West Midlands bus routes 246, 300, 311 and 313
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2009)|
|Stourbridge - Walsall|
|A Dennis Dart SLF on a Diamond Bus 311 journey.|
|246||Stourbridge - Dudley|
|311(A)||Dudley - Walsall|
|313(A)||Dudley – Walsall|
|313E||Wednesbury – Dudley|
|399||Walsall - Wednesbury|
|Via:||Brierley Hill, Russells Hall Hospital & Wednesbury|
|Operator(s):||National Express West Midlands
The 246, 311, 311A, 313, 313A, 313E & 399 are seven bus routes running in West Midlands, England. The 246, 311, 311A, 313 & 313A are operated by National Express West Midlands, whilst Diamond Bus operates the 313E & 399.
Previously, both the 311 and 313 continued to Stourbridge. The 313 was shortened in 2003, being replaced in 2006 by the 246 between Dudley and Stourbridge, whilst the 311 was shortened in November 2009, due to major roadworks in the Dudley area causing reliability issues. The 246's frequency was then doubled to every 7/8 minutes, with the introduction of a half-hourly evening service and a twenty-minute Sunday daytime service.
During Monday - Saturday evenings, National Express West Midlands operates the 311A, which was previously numbered the 312. This is a service which follows a mixture of the 311 and 313 routes between Walsall and Dudley and runs to an hourly frequency, combined with the 311 to give a half hourly frequency.
Sunday services are very similar to evening services in frequency throughout the whole day, however, service 313E only runs during the evening, as per any other day.
National Express West Midlands operates the 311/A and 313/A from its Walsall Garage using brand new Scania OmniLinks with a seating capacity of 43. The OmniLinks replaced just two-year-old Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Gemini buses on the route, which had a similar seating capacity. The 246 meanwhile is operated from the companies Pensnett Garage and is therefore operated using a mixture of Mercedes-Benz O405N, Volvo B7RLE (Wright Eclipse Urban 2) with Enviro 400 double decks operating sometimes in the week and the main allocation on Sundays. Diamond Bus uses Dennis Darts on its services.
- Pre-deregulation in 1986 - These routes formed part of Midland Red's Service 245/246 route between Stourbridge, Brierley Hill, Dudley, Tipton and Wednesbury, and the jointly worked Midland Red/Walsall Corporation Transport Services 65/265/865 between Dudley, Tipton, Wednesbury and Walsall (with certain variants continuing to Cannock and Stafford).
- 1998 - Five services operate along the corridor. The first of these is service 300 operated by Diamond Bus using Leyland Nationals between Walsall - Merry Hill Centre via Wednesbury & Dudley which runs every 30 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime. The remainder of the services were all operated by National Express West Midlands (then Travel West Midlands) using branded Volvo B10B Single Deck vehicles. Service 311 ran every 15 minutes Monday - Saturday daytime and hourly during Evenings and on Sundays between Walsall and Stourbridge, service 312 which ran between Walsall and Stourbridge every 60 minutes during evening and Sundays, service 313 which ran between Walsall and Stourbridge at a fifteen-minute Monday - Saturday daytime frequency and finally service 313A which ran just three morning am peak workings between Stourbridge and Walsall.
- September 1999 - Travel West Midlands introduces new journeys on the corridor. Service 311E is introduced between Dudley and Stourbridge, running every 15 minutes during Monday - Saturday daytime and then hourly during Evenings & Sundays. Service 313E is also introduced running every half hour during Evenings & Sundays between Wednesbury and Dudley. Meanwhile, Diamond Bus introduce extra journeys between Dudley and Stourbridge on the 313, running during weekday peaks, in addition to a doubled frequency o the 310 and extra Sunday journeys on the service between Walsall and Wednesbury running every 30 minutes.
- 2001 - Diamond Bus introduce new service 300 between Walsall and Stourbridge, following a similar route to the 311/3 running at a combined 15-minute frequency with the 310, which has had its frequency reduced. Sunday journeys are unaffected. Additionally they start using Dennis Lances on the service. Travel West Midlands withdraw the 311E.
- 2003 - Travel West Midlands shorten the 313 so that it terminates at Dudley and no longer extends to Stourbridge. They are now the sole operator on the 313/A and operate the 313 to a 30-minute evening and Sunday frequency, whilst the daytime frequency is unchanged. Diamond Bus journeys on the 311 route are withdrawn. Additionally, peak workings on the 310 by Diamond Bus are shortened to terminate at Dudley, whilst the 310 service is shortened to terminate at the Merry Hill Centre. Additionally Travel West Midlands introduce the 246, running at the same times with the exception of the evening services as the previous 311E service.
- Mid-2000s - Diamond Bus completely withdraw the 310 and start operating the 300 only on Sundays. Additionally, the Centro subsidised evening service on the 313 is awarded to the company.
- 2007 - The 312 is renumbered the 311A. Additionally the 246 is introduced.
- April 2009 - The 300 is extended to run between Walsall and Stourbridge and increased to run Monday - Saturday daytime. Sunday journeys are however shortened to terminate at IKEA instead of Walsall and continue to terminate at The Merry Hill Centre instead of Stourbridge. The 300 now actually enters IKEA as well. As such, the 311 by Diamond Bus is withdrawn. Due to subsidy changes by Centro, the 313 evening service is shortened to run between Dudley and Wednesbury and at a reduced hourly frequency.
- June 2009 - National Express West Midlands start using brand new Scania OmniLinks on the 311/3, replacing just 2-year-old Volvo B7RLEs. Additionally, Diamond Bus announce plans to withdraw the 300 and 300E services from August.
- August 2009 - Diamond Bus withdraw off the 300 & 300E services, leaving Walsall for the first time in over a decade without any service directly taking passengers to the Merry Hill Centre.
- November 2009 - National Express West Midlands shortens the 311 to terminate at Dudley due to roadworks in the area causing reliability problems. As such, the 246 is doubled in frequency to every 7/8 minutes, with a half hourly evening and twenty-minute Sunday daytime frequency introduced.
- October 2012 - National Express West Midlands 311A journeys will operate as service 313.