West Midlands bus route 332 and 549

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331, 332 & 549
Overview
Predecessors National Express West Midlands, Diamond Bus & Midland
Route
Start Walsall, St Paul's Bus Station
Via Walsall Manor Hospital, Alumwell & Bentley
End Lodge Farm, Stroud Avenue/Willenhall/Wolverhampton

The 331, 332 & 549 were three bus route operating in the Walsall area of the West Midlands, England.

The routes linked Walsall with Lodge Farm via The Manor Hospital, Alumwell and Bentley. The 331 then extended to Willenhall and the 549 to Wolverhampton via New Cross Hospital.

The 331 was withdrawn in April 2010, the 549 in September 2010 with the 332 going in April 2011.

History[edit]

  • 1987 - Midland Red North and Central Coachways both operate service 330 from Walsall Bus Station Bradford Place to Lodge Farm at very regular frequencys via The Manor Hospital & Bentley. This service eventually ended up being operated by West Midlands Travel before being withdrawn altogether between 1994 & 1998 and replaced by the 331/A.
  • Pre-1998 - Travel West Midlands operated service 331 between Walsall and Willenhall at a twenty-minute frequency. Additionally, they also operated service 331A which followed near enough the same route as the 331, but terminated on the Lodge Farm estate, circuling Stroud Avenue also at a twenty-minute frequency. Both services run Monday - Saturday daytime. During evenings and on Sunday, an hourly service 332 also operated between Walsall and Lodge Farm.
  • 1999 - Travel West Midlands withdrew its service 331A. The 331s frequency was changed to every 15 minutes.
  • 2002 - The early Saturday morning frequency is reduced to half hourly on the 331, whilst the 332 is extended to Willenhall from Lodge Farm.
  • 2003 - Travel West Midlands start operating a Monday - Saturday evening service on the 331 at a fifteen-minute frequency. The Saturday early morning frequency is increased again to every 15 minutes.
  • 2004 - The evening service is withdrawn on the 331 route.
  • 2005 - A2Z Travel begin operations on the 331 between Walsall and Willenhall.
  • 2005 - Travel West Midlands reduce the frequency on the 331 to every 20 minutes.
  • 2006 - Travel West Midlands further reduce the frequency on the 331 to every 30 minutes. Additionally, A2Z Travel withdraw their Saturday journeys on the route, whilst the 332 is once again shortened to terminate at Lodge Farm.
  • January 2007 - A2Z Travel announce plans to withdraw off the 331 from the end of the month. This is because they are to take over Banga Travel services as their licence was revoked from this date. However, at the last minute, Banga decide to appeal and as such can continue operating their services, meaning A2Z Travel continue operating the 331.
  • July 2007 - Travel West Midlands significantly alter the 331 route so that it now terminates at Lodge Farm and misses out Alumwell and the Manor Hospital. This service leaves Walsall from Stand J, whereas previously all services to or via Lodge Farm left from Stand P.
  • November 2007 - Travel West Midlands withdraw off the 331. As such, A2Z Travel, who had regularly not operated their scheduled services on the route in the past year, began operating when they were supposed to and also reintroduced Saturday bus journeys.
  • May 2008 - A2Z Travel withdraw their Saturday services.
  • 31 March 2009 - After losing their licence, A2Z Travel withdraw off the 331. The service is one of only three of the companies services not being replaced.
  • 31 June 2009 - National Express West Midlands withdraw off the 332 due to a lack of patronage. Centro put the route to tender, with Diamond Bus winning the contract.
  • 25 October 2009 - After months of campaigning by local councillors and residents, Central Buses relaunch the 331 service commercially between 9am and 3pm on Weekdays only.
  • 1 March 2010 - Midland introduce brand new service 549, following the 331 route between Walsall and Lodge Farm, from where it extends to Wolverhampton via Pool Hayes, Wednesfield, New Cross Hospital & Heath Town. This service runs every half hour Monday - Saturday between 8am and 6pm using branded Dennis Dart buses. Prior to its launch, a free round-trip was operated on 26 February and extensive advertising was published in the local press. For the first week of operation, adults were introduced on to the service for £1 per journey, 50p children.
  • 23 April 2010 - Central Buses withdraw off service 331. From the same date, Midland reroute the 549 to serve the whole of Stroud Avenue in Lodge Farm.
  • June 2010 - Midland shorten the 549 route so it terminates at Lodge Farm, with the section of route to Wolverhampton, Wednesfield and New Cross Hospital being withdrawn.
  • September 2010 - The 549 service is completely withdrawn, once again the original 331 route is without an operator.
  • 24 April 2011 - The 332 service is withdrawn after Centro scrap the funding in favour of a half-hourly 335 service between Walsall and Alumwell only.

Within the space of ten years the frequency of the 331 route changed from up to every 10 minutes to not operating at all for a period of time, to having an hourly service and then being withdrawn again.

Route[edit]

331 (Now Withdrawn)[edit]

332 (Now withdrawn)[edit]

549 (Now Withdrawn)[edit]