloxwich, Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay, Bridgtown & Cannock.
  • 950- Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. A peak time only limited stop service run by (then as Travel West Midlands) at a regular 30 minute Monday - Saturday daytimes. The service ran via Bloxwich, Great Wyrley & Cannock.
  • 950A - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. Monday-Saturday daytimes every 30 minutes (then as Travel West Midlands) via Bloxwich, Turnberry Road Estate, Great Wyrley, Bridgtown & Cannock.
  • 951 - Birmingham - Walsall - Cannock/Hednesford. The 951 is limited stop service run by (Then as TWM) at a regular 20 minute Monday - Saturday daytime frequency, with an hourly Saturday frequency. Only peak workings extend to Hednesford. The service runs via Bloxwich, Cheslyn Hay & Bridgtown.
  • 952 - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. Another limited stop service operated by (then as TWM) during weekday peaks and Saturday daytime at an hourly frequency. The 952 runs via Bloxwich, Cheslyn Hay, Bridgtown, Cannock & Heath Hayes.
  • 953 - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. The final limited stop service operated by (Then as TWM) running again during peak times only. This service travels via Bloxwich, Great Wyrley, Bridgtown & Cannock.

2000

  • 350 - Walsall - Cannock. A peak time only service now only between Walsall and Cannock by Travel West Midlands via Bloxwich, Turnberry Road Estate & Bridgtown. The 350 replace most of the service 950 as a consequence did not operate into Birmingham and operate every 30 minutes during Monday-Friday peek times.
  • 350A - Walsall - Hednesford. A Monday- Saturday A peak time service between Walsall and Hednesford by Travel West Midlands via directly via A34 Green Lane to Bloxwich then continued along A34 Stafford Road as far as Holly Lane, where it enterd Great Wyrley & Cheslyn Hay before heading to Cannock and continuing through Pye Green into Hednesford. The 350A replace most journeys on route 950A, as a consequence did not operate into Birmingham.
  • 351 - Walsall - Cannock A off-peak service run Monday - Fridays by Travel West Midlands via Bloxwich, Turnberry Road Estate, Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay, Great Wyrley & Cannock.
  • 950 - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. A peak time only limited stop service run by (then as Travel West Midlands) at a regular 30 minute Monday - Saturday daytimes.
  • 950A - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. Monday-Saturday daytimes every 30 minutes (then as Travel West Midlands) via Bloxwich, Turnberry Road Estate, Great Wyrley, Bridgtown & Cannock.
  • 951 - frequency was changed to half hourly Monday - Saturday, by Travel West Midlands .
  • 952 - Saturday journeys are withdrawn, as are the normal 951 daytime journeys. The 951A is introduced at a half hourly Monday - Saturday daytime frequency between Birmingham - Cannock via Great Barr, Walsall, Bloxwich, Turnberry Estate, Great Wyrley, Cheslyn Hay & Bridgtown. Additionally, branded Volvo B7TL double deck buses start in service
  • 953 most of the Travel West Midlands journeys were withdrawn Monday - Saturday levering just peek workings only.

November 2003

  • 350 - Service was withdrawn.
  • 351 - replaced all 350, 350A, 950 and 950A Monday - Saturday peek times and daytime journeys. Service was lengthened to incorporate most of all the 350, 350A, 950 and 950A routes, but shortened to operate Walsall to Cannock only via Great Wyrley - Turnberry Road Estate - Cheslyn Hay & Bridgtown.
  • 950 & 950A - Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford. Services were withdrawn. Replaced by service 351 throughout the week.
  • 951 - most of the Travel West Midlands journeys were withdrawn Monday - Saturday daytimes just peek workings between Birmingham and Bloxwich.
  • 951A - resulted in just Monday - Friday peek workings only.
  • 952 - extended via the 951 route Monday - Friday peek workings only.
  • 953 - retained 1 journey southbound Monday Friday departing Hednesford @ 06:30

November 2005

  • 951 is withdrawn to operate only at Peak Times Only

March 2007

  • X51 is introduces as a trial limited stop service running Monday - Friday off peak. Throughout National Express West Midlands the year 951 journeys are gradually cut back.

23rd November 2007

  • The 952 & 953 are withdrawn and the 951A is shortened to terminate at Cannock.

Early part of 2008

  • X51 - NXWM start operating the service for longer on a Monday - Friday and during Saturday daytime at a 20 minute frequency.
  • 951 journeys being directly replaced by X51 services.
  • 951A - reduced to just 3 peak workings on the 951A.

May 2009

  • 951A - has the 0720; 951A journeys re-timed by National Express West Midlands to depart Cannock at 07:15 and operate 5 minutes earlier throughout.

August 2011

  • Service 351 is withdrawn and replaced (partly) by Arriva Midlands services 1/2/2A
  • Service 951A is withdrawn and replaced with peak time extensions to service X51
  • Service X51 replaces all 951A journeys

Mid-2014

  • Service X51 is increased to a 15 min frequency off peak, and a 7min peak time frequency

August 2015

  • Service X51 will become a Platinum service using Alexander Dennis Enviro400MMC's fitted with leather seats, charging sockets and free Wi-Fi

Former routeEdit

Currently, National Express West Midlands is the sole operator of the 351 and 951A. They operate the 351 at a variety of frequencies throughout the day, culminating in a thirty minute frequency during peak times and hourly during the daytimes, with the 951A, a limited stop version of the route, running journeys on a hourly basis. (during the off peek, these journeys then become X51's between Birmingham and Walsall and 351 between Walsall and Cannock), On a Saturday the 351 is run to a 30 Minute frequency all day, with the X51 run every 20 minutes between Birmingham and Walsall, for a shorter period of time. Whilst on the 951A do not operate and again the same on Sundays, although route 51 is run commercial by National Express West Midlands between Birmingham and Walsall. The Walsall - Cannock section is extended to Hednesford and provided on tender, by South Staffordshire County Council.

The 351, and 951A run via Leamore, Bloxwich, Landywood, Cheslyn Hay & Great Wyrley, but all follow the exact same route between Walsall and Bloxwich Monday's - Saturday's, where the 351 operate via a fairly new housing development north west of Bloxwich through Turnberry Road, before rejoining the 951A route on the Stafford Road just before the county border by Long Lane. From here which is near to Holly Lane in Cannock Chase, both routes then follow one another into Cannock Bus Station.

Nowadays The 351 is a bus route operated by National Express West Midlands and then Arriva Midlands between Hednesford/Cannock in Staffordshire and Walsall in the West Midlands, England. Up until very recently it was one of only two services between Walsall and Cannock but from May 25th 2008 now has competition from Arriva Midlands service 32 and 33. These Arriva services in reality do not offer significant competition as they follow a very long route via Heath Hayes, Norton Canes and Brownhills to Walsall. Although the Arriva Midlands route 1, is seen as seen as more directly the competition to service 351.


Former VehiclesEdit

In the final days of service 351, it become more common than not to see Optare Solos, which are small mini-buses on the route. However, it was not uncommon to see MCW Metrobuses, Leyland Lynx's, or the same former Gas powered Volvo B10Ls (Alexander Ultra) and Volvo B7TL (Wright Eclipse Gemini), which when not inuse on the X51, were used on the service.

The X51's were often operated by former Gas powered Volvo B10Ls (Alexander Ultra) and Volvo B7TL (Wright Eclipse Gemini), when not on the 351. For the 951A, morning journeys were operated by buses that then went onto the X51, whilst the evening journeys were normally operated by Volvo B6LEs, with occasional rare uses of Volvo B7RLE (Wright Eclipse) or MCW Metrobuses.

OperatorsEdit

The 351 is operated commercial during Monday - Saturday daytimes by National Express West Midlands between Cannock and Walsall. On weekday evenings it is operated by Arriva Midlands also between Cannock and Walsall, but is subsidised by South Staffordshire County Council. On Sundays Arriva Midlands operate an extended version of the route, stretching from Cannock via Pye Green to Hednesford, again on a subsidised basis from South Staffordshire County Council. Evening and Sunday services follow a different route in the Bloxwich area: the evening and Sunday buses travel a direct route between Bloxwich and Landywood, ie. along the A34 Stafford Road, whereas the Monday to Saturday daytime buses operate via a fairly new housing development north west of Bloxwich (Turnberry Road). Evenings and Sundays Turnbery Road is instead served by an extension of CENTRO subsidised bus service 319 which operates from Walsall to Bloxwich via Blakenall and Goscote.

The 351 journey takes just around 40 minutes, but can stretch to 55 minutes depending on the time of day. Early morning journeys on a Saturday are a short as 28 minutes, but soon pick up to a full 45 minutes length later on in the day. Following the recent renumbering and timetable change, the service is interlinked with service 350 (Walsall - Manor Hospital), buses changing routes once in Walsall. As the 351 has mostly always been operated using non-low floor buses, the 350 consequentlly is no longer easily accessible. A major change is that of the Monday to Friday off-peek frequency reduced to hourly, with much announce from local people. This is why National Express West Midlands needed to do what ever it can to save these routes from the chop.



It is worth noting that in the from deregulation until May 2009 this service has undergone a number of changes. A set of express routes ran along the main section of the route, these were;- 950, 950A, 951, 951A, 952 and 953. Most of theses journeys before 2007; Monday's - Friday's saw a 30 minute frequency provided buy these Timesavers, along with a combined 30 minute frequency with routes 350, 350A & 351. Saturdays saw a more steady 20 minutes frequency, just with the timesaver services. The combination of these Timesaver services run by National Express West Midlands ran between Birmingham - Walsall - Hednesford via Bloxwich, Great Wyrley, Bridgtown, Cheslyn Hay, Bridgtown, Cannock, & Heath Hayes.


National Express West Midlands ran an evening service on Friday's and Saturday's on route 351 on its one steam. Due to a reduction of the number of drivers Walsall had and high running costs. Dispite the service gaining many passengers, National Express West Midlands decided to cut the route back to daytime operations only. A good example of what remains to date can still been seen in the Saturday timetable. Unusual for a bus route, the latest journey departing Walsall is on a Saturday, compared to that of the Monday - Friday timetable. As the last Saturday journey was profitable it saved it from scrappage, thus the remains of it today. At one stage combined services provded a 15/20 minutes frequency, along the main Walsall - Cannock section of the route. Now the Walsall - Cannock section has just been reduced to every hour between 09:30 and 15:30 Mondays - Fridays.

Its worth noting that for service 351 and 951, it operas that 'deregulation' just has not worked. All of which, is why day-on-day, some transport critics state this would be a case in point, for the need of the reverse on deregulation. Just on looking at this route, if you were not a regular passenger and someone who lives on the route, it would put you off wanted to becoming a regular bus users. If on the other hand, you were a regular bus users. It would put you off from wanted to use the route, due to the number of changes it goes through.


RouteEdit

National Express West Midlands 351Edit

Arriva Midlands 351Edit

National Express West Midlands 951AEdit

External LinksEdit

National Express West Midlands Website

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