Saturday, 26 July 2014

Trip to Accrington / Blackburn 26-07-2014


439Accrington BSIntack, by Accrington RoadX41Transdev Lancashire United
1301Intack, by Accrington RoadBlackburn Temporary BS6ATransdev Lancashire United
N129 YRMBlackburn Temporary BSAccrington BS46M&M Coaches
203Accrington BSIntack, by Hamer Avenue6ATransdev Lancashire United
17Intack, by Hamer AvenueShadsworth, opp Largs Road5CTransdev Lancashire United
18Shadsworth, adj Largs RoadIntack, by Hamer Avenue5ATransdev Lancashire United
1830Intack, by Accrington RoadAccrington BS7Transdev Lancashire United

Today we decided to revisit Accrington. It had been sunny all week and temperatures had been in the mid to high twenties Celsius. For some unknown reason we hadn't thought about where we were going to go today. Matthew got up at just after 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We gave him a choice of familiar Northern destinations to choose from and he chose Accrington. No research was done and we knew the weather was going to be warm and sunny at least until early evening. We set off just before 12:00 onto the A5035. We turned right into Stanley Matthew way and then onto the Westbound A50. We joined the Northbound A500 and we went straight up to the M6. The M6 was busy, but we soon got moving. By the time we had passed the A556 the road was clear and we made good time from here up to the M62. We turn East on the M62 and we joined the clockwise M60 which we did to the M66. We turned Northwards on the M66 which we did up though onto the A56. We travelled the last couple of miles into town along the A680 and we parked on a car park off Abbey Street and we walked into town down to Peel Street. As we turned the corner we saw both of Pilkington Buses Wright bodied Darts pause side by side. R845 VEC was on the #5 Dill Hall circular and R846 VEC was on the #231 to Clitheroe.

Pilkington Bus R845 VEC in Accrington bus station
We walked a few yards further down Peel Street only to find that our usual cafe, the bus stop cafe had closed down! We needed to find a new place to eat... We walked around the corner into Infant Street and there was a chip shop with tables at the back. We asked if they had a toilet and they said no. We were considering taking Matthew to the toilet on Peel Street and walking back when we spotted a cafe called Coffee Beanz next door. We asked if they had a toilet and they said yes. They also did breakfast things so we knew it would be a better place for Matthew to eat. Matthew went to the toilet whilst mum ordered the food. matthew had a breakfast with extra toast washed down with a can of Coke. Whilst we were in the cafe we saw 2 of the 4 buses being used by M&M Coaches in Bridge Street opposite the cafe. Dud M&M Coaches N201 UHH was one of the two buses that work the #46 service. We also saw dud M&M Coaches N125 YHH on the #9 local service. Required Transdev Mainline 1871 was on the #23 to Burnley. Matthew spied some sweet in jars in the cafe so mum brought him 100g of Bubble Gum Bottles. We said Goodbye to mum and we walked across to Bridge Street to look at the parked up buses. We saw required Pilkington Bus Dart R845 VEC which was now parked up between duties on the #5 Dill Circular.

Pilkington Bus R845 VEC in Bridge Street
We also saw M&M Coaches N201 UHH on the #46 to Blackburn.

M&M Coaches N201 UHH in Bridge Street
We then saw M&M Coaches N125 YHH return to work the next local service.

M&M Coaches N125 YHH in Bridge Street
We walked back down onto Peel Street passing dud Pilkington Bus VU52 UEJ on a #11 to Fern Gore. On Peel Street was required Rossendale Easyride 221 on a #484 to Bury.

Rossendale Easyride 221 in Accrington bus station
We were considering which buses to catch, and we hadn't seen any double deckers out for Pilkington Bus today. I thought about doing a Transdev bus up towards the hospital so we could cover the Blackburn outer circle services, which are usually worked by step entranced double decker buses. The first time we had seen these buses was back in August 2013, on our first ride on a Transdev bus 1820. I thought incorrectly that either the #6 or #6A went via the hospital, and we could catch a bus up to the hospital and get on the outer circle there. I think there must have been a major timetable change since then and the #6/6A buses don't go that way any more. I wasn't aware of this so my plan was slightly flawed. It was a little after 14:00 and we saw dud Transdev Lancashire United 1830 on a #6 Hyndburn Circular. At almost the same time we saw required Transdev Lancashire United 1301 on the following #6A. We were just queuing up to catch 1301 when we saw required Transdev Lancashire United 439 on a Blackburn bound X41 service.

Lancashire United 439 in Accrington bus station
I asked Matthew if he wanted to do this instead and he said yes. So we crossed over the road and got on 'Lancashire United' 439. We booked £4.20 'Spot On' Blackburn day tickets and went upstairs. The bus was empty at the back so Matthew got a picture inside the top deck before we sat down.

Inside Lancashire United 439
We set off out of town and onto the roundabout under the railway arches before joining Blackburn Road. In the distance we could see Transdev Lancashire United 1830 & 1301 running together on the less direct route through Oswaldtwistle. It occurred to me that we would probably get ahead of these buses as we took the more direct route along Blackburn Road. We saw the two buses turn left onto Market Street and we carried on Along Blackburn Road. We passed M&M Coaches N129 YRM going the other way on the #46 to Accrington. A quick check of the page revealed that this bus was required! We decided to get off just down the hill from the Old Mother. We had seen buses turn here in the distance when we did 1831 out of Accrington for 1828 back, back in December 2013. beside if we did miss 1301, M&M Coaches N129 YRM was only 15 minutes behind us. We got off the and Matthew got another picture of Transdev Lancashire United 439.

Lancashire United 439 in Intack
The #6A was due now, but we thought it would be a few minutes late as it was late leaving Accrington. Whilst we waited Matthew had a can of Barr Limeade. It was long before we saw the 2 buses coming down the hill. Luckily for us, required Transdev Lancashire United 1301 was leading. It isn't very often that we know what the bus is before we get on it. As it got closer Matthew took another picture of Transdev Lancashire United 1301.

Lancashire United 1301 in Intack
We flashed our Spot On one day tickets and we sat down near to the back of the bus. The bus set off and we were expecting to turn left at some point and head through Shadsworth to the Hospital. We didn't turn and we carried on towards the centre of Blackburn. We pulled into the bus station and we waited for the bus to empty. Matthew then got a picture inside Transdev Lancashire United.

Inside Lancashire United 1301
As we were coming into the bus station we had seen a Copeland's tours Coach in the distance. We decided we would have time to go check it out before required M&M Coaches N129 YRM returned. As we considered walking up to the coach we saw dud Transdev Lancashire United 1878 on a #1 to Bolton.

Lancashire United 1878 in Blackburn bus station
We walked onto Penny Street and we saw Transdev Lancashire United 2762 between duties. Behind this was required 'Lancashire United' 1872.

Lancashire United 1872 on Penny Street
Behind that bus was required Copeland's Tours MIB 516 on the 'Blackburn Market' day excursion.

Copeland's Tours MIB 516 on Penny Street
We headed back into the temporary bus station and we saw required Rossendale Easyride Solo 52 on a #244 to Rawtenstall.

Rossendale Easyride 52 in Blackburn bus station
Dud 'Lancashire United' 2762 which had been parked up on Penny Street came into the bus station to work the next X41 service to Manchester.

Lancashire United 2762 in Blackburn bus station
We were surprised to see a Stagecoach liveried step-entranced minibus appear in the bus station. It was required Darwen Coach Service N349 AVV on a #12 Highercroft circular service.

Darwen Coach Services N349 AVV in Blackburn bus station
At this point we saw M&M Coaches N129 YRM come into the bus station and drop off passengers at the top of the bus station. The driver looked over as if to acknowledge people were waiting and then he drove off for a few minutes. Whilst we waited Matthew wanted to walk down to a Dart on a #3A service. It was dud 'Lancashire United' 707.

Lancashire United 707 in Blackburn bus station
We had done this bus back when 'Lancashire United' use to operate the #231 to Clitheroe back in back in September 2013. A few minutes later required M&M Coaches N129 YRM re-appeared and Matthew took a picture of this bus.

M&M Coaches N129 YRM in Blackburn bus station
We got on the bus and book single tickets to Accrington at £1.85 each. As we were first on the bus Matthew got a picture of the empty former Stagecoach Minibus.

Inside M&M Coaches N129 YRM
It turns out that this was our last required M&M Coaches Mercedes 709D minibus. The only other step-entranced minibus that we have not traveled on is a 2000 built Mercedes Vario 0814 X3 MMC. A few more people decided to catch this bus over the 'Lancashire United' bus and once they had loaded we set off out of town onto the A678. We turned onto the A679 Blackburn Road and we went under the M65 and down the hill towards Accrington. When we got into town we turned left into Peel Street. We got off and Matthew got another picture of M&M Coaches N129 YRM.

M&M Coaches N129 YRM in Accrington bus station
We decided to have a small break from the buses. Matthew used the toilet in Peel Street and then we walked up to the other end to visit the paper shop. Matthew brought 2 small bottles of pop and a can of Coke, as well a couple of chocolate bars and a Bakewell slice. We sat outside the paper shop at the aluminum tables and Matthew ate the Bakewell slice and a Toffee Crisp which he washed down with a small bottle of Irn Bru. Just as he was finishing we saw required 'T' reg Volvo B10 Transdev Lancashire United arrive on a #7A service. We walked around the corner and it was still at the set down stop on Blackburn Road.

Lancashire United 203 on Blackburn Road
A few minute later 203 had run around the block to form the next #6A service. We were going to book to Blackburn, but the bus service was only going as far as Intack. Matthew took a picture of the empty bus before we sat down near the back.

Inside Lancashire United 203
I had an idea... The outer circle service crosses over all the main roads around Blackburn. I went and asked the driver if we could get to the hospital on the out circle bus from Intack. He told us that we should make the hourly bus at quarter to the hour and he would stop across the road from the stop. He also mentioned that the opposite working went past the depot on the hour. I sat down and I download the #5A/5C timetable off the Transdev website. The bus set off onto Blackburn Road and we went under the railway and out of town. We turned towards Oswaldtwistle on Market Street and through town. We joined back onto Blackburn Road half way up the bank. We went under the M65 and down through Knuzden. We turned right onto Whitebirk Road... When we had considered doing the out circle earlier in the day and we wondered where the bus crossed the #6/7, we had been a couple of hundred yard from where the bus crossed the road! The bus pulled up outside the depot and we went to get off. The driver pointed out the stop for the #5C and Matthew got another picture of 'Lancashire United' 203.

Lancashire United 203 on Intack
We crossed the road... We had 20 minutes before it was due so we went for a walk down the street to see if we could see the next stop. We saw a couple of stops but we did not know which one the #5C would stop at. Matthew had a bottle of Cherry Coke and then we walked back to the original stop. A small crowd had appeared at the stop. A few minutes later we saw dud Transdev Lancashire United 17 approaching.

Lancashire United 17 in Intack
We got on the bus and flashed our Spot On day tickets. Before we went upstairs Matthew took a picture of the lower saloon.

Inside Lancashire United 17
We went upstairs and sat down. I worked out that if we traveled for around 5 minutes we should be able to cross over the road and catch the #5A back. Our previous run on 'Lancashire United' 17 had been on the #5C back in January 2014. The bus set off across Blackburn Road. We climbed the hill along the B6130 and we turned left onto Fecitt Brow. We turned right onto Rothesay Road and as we got towards the end we had traveled approximately 5 minutes so I decided to get off. We got off the bus and we crossed over the road. We didn't have to wait for more the a couple of minutes and we saw a lime green double decker turn the corner. We knew it was going to be a required bus... As it got closer we saw it was required Transdev Lancashire United 18.

Lancashire United 18 in Shadsworth
We got on the bus and flashed the 'Spot On' day tickets. Meanwhile Matthew took a picture of the lower saloon.

Inside Lancashire United 18
We went upstairs and Matthew took a picture of the upper saloon too.We sat down and the bus set off back through Shadsworth towards Intack. We crossed Blackburn Road and we stopped outside the bus garage. We took a picture of the front of the bus but there was a post in the view. As we were crossing over to walk back onto Blackburn Road anyway, we took another picture of the rear of the bus.

Lancashire United 18 in Intack
We walked onto Blackburn Road and to the first bus stop around the corner. We had about a 10 minute wait for the next #7 back to Accrington. In the meantime, we called mum to tell her we were on the way back into town. Across the road we saw Transdev Lancashire United 404 on a Blackburn bound X41 service.

Lancashire United 404 in Intack
A few minutes later we saw a Wright bodied Volvo approaching. Unfortunately it was dud Transdev Lancashire United 1830.

Lancashire United 1830 in Intack
We got on the bus and we sat down somewhere in the middle of the bus. The bus set of up the hill though Knuzden and we crossed under the M65. As we went down the hill er turned right to go into Oswaldtwistle. We headed through Ossy town and onto Market Street before rejoining Blackburn Road for the run into Accrington. We called mum to tell her when we were going to arrive in town, and we carried on along the road. As we approached the railway arch we noticed that the bus was empty in front of us some Matthew took a picture.

Inside Lancashire United 1830
The bus carried on under the railway and we turned right into Peel Street. We got off the bus and mum was waiting for us. Matthew used the toilet and then we walked around the corner into Abbey Street where mum had moved the car to. Waiting at the car was Pound bakery sausage rolls (Greggs had run out), and a can of Irn Bru. He also helped mum to drink her cold can of Dandelion & burdock. We left town along the A680 and we stopped at the garage just before the A56 for LPG. We joined the A56 and we carried on south onto the M66. We joined onto the anti-clockwise M60 and then continued onto the M62. When we got to the M6 we turn South and went down to the A500. As we went through Wolstanton we passed Copeland's Tours MIB 394 which probably would have been returning on one of either the Southport or Blackpool excursions. We carried on down to the A50 and we went east to Longton where we came off to see what was parked up at Z Carz. There were a few vehicle parked up tonight. First there was coach Scania D104 XAN.

Z Carz D104 XAN in Longton
Next to the coach we saw Volkswagen minibus OV05 WSW.

Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Next to the VW minibus was Mercedes Minibus W221 CDN.

Z Carz W221 CDN in Longton
Next in the row was Ford minibus FP06 WTW.

Z Carz FP06 WTW in Longton
This was followed by the first of two Mercedes Minibus. First Was Z Carz S952 VMY.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
Then we saw Z Carz M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
We turned into Willow Row and there were two LDV minibus in the compound. First was long term SORN T408 JUX. This was followed by M420 UEH.

Z Carz M420 UEH in Longton
We tuned around and got back on the A50. As we joined the main carriage way we saw an old army ambulance and we followed it onto the A50. We came off the A50 at Heron Cross and we passed lightning Travel minibus T2 DLT before heading into Blurton. As we went through Blurton we passed First potteries 41502 on the last #22 to Longton of the day. We got home just before 19:30. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a cake bar. He then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:45. It was quite a successful day and Matthew was very well behaved... Mark

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