Photo © Alan R Hall. Please do not re-post without permission.
United Auto 455, AHN155B, of Blyth depot, a Bristol FLF6B with ECW H38/32F bodywork new in September 1964 as BL155 (later L155) picks up a decent number of passengers at Whitley Bay (St Mary's Island). The lighthouse and associated cottages on the island, which is accessible at low tide by a short causeway, can just be seen through the glass in the bus shelter.
The 308 service operated between Blyth and Newcastle via the Coast; Tynemouth and District operated their own Service 308 between this point (St Mary's Island) and Newcastle to an integrated timetable which, at this time, provided a combined 10 minute frequency (15 minutes on an evening) over the common section of route. The service was not, however, a joint service in the sense that each company used its own tickets throughout and retained its own revenue. There was, however, some inter-availability of tickets and identical fares were charged although each company set the fares in its own territory. After the Tyne and Wear PTE assumed responsibility for setting fares within the Metropolitan County, this led to a huge jump between the fares to the last stop in Tyne and Wear (just round the corner from this shot at Feather's Caravan Park) and the first stop in Northumberland less than a mile away at Hartley Square. Although Tynemouth didn't operate through to Blyth at this time on the 308, they did reach the town on two of their own services, 309 from North Shields Ferry and 310 from Sunderland on which Northern's Jarrow depot also operated a share.
The 308 was always a busy service particularly during the summer months and was the second last service at Blyth depot to be converted to OMO.
Photo taken by Alan Hall, c. 1973, Whitley Bay (St Mary's Island)
©1973-2017 Alan R Hall All Rights Reserved.
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