Saturday, 19 December 2015

Trip to Tamworth / Sutton Coldfield 19-12-2015


4412Tamworth bus interchangeSutton Coldfield (Birmingham), Gracechurch Shopping Centre (Stop SD)110Arriva Midlands
4411Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham), Gracechurch Shopping Centre (Stop SH)Tamworth bus interchange110Arriva Midlands
3510Tamworth bus interchangeLichfield BS786Arriva Midlands
3723Lichfield BSTamworth bus interchangeX60Arriva Midlands

Today we decided to revisit Tamworth. We had checked the weather for the midlands and North West and the better weather seemed to be to the South, It was still going to be wet and mild, but not as wet as the North West. We gave Matthew a choice of Midlands destinations and from the list he chose Tamworth. Matthew got up around 10:30 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 12:00 and we headed on to the A5035. We went West to the A34 and then we went South towards Stone. As we passed by Stone we saw D&G 170 on a #14 to Hanley and First Potteries 65027 on a #10 to Hanley. South of Stone we turned left onto the Eastbound A51. We passed through Weston & Colwich and we saw Arriva Midlands 3758 on a #825 to Stafford. Further South as we approached Lichfield we passed Arriva Midlands 3765 on another #825 to Stafford. We drove into the centre of Lichfield and as we followed the A51 around town we saw Arriva Midlands 2209 leaving Lichfield bus station on a #15 service. We carried on towards Tamworth and Hopwas and we followed Arriva Midlands 3509 out of Lichfield as it turned towards Whittington. Further down the road we passed Central buses YX63 ZYK on a X55 service. We got into town and we tried to park in the usual car park but it was full today. The council had made it a free car park for the day. We parked on Church Street and we walked up Corporation Street alongside the bus interchange as we headed to the cafe. On the corner we saw required Arriva Midlands 3017 on the #3A to Coton Green.

Arriva Midlands 3017 in Tamworth bus interchange
Matthew went to use the toilet in the tourist information office and then we headed over to the cafe where mum was ordering the food. Matthew had a breakfast washed down with a small bottle of Coke. When we had finished eating we said goodbye to mum and we walked back over to the bus interchange on Corporation Street. We decided to do the first bus that we saw which happened to be dud Arriva Midlands 4412 which was on the #110 to Birmingham.

Arriva Midlands 4412 in Tamworth bus interchange
We got on the bus and we booked an Arriva Midlands Day Saver at £6.20 before going upstairs. The back of the top deckk was empty, so Matthew took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 4412.

Inside Arriva Midlands 4412
At 14:00 the bus set off out of the interchange and right into Church Street. The car had gone! Just then mum text to say she had found a space in the car park and moved it! We carried on Westwards along Lichfield Street before turning left onto Tamedrive. We crossed the rivers Anker and Tame and we turned left onto Riverdrive. In the distance you can see holiday Inn Express which looks a bit like a giant dustbin lorry. We turned right onto the A4091 and we went past the end of Ventura Park shopping complex. We continued South to Fazeley before turning right onto The B5404 and we headed up to Mile Oak. Just before we got to the crossroad we were passed by Arriva Midlands 4409 running out of service. We turned left onto A453 for a fast run down to the Bassetts Pole roundabout. The weather was awful.. It was dull and gloomy and there was lots of rain! We crossed the A38 and the M6 toll road and we turned left onto the B4148. As we approached Rectory Road we saw National Express West Midlands single decker 2247 emerge from the turning. We turned right onto Rectory Road and we passed the Good Hope hospital and the adjacent cemetery. We crossed under a railway bridge and we turned right onto Coleshill Road. We turned left onto the A5127 and we went straight across onto the Lower Parade were we got up and got off the bus. Matthew took another picture of Arriva Midlands 4412 before it carried on towards Birmingham.

Arriva Midlands 4412 in Sutton Coldfield
When we got in to Sutton Coldfield I decided to take Matthew to the pub we had been to last time to use the toilet. I don't usually wear my Stoke City coat outside of Staffordshire, so on the bus down I had swapped my coat over for a fleece that was in the bag. On the way to the pub we saw National Express West Midlands 2235 on a #71 to Solihull Station.

NX West Midlands 2235 in Sutton Coldfield
We went into the pub and Matthew headed straight to the toilet. After he had used the facilities we headed to the bar to get a glass of Coke for Matthew. I ordered Matthew a drink and my cover was blown immediately when the barmaid said 'Is that a Stoke Accent I hear?' Damn! We finished the drink and then we headed back onto the street. As we got back onto the Lower Parade we saw National Express West Midlands 4327 on a #6 to Walsall.

NX West Midlands 4327 in Sutton Coldfield
We found a bus shelter near to where we needed to be for the return bus and Matthew sat down for a while. Whilst there Matthew ate a bag of Milky Stars. We then saw Arriva Midlands 4200 on a #110 to Birmingham.

Arriva Midlands 4200 in Sutton Coldfield
This was followed by National Express West Midlands 6756 on a #77 to Walsall.

NX West Midlands 6756 in Sutton Coldfield
We also saw National Express West Midlands 4057 on a #5 to West Bromwich.

NX West Midlands 4057 in Sutton Coldfield
A few minutes later we saw the #110 service approaching. As it got closer we saw that it was dud Arriva Midlands 4411.

Arriva Midlands 4411 in Sutton Coldfield
We got on the bus and we flashed the Arriva Midlands Day Saver ticket to the driver before going upstairs. We set off up the lower parade and we turned right onto the A5127. We turned left onto Coleshill Road and we turned left again onto Riland Road. At the end of Riland Road we turned right onto rectory Road and we passed iGo Enviro200 126 on the #168 service. We passed the cemetery and he hospital and at the end of Rectory Road we turned left onto the B4148. We traveled North for a few hundred yards and we then we turned right onto the A453. We crossed over the M6 toll and the A38 and we ran fast up to Mile Oak. We turned right onto Watling Street and we ran East to Fazeley. St Fazeley Square we turned left and we stop for a minute or so to wait time. Whilst we were were there we were passed by Arriva Midlands 3500 on a #115 service. We carried on North up the A4091 ans we passed Ventura Park before turning left onto the A51. We turned right and crossed over the rivers before going right again onto Lichfield Street. We turned left at Aldergate and we turned right into corporation Street and into the bus interchange. As we were getting off the bus Matthew took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 4411.

Inside Arriva Midlands 4411
When we came into the bus station we saw a bus on the stop behind us. It was dud Arriva Midlands 3504 on a #785 to Polesworth.

Arriva Midlands 3504 in Tamworth bus interchange
We turned it down because we have never been to Polesworth and we weren't sure of the frequency of the bus service. Matthew wanted the toilet so we visited the tourist information so that he could use the facilities. When we came out we saw required Arriva Midlands 3501 on a #65 to Nuneaton.

Arriva Midlands 3501 in Tamworth bus interchange
We considered doing Arriva Midlands 3017 which was on the #3A to coton Green but by the time we walked to the other end of the interchange it had already departed. We walked back to the other end of the interchange and we saw required Arriva Midlands 3510 arrive on a #786 to Lichfield.

Arriva Midlands 3510 in Tamworth bus interchange
We got on the bus and we flashed the Arriva Midlands Day Saver ticket to the driver. Nobody else got on the bus and it seemed a little odd... I told the driver 'I always feel suspicious when I get on a bus and nobody else does'. It felt like I was pushing in... Matthew took a picture of the inside of the bus before we sat down.

Inside Arriva Midlands 3510
We seemed to wait for ages and then we drew forwards a little. A bus pulled up behind us and it was an X60 service to Lichfield. That bus went in front of us and then we had a driver change! We waited for a further 10 minutes before we set off out of town. We turned right onto Church Street and forwards onto Lichfield street. we turned left and went over the rivers and we went into the Ventura Park. We whizzed around the shopping park and we returned back over the river before turning left onto the A51. We traveled west through Hopwas and past the pigs in space at the Packington free range pig farm, not that we could see them as it was now properly dark! We turned right at Whittington and we went through the barracks and into the village. We traveled back down country roads and we rejoined the A51. We ran into town and under the railway line before we turned right onto Birmingham Road. We got off the bus and we saw Arriva Midlands 3757 which was on a #825 to Stafford.

Arriva Midlands 3757 in Lichfield bus station
Matthew went to the toilet and then we had a walk around the bus station to take a few picture before we caught a bus back to Tamworth. Whilst Matthew was in the toilet Midland Classic 3 departed on a #21 town service. We saw required Central Buses AE06 ZBT On a Route66 service.

Central Buses AE06 ZBT in Lichfield bus station
A few seconds later required Arriva Midlands 3740 came in on a X60 to Cannock.

Arriva Midlands 3740 in Lichfield bus station
An Arriva Midlands Dart come in and leave out of service. It was required Arriva Midlands 2276. We then saw a Midland Classic bus come in stop on the opposite side of the bus station. We walked over to it and we saw that it was dud Midland Classic 81.

Midland Classic 81 in Lichfield bus station
We walked back over to the Tamworth stop and we saw Central Buses YX63 ZXL. The next Arriva bus to Tamworth was due in a few minutes. Eventually it turned up and it was required Arriva Midlands 3723.

Arriva Midlands 3723 in Lichfield bus station
We went to the rear of the bus to get a picture and the central buses left and the Arriva Bus moved up the stop making us think it was leaving for a minute! The bus stopped and we walked up to it and got on. We flashed the Arriva Midlands Day Saver ticket to the driver for the last the time today before we sat down towards the back of the bus. The bus sat for a couple of minutes and then we left the bus station and turned right onto Birmingham Road. At the crossroads we turned left onto the A51 and we went under the railway line and out of town. At the Shell petrol station we turned left to follow the A51 and we ran up to the Staffordshire Regiment museum. As it was the X60 the journey back took half the time that the #786 journey did going the other way! We flew down the hill through Hopwas and we hit the west end of Tamworth in around 15 minutes! We ran into town along Lichfield street and Aldergate before entering the interchange on Corporation Street. Matthew waited for the bus to empty and he took a picture inside Arriva Midlands 3723.

Inside Arriva Midlands 3723
We headed back to the car and mum was waiting for us with Greggs sausage rolls and Matthew had a bottle of Irn Bru. We left town via Aldergate and Lichfield street and we got onto the Westbound A51. We traveled back via lLichfield, weskirted North of Rugeley and came into Stone via Colwich and Weston. As we passed west of Stone we saw City Cabs minibus BX07 KXB, as well as First Potteries 65042 on the #10. At Trentham we turned Right onto the a503 and we ran through Trentham, Blurton and Dresden up to Longton. At Longton we went past Z carz to see what was parked up there tonight. part way along the front row was Z Carz BN03 OVS.

Z Carz BN03 OVS in Longton
next to that was Z Carz taxi minibus PN06 ONM.

Z Carz PN06 ONM in Longton
At the front of the second row was another vehicle out of the taxi fleet, Z Carz NA06 SUO.

Z Carz NA06 SUO in Longton
Behind that was Z carz Mercedes minibus S952 VMY.

Z Carz S952 VMY in Longton
We turned onto Willow Row to see what was parked up in the compound. There were a couple of minibus here... First we saw Z Carz Volkswagen minibus S973 OVP.

Z Carz S973 OVP in Longton
We also saw Z carz Iveco minibus GK02 NWJ.

Z Carz GK02 NWJ in Longton
We got back on the A50 upper level following D&G 174 and we crossed over the A50 so that we could visit the petrol station at Tesco. We topped up with diesel and we saw Copelands tours Bova coach MIB 520 go past whilst we were there. We crossed the A50 to join onto it, and we passed Scraggs VT 9389 and First Potteries 32079 going the other way. We came off the A50 at Heron Cross and we turned left onto Blurton Road. We carried on up to Church Road and we turned right onto Beaconsfied Drive. We got home around 19:00. 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 01:00... Mark

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