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This was the route of the former Hockley Garage route 69, which the 46 now replaced.The 69 had it’s origins from the 24 tram route, which ran from City-Lozells via Wheeler Street.Surviving amongst this however, was the Lucas Factory, where many works services operated from (including some operated originally by West Bromwich Corporation out to that town.) Lozells itself however, remained very much an area of Victorian/Edwardian era shops and terraces and became quite a focus for the many Asian and Afro Caribbean communities that settled in the City from the fifties onwards, many of whom would come to work for both BCT and it’s WMPTE successor.Sadly, the eighties would see the area gain a reputation for occasional civil unrest, particularly in 1985 when a series of riots took place.The potential loadings on the new route justified an increase in daytime frequency to every twenty minutes, with a fifteen minute peak service.

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The nature of the 69’s Wheeler Street section was changed drastically during the sixties, when the area’s old terraced back to back houses were demolished to make way for the high rise blocks of the Newtown Inner City redevelopment, with further new, low rise housing surrounding these.Meanwhile, at the other end, the service now turned right at the Old Horns Roundabout, heading up the Queslett Road to the next Roundabout up, by The Trees pub, where it re-joined the route of the 90/91 up to their Pheasey Terminus on Collingwood Drive (the original 29A had received permission to head the short distance outside the City boundary from Midland Red-the 1914 agreement with whom meant that BCT was largely confined within the City-upon the 29A’s-initially peak journeys on the 29- extension onto the Aldridge built Pheasey Estate in 1940) With the Pheasey terminus already being well occupied by layover taking 90’s & 91’s, the 46 was soon rerouted via a far more logical route, heading from the Old Horns directly up Beacon Road until it reached the opposite end of Colingwood Drive, upon which it turned right, and then terminated outside Pheasey Church, the other side of the roundabout that buses used to turn around, from the 90/91 terminus.It was around this time that I first went on the route.The new service ran half hourly during the daytime and evening and Sundays, with extra journeys operating in the peak, this basically being the service for the first thirteen years of the route’s existence.The single deck Fleetlines however, weren’t to feature on the route for as long, for around 1970, just after BCT (as well as West Bromwich, Walsall & Wolverhampton) passed to the new West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive on 1st October 1969, the route was double decked, using one man fitted double deck Fleetlines.

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