Saturday, 28 September 2013

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 28-09-2013


3123Ellesmere Port BSChester BS2Arriva NW&W
4488Chester BSBroughton, Glynne Arms (SW-bound)X11Arriva NW&W
2352Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)‎Chester railway station4Arriva NW&W
4143Chester BSBoughton, o/s Bridge Inn84Arriva NW&W
SB23Boughton, opp Bridge InnChester BS82GHA

Today we decided to Chester. We had not visited since back in March, when there was deep snow all around! I didn't do any research except to check the weather, as we only decided on Chester on Thursday night. Matthew got up a little before 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off just before 12:00 and we went along Stanley Matthews way onto the A50. We headed up the A500 stopping in Etruria for LPG. Whilst there we saw 60193 & 41493. We went onto the A53 and back onto the northbound A500. As we joined the M6 we were followed on by Stagecoach Megabus 55004. The motorway was busy and we were passed by a few different buses Leon's Coaches 206 & Happy Days Coaches 226 were going to Manchester United from West Brom. We headed west when we reached the M56 and then north on the M53. We drove into Ellesmere port along the A5032 and we saw GHA MX56 AAZ on the 7 to Rivacre. We also passed GHA SB15 on the #36 to Runcorn. We parked up near the market and we ate in the market food hall. We had to wait for a few minutes, so we went to the toilet.It was a while before we could get a table but eventually we did, (we shared a table with an old couple) and Matthew had a breakfast followed by a Victoria sponge cake. After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and walked to the bus station via the shopping centre. We walked out of the shopping centre and we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 28547 parked up in the bus station.

Stagecoach Merseyside 28547 in Ellesmere Port bus station
There was a solitary 'Into the port' GHA bus parked up (YM52 TPO) which we photographed and then we walked up to the top end to wait for a bus. I checked the time of the next 2 and it was due in about a minutes at 14:08. It turned and we saw it was dud Arriva NW&W 3123.

Arriva NW&W 3123 in Ellesmere Port
We got on the bus and sat down near the back. This was a bus that we had done when it was first delivered to Birkenhead back in September 2012. The bus was around 1/2 full and it dropped off a few passengers as we went through the estate before we joined onto the A5117. We carried on down the A41 dual carriageway and then we turned right onto the A5116 and went passed the Hospital ad Morrisons. We carried on passed the stagecoach depot and into the bus station via Northgate. When the bus emptied out Matthew took a picture inside the Arriva NW&W 3123 too.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3123
When we got off the bus Matthew decided to walk to the bus station the long way around passed the library before turning into Princess Street. On the way to settling on our usual perch, We spotted and photographed Stagecoach Merseyside 21258 on the 1A to Blacon.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21258 in Chester bus station
We carried onto the perch and we sat down. We were followed down by MacPhails Van Hool coach LCZ 6332.

MacPhails LCZ 6332 in Chester bus station
We sat around for a few more minutes then we decided to do a bus. Required Arriva 2636 was on the #10 to Connahs Quay and dud Arriva NW&W 4488 was on the #11 to Holywell. We decided to do 4488 on the #11.

Arriva NW&W 4488 in Chester bus station
We waited for a few minutes for the driver to return to the bus and then it started to board. We got on the bus and went upstairs which was empty at the rear. Matthew got a picture of the bus whilst it was empty.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4488
We set of out of the bus station and off towards Hawarden. This was a bus that we had done twice before...First in June 2012 and then again in December 2012! When we crossed over the Dee we noticed there were large amounts of coaches parked up and that the races were on today. We carried on the A5104 and we passed a couple of darts on the #3 and #4 service. We passed required Arriva NW&W 2359 & 2348. We decided to get off at the end of the A5104 and see if we could get a required Dart on one the other service. When we got to the end of the road we got off the bus. Matthew got a picture of Arriva NW&W 4488 before it set off towards Holywell.

Arriva NW&W 4488 in Broughton
We crossed the road (eventually), and waited at the stop on the other side of the road. Whilst we waited we spotted Arriva NW&W 675 on the #12 service.

Arriva NW&W 675 in Broughton
A few minutes late we saw a Dart head into the shopping centre. A few minutes later it reappeared and headed towards us. As it got closer we could see it was required Arriva NW&W 2352. We got on and sat down near the back. The bus was nearly empty, but it did pick up a few extra passengers going into town. As we headed into Chester we passed another required Dart 2358! Further into town we also passed 2348 on the #3 towards Mold. The bus went around Chester and then headed towards the railway station. When we got to City Road the bus terminated. Matthew got a picture inside 2352 as we got off.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2352
The area was packed with buses and coaches and we could only get a picture between other buses.

Arriva NW&W 2352 near Chester railway station
We walked back along City Road and we saw former Procters van Hool coach HIL7614 which is now with Atlantic Travel of Bolton.

Atlantic Travel HIL 7614 near Chester railway station
We carried on towards gorse stack and we saw Arriva NW&W 4405 on the #1 to Wrexham. we also saw GHA SB30 on the X20 to Winsford. On Gorse Stacks we saw 'Into the Port' liveried Solo X9 GHA on a Mold service. On Delamere Street we saw Walter Martin coach WAL 895.

Walter Martin WAL 895 on Delamere Street
We carried on up Delamere Street and we saw Arriva NW&W gas powered bus 5004 and Arrowebrook MX07 NTT. Matthew decided we were going to walk back to the bus station around the ring road. whilst walking down we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 17502 on the City Sightseeing Tour open top service. We entered the bus station via Hunter Street and we saw required Arriva NW&W 2341 on the #10 to Connah's Quay. I asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he turned it down. asked if he wanted to go to the toilet and he said yes. Instead of going to the market car park toilets that we usually use he decided he wanted to use the Portaloo's in Northgate! We walked back to the bus station and we sat on our perch whilst we decided which bus to do. We let go required Arriva NW&W 2636 on the #10, required 674 on the #12, required 4485 on the 11, and also required 4061 on the #84. This was followed by required gas bus 5005 on the X30.

Arriva NW&W 5005 in Chester bus station
Matthew decided he wanted another wander around, so we walked out of the bus station through princess Street and onto Northgate. We photographed some buses and coaches by the cinema before walking back to the bus station. by this time mum had arrived in the car from Ellesmere Port. We walked back down to the bus station and we saw Avon Buses 356 on the #22 to West Kirby.

Avon Buses 356 in Chester bus station
Shortly afterwards required Arriva NW&W 4143 arrived on the #84 and actually decided he wanted to catch a bus! The problem was that I hadn't done any research on the Deeside Daysaver Zone so I didn't know how fr east you could travel on the #84! We had to wait for a few minutes for the driver to ready the bus and whilst we waited we saw Arriva NW&W 5003 on the #21 to Runcorn. When the bus was ready the bus loaded up and we got on.

Arriva NW&W 4143 in Chester bus station
We went upstairs and it was already quite full. The bus set off through Chester and picked up even more passengers in Foregate Street. We decided to go a few stops out of Chester. on the way we saw Burland Group minibus X863 BVN. We also passed Arriva NW&W 4489 on an inbound #84! We got off the bus in by The Bridge Inn and Matthew got another picture of it.

Arriva NW&W 4143 in Vicars Cross
Looking at the bus stop timetable we had nearly half an hour to wait for the next #84 which was no surprise, but I didn't want to go too far on the tickets in case weren't valid. The problem was the next bus was a GHA one on the #82, and the alternative was a long wait. Around 17:25 the bus rounded the corner and it was GHA SB23.

GHA SB23 in Vicars Cross
We got on and asked for Chester and it cost us £1.70 each! I nearly died (well I didn't feel too chuffed with paying out those fares...)! Even worse when looked up SB23 in the list it was dud, having previously done it back in October 2011 on our first visit to Northwich, the one and only time we had previously covered the #82. We travel back into Chester along the A51. As we entered Chester we passed Copeland's Tours MIB 346. We then headed up Gorse Stacks and when we got back Matthew took a picture inside this bus.

Inside GHA SB23
He also got another picture of the bus at Chester too.

GHA SB23 in Chester bus station
To make things worse as we walked back to the car we saw required Arriva NW&W 2258 on the #10 to Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 2258 in Chester bus station
We went to the car where mum was waiting with sausage rolls and pop. We set off out of the bus station and clockwise round the ring road to the A56. We did the A56 north up to the M53 and then onto the eastbound M56. We did this to the m6 and then headed South. The coaches that we had seen going North Leon's 206 and Happy Days 226 went south with jubilant West Brom fans after there win against Manchester United... We got onto the southbound A500 which we did down to the A50 and into Longton. At the Z Carz depot we saw 5 buses on the spare ground. Newest Mercedes minibus S952 VMY was at the front.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
Next the this were 2 coaches. The first was Scania D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Next to this was M534 RSO, which has had the purple decals added to the front and sides.

Z Carz M534 RSO in Longton
At the rear of the land was the coach ALZ 8539, and the last bus on the land was LDV minibus R920 WNT.

Z Carz R920 WNT in Longton
We had a look in the Willow Row compound we saw LDV minibus T408 JUX. We turned around and Matthew got another picture of R920 WNT from the other side.

Z Carz R920 WNT in Longton
We headed back along Longton Hall Road and into Blurton. We passed First Potteries 40017 on the #22 and 53828 on the #23. We got back just after 19:00. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash followed by Cheesecake. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 12:30...Mark

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