On Monday 26th October 1970, the once well-known Anstey Lane loop service commenced.

The history of the Anstey Lane routes can be traced back to the introduction of route 12 Groby Road on 24th January 1949, replacing tram route 9 and running from the City Centre to Groby Road/Garland Crescent via Abbey St, Sanvey Gate and Woodgate. From the 4th July 1949, the route was changed to run via High St and Tudor Road. From the 4th March 1956, route 12 was re-routed via King Richard’s Road and Fosse Road instead of Tudor Road. On the 19th July 1959, route 12 was extended to a terminus on Buckminster Road (near Anstey Lane) operating from Groby Road via Brading Road and returning via Buckminster Road. From 6th December 1959, the route via Groby Road and Brading road was replaced and route 12 operated in both directions along Buckminster Road. The 1961 destination blinds re-named this as 12 Anstey Lane. The Blackbird Road circulars, introduced on 14th March 1949 should also be mentioned, route 11 operating via Abbey Park Rd, Blackbird Rd, Woodgate and Sanvey Gate, with route 13 running in the opposite direction. Although the numbers 11 and 13 were used, it would be a mistake to think these led directly to the 1970’s Anstey Lane circulars. These routes were further diverted to operate round the new Stadium estate (Parker Drive, Babingley Dr, Burnham Dr, Somerset Ave back to Parker Drive) in September 1957 but were operating only during Mon-Fri peak periods by this time and were withdrawn completely by 19th August 1962. On 17th August 1964, a new route 75 Stadium was introduced running via Abbey Park Road, Parker Drive and Anthony Road to Avebury Avenue (Milverton Avenue). This operated during Mon-Fri peaks and main day on Saturdays. Route 12 was converted to one-man operation on Sundays only from 22nd October 1967 and was then converted to one-man operation on Mon-Sat from 6th April 1970. A ‘terminal loop’ was operated at Buckminster Road (via Courtenay Rd, Whitwick Way, Wroxall Way, Felley Way and Courtenay Rd back to Buckminster Rd) due to the lack of a conductor to assist with a reversing manoeuvre – this was not shown in the timetable route listings and first appeared in an official publication in the March 1973 route map. Between March 1969 and April 1970, the final outward journey on Saturday evening diverted via Glenfield Road and Henley Road.   On Monday 26th October 1970, the Anstey Lane circulars were born. During Mon-Fri peak periods and main day on Saturday, alternate route 12 journeys were extended (as route 11 Anstey Lane) via Anstey Lane and Avebury Avenue to form a circular service with route 75. At this time, this gave a 30 minute frequency.   In the service revisions of 14th May 1972, route 75 was re-numbered 13. Services 11 and 13 now worked as circulars every 20 minutes during the daytime on Mondays to Saturdays, and route 12 was relegated to evenings and Sundays only. Routes 11 and 12 were re-routed via Highcross Street and Woodgate but this was short-lived and they reverted to the route via King Richard’s Road and Fosse Road from 16 July 1972.   The terminal loop on route 12 was amended from 30th December 1973 to be from Buckminster Road via Colwell Road and Anstey Lane due to problems with parked cars on the original route.   In the service revisions of 16th February 1975, routes 11 and 13 became full time services and route 12 was withdrawn. However, the Sunday services were withdrawn (without replacement) on 21st September 1975. Then, from 27th October 1975, the Mon-Sat route 11 and 13 evening circular services were replaced with an out-and-back Centre – King Richard’s Road – Anstey Lane (English Martyrs School) route 11A.   The Mon-Sat evening service 11A was withdrawn (without replacement) from 9th September 1979. In the same timetable change, routes 11 and 13 were cut to every 30 minutes off-peak on Mon-Fri and on Saturdays.   A very limited evening service on route 11A was restored in the service change on 25th May 1980 (one bus working 11A and 30 to Oadby).   Route 13 was withdrawn completely after operation on Saturday 4th October 1980 and route 11 ran out-and-back to a terminus at Avebury Avenue/Anthony Road roundabout, incorporating the Mon-Sat evening 11A journeys.   With the introduction of Leicester CityBus on 7th October 1984, route 11 was linked with route 30 to create new routes 30/31. These routes were extended via Burnham Drive and Heacham Drive to Beaumont Leys (Home Farm) from 28th January 1985. However, routes 30 and 31 were withdrawn in the service changes on 26th October 1986. The service for Avebury Avenue was incorporated into route 35 Southfields Drive – City – Beaumont Lodge but now running from City via Abbey Park Road, Avebury Avenue to Anstey Lane and Great Meadow Road, so the link to the original route 12 Groby Road was now well and truly broken.

ROUTE LINKAGES 26th October 1970 Mon-Sat daytime: 12 – 55 – 16 – 27 – 12 Mon-Fri peaks and Sat daytime: 75(out)/11(in) – 55 – 16 – 27 – 11(out)/75(in) – 75(out)… Mon-Sat evenings & Sun: 12 – 27  (and)  16 – 55   14th May 1972 Mon-Sat daytime: 11(out)/13(in) – 15 – 13(out)/11(in) – 30 – 11(out) … Mon-Sat evenings & Sun: 12 – 30   16th February 1975 11(out)/13(in) – 34(out)/53(in) – 11(out) …  (and)  13(out)/11(in) – 53(out)/34(in) – 13(out) …   15th October 1978 11(out)/13(in) – 53(out)/34(in) – 11(out) …  (and)  13(out)/11(in) – 34(out)/53(in) – 13(out) …   9th September 1979 11(out)/13(in) – 30 – 13(out)/11(in) – 53(out)/34(in) – 15 – 34(out)/53(in) – 11(out) …   25th May 1980 Mon-Fri am & pm peak periods: 11(out)/13(in) – 34(out)/53(in) – 30 – 11(out) …  (and)  13(out)/11(in) – 53(out)/34(in) – 15 – 11(out) … Mon-Fri main-day and Sat daytime: 11(out)/13(in) – 53(out)/34(in) – 15 – 13(out)/11(in) – 34(out)/53(in) – 30 – 11(out) … Mon-Sat evenings only: 11A – 30   5th October 1980 11 – 34(out)/53(in) – 30 – 15 – 53(out)/34(in) – 11 … Mon-Sat evenings only: 11 – 30   The routes were normally worked by single-deck vehicles although double-deckers sometimes worked at weekends.

The allocated buses for a selection of dates is listed below: Saturday 1st November 1975:  125  136  139  142  145  146  152  209 Saturday 21st February 1976:  138  142  144  146  149  214  221  224 Saturday 1st May 1976:  7  120  130  136  144  149  150  221 Saturday 30th August 1976:  126  136  137  143  146  148  214  224 Saturday 8th January 1977:  122  125  135  137  139  149  209  212 Saturday 30th July 1977:  116  123  125  146  150  213  217  220 Saturday 17th December 1977:  7  126  141  147  151  154  218  306 Saturday 20th May 1978:  124  131  207  210  211  212  267  295 Saturday 9th September 1978:  117  137  142  151  160  208  215  269 Saturday 20th January 1979:  123  128  157  206  210  213  277  296 Saturday 2nd June 1979:  133  138  141  142  164  207  222  278 Saturday 6th October 1979:  117  134  137  142  152  153  210  213  218 Saturday 9th February 1980:  118  121  123  129  130  140  145  210  216 Saturday 23rd August 1980:  119  121  123  141  143  144  148  211  220 Saturday 17th January 1981:  134  136  137  142  143  145  146  148 Saturday 13th June 1981:  13  136  148  150  152  153  213  218  221  224 Saturday 16th January 1982:  11  136  140  141  143  147  212  216  221  225 Saturday 18th September 1982:  139  142  143  144  146  150  152  153  213  219 Saturday 16th April 1983:  10  136  137  141  147  151  212  213  216  217    

Information provided by Mike Tongue.