Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 30-12-2014


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

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