IN PICTURES: Dudley bus station’s last hurrah
B&CB Feature Writer, David Cole, reports from a special farewell event marking the closure of Dudley bus station
Dudley’s 1980s bus station closed to regular operations after the last services departed on Saturday 13 January. West Midlands Combined Authority plans to demolish the existing site and construct the town’s new Transport Interchange accommodating both buses and West Midlands Metro in its place, funded by the DfT’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement. Until the latter is complete in 2025, buses serving the town will use on-street stops on the opposite side of the main shopping area.
The now closed site, completed in 1986, provided four level drive through lanes at 90 degrees to its steeply-graded predecessor which had been the location of a number of serious runaway incidents. The new interchange will feature a saw tooth style bus station parallel to the Metro.
To mark the site’s closure TfWM Bus Station supervisor, Phil Tonks, organised a last hurrah with heritage vehicles, mainly from three local museums: the Black Country Living Museum (BCLM); Aldridge Transport Museum (ATM) and The Transport Museum, Wythall (TMW). National Express West Midlands provided their locally based retro-liveried Volvo B7RLE with destination screens appropriately programmed, to represent the current scene. All of the vehicles would have used the bus station location at some time in their past although for the BCLM’s BMMO D9, this would have been the earlier incarnation. The majority of visiting vehicles depicted the transition from WMPTE to West Midlands Travel (WMT) although ATM’s green Metrorider reminded visitors of Metrowest, a local independent acquired by WMT in the 1990s and initially retained as a subsidiary during a period of intense local bus competition.
- Click the picture above to see David’s fantastic gallery of pictures from the farewell event