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529
Management
Operated by National Express West Midlands
Garage Wolverhampton Depot
Peak vehicle requirement 7 each direction
Route
Start Walsall
End Wolverhampton
Length 6.5 miles
Service
Level 0455-0005 Monday-Saturday
Frequency every 7 minutes
Journey time 27 minutes
Night Every 20 minutes until midnight

National Express West Midlands route 529 is a bus route in the West Midlands, United Kingdom.

The route links the two busy towns of Walsall and Wolverhampton quickly and directly (compared to service 333 which goes through several estates along the way). Other methods of transport between the two towns are by using London Midland rail service. This option is quicker.

There used to be a faster bus link between Walsall and Wolverhampton in the form of a West Midlands Travel "Timesaver" bus route - numbered 966. This was introduced in October 1986 as an extension in the western direction of the existing 366 bus route operating between Walsall and Sutton Coldfield. This 966 bus service provided a useful fast link at a 30 minute frequency between Walsall and Wolverhampton having only one intermediate stop (at Willenhall). However the service did not attract enough patronage so the route extension between Walsall and Wolverhampton was eventually withdrawn.

The service is operated using Alexander Dennis Tridents, specially branded for the route

Incidents/EventsEdit

  • In 1965 the Walsall - Willenhall - Wolverhampton trolleybus route (service number 29) was the first Walsall trolleybus route to be replaced by motorbuses. Until this time Walsall's trolleybus system was at it's maximum extent. The conversion to motorbus operation was prompted by the construction of the Birmingham to Preston motorway (now referred to as the M6) where it crossed the trolleybus route at Bentley. Extensive alterations to the trolleybus overhead wiring would have been necessary had trolleybuses continued to operate the route and this was not considered prudent as the route was operated jointly with Wolverhampton Corporation who were, at this time, in the process of replacing their trolleybuses with motorbuses in any case.
  • In 1997, the route became the first bus route in the country to be operated using buses running only on compressed natural gas, using a fleet of 14 Volvo B10L low floor buses. These gas powered bus were subsequently replaced by double decker buses, initially Volvo B7 types and more recently Dennis Trident types in the main. The gas buses were redeployed on other bus routes in the Walsall area and by mid 2008 most if not all of these gas buses had been converted to run instead on conventional diesel fuel.
  • In 2011, following the Walsall & Wolverhampton Network Review, service 529 was transferred to Wolverhampton depot.
  • Whenever London Midland has to suspend its rail service shuttle between Wolverhampton and Walsall they usually advise passengers to use the 529 bus service instead of providing any rail replacement bus or coach themselves.

FutureEdit

With proposals to build a Midland Metro extension linking Wolverhampton and Walsall, the frequency of the route is at risk of being less frequent.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

The UK Transport Wiki, your number 1 transport source has information related to:
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