Saturday, 23 May 2015

Trip to Wigan / Westhoughton 23-05-2015


22243Wigan BSHindley, nr Manchester Road/Gregory Street540Stagecoach Manchester
YJ11 ELXHindley, (Stop B)
Westhoughton, Market St/Westhoughton Church (Stop D)559Cumfybus
30534Westhoughton, Market St/Westhoughton Church (Stop E)Wigan BS715Rotala Diamond NW
4577Wigan BSPemberton, o/s House 563 Ormskirk Road/Enfield Street‎375Arriva NW&W
2975Pemberton, o/s House 563 Ormskirk Road/Enfield Street‎Wigan BS352Arriva NW&W
4183Wigan BSCooper Turning, nr Dicconson Lane/Chorley Road‎715Arriva NW&W
4181Cooper Turning, nr Chorley Road/Four Gates‎Wigan BS715Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to re-visit Wigan. We had checked the weather for the day and it was for warm weather with sunny intervals all over the North West and Midlands. We gave Matthew a list of places to go and from the list he chose Wigan. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off just before 12:00. we set off onto the A5035 and we turned right into Stanley Matthews Way. We joined the Eastbound A50 and then we turned right onto the Northbound A500. We were followed up the A500 by Intercity minibus KX09 DGY. Traffic was heavy and it continued to be heavy onto the M6 and we saw ABC Supreme VK06 LTV going North on an airport run. As we got further North towards junction 19 the traffic seemed to improved a little, but the matrix signs were saying there were problems between junction 22 and junction 27. We decided to push on as there was conflicting information on the Internet say there was little delay. The Internet seemed to be correct as we didn't meet traffic until we got to junction 25 where we were turning anyway. We did the link road up to the A49 and then continued North into town. Traffic was better than our last visit and we got into town relatively quickly. We parked up on Crawford Street and we walked up to the chip shop cafe on Hallgate called Mr Chips. Matthew went to the toilet and had sausage chips and gravy washed down with a small bottle of Coke. He said hello to the waitress about 10 times! When it was time to go we said 'Goodbye to Mr Chips' and we walked down to the bus station. Whilst we decided what to do matthew took a few bus pictures. On a #600 to Leigh via Golbourne was required ALX300 bodied MAN Stagecoach Manchester 22244.

Stagecoach Manchester 22244 in Wigan bus station
Parked up between services was required Arriva NW&W 2973.

Arrva NW&W 2973 in Wigan bus station
We walked down to the bottom end of the bus station and we saw dud Wigan Buses W669 TNV on the #630 to Platt Bridge.

Wigan Buses W669 TNV in Wigan bus station
We had this bus on this service on a previous visit to Wigan back in January 2015. We saw another required ALX300 / MAN on the #598 to Leigh, Stagecoach Manchester 22243.

Stagecoach Manchester 22243 in Wigan bus station
We decided to do this bus. We got on an we purchased System One bus only tickets at $5.20 each. The back of the bus was empty so Matthew took a picture inside Stagecoach Manchester 22243 with it grey chevron moquette seats.

Inside Stagecoach Manchester 22243
We sat down at the back of the bus and when it was time to depart we left the bus station at the bottom end and onto New Market Street. We turned right onto Mesnes Street / Crompton Street, picking up a few more passenger before heading out of town. We crossed the A49 going onto the A573 before turning left onto A577 and into Ince. On the other side of Ince we turned left into the housing estat before re-joining the A577 further along on Makerfield Way. We the ran the last 1/2 mile or so into Hindley before getting up and getting off the bus. Matthew took another photograph of Stagecoach Manchester 22243 as it continued on it's way to Leigh.

Stagecoach Manchester 22243 in Hindley
We crossed the road to the stop opposite, with the intention of catching something back to Wigan. Next bus due was the #540 to Wigan... This was followed shortly by the #559 to Bolton via Westhoughton. We had never been on this service. We had seen it a few times previously, being worked by one of TfGM's hybrids Solo SR's, which are loaned to bus companies which win tenders on some of the supported non commercial services. The #540 time came and went and we saw the Hybrid Solo approaching. As it got closer we saw it was required Cumfybus YJ11 ELX.

Cumfybus YJ11 ELX in Hindley
We got on the bus and we flashed the System One bus tickets to the driver. As it was a Solo Matthew attempted to honk the horn. The driver assisted by honking the horn for him! The bus was empty as it was the start of the journey. Matthew took a picture inside this tidy modern bus...

Inside Cumfybus YJ11 ELX
The bus set off and turned right onto Cross Street before joining the A58. This is the most direct bus to Westhoughton we have been on. It went straight up the A58 to the edge of town before it turned onto Market Street in town. We went to get up and get off and Matthew tried to stop us. We did get off but we were a stop away from the Co-operative food store which Matthew probably knew! Matthew took another picture of Cumfybus YJ11 ELX as it carried on towards Bolton.

Cumfybus YJ11 ELX in Westhoughton
We went to the Co-operative food and we stocked up on Irn Bru and Milky Ways. We headed back down the street to the toilet. On the way we saw required Arriva NW&W 4175 on a Bolton #715 service.

Arriva NW&W 4175 in Westhoughton
Matthew went to the toilet and then we sat at the stop opposite from where we got off the bus. There was a #540 and a #715 both due at 15:05. Matthew had a Milky Way whilst we waited. On the opposite side of the we saw Rotala South Lancs Travel 20827 on the #521 to Little Lever.

Rotala South Lancs 20827 in Westhoughton
We also notice a few taxi's coming and going from behind the pub opposite to us. There was a minibus there too. It was Star 401 Mercedes minibus Y591 ANV.

Star 401 Y591 ANV in Westhoughton
The #540 turned up first, and it was required Stagecoach Manchester 27817.

Stagecoach Manchester 27817 in Westhoughton
The #715 turned up and it was surprisingly Rotala South Lancs Travel 30534.

Rotala South Lancs 30534 in Westhoughton
We got on the bus and we flashed the System One bus tickets to the driver before we sat down towards the back of the bus. This was the first time we had managed to catch the the #715 service. The bus set off Northwards onto Church Street past Westhoughton railway station. When we got to the A6 we turned left to head towards Chorley. In the distance we could see the Macron Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers. About half a mile along the A6 we turned left onto the B5239 and through the village of Aspull. We continued along the B5239 towards Hiagh before turned South towards Wigan down St David's Crescent. We joined the B5238 and we went through Whelley and we entered Wigan through Scholes and Warrington Road. We went 'straight inta Compton' Street ans onto New Market Street before entering the bus station from the North. When we got into the bus station we let the bus empty before Matthew took a picture inside Rotala South Lancs 30534.

Inside Rotala South Lancs 30534
Also in the old South Lancs Travel livery was 30539 was on the #635 to Appley Bridge.

Rotala South Lancs 30539 in Wigan bus station
We walked to the bottom of the bus station to take a few pictures whilst we decided what to do next. We saw required Arriva NW&W Enviro 400 double decker 4577 on the #375 to Southport.

Arriva NW&W 4577 in Wigan bus station
As it was a required bus we decided to do this service up to Pemberton. We got on the bus and we flashed the System One ticket to the driver before we went upstairs. There were people front and back on the bus so Matthew took a picture of the empty seats opposite to us.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4577
The bus set off out of the South end of the bus station and onto Dorning Street before turning left onto King Street West. We turned right past Wigan Wallgate railway station and we stopped a few yards down the road opposite to Wigan North Western railway station. We joined the A49 and we ran down past Wigan Pier before hitting the big roundabout just outside town we carried on down the A49 a short while until the road split and we joined the A577 to head towards Orrell. Further up the road the carriageway split to go around the halfway house and then we carried onto up the road for a further 1/4 of a mile before we got up and got off the bus at the Eastern edge of Pemberton. The bus topped at the lights where we were about to cross the road so Matthew got another better picture of Arriva NW&W 4577.

Arriva NW&W 4577 in Pemberton
As we were crossing the road we saw required Stagecoach Manchester 36788 on the #628 to Wigan.

Stagecoach Manchester 36788 in Pemberton
We knew we would make it to the stop, but its a bit new anyway so we will probably have plenty of time to pick this bus up in the future... We walked to the stop and there was a bus due in less than 5 minutes, a #352 bus from St Helens via Orrell. The bus turned a few minutes later and it was required Arriva NW&W 2975.

Arriva NW&W 2975 in Pemberton
We headed back down the hill and past the halfway house before joining the Northbound A49 and going around the big roundabout. We past Wigan Pier and we headed passed the railway station before turning left onto King street West. We climbed the short hill of Dorning Street before entering the bus station from the South. When we got into the bus station we let the bus empty and Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2975.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2975
We decided that we would try and go after one of Arriva's Plaxton president double deckers that we have seen on the #715's. In the mean time we went around the bus station and we took a few bus pictures. we saw dud Stagecoach Manchester 22361 on the #621 Kit Green circular service.

Stagecoach Manchester 22361 in Wigan bus station
We had been on Stagecoach Manchester 22361 previously from Hindley Green to Wigan back in March 2013 on a #598 service. We also saw dud Stagecoach Manchester 19521 on a #32 to Manchester.

Stagecoach Manchester 19521 in Wigan bus station
We had done Stagecoach Manchester 19521 back in April 2013 from Wigan to Hindley Green on a #32 on the day Matthew could have had a marriage proposal! We saw required Arriva NW&W 4183 come in on a #715 to Bolton. There was a #575 on stand and so the bus couldn't go where it need to go for departure, so it did a lap of the bus station and stopped at a lower stand whilst it waited for the #575 to depart.

Arriva NW&W 4183 in Wigan bus station
As we had 10 minutes before the bus was due to go, we decided to have a walk around whilst we took some more pictures. We saw required Arriva NW&W 2697 on a #352 to St Helens via Orrell.

Arriva NW&W 2697 in Wigan bus station
We also saw another one of the increasingly rare Rotala buses that still carry the South Lancs Travel colours of yellow and blue. It was required Rotala South Lancs Solo 20719 on the #638 to Standish.

Rotala South Lancs 20719 in Wigan bus station
Just before time we decided to walk up to stand F to wait for the bus. Matthew decided to run and say hello to someone near the bottom end of the bus station. Thankfully he didn't scare them despite running at them at full speed. We walked back up to stand F and we waited for the driver to ready the bus for service before we got on it. We flashed the System One ticket to the driver and we went upstairs. The top deck was empty so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4183.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4183
The bus set off put of the bus station onto New Market street before heading on the A573 via Mesnes Street and Crompton Street. we turned left onto the B5238 running through Scoles, Whelley and into Aspull via St David's Crescent. We had worked out that we need to get off the bus somewhere between Aspull and Westhoughton if we didn't want to miss the last #715 back to Wigan. We went a few stops East of Aspull and we got pushed the bell to stop the bus. The bus didn't stop so we got up and started to walk down the bus and passed a further stop. We got downstairs and eventually we got the driver to stop the bus. Matthew got another picture of Arriva North West 4183 as it carried on towards Bolton.

Arriva North West 4183 in Cooper Turning
We crossed the road to the stop opposite and we saw that the flag on the stop had been turned and there weren't any service numbers on the stop. It looked like this stop was no longer in use... We decided to go around the corner following the bus. We could see a stop a few hundred yards up the road. As we started to walk towards it we saw the bus coming! I ran after the bus with my arm out and Matthew followed. It looked like we were going to miss the bus so Matthew stopped to take a picture of it. It was required Arriva North West 4181.

Arriva North West 4181 in Cooper Turning
The bus did stop thankfully and we were able to get on it, thanks to the driver. That was twice I had to run today, and it turned out quite warm. We flashed the System One bus tickets to the driver for the final time today and we went upstairs before sitting down somewhere in the middle. The bus returned around the corner on the B5239 and into Aspull. We had a short wait in the village before we set off onto the B5238 via St David's Crescent. We had another pause in Whelley as the bus was nearly empty we had to stop at the timing points to make sure it didn't run early. We entered town and we went onto New Market Street before entering the bus station from the North. We stopped at the bottom stop stop and a few people got off. Before we could get down the stairs the bus set off and uncle Dave got off at the top stop. The bus circle around and was bout to lave the bus station. Matthew got a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4181.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4181
We got off the bus at the bottom of the bus station... I wonder if there is driver visibility issues with the top deck on these Plaxton President buses? We met up with mum and Matthew took a few more picture before we went back to the car. On one of the middle stands was required Stagecoach Manchester 19103.

Stagecoach Manchester 19103 in Wigan bus station
Matthew went to the toilet and we carried on through the bus station. On stand D was a former Preston Bus vehicle. It was required Rotala South Lancs 30917.

Rotala South Lancs 30917 in Wigan bus station
We walked to the bottom of the bus station to see what was parked up on layover. One of the bus we saw was required Stagecoach Manchester 22302.

Stagecoach Manchester 22302 in Wigan bus station
Mum met us in the car on Hallgate and we circle around the one way system and we out onto Frog Lane. We headed onto Wallgate via Prescott Street, Miry lane and Wilcock Street. We headed North so we could go around the Pier before going South down the A49. We stopped at the Southern end of the A49 to take on some diesel before we got on the link road and we joined the Southbound M6 at junction 25. As we passed junction 21A we saw Leons Coaches 211 join the M6 ahead of us. We caught the coach up by the time we passed the M56 junction and we let the coach pass us and Matthew got a picture of Leons Coaches Neoplan 211.

Leons 211 on the M6
At junction 18 we left the motorway briefly to check the car as a vehicle had flashed us. I could find nothing wrong so we rejoined the M6 for the last two junction util we got to the A500. Going South down the A500 near to the A53 we passed Stanton's of Stoke W227 SNR going the other way. We turned of the A500 at Sideway and we joined the Eastbound A50. We came off the A50 at Longton so that we could go and check out Z Carz. There were 3 minibuses on the spare ground tonight. First in the row was Volkswagen minibus Z Carz OV05 WSW.

Z Carz OV05 WSW in Longton
Next to the Volkswagen minibus was Ford Z Carz GL04 CVE.

Z Carz GL04 CVE in Longton
Last in the row was Iveco minibus Z Carz GK02 NWJ.

Z Carz GK02 NWJ in Longton
We turned left into Willow Row to see what was parked up. In the compound were with Z Carz PY08 KDX and S952 VMY.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
We headed back out onto the A50 and we came off it again at Heron Cross. We went through Blurton and we got home just before 19:00. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a jam filled shortcake biscuit. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:45... Mark details to follow...

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