Sunday, 14 February 2010

Trip to Birkenhead 13-02-2010


1330Birkenhead BSSecond Ave, Fender way492Arriva North West & Wales
2114Second Ave, Fender wayBirkenhead, Borough Rd/The Pyramids (E-bound)495Arriva North West & Wales
2285Birkenhead BSBidston, Hoylake Rd, opp Mercer Rd‎495Arriva North West & Wales
1330Bidston, Hoylake Rd, opp Callis St‎Birkenhead, Borough Rd/The Pyramids (E-bound)492Arriva North West & Wales

Matthew had been given a choices of destinations for the first Saturday of half term. Matthew had this time chosen Birkenhead. Having had a couple of days notice, I decide to do some research into which buses we should catch. Since the disappearance of First PMT's step entrance darts in this area, Matthew has been catching Arriva North West & Wales buses. I had previous seen this site by Mark Haldon, so I decided to take a look at which bus services would be best to catch, in order for Matthew to sample more step-entranced goodness. Services #409,#411,#418 & #419 could be step-entranced buses, as well as last time we noticed a step-entranced bus on the #492/495 services. So timetables downloaded from the Merseytravel website, we set off to Birkenhead.

We set off at around 11:30, and the weather was sunny but chilly (5' C). We gave Matthew a choice of having something to eat from the Grace Arms in Ellesmere Port or the burger van in Birkenhead Market. Matthew chose the burger van! We think this was down to Matthew associating eating at the Grace Arms with trips to Chester, and because the burger van and seats at Birkenhead Market overlook the West exit of the bus station.

We arrived at Birkenhead just before 13:00, and whilst Matthew dragged me off to the toilet, mum ordered food for all of us. Mum chose Matthew sausage, egg and chips with a bap (batch as they called it here) and a bottle of pop, a sausage batch for uncle Dave, and bacon and mushroom batches with a cup of tea for me and herself. As she handed the pop over to Matthew, he decided to drag it over the top of my cup of tea knocking it over my lap! I spent most of the afternoon with a dark wet patch on my right leg from knee to groin...

After dinner, mum went shopping whilst the rest of us stood at the eastern entrance of the bus station whilst we decide on what bus to catch. First step-entranced bus to come into the bus station was 1330 on the #492. A very quick consult of the timetable, and we decide to to the anticlockwise circular bus to Fender way. With the bus running about 5 late, we calculated we should have around a 5 minute wait at the southern end of fender way. We got off adjacent to Second Avenue and awaited the return service.

1330 on Fender way (Matthew)

After about a 5 minutes wait 2114 turned up on the #495, which we did to the stop outside the Glades shopping arcade. The bus tends to wait here for 5 minute until time for the next circuit, so we get off here to take the picture and walk up to the bus station.

2114 on Fender way (Matthew)

Inside 2114 (matthew)

At the bus station Matthew took a few photographs whilst we waited for the next step to turn up, the best of which was probably Eazibus Optare Solo MX56 AAJ

Eazibus MX56 AAJ 213 to Arrowe park (Matthew)

Whilst having dinner, I thought I had noticed a step on the #409. I work out that then next #409 was at 15:00, so about 14:55 we walked down to stand #10 to catch this bus. Whilst in the queue, I started to search for my North West day rover, and Matthews travel card. I searched everywhere in the bag and in my pockets and could not find neither pass nor ticket! After the bus had departed I found them mixed in with all the other old tickets in the wrong compartment. Note to self....EMPTY THE BAG!!!

Whilst we regrouped to work out the next move Matthew photographed a double decker through the window of the glass sausage...

3302 in the glass sausage bus station (Matthew)

We noticed that the next #495 was due off at 15:12 so we went back to stand #2 to catch this. Arriva North West and Wales 2285 promptly turned up on this service so we got on it. We worked we could do this to Holylake Road for the #495 back.

Inside 2285 (Matthew)

Whilst on this bus we passed 2439 on the other #492 bus (displaying 492 Beechwood), meaning that the bus back would be 1330. At least we got to ride on another step entranced bus albeit the same one we had earlier. We got off on Holylake Road near the American car wash and crossed the road. As predicted 1330 turned up on the #492

1330 in Hoylake Road (Matthew)

After we got off outside the Glades shopping centre, Matthew took a couple more pictures of this beast..

1330 Outside the Glades Shopping Centre (Matthew)

1330 Outside the Glades Shopping Centre (Matthew)

We walked back up to the bus station, met with mum and went back to the car for sausage rolls...