|West Midlands Transport|
|Operator||National Express West Midlands Routes 340 and 341, A2Z Travel route 341E and Diamond Bus for 342|
|Vehicle||MCW Metrobus (TWM) / Dennis Dart (A2Z) / Any (DIA)|
|PVR †||5 (TWM)/ 1 (A2Z) / 2 (DIA)|
|Via||Reedswood, Bentley, Lodge Farm, Coppice Farm (A2Z Only), New Invention (341 Only), Pool Hayes (NXWM Buses Only)|
|End||New Invention (The Square)/Willenhall Union Street|
|Length||About ?? miles|
|Level||340/341/341E - Mon-Sat, 342 Evenings and Sundays|
|Frequency||Every 15-30 minutes (mon - sat day) (combined)|
|Journey time||23 Minutes (340), 40 Minutes (341), 27 Minutes (341E)|
|Day||06:36 - 18:35 Monday - Friday, 06:55 - 18:10 Saturday, No Service Sunday (340 - 341E), Unknown - 342|
|Night||342 (Diamond Bus) Every 60 Minutes|
| † peak vehicle requirement|
Service 341, until 25 October 1986, had operated on 30 minute frequency between Walsall, New Invention and Willenhall on Monday to Friday daytime (every 20 minutes on Saturdays). From Monday 27 October 1986 the former 30 minute frequency was improved to every 20 minutes. When Midland Red North introduced it's "Chaserider" minibus routes to introduce additional capacity on the New Invention to Walsall corridor West Midlands Travel doubled it's frequency between New Invention and Walsall to every 10 minutes. Midland Red North subsequently withdrew it's competing services and this enabled West Midlands Travel to subsequently reduce it's own frequency to every 30 minutes. The 30 minute frequency immediately proved to be inadequate with passengers often being left behind at bus stops in the Short Heath area, so the frequency was soon revised to every 20 minutes again. The scope for meeting the passenger demand from New Invention to Walsall was then recognised by Chase Bus Services who introduced their own innovative service 364 in the early 1990's. The 364 was initially a 30 minute frequency service. The 364 service proved to be very popular so Chase Bus Services then introduced an additional bus service to serve parts of the 364 route - service 365 operated over parts of the 364 but had two differences : firstly it served Bentley rather than Bentley Lane between Beechdale and Lane Head and secondly after New Invention it served the Ashmore Park Estate instead of Coppice Farm. After a while West Midlands Travel reacted to the popular Chase Bus Services 364 and 365 routes by introducing replica routes 364 and 365 of it's own running at a similar frequency. Not surprisingly Chase Bus Services eventually reduced their bus routes and frequencies in consequence. The reduction in Chase Bus Services frequency then enabled West Midlands Travel to reduce it's service provision again, and subsequently the 369 route was introduced by West Midlands Travel effectively replacing the 364 and 365 replica routes. The present day 369 service between New Invention and Walsall operates at a 30 minute frequency, whereas West Midlands Travel used to operate a combined 15 minute frequency on services 364/365 between these two points when Chase Bus Services were operating 4 buses per hour on this corridor.
A2Z Travel used to also operate full length versions of the 340 and 341, but in 2007 shortened the 341 to terminate in New Invention (The Square) and renumbered to 341E (E indicating a short working). The 341E was an orignally a shortened working of the 341 operated by A2Z Travel, but now significantly differs due to Centro subsidising the service to the Coppice Farm Estate.
All three bus routes (340, 341 & 341E) follow the same route up until Lane Head Bridge, where the 341 and 341E turn off to serve the New Invention area, whilst the 340 follows the straight route in Willenhall.
Routes 340 and 341 are interlinked so once at Willenhall, National Express West Midlands services switch services so that the bus which has just arrived as the 340 will depart as a 341 and vice versa for services arriving as 341's.
In May 2008 following the withdrawal of Arriva Midlands service 64 from Walsall to the Coppice Farm Estate, Centro the West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive, subsidised A2Z Travel to extend its service into the estate. A2Z Travel also withdrew its operations on the 340 and reduced the frequency of the 341E to hourly.
Departing from Walsall, the National Express West Midlands services leave every 15 minutes, with a 340 and 341 both operating every half hour.
Evening services are numbered 342 and operated by Diamond Bus on another Centro subsidised service. These services go the same route for the majority of the journey, but do not serve Bentley or Lodge Farm, instead diverting via Beechdale.
From July 20th, the 340/1 by National Express West Midlands are to be subject to a timetable change.
Service 341E - A2Z TravelEdit
Service 342 - Diamond BusEdit
- Official site (Only for National Express West Midlands)
- Network West Midlands
- West Midlands Buses (Only for National Express West Midlands)