Saturday, 17 October 2015

Trip to Ellesmere Port / Chester 17-10-2015


3007Ellesmere Port BSChester BS2Arriva NW&W
673Chester BSBroughton, Glynne Arms (SW-bound)12Arriva NW&W
2794Broughton, Glynne Arms (NE-bound)Lache, o/s Brewery Arms PH3Arriva NW&W
4481Lache, o/s Brewery Arms PHChester BS11Arriva NW&W
4640Chester BSShotton B&Q (NW-bound)10Arriva NW&W
4637Shotton B&Q (SE-bound)Chester BS10Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to re-visit Ellesmere Port and Chester. We had checked the weather for the North West and Midlands areas and the weather was predicted for cool cloudy weather with a small chance of some sunshine. We gave Matthew a list of place from the area that we could visit and from the list chose Ellesmere Port and Chester. Research consisted of having a quick look on the Dennis Dart Forum to see if there had been any recent changes and checking the Arriva website to look at the area of the Deeside Day Saver. Matthew got up just before 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off a few minutes before 12:00 and we headed onto the A5035. We turned right onto Stanley Matthews Way and we headed up to the A50. As a short run Westbound on the A50 we joined the Northbound A500. Traffic was moving well and we got up to the M6 in no time. Traffic was slow on the Northbound M6 at first. There had been an accident on the Northbound between 17 & 18 and the traffic was just starting to move after the clear up. As we passed Knutsford services I saw a coach join the M6 behind us. A few miles up the road we were caught by SMS X Travel Mercedes midi coach LN15 RYK.

SMS X Travel LN15 RYK on the M6
We carried a further few miles to junction 20 and we left the M6 to travel West on the M56. A few miles up the road we ground to a halt. There had been an accident between junction 10 & 11. After around 5 minutes standing the traffic started to move. We passed junction 11 where a very smashed up car had been moved over to the chevrons out of the way of the once stationary traffic. From there on we made good time... Up to the M53 and then into Ellesmere Port town along the A5032 and then we parked up near to the market. We went into the market and Matthew used the toilet before we went to the food court. We found a table and Matthew sat with uncle Dave and mum ordered the food and I carried the drinks back to the table. Matthew had a breakfast which he washed with a bottle of Coke. After we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we walked passed the new Netto store (Netto?... I they had been brought out out by Asda) and into the bus station. The first thing we saw was GHA Solo T789 KNW about to work a #6 to Glenwood Road.

GHA T789 KNW in Ellesmere Port bus station
We walked to the top of the bus station and we took some pictures whilst we waited for the next Arriva bus to Chester. We saw another GHA Solo YM52 TPO on a service to Finney Grange.

GHA YM52 TPO in Ellesmere Port bus station
There was an older Stagecoach Merseyside Volvo B10BLE 21120 on #2 to Liverpool.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21120 in Ellesmere Port
A few minutes later we saw GHA's former Brighton & Hove single decker R226 HCD on a #36 service to Runcorn.

GHA R226 HCD in Ellesmere Port
We then saw another of the Stagecoach Merseyside B10BLE, 21123 on a #2 to Chester.

Stagecoach Merseyside 21123 in Ellesmere Port
We walked down to the board to check the bus times. The #2 bus was every 20 minutes and Stagecoach and Arriva work alternate services. We had another 20 minutes to wait and we must have just missed one. Another former Brighton & Hove GHA single decker R217 HCD arrived on the #36 from Runcorn.

GHA R217 HCD in Ellesmere Port bus station
The time seemed to pass quite quickly and having seen required Arriva NW&W 3126 work a #2 towards Liverpool, we saw another Arriva bus approaching. As it got closer we saw that it was Arriva NW&W 3007.

Arriva NW&W 3007 in Ellesmere Port
We got on the bus and we brought Deeside Day Saver tickets at £4.50 each. We sat down near to the back of the bus and the bus set off out off the bus station onto the Southbound A5032. A quick check of the Buses I have travelled on page revealed this bus to be a dud one. We had been on Arriva NW&W 3007 from New Brighton to Birkenhead back on October 2011. We travelled down the road a short distance to Whitby and we turned into Overpool Road. We turned into Hope Farm Road and we ran through a housing estate before emerging on the A41 out of Holm Oak Way. We then had a fast run along the A41 for around 3 miles before turning onto the A5116 for the run into Chester. As we started down the road we passed GHA coach FJ08 BYG. We ran into town and we passed the Stagecoach depot before we crossed the ring road and entered the town along Northgate. After we passed the old cinema which is now being converted back in to a theatre, we turned right into the narrow entrance of the bus station. Buses often used to drop passengers off at this point, but as the theatre refurbishment had taken over some of the bus station entrance road, it is impossible to stop here without blocking the entrance to the bus station. The bus went onto stand, and even had to reverse into the space as there was little room. Once the bus had stopped, the bus emptied out and Matthew got a picture inside Arriva NW&W 3007.

Inside Arriva NW&W 3007
One we got off the bus we walked over to Matthew's usual perch on top of the concrete bunker that covers the stairway to the car park basement. Pretty much as soon as he sat down the buses started to come by as they left the bus station. On the Chester Sightseeing Tours was Stagecoach Merseyside ALX400 double decker 17479.

Stagecoach Merseyside 17479 in Chester bus station
This was followed by one of the new arrivals since Stagecoach took over from First, Stagecoach Merseyside Enviro200 36806 on a #16 to Saltney.

Stagecoach Merseyside 36806 in Chester bus station
A few minutes later we saw required Arriva NW&W 3144 on a #1 to Blacon.

Arriva NW&W 3144 in Chester bus station
Dud Arriva NW&W arrived and came in on the #11 to Rhyl via Holywell. This was followed shortly by Arriva NW&W Solo 673 on a #12 to Connah's Quay. We decided to do the Solo as we haven't had many runs on the Chester Solo's. We crossed over the bus station and Matthew took a picture of the Solo before we got on it.

Arriva NW&W 673 in Chester bus station
We flashed the Deeside Day Saver tickets to the driver and we purchased an addition piece for Matthew as we were crossing the border into another country... the bus set off out of the bus station and onto the anti-clockwise ring road. A quick check of the page and we discovered this bus was also dud... The bus stood for a while as there was a near gridlock for a short while. The #11 to Holywell which had left the bus station a few minutes before we did was only a few hundred yards ahead of us. As we slowly moved forwards in the traffic we saw a number of buses and coaches going the other way. We saw GHA coaches FJ06 GGU & FJ08 BYT on some kind of shuttle service, as well as GHA bus SN04 EFS. We also passed MacPherson coach BU59 MCL. We passed the only stop on the ring road and we moved over to the right hand lane and we started to move much faster. The bus turned right onto the the A483 and we went South over the river Dee. We turned right onto the A5104 and we passed through Lache before crossing the border into Welsh Wales and the town of Saltney. We trundlec through the town and as we passed Saltney Ferry the route become more rural and the bus was able to barrel along towards Broughton. The bus was now empty in front of and Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 673.

Inside Arriva NW&W 673
As we got towards the roundabout near to the Broughton Shopping Park we got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 673 as it carried on towards Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 673 in Broughton
Behind us at the stop was Arriva NW&W 4485 on the #11 to Holywell, which we had somehow passed as we travelled up to Broughton.

Arriva NW&W 4485 in Broughton
We had been on Arriva NW&W 4485 back in July 2015, as we caught ths bus from Chester to this very stop on the #11 to Holywell. We crossed the road which was surprisingly easy today, and we sat on the wall to wait for a bus towards Chester. We had just missed a #4 service, and there was a #4 due in around 5 minutes, this was to be followed shortly after that by a #11. We saw a single decker turn into the Shopping Park and we assumed this would be the #3. Matthew drank a small bottle of cola and we shared a couple of Milky ways between us. As the single decker came out of the shopping park we saw the following double decker enter it on the #11. The single decker re-joined the A5104 and as it got closer we saw that it was dud Arriva NW&W 2794.

Arriva NW&W 2794 in Broughton
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver to the driver before sitting down towards the back of the bus. Unusually for a bus along this corridor it was nearly empty. As the bus was empty in front of us Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 2794.

Inside Arriva NW&W 2794
The bus passed through Saltney and over the border into English England and into Lache, where we got up and got off the bus. We sat at the bus stop and almost immediately we saw the bus trundling down the road towards the border. As it got closer we saw that it was required Arriva NW&W 4481.

Arriva NW&W 4481 in Lache
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver tickets to the driver. Unusually the lower saloon was empty so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4481.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4481
We went upstairs and the rear of the upper saloon was empty too, so he took another picture inside Arriva NW&W 4481.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4481
The bus set off through Lache and left onto the A483. We crossed over the river Dee and we went clockwise around the ring road where we passed Hunters white coach L938 NWW going the other way. We turned into the bus station and we arrived on the stand where the #11 & #12 services depart from. Before we returned to the the perch we saw Stagecoach Merseyside #16 branded Enviro200 36803 on a #53 to Kingsway.

Stagecoach Merseyside 36803 in Chester bus station
Matthew sat back on his perch and we saw Pygalls blue coach K1 PYG on a feeder coach to Chester & Liverpool operating on behalf of National Holidays.

Pygalls K1 PYG in Chester bus station
Shortly afterwards we saw Stagecoach Merseyside Enviro300 bodied MAN single decker 24125 on a #2 to Liverpool.

Stagecoach Merseyside 24125 in Chester bus station
Dud Arriva NW&W 689 arrived on the #12 service. Neither of the buses going towards Broughton were required as the #11 was Arriva NW&W 4481 that we had just had into Chester. We decided to wait a few minutes to see what the next #10 or #10A service was going to be. A few minutes later we saw required Arriva NW&W 4640 on the #10 to Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 4640 in Chester bus station
We walked over to the bus and we climbed aboard. We flashed the Deeside Day saver tickets to the driver and we went upstairs. These new buses are equipped with leather seats and plug sockets to charge electrical devices such as phones and laptops, they also have 2 + 1 on the top deck, so passengers on the right can sit on their own. Matthew chose to sit on one of these seats and we sat in front and behind him. Matthew took a picture inside the top deck of Arriva NW&W 4640.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4640
The bus set off out of the bus station and onto the anti-clockwise ring road. We turned right onto Sealand Road and we headed out of town Westwards and we left the edge of town into rural Wales. We crossed the A494 and we stopped briefly in Garden City for a driver change. We carried on over the river Dee and into Queensferry. We turned right onto the B5129 and we went a few stops along the road before we got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 4640 as it carried on towards Connah's Quay.

Arriva NW&W 4640 in Shotton
As we were near to the Esso petrol station we went in to stock up the trip bag. Matthew had a can of Coke and and some chocolate as well as a Millionaires Shortbread. We crossed the road and we looked at the stop to see when the next Chester bound Arriva bus was due. There was a #10 due shortly, but before that was a Townlynx T1 service to Chester. We sat down at the stop and we saw the bus in the distabce as it got closer we saw that it was Townlynx Y978 WDM.

Townlynx Y978 WDM in Shotton
Not far behind that was required Arriva NW&W 4637 on a #10 to Chester.

Arriva NW&W 4637 in Shotton
We got on the bus and we flashed the Deeside Day Saver ticket to the driver for the final time today. Once again the lower saloon was empty and so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4637.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4637
The bus set off Eastwards down the B5129 and we turned left onto the B5441 to cross the river Dee and run through Garden City. We crossed over the A494 and we ran along fast straight rural road the Sealand and into the Western edge of Chester town As we got closer to the centre of town we saw the Halifax team coach coming out of Bumper's lane and going across Sealand Road towards the M56. We went over the railway line and canal and under the ring road. We turned right onto Canal Street and we turned into Northgate before going under the city wall and turning right into the bus station. We pulled onto the end stand and on adjacent stand was a GHA double decker. We got off the bus and we went over to the double decker. It was GHA Alexander double decker K129 DAO on the #82 to Northwich.

GHA K129 DAO in Chester bus station
We also saw Stagecoach Merseyside 28550 on a #1 to Birkenhead.

Stagecoach Merseyside 28550 in Chester bus station
We headec into the car park where mum was waiting for us. We dropped of the bag and we visited the toilet before returning to the car. After validating the parking ticket we drove out of the car park and onto the ring road. We followed the road around town and we left Northwards past the railway station up the A56 and onto the M53. A single junction up we went onto the Eastbound M56. This time the road was relatively clear and we made good time as we went to the M6. We went South and down the M6 to junction 16. It was now dark as we went South down the A500. At Sideway we joined the A50 which we did up to Longton to check out what was parked up at Z Carz this evening. The minibuses are still parked in two rows and in the first row was the minibus we had seen earlier on the M6, Z Carz BN03 OVS.

Z Carz BN03 OVS in Longton
We also saw Z Carz Renault minibus Y568 XFV.

Z Carz Y568 XFV in Longton
The nearest minibus in the front row was Z Carz YE52 UZX.

Z Carz YE52 UZX in Longton
Closest minibus on the second row was Z Carz Silver minibus CN57 HWA.

Z Carz CN57 HWA in Longton
We turned left into Willow Row to see what was parked up in the compound. The only minibus we could see was Z Carz Volkswagen minibus S973 OVP.

Z Carz S973 OVP in Longton
We headed onto the high level A50 road and we went into Tesco to fill up with diesel. We left Tesco and we got onto the Westbound A50, which we come off at Heron Cross. We ran through Blurton along Blurton Road and we passed First Potteries 40367 on a #22 to Longton. We went forwards onto Church Road and we turned right into Beaconsfield Drive. We got home around 19:20. For a late tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrots followed by a jam filled shortbread biscuit. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 01:30... Mark

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