Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 30-12-2014


























































BusFromToServiceOperator



2799Ellesmere Port BSChester BSX2Arriva NW&W
2358Chester BSChester, nr Park & Ride10Arriva NW&W
2258Chester, opp Park & RideChester BS10Arriva NW&W
4482Chester BSGlynne Arms (SW-bound)11Arriva NW&W
2646Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)o/s Brewery Arms PH3Arriva NW&W
2352o/s Brewery Arms PHChester BS12Arriva NW&W


Matthew is on holiday from his day service, so we decided to take him out on an extra trip. We checked the weather in the general area and it was for clear sunny cold weather. Matthew got up around 10:00 and we gave him a list of destinations, out of which he chose Ellesmere Port & Chester. No research was done for this trip other than the previously done weather check. We set off just after 11:30 and we drover through Blurton and onto Blurton Road. We went into Heron Cross and into Fenton to pick up uncle Dave. We headed down onto the A500, and as we waited for the lights in Stoke the adjacent bin lorry driver told us we had a flat back tyre. We drove along the high level of the A500 and we turn right into Shelton to visit the petrol station opposite Signal Radio. We pumped up the tyre and filled up with a little disel before we headed back down to the A500. We turned right onto the Northbound A500 and we headed up the the M6. We took the Northbound M6 up to junction 20 and we then headed West on the A56. Matrix signs had been saying that there were delays on the M53 between junctions 11 & 10. We came of the M56 and onto the A5117 and we went North for a couple of miles until we hit the M53. We went North for one junction until we got to the A5032 and we headed into town. It seemed quite busy as we went passed the railway station but then the traffic eased a little we turned into Civic Way and went passed the bus station where there were a few GHA buses and Aintree Coaches 112. We parked up near to the market and we headed into the market. Matthew went to the toilet and then we went to the food court for dinner. Matthew had a breakfast with extra toast and a can of Coke. After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we headed off to the bus station. There was a bit of activity as we walked into the bus station. We saw required GHA 'Into the Port' liveried Solo T789 KNW on a local service.


GHA T789 KNW in Ellesmere Port bus station
This was followed by required GHA Caetano Dart FJ06 URR on a #7 to Rivacre village.


GHA FJ06 URR in Ellesmere Port bus station
We then saw required GHA East Lancs Darts R504 JFE on a #36 to Runcorn.


GHA R504 JFE in Ellesmere Port bus station
We missed this bus last week on our trip to Northwich, and we missed it again today. We saw Stagecoach Merseyside 21116 on a Northbound service, and we also saw Arriva NW&W 3009 on a Liverpool bound bus. We decided to go South on the next Arriva Bus. This happened to be required Arriva NW&W 2799 on a X2 service.


Arriva NW&W 2799 in Ellesmere Port bus station
We got on the bus and week booked Arriva Deeside day Saver tickets at £4.50 each. Unusually, when we got on the bus it was empty so Matthew got a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2799.


Inside Arriva NW&W 2799
We sat down near to the back of the bus and a few more people got onto the bus bus before we set off onto Civic Way. We headed south down Chester Road and forward onto the A41. We were able to track the buses progress on the new Arriva Livemap site. We carried on onto Liverpool Road for the last couple of miles into the town centre. We paused outside the Stagecoach depot were we saw Stagecoach Merseyside double decker 18151 and Stagecoach Merseyside Dart 34819.


Stagecoach Merseyside 34819 in Chester
We carried on South across the ring road and into Northgate. We passed under the city wall and turned right into the bus station. After we had got off the bus we headed off to the sheltered spot under the market car park to watch buses and take a few pictures. Running out of service was required Stagecoach Merseyside E300 27779.


Stagecoach Merseyside 27779 in Chester bus station
On a #31 to Sealand Road park and ride was Stagecoach Merseyside 21267.


Stagecoach Merseyside 21267 in Chester bus station
It appears that since our last visit to Chester Stagecoach have taken over running the service to Heswall. Seen on the X22 was Stagecoach Merseyside 34742.


Stagecoach Merseyside 34742 in Chester bus station
We saw a double decker in the distance on the #84 stand. The double decker looked a little unusual so we went up to see what it was. It was recent transfer to Winsford, required Arriva NW&W 4166 which is a Plaxton President on a DAF DB250 chassis.


Arriva NW&W 4166 in Chester bus station
We then saw an Arriva Dart on #10 to Connah's Quay. I had thought it was required Arriva NW&W 2358, but...


Arriva NW&W 2358 in Chester bus station
We got on the bus thinking it was Arriva NW&W 2358. It had metal framed seats, another clue that should have told us that it wasn't 2358. We flashed the tickets and sat down near to the back. The bus was already loaded and a few more people gt on the bus after we did. The bus set off out of the bus station and onto the ring road. We turned onto the A548 and we headed under the wall. The road widened and we went out along past all the retail units on the edge of town. A few people got off the bus and Matthew took a picture of the empty seats opposite us.


Inside Arriva NW&W 2358
At the edge of England we got up and got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of Arriva NW&W 2358 as it set off towards Wales.


Arriva NW&W 2358 in Sealand
We had just missed a Cadet, so we crossed the road and looked at the timetable. We had 10 minutes to wait. Across the road Stagecoach Merseyside 21265 came and went. Another park and ride bus arrived and we were about to take a picture when a Dart appeared from around the corner out of Wales. As it got closer we saw it was required Arriva NW&W 2258!


Arriva NW&W 2258 in Sealand
We flashed the tickets and I asked the driver if he had just turned around and come straight back. I thought we had just got off Arriva NW&W 2258 and yet we had also just got on it... Something was amiss. A quick check ed of the picture I took at Chester revealed that the first Dart we had been on was Arriva NW&W 2358. I checked to see if this bus was required and it was! That was a nice surprise... We headed back into town along the A548 and we turned onto South View Road and we went under the ring road and onto Northgate. We turned right and went under the wall before going into the bus station, We unloaded at the end of the row from which the 10 departs, by the #53 & #51 stands. Matthew let the bus empty before taking a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2258.


Inside Arriva NW&W 2258
We walked over to our usual perch and Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 2258.


Arriva NW&W 2258 in Chester bus station
We had around 10 minutes before the next group of buses that we might catch, so we took a few bus pictures. On the #53 to Kingsway was required Stagecoach Merseyside 34816.


Stagecoach Merseyside 34816 in Chester bus station
On the #1A to Blacon was Stagecoach Merseyside 2125.


Stagecoach Merseyside 21256 in Chester bus station
We saw the next #84 to Crewe arrive and we went over to see if it was something worth catch. On closer inspection we saw it was dud former Southport allocated Volvo double decker Arriva NW&W 4101.


Arriva NW&W 4101 in Chester bus station
We had been on Arriva NW&W 4101 before from Wigan to Pemberton back in December 2012. The next Arriva bus in was Rhyl allocated required Arriva NW&W 4482, so we decided to do this.


Arriva NW&W 4482 in Chester bus station
There were a few people getting on this bus so we queued up and eventually we got on it. We flashed the Deeside Day Saver tickets and we went upstairs. The bus left the bus station and onto the ring road. We joined the A483 to go past the racecourse and we crossed over the river Dee. At the next roundabout we took the A5104. We crossed under the Wrexham railway line and into Wales. We passed through Saltney and in the Saltney Ferry area we overtook required Arriva NW&W 2253, which was stopped near to the big footbridge with it's hazard lights on. We passed another #11 double decker and we carried on to Broughton where we got up and got off the bus. Before the bus carried on West Matthew got another picture of Arriva NW&W 4482.


Arriva NW&W 4482 in Broughton
We crossed over the very busy road which took a minute or two. As there was a while to wait for the next #11 and the #3 & #4 don't go to the bus station, we decided to stagger our journey back to get in an extra bus. We had around 5 minutes to wait and then we saw a bus going into the retail park. A few minutes later it came out and onto the roundabout before heading our way. As it got closer we saw that it was required Arriva NW&W 2646.


Arriva NW&W 2646 in Broughton
We got on the bus and we flashed our Deeside Day Saver tickets. This was now five out of five require buses, which wasn't bad considering how many times we've been to Chester. The bus headed back along the A5104 and we decided to get off just the other side of the railway line as there was a chips shop there. We got off and went into the flames kebab house. We had a portioned of fries between us and we brought 3 cans of pop. Once we had the fries we had a few minutes before the #11 or so the theory went. As we started to eat the chips we saw dud Arriva NW&W 4479 on the #11.


Arriva NW&W 4479 in Lache
We ate the chips and then checked the time... It was now 16:15 when the #11 should have been. Not to worry as there was a #12 to the bus station at 16:18 we we assume would probably be a Solo, and a required one at that. The time came and we saw a Dart approaching. As it got closer we saw it was dud Arriva NW&W Dart 2352.


Arriva NW&W 2352 in Lache
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver for the last time. We sat down near to the back of the bus. This was a bus that we had done for the first time from Broughton to Chester railway station back in September 2013. The bus carried onto up to the A483 and we crossed over the Dee before heading into the bus station via the ring road. When we got back Matthew waited for the bus to empty before taking a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2352.


Inside Arriva NW&W 2352
Mum hadn't arrived from Ellesmere Port yet. So we decided to take a few more bus pictures whilst we waited for her. Having seen Stagecoach Merseyside 21116 earlier in the day, there was a second one of these Volvo B10's on the Chester - Liverpool service. Required Stagecoach Merseyside 21117 was on a #2 to Liverpool.


Stagecoach Merseyside 21117 in Chester bus station
On the next #84 to Chester was dud Arriva NW&W 4030.


Arriva NW&W 4030 in Chester bus station
Arriva NW&W 4030 was a bus we first had at the beginning of November. The next #10 to Connah's Quay was required Arriva NW&W 2636.


Arriva NW&W 2636 in Chester bus station
On the #82 to Northwich was required GHA Olympian S644 KJU.


GHA S644 KJU in Chester bus station
On the #12 to Connah's Quay was dud Arriva NW&W 2257, proving the previous Dart on the #12 was not a one off...


Arriva NW&W 2257 in Chester bus station
Mum appeared from the car park and we headed to the toilets before returning to the car. We had some Greggs sausage rolls and Matthew washed his down with a bottle of Irn Bru. We left the car park and we went anti-clockwise around the ring road until we got to the A56. Here we followed a Stagecoach bus branded for the X8 Liverpool - Chester service. We carried on across the A41 and onto the Northbound M53. At the first junction we went east along the M56. We travelled for a few miles until we got to the M6 and then we went South. There was some congestion down through junction 18 & 18 and then we got up to speed until we came of the M6 at junction 16. We went South down the A500 and we came off the A500 at the North end of Stoke so that we could go up Wheildon Road. After we dropped uncle Dave off we headed up to Heron Cross and onto the Eastbound A50. We came off the A50 at Longton and we headed to Z Carz. There was only one bus on the spare ground and this was Z Carz Mercedes minibus M372 NWN.


Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
We went back to the other end of Longton and we picked up Matthew usual Tuesday nights MacDonalds. After we had picked up the food we went past the bus interchange and down King Street. We got on the A50 link road we headed through Heron Cross and into Blurton. We got home at around 18:30. Matthew had is MacDonald which was a chicken nugget meal with a plain cheeseburger washed down with a cup of Coke. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:30... Mark

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Trip to Stoke / Tunstall 27-12-2014








































































BusFromToServiceOperator



60072Magdalen Road, BlurtonTrentham, adj Man-in-Space22First Potteries
40375Trentham, adj Man-in-SpaceStoke-upon-Trent, adj stop R21BFirst Potteries
66302Stoke-upon-Trent, adj stop QNewcastle BS3First Potteries
66307Newcastle BSHanley BS3First Potteries
65732Hanley BSTunstall (Stoke-on-Trent), adj stop M3First Potteries
2636Tunstall (Stoke-on-Trent), adj stop BNewcastle BS91Wardle Transport
32055Newcastle BSChesterton (Newcastle Under Lyme), Adj Rosevale Court4First Potteries
66838Chesterton (Newcastle Under Lyme), Opp Rosevale CourtNewcastle BS4First Potteries


Today we decided to go out on a local trip. On Boxing Day evening it had snowed, We had been to uncle Dave's and the roads were a little bit hazardous to say the least. I went to fetch uncle Dave in the morning and Matthew got up around 10:30. For breakfast he had some toast and orange juice. We decided to go out on the 12:07 departure from Blurton. I had not been out to view this bus so i didn't know which one was going to turn up, other than it wouldn't be First Potteries dart 42892 which I had seen on an earlier turn when I went to fetch uncle Dave. We set off on foot to the bus stop on Magdalen Road. We saw D&G 171 go past on the A5035 working the Blurton Plumline service. The bus was running on time today as they were few people daft enough to go out in this weather. It turned the corner and we saw it was dud First Potteries 60072.


First Potteries 60072 in Blurton
We got on the bus and booked a Smart Day ticket at £5.30. The bus was almost empty and we sat down near to the back of the bus. The bus set off onto the A5035 and Matthew took a picture of the empty bus behind us.


Inside First Potteries 60072
The bus carried on into Trentham and we passed required First Potteries 60069 on the #22 to Dresden. We also passed First Potteries 40375 on the #21B to Trentham Gardens. First Potteries 60072 was a bus we first had back in May 2014. We turned into New Inn Lane and we got up and got off at The man in Space. Matthew got another picture of First Potteries 60072 before it carried on to Newcastle.


First Potteries 60072 in Trentham
The next #21 bus would be a #21B from Trentham Gardens and should be dud First Potteries 40375. On the other side of the road we saw required First Potteries 42727 on the #21 to Pacific Drive. It waited time on the other side of the road. Whilst we waited for First Potteries 40375 to return Matthew gather snow and ice into piles with his feet. Eventually we saw the bus approaching and it was as expected dud First Potteries 40375.


First Potteries 40375 in Trentham
We got on the bus and flashed the Smart Day tickets before sitting down near to the back of the bus. The bus carried on through Trentham and into Hanford. We went down Church lane which was free of snow and ice and onto the A34. We crossed under the A500 and into Trent Vale. At the Black Lion pub we turned right onto London Road. We traveled the last mile and half into Stoke along London Road, passing he city cabs base where there were 3 minibuses including SJ54 MWY. When we got to Stoke we got up and got off the bus. Matthew got another picture of First Potteries 40375.


First Potteries 40375 in Stoke
We were ahving dinner in Stoke as usual in the Stoke cafe on Church Street. We walked along Campbell Place and around the corner into Church Street. Matthew went to the toilet with uncle Dave and I ordered the food. Matthew had a small breakfast washed down with a can of Fanta. Whilst we sat in the cafe we saw required First Potteries 32055 heading towards Hanley on a #3 and D&G 107 on an 'Orange' service. Once we had finished eating wewalked down Church Street towards the Newcastle stop. On the stop already was D&G 111.


D&G 111 in Stoke
I couldn't remember if this was a required bus. It turned out that it was... I asked Matthew if he wanted to do it and he turned it down. In the distance was a Cherry branded bus which there was a good chance of this being required. As it got closer we saw it was dud First Potteries 66302.


First Potteries 66302 in Stoke
We got on the bus and flashed the tickets. It was empty except for one other passenger, something we had never seen before on a #3... I think this was down to a combination of the weather and the fact that the universities were on holiday. The bus set off up Harshill bank and though Hartshill, turning left at The Avenue. We turned left at Albany Road continuing onto Hilton Road before turning right into the hospital. We went though the hospital before turning right onto the Northbound A34. We did the last 1/2 mile or so into town and onto Barracks Road before entering Newcastle bus station. We got off the bus and walked around looked for the next bus we would catch. In Between duties on Stubbs Street was dud Wardle Transport 3614.


Wardle Transport 3614 in Newcastle bus station
It was cold and damp so we didn't want to hang around too long. Matthew was also intent in clearing all the ice off the tops of railing and benches too! Required Wardle Transport 2165 was On a #41 'hospital Hopper' towards Birches Head.


Wardle Transport 2165 in Newcastle bus station
There wasn't much about so we decided to catch required First Potteries 66307 on a #3 to Hanley.


First Potteries 66307 in Newcastle bus station
We got on the bus and we flashed the Smart Day ticket before sitting down at the back of the bus. The bus set off onto barracks Road and onto the Southbound A34. I thought we were on the wrong bus for a while as I forgot the #3 came this way despite going through the hospital on the previous bus in the opposite direction. The bus pasued in the hospital for a while before heading off into Harsthill. Another pause in Stoke town centre before continuing to Stoke station along the A52. By the railway station were a collection of coaches on rail replacement work including Bakers Coaches 201. We carried on through the University Quarter up College Road and into Hanley via Regent Road and Lower Bethesda Street. We crossed the ring road and a car ran a red light and pulled in front of us. The driver of the bus beeped his horn and the driver of the car 'flipped him off' as he pulled into John Street car park. We entered the bus station via Lidice Way and then the bus emptied out at the bus station. Matthew got a picture inside First Potteries 66307 before we got off it.


Inside First Potteries 66307
Matthew used the toilets in the bus station before we headed off to John Street car park, so that we could take a few bus pictures. It was now raining a little bit. Inclear view in the layover area of the bus station was required First Potteries Caetano Dart 41521.


First Potteries 41521 in Hanley bus station
We didn't have to wait for long before we saw one of the pair of Solo's that Arriva From Hereford. The buses have been repainted and branded for the #43 Badderley Green service.


First Potteries 50296 in Hanley bus station
The other Solo is First Potteries 50281. Since some of the Volvo B7TL's moved to Adderley Green, they have worked the #32 to Uttoxeter/Cheadle or #101 to Stafford services. On the #32 to Cheadle was required First Potteries 37160.


First Potteries 37160 in Hanley bus station
The first Dart to be repainted into the modern style of the Olympia livery was dud First Potteries 42893.


First Potteries 42893 in Hanley bus station
It had been in service in these colours for around a week but it has not got any transfers or decals on it. A another new bus in the area is First Potteries 37146 on the #3 to Madeley.


First Potteries 37146 in Hanley bus station
whilst we took pictures Matthew had a small bottle of lemonade and Galaxy Caramel. We saw First Potteries 32057 come into the bus station and as it was cold we decided to headed back into the bus station and try to catch something towards Tunstall. When we got to the bus station dud First Potteries 32057 was on the stand for Tunstall.


First Potteries 32057 in Hanley bus station
A driver came and jumped in the bus and drove it off and onto one of the layover bays. A minutes or so later dud First Potteries 65732 came onto the stand and the driver left the bus. He told passengers that he had come private from Newcastle so he might not be the next bus. Five minute later the bus driver re-appeared and the bus started to load.


First Potteries 65732 in Hanley bus station
On the adjacent #8 service was required (by me only) First Potteries 65578. We got on the bus and flashed the Smart Day tickets and we sat down at the back of the bus. It was well loaded and when we stopped in Stafford Street we picked up a few more passengers. We carried on out of town into Cobridge and into Burslem and the bus started to empty out a little. We carried on along Scotia Road and along Williamson Street before going up Tunstall High Street. At the top of the High Street we got up and got off the bus. Matthew then got another picture of First Potteries 65732.


First Potteries 65732 in Tunstall
Now that we were in Tunstall it was time for a cake break... We headed into the Tunstall Cafe and Matthew went to the toilet whilst I ordered him a slice of toffee cheesecake and a can of Coke. It didn't take long for him to demolish the cheesecake and we were back out on the street less than minutes. We waited at stop A, as there was a #29 that was due. Across the road we saw required First Potteries 65731 on a #3 which we let go. A few minutes later we saw required Wardle Transport 2636 on a #91 to Newcastle.


Wardle Transport 2636 in Tunstall
After taking a picture we legged it across the road and got on it. We flashed our Smart day ticket and sat down near to the back. It was quite cold on this bus, perhaps we should have sat on the nearside of this Volvo B6 where the heaters appeared to be situated. The bus set off down Tunstall High Street and we turned into Woodland Street. and went along Williamson Street and onto Bronwhills Road. We passed through Trubshaw Cross and through Longport before we crossed over the A500 and into Porthill. At the top of Porthill Banks we turned left and went through Wolstanton. We came into Newcastle and onto Barracks Road before entering into the bus station. As we entered the bus station we saw a First Potteries ALX400 double decker coming into the bus station. The bus stopped in Stubbs Street to unload. We waited for the bus to empty and Matthew got a picture inside Wardle Transport 2636.


Inside Wardle Transport 2636
We walked over to where the double decker was and we saw it was required First Potteries 32055 that we had seen in stoke earlier.


First Potteries 32055 in Newcastle bus station
It was working a #4 to Audley. We decided to do this up to Dragon Square. We got on the bus and flashed the Smart Day ticket before going upstairs. As the top deck was empty Matthew took a picture of the empty upper saloon before we sat down.


Inside First Potteries 32055
The bus set off out of the bus station and onto barracks Road. We turned into the Rycroft and into Merrial Street before heading back onto the A34. We went North passed the bus garage and we could see a Leyland Olympian and an single ALX400 Volvo double decker, meaning there was probably another one out somewhere that we hadn't seen. We carried on past Milehouse and we turned into Bymbo Road. After going through the Lymedale business park we headed onto London Road and we went North through Chesterton. As we turned onto Crackley Bank we got up and gt off the bus. We then took another picture of First Potteries 32055.


First Potteries 32055 in Chesterton
We crossed the road and we had around 5 minutes to wait for a return service. We could see it was a cherry branded bus so hopefully it would be a required one. As it got closer we saw it was dud First Potteries 66838.


First Potteries 66838 in Chesterton
We got on the bus and we flashed the Smart day ticket for the final time before sitting down near to the back of the bus. First Potteries 66838 was a bus we first did back in July 2011. We went back down London Road and through the Lymedale business park before rejoining the A34. We picked up a few passenger and we went back passed the depot, where we could see a Solo and a cherry branded bus inside the depot as well as a Wright bodied Volvo B7TL double decker. We pulled into the bus station and we got off. Matthew went to the toilet and then we took a few more bus pictures. We saw required First Potteries 40010 on a #72 Park Site service.


First Potteries 40010 in Newcastle bus station
We walked around the corner to wait for mum but she must have been delayed a few minutes. As we walked back down to the bus station we saw the car approaching. Mum had fetched some mini Wrights Pies sausage rolls as well as a bottle of Irn Bru. She turned the car around at the roundabout and we headed South out of town along the A34. We stopped at the riverside chippy in Trent Vale and we had 2 portion of chips between us. We headed back onto the A34 and onto the Northbound A500. We went East along the A50 and we came off at Longton to View the Carz depot. There was nothing on the spare ground today, so we turned into Willow Row. Centre of the Compound was Mercedes minibus S952 VMY.


Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
We turned around and Matthew got a picture of Z Carz GK02 NWJ which was opposite the depot.


Z Carz GK02 NWJ in Longton
We got back onto the A50 and we came off it again at heron Cross. We went through Blurton along Blurton Road and we turned into Beaconsfield Drive. We got home at around 17:00. For a late tea we had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a lemon meringue pie. matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 01:00.. Mark