Saturday, 3 March 2012

Trip to Bury 03-03-2012


MIB 246Longton Hall Road, BlurtonMarket Street, BuryCharterCopeland's Tours
31814Bury BSUnsworth, o/s Hse 165 Parr Lane/Kennedy Drive93First Manchester
60239Unsworth, o/s Hse 204 Parr Lane/Kennedy DriveBury BS93First Manchester
37391Bury BSTonge Fold, Bury Rd/Tonge Fold Post Office (W-bound)471First Manchester
37391Tonge Fold, Bury Rd/Tonge Fold Post Office (E-bound)Bury BS471First Manchester
31812Bury BSRadcliffe BS98First Manchester
34028Radcliffe BSBury BS524First Manchester
34291Bury BSPrestwich Hospital, opp Supermarket Bury New Road/Tesco93First Manchester
31814Prestwich Hospital, o/s Superstore Bury New Road/TescoFletcher Fold, Manchester Road/Dumers Lane (Stop A)93First Manchester
60223Fletcher Fold, Manchester Road/Dumers Lane (Stop A)Bury BS524First Manchester
MIB 246Market Street, BuryLongton Hall Road, BlurtonCharterCopeland's Tours

Today was our first coach trip of the year. As this was a short run we booked from Longton Hall Road so Matthew could have a longer ride on the coach. We had booked this trip a while a go and when we were sure that it was going ahead, research consisted of downloading all the timetables for Bury from the Transport for Greater Manchester website. On the night before departure we checked the time of the departure from Longton Hall Road on the invoice, and we found it was 08:24 which earlier than we had anticipated. This would mean we would have to get up shortly after 07:00. On the day we arrived in Longton Hall Road just after 08:20 and the coach was already waiting! We quickly jumped out of the car, locked up and then got on the coach. Matthew didn't have time to get a picture here... The journey was quick. We left Newcastle which was the final pick-up around 09:20 and we traveled non-stop to Bury. As we left Newcstle the driver announced "by the way my name is John...If you have a good trip feel free to write to Copeland's to tell them... If you have a crap day my name is Keith!". We arrived in Market Street bury at approximately 10:25 and Matthew got his picture at last.

Copeland's Tours MIB 246 in Bury
We had a short walk up the hill and across the main road and then we were in Bury town centre near the bus station. Having used the facilities, we walked up to the bus station and decided what we would do. The weather forecast had been for rain, so the plan was to keep moving as much as we could. We immediately spotted a different type of bus that we had not previously seen in Bury and that was an Alexander bodied Olympian. We walked up to see what bus it was and it was required First Manchester 31814. It was parked up with no driver so we walked back to the crossing and Matthew got a picture of this fine beast.

First Manchester 31814 in Bury
Whilst we were at the crossing we also saw a Wright bodied Volvo double decker, another type which we have never seen in Bury before. Matthew got a picture of this too, First Manchester 37393.

First Manchester 37393 in Bury
We then walked back to 31814 which was about to work on a #93 service. After the drive had got on and sorted out the ticket machine, we got n and booked our system one bus only day saver tickets. The ticket machine was a new one which was only fitted about two week before our visit. We went upstairs and as it was empty at this point, Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside 31814
We decided to do this to Unsworth and then see what came back on the next #93. The journey was swift and uneventful ans we got off just South of the shops and were Matthew got another picture of this bus.

31814 in Unsworth
We crossed the road and then waited for the return service. We let the #154 service go which was now worked by Stott's Tours. Last time we had been this way the #154 was a Bluebird service. Within a few minutes the #93 appeared and it was slightly disappointingly a Mercedes single decker. As it got closer we could see it was required First Manchester 60239.

First Manchester 60239 in Unsworth
We boarded the bus and did it back to Bury. Matthew got a picture of this bus empty.

Inside 60239
At this point we had already done 2 buses and it was only just after 11:00! The coach wasn't due to return until just after 16:00. As we realised we had nearly 5 hours left, we decided to go a little further afield on the next trip. We saw 34023 on a #524 Bolton service, but this was not required. Within a few minutes First Manchester 37391 appeared on a 471 to Bolton, which I decided it would be a good idea to go to the point where the #471 meets the #510 on the outskirts of Bolton. This would give us a choice of service on which to return on. Matthew got a picture of required 37391 just before we boarded it.

First Manchester 37391 in Bury
On the bus, Matthew photographed the empty rear of the bus as we sat down.

Inside 37391
On the way we made good progress until we reached the junction Bury & Bolton Road and Starling Road. An accident on the crossroads was preventing traffic going straight on, so the driver decided to divert the bus and turn right onto Starling Road. The bus then went into Ainsworth and then turned left onto Bradley Fold Road rejoining the original route a few hundred yards further on. Having passed a Morrison's supermarket on our right, we decided to get off and wait for a return service. Matthew got another picture of 37391 as we got off.

37391 at Tonge Fold
As we were next to some local shops at Tonge Fold and it wasn't raining, we decided to have some dinner from a local take away. We had 2 bacon barms and a sausage barm. As I ordered the food, Matthew was outside with Uncle Dave taking pictures of buses on this busy stretch of Road. This included 37302 on a following #471. There was also bendy bus 12011 on a Rochdale bound #471.

37302 at Tonge Fold
We sat down on a bench and ate the food. Matthew helped Uncle Dave finish off his sausage barm, as he not been quick enough! This was washed down with Coca Cola. After we had eaten dinner on a bench. Another Bolton bound #471 turned up and this was 37291.

37291 at Tonge Fold
Whilst we waited we also saw a few of the local services. 40350/359 and 404 were seen on Whithins circulars, as well as disappointingly 60283 on a #510 to Bury. This must have meant that Bury had taken over the running of the #510 and that First's Plaxton Pointer bodied Darts from Bolton would no longer come to Bury. After dinner we crossed the road to wait for the return to Bury. It turned up and it was 37391 again. I think the accident had messed up the running of the #471 today...

37391 at Tonge Fold
As we re-entered Bury we passed 10017 on a Bolton bound #471. When we got to Bury 31812 was waiting to work a #98 service. We got straight on this and decided to do it to Radcliffe bus station. We got on and Matthew got a picture of the inside of this bus.

Inside 34812
We also saw 31811 depart from stand B-D but we didn't see what this was on. The journey to Radcliffe was uneventful. There was an obnoxious child at the front of the bus who had apparently "beaten everybody up" or "smashed someone's kneecaps" even though he was only about 10! He decided it was a good idea to lie across the front window of the bus on the shelf under the window. I was praying that the driver would floor the bus and he would fall off but it didn't happen :-( We got to Radcliffe and Matthew was able to get a good picture of the fine beast in a rare moment in which the sun came out.

34812 in Radcliffe bus station
After using the facilities outside Radcliffe Market, we returned to the bus station. We let go Scania 61140 on a #524 service and we also saw 34023 on a Bolton bound #524. There were a couple of Maytree Travel vehicles on #512 and #513 services and then 34028 turned up on a #524 to Bury. The bus was dud, but we decided to do this beast again anyway.

34028 in Radcliffe bus station
We boarded and went upstairs, and Matthew got a picture of the empty rear of the top deck. It turned out that this was our third run on this bus, having previously had a short run on a Ramsbottom circular on our first coach trip to Bury. We had also been on this bus between Radcliffe and Bury before, albeit on a different route.

Inside 34028
Another good journey was had on 34028. the highlight of which was watching a drunk load shopping into his bag only for shopping to fall out of the huge hole in the bottom. this action was repeated many time and still the penny didn't drop. We arrived back and there seemed to be a bit of a lull in activity. Matthew got a picture of 37297 as it left Bury.

First Manchester 37297 in Bury
Having taken a few more pictures there seemed to be several buses in at once. 34028 had come off the #524's and was now standing spare on the other side of the bus station. Then 3 double deckers came in in quick succession. A Rochdale bound #471 appeared, closely followed by 31816 which came in to work a #98. The driver was changing over on the #98 and there was a really long queue of passenger to get on this service. As we waited 34291 appeared on stand B so we assumed it was about to work a #93. matthew decided he wanted to abandon 31816 and go for a North Counties bodied bus instead which as this was very lightly loaded this was probably the best plan. As we waited for the bus to be readied, Matthew got a picture of 34291 through the glass.

First Manchester 34291 in Bury
As we boared we were delight to see that 34291 had the Manchester Orange and Brown squares patten moquette on the seats, so as we went upstairs Matthew got a picture of the empty top deck.

Inside 34291
With a little elass then 2 hours before the coach was due to return home, we decided to do this as far as we could. We had never been further South than Unsworth on the #93 service, and the Bury area map ran out just South of Unsworth anyway. The journey would take us into new territory and as such I could only rely on the timetable to work out how far we could go as the map in the timetable didn't render very well on the Acrobat/Blackberry software. First we passed the Whitefield transport interchange. this looks a great place to get off as buses in both directions stop in the same place, there are bus shelters and you can a get a picture of the bus before it turns back to the stop. Then we passed Bess o' the Barn which looks another good place to go. Stops on opposite sides of the road have shelters and the #93 and #137 are both served on this stretch of Road. We eventually got of at Prestwich Tesco. I wasn't sure if this was going to be a mini bus station or stops on the road. It turned out to be stops on the road but it is a very wide and busy road to cross. Matthew did get another picture of 34291 before we crossed to wait for either a 93 or 98 back to Bury. We didn't have to wait long before w spotted a double decker in the distance heading our way. Unfortunately for us it was 31814 which was the first bus we had been on when we arrived at Bury! We dedied to do this anyway as we did not know what else was going to be heading North and it might have been a mammoth trip on a full Mercedes single decker if we were unlucky... As the journey back seem to be taking a lot less time than we had anticipated we were approaching Bury just after 15:00. We decided to get off on the Manchester Road and then catch something else into Bury just to get one more bus in before we were due home. as we approached Dumers lane we saw a Scania on a #524 go ahead of us. We also saw a bendy bus on a #135 stop at the same time but we did not rush to do this. So we waited and the next service to come along was another #524 which was another Mercedes. As it approached we could see it was required 60223, numerically the first in the batch. Matthew got a picture and then we boarded the bus.

First Manchester 60223 on the Manchester Road
We did the short trip into Bury and Matthew got another picture before we met up with mum.

60223 in Bury
We then had a quick sausage roll break on stand A before we walked back towards the coach. Stopping at the Market toilets on the way, we arrived back at the coach just before 15:45. There were 6 coaches parked up and got a few picture before we got on ours. Out of these coaches 3 were from North Staffordshire operators. We set off a little after 16:00, and the journey back was swift. We did not stop at any services and we were back on Longton Hall Road at just after 18:00. The driver had said that he had recognised Matthew from a visit he had had to Copeland's depot back in 2009 with outreach. He was certainly the most entertaining driver we have had on a coach trip so far...Mark

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