Saturday, 9 May 2015

Trip to St Helens / Prescot 09-05-2015


2267St Helens BSAshtons Green, opp Mount Pleasant Ave,31Arriva NW&W
2694Ashtons Green, opp Havannah Lane,St Helens BS34AArriva NW&W
2236St Helens BSClock Face, opp Bentley Street,17Arriva NW&W
2249Clock Face, adj Cannon Street,St Helens BS17Arriva NW&W
4612St Helens BSKnowsley, adj Blenheim Drive,10AArriva NW&W
4598Longview, adj Lyme Cross Road,St Helens BS10AArriva NW&W

Today we decided to re-visit St Helens. On the way we would stop at Earlestown for dinner. We had checked the weather for today and it was for cool cloudy weather throughout the North West and Midlands with the chance of an odd shower. We gave Matthew a choice of destinations and he chose St Helens. Matthew got up around 09:45 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off a little earlier today as we had to stop by a shop in Cobridge on the way. At 11:45 we turned right onto the A5035 and then right again onto Stanley Matthews Way. As we passed the Britannia Stadium we noticed a few coaches parked up ahead of todays clash with Tottenham. We joined the Westbound A50 and then onto the Northbound A500. As we travelled North we passed Glovers Mercedes minibus AIG 1346. We came off the A500 at Longport and we headed to Burslem. We turned right in the town centre and we headed up to Cobridge. We weren't able to do what we needed so we carried on towards Earlestown. We turned right onto the A53 and we went West to the A500. We went North and we joined the M6. As we went North on the M6 we passed a South Lancs Travel Solo being towed Southwards. When we got to the A49 we went west to Winwick and then North to Newton. We turned left and went West a couple of mile before turning left by a petrol station and heading into Earlestown. We parked in the car park adjacent to the bus station and we walked to Crumpets cafe for dinner. Matthew had a breakfast washed down with a bottle of Coke. After we had finished eating we went to the toilet bloack just across from the cafe. After Matthew had used the facilities, on the way back to the car Matthew photographed Network Warrington 67 on the #22 Warrington to Vulcan service.

Network Warrington 67 in Earlestown
As we walked past the bus station we saw Arriva NW&W 2706 on a #34A to Acorn Street.

Arriva NW&W 2706 in Earlestown bus station
We got back into the car and we carried on towards St Helens, along the A572. We entered town from the East along Corporation Street. we turned by the Transport museum and we parked in a space in front of the theatre. We walked to the Merseytravel office on Bickerstaffe Street. On the way we saw Hatton's Travel Y538 XAG on the #140 to Bold.

Hatton's Travel Y538 XAG in St Helens bus station
We purchased a couple of Saveaway tickets at £5.10 each. We then went around the bus station to see what we might catch. We had just missed one of the new double deckers that was waiting at the lights to join Bickerstaffe Street. It was required Arriva NW&W 4597 on a #10A to Liverpool.

Arriva NW&W 4597 in St Helens bus station
On one of the top stands was required Dart Arriva NW&W 2259.

Arriva NW&W 2259 in St Helens bus station
We also saw Arriva NW&W 2970 on a #352 to Wigan via Orrell.

Arriva NW&W 2970 in St Helens bus station
We had a look at the buses on Layover on Corporation Street. Hatton's Travel P655 HEG appeared to be being used as the Hatton's Travel drivers mess.

Hatton's Travel P655 HEG in St Helens bus station
Also on layover was Arriva NW&W 4599.

Arriva NW&W 4599 in St Helens bus station
We also saw Arriva NW&W Solo SR 725 on a #33 to Sutton manor pass through Corporation Street.

Arriva NW&W 725 in St Helens bus station
Also on layover on Corporation Street was Cumfybus Solo MX55 WDD.

Cumfybus MX55 WDD in St Helens bus station
On the far end of the row of buses on layover was Arriva NW&W 4616.

Arriva NW&W 4616 in St Helens bus station
We saw an ALX200 Dart come into Bickerstaffe Street and then disappear of down the street. It was required Arriva NW&W 2267. It wheeled around onto Corporation Street and went onto stand 1. It was about to work a #31 to Parr.

Arriva NW&W 2267 in St Helens bus station
We decided to do this bus ao we walked over to the stand and got on the bus. We flashed our Saverway tickets to the driver and we sat down near to the back of the bus. Before the bus set off we looked at the St Helens area public transport map and guide that we picked up from the Travelshop. The #31 route passes close to the #34/34A where the bus turned from Mount Pleasant Avenue onto Waring Avenue. We only had a short walk along Waring avenue onto the A572. The bus set off out of town along Corporation street past the railway station and onto the A58. Further east we joined the A572 which we did down to Parr. We turned onto Fleet Lane for the final part of the run and we passed required Arriva NW&W 2259 on the #31. The bus started to empty out and we turned left onto Derbyshire Hill Road. The bus emptied out a little and Matthew took a picture of the empty seats across from us.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2267
The bus turned right onto Mount Pleasant Avenue and we turned right again onto Waring Avenue. We got up and got off the bus, We then took a picture of Arriva NW&W 2267 as it carried on back to St Helens.

Arriva NW&W 2267 in Ashtons Green
We walked up Waring Avenue onto the A572. As we walked towards the stop we saw a St Helens bound Dart approaching. I tried to flag the bus down as we ran towards the stop but it carried straight on! It was dud Arriva NW&W 2262. As we had missed the bus we had 10 minutes to wait for the next one. Matthew had a Milky Way and a can of Fanta as he had a bus stop picnic. The following bus turned up and we could see it was a Pulsar I. As it got closer we saw it was required Arriva NW&W 2694,

Arriva NW&W 2694 in Ashtons Green
We got onto the bus and we flashed the Saverway tickets to the driver before sitting down near to the back of the bus. The bus returned to town along the A572 and onto the A58. When we got back to the bus station we waited for the bus to empty and Matthew got a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2694.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2694
When we got off the bus Matthew went to the toilet and we considered our next move... On the way to the toilet we saw required Dart Arriva NW&W 2237 on the #36 to Chain Lane.

Arriva NW&W 2237 in St Helens bus station
On a #34 was dud Arriva NW&W 2211.

Arriva NW&W 2211 in St Helens bus station
Whilst Matthew was in the toilet we missed a double decker on the #10 service. We went to the shop and Matthew got a can of Coke and a can of Tizer and a double Milky Way to stock up the trip bag again. We spotted a Dart going around Corporation Street and back into Bickerstaffe Street. It was required Arriva NW&W 2236 on the #17 to Widnes.

Arriva NW&W 2236 in St Helens bus station
We decided to do this bus. We flashed the Saverway tickets to the driver and we sat down near to the back of the bus. A quick look at the map and we saw that Widnes was outside the area of the ticket, so we would have to get off somewhere inside the Merseyside boundry. The bus set off along Bickerstaffe Street and then we turned left to run through town. We headed out of town down Peasley Cross Lane and passed St Helens rugby club stadium, Langtree Park. We continued South passed Sutton Park and over the Manchester to Liverpool railway at Lea Green. We wound our way through the housing estate at Clock Face and we decided to get off on Gartons Lane when we could see 'The Dream', a giant concrete monument on the site of an old colliery. As we turned the corner into Gartons Lane the bus wasn't emptying out so Matthew took a picture of the empty seats opposite to us.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2236
We travelled along the lane for a 1/4 of a mile or so and we go up and got off the bus. When we got off Matthew took another picture of the classic Dennis Dart, Arriva NW&W 2236.

Arriva NW&W 2236 in Clock Face
We crossed the road and we walked a couple of hundred yards to the only stop we could see on the opposite side of the road. We could have gone another stop further, like we did when we caught Dart Arriva NW&W 7570 back to St Helens on the #33A back in July 2012. We only had to wait a few minutes and then required Arriva NW&W 2249 appeared on a #17 service back to St Helens.

Arriva NW&W 2249 in Clock Face
We got on the bus and we flashed the Saverway tickets to the driver before we sat down near to the back of the bus. The bus returned back through the Clockface estate and we headed North over the railway line and back into town. When we got back Matthew got another picture of Arriva NW&W 2249.

Arriva NW&W 2249 in St Helens bus station
When we got back we decided we were going to do a quick out and back on a couple of the new double deckers. Whilst we waited we took a few pictures. The first thing we saw was HTL Buses KX09 CHZ on the A10 town circular.

HTL Buses KX09 CHZ in St Helens bus station
We saw a double decker pull up onto stand Stand 8 so we legged it up there. It isn't eay to take pictures of buses inside the bus station area so Matthew took a picture of required Arriva NW&W 4612 through the glass.

Arriva NW&W 4612 in St Helens bus station
We got on the bus and we flashed the Saverway tickets to the driver before we went upstairs. The top deck was empty so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4612.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4612
The plan was to go to Prescot and to get off and explore this town, and maybe take a few pictures of buses. The bus station appeared to be to the South of the A57, with the #10/10A passing by on the main road. If we crossed over the M57 then we had gone too far. The bus set off out of town along the A58 before we turned off the main road to head towards Thatto Heath. We continued South through Nutgrove and over the railway line at Rainhill. Here we joined the A57 for the run towards Prescot. We passed Whiston hospital and we went around the town to the north like a by-pass. We carried on going as we didn't see the bus station. When we got to the M57 crossing we knew that we had gone too far! We decided to cross the motorway and then get off the bus at the nearest convenient point. We came to a wide dual carriageway and we spotted bus stops on both sides of the road so we got up and got off. We crossed the road at the crossing and we could see what looked like a broken down bus on the St Helens bound side of the road just beyond the stop. As we got to the stop we saw required Stagecoach Merseyside 27715 on a #10A to St Helens.

Stagecoach Merseyside 27715 in Prescot
A closer look at the broken down bus revealed it was HTL Buses BX12 DZG on the #897 to kirby Admin.

HTL Buses BX12 DZG in Prescot
As we were looking at the bus one of their Solos appeared to rescue the stricken passenger on the bus, HTL Buses YJ12 GZH.

HTL Buses YJ12 GZH in Prescot
It looks as if Mercedes minibuses are the usual puck for this turn, so the #897 may be a bus to after sometime in the near future. With the #10 every 15 minutes and the #10A every 6 or so minutes, there appeared to be a a bit of an unscheduled gap in the service. We saw a #89 go sailing by which must have been diverted as it isn't meant to travel along the A57. Eventually the bus turned up... It was a #10A and it was required double decker Arriva NW&W 4598.

Arriva NW&W 4598 in Prescot
We got on the bus and we flashed the Saverway tickets to the driver for the last time today before we went upstairs. There were a few people on the top deck spaced out around us. The bus went around precot on the A57 and back past the hospital to Rainhill. We turned left to go through Nutgrove and as we rounded a corner we came to a stop. There was a car sideways across the road with the air bag deployed. It appeared to have hit a lamppost at speed as the lamp post had moved in the ground and was now at a slight angle. I was just about to text mum to say that we would be delayed when we saw the car get pushed to the side of the road and we were able to get past it. We carried on North through Thatto Heath and we joined onto the A58 for the run into St Helens. When we got back into Corporation Street the bus unloaded and Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4598.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4598
Mum spotted us and she crossed the road to meet us. matthew wanted to take a few more pictures before we returned home. On a #37 to Eccleston was Arriva Cadet NW&W 2421.

Arriva NW&W 2421 in St Helens bus station
He also took another picture of our ride into town from out on the A57, Arriva NW&W 4598.

Arriva NW&W 4598 in St Helens bus station
One of Stagecoach's #10A buses, Stagecoach Merseyside 27716 was also on layover.

Stagecoach Merseyside 27716 in St Helens bus station
Matthew wanted to say hello to someone on a bus so we went straight on and off. Afterwards, Matthew went to the tardis style toilet again, which was working for a change today! We waked to the car which mum had moved on to Parade Street one block back from the bus station. When we got to the car Matthew tucked into his Greggs sausage roll and drank a small bottle of Irn Bru. We set off out of town along corporation Street and the A58 before turning onto the A572. we went back almost exactly the same way as we came (without the diversion into Earlestown) along the A572 and South down the A49. At Winwick we got on the M6 link road and we joined onto the M6 at junction 22. We headed South and the motorway was clear. We got back to junction 16 quite quickly. We headed south on the A500 and we came off at Longport to go back to Cobridge again. We headed up through Trubshaw Cross to Burslem and we turned right and went towards Cobridge. This time mum was able to pick up her item from the shop so we carried on towards Hanley. we went around town and onto Lichfield Street. At joiners Square we went straight across and onto Victoria Road. At the top of victoria Road we joined the A50 link road and we got on the A50 as far as Longton, where we came off the see what was parked up at z Carz tonight. On the spare ground there were three buses. First in the row was Ford minibus Z Carz BN03 OVS.

Z Carz BN03 OVS in Longton
Next the that was another Ford minibus, Z Carz LG09 JVX.

Z Carz LG09 JVX in Longton
Finally, we saw former Phil Smiths Travel Mercedes minibus, Z Carz M372 NWN.

Z Carz M372 NWN in Longton
We turned into Willow Row to see what buses were in the compund. We saw Z Carz Mercedes minibus S952 VMY & Renault minibus Y568 XFV.

Z Carz Y568 XFV in Longton
We headed back onto the A50 and we came off the A50 and we turned towards Blurton. At the Lightning house we saw Mercedes minibus T2 DLT, It was the first time we had seen this bus for a few weeks. We carried on down the road and we stopped briefly at the shop before carring on homewards along Blurton Road and the Church Road. We turned into Beaconsfield Drive and at the bottom we saw First Potteries 66839 on the final Longton bound #22 of the day. We got home just after 19:00. for a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with a few slices of carrots followed by a few mini doughnuts. Matthew then chilled out on his coputer until bedtime around 00:45... Mark

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