Saturday, 17 December 2016

Trip to Northwich / Chester 17-12-2016


708Northwich InterchangeBarnton, Broomsfield Lane (cnr)4Arriva NW&W
708Barnton, Broomsfield Lane (cnr)Northwich Interchange4Arriva NW&W
4645Northwich InterchangeTarvin, o/s Londis Store82Arriva NW&W
4102Tarvin, o/s Londis StoreChester, Railway Station (S4)84Arriva NW&W
2950Chester, Argos Stop B (Stop B)Northwich Interchange82Arriva NW&W

Today we decided to re-visit Northwich. As it is mid December and the days are short, we gave Matthew a list of places nearby in the North West and the Midlands and from the list Matthew chose Northwich. Research consisted of looking up the weather, which was forecast for cloudy cold weather and looking at the timetables in the Northwich area. Matthew got up around 10:00 and had toast and orange juice for breakfast. We set off around 12:00 and we drove through Blurton along Beaconsfield Drive and left onto Church Road. We followed the road to the left onto Blurton Road and we stop at the One Stop Shop for mum to drop something off at the Post Office. We continued down Blurton Road and up and over the hill into Heron Cross. We got onto the Westbound A50 and we ran to Sideway where we joined the Northbound A500. Just before we got to the M6 we passed Springfield double decker Y22 HOW plus another red Enviro400 double decker LJ09 OKD. We came off the A500 and we joined the M6. The road was quiet and we made good progress two junctions up the motorway. We passed an unidentified Eiflon's coach and a blue and cream half cab single decker with a covered load on it's roof. We came off the M6 at the A54 and we ran West to Middlewich. We saw an unidentified white Ford minibus and St Luke's Routemaster RM1590. We stopped at the Country Kitchen food wagon for dinner where Matthew had a sausage & egg bap washed down with a small bottle of diet Coke. when we had finished we continued North to Nothwich via the A54 and the A533. We crossed under the A556 and in Leftwich we saw Arriva NW&W 4104 on a #31 to Crewe. We pulled into the town centre and we turned right on Watling Street before turning left into Crum Hill. We parked up and we said goodbye to mum. As we walked onto Watling Street there we a couple of buses on stand. Required Arriva NW&W 708 was on the #2 service and required Arriva NW&W 2950 was on the #82 to Chester. Matthew wanted to go to the toilet so we walked across to the market and Matthew used the disabled toilet at the top end. By the time Matthew had finished Arriva NW&W 2950 had already departed to Chester. Matthew came out of the toilet and we saw Club Class minibus ET02 UCN. There was a crowd at stand G so we went over to see what they were waiting for. There was a #37A to Sandbach due at 13:48. Whilst we waited at that stop we saw dud Arriva NW&W 2618 which was on a #1 Weaverham circular service.

Arriva NW&W 2618 in Northwich Interchange
A few minutes later we saw a Network Warrington bus approaching. As it got closer we saw that it was required Network Warrington 71 on a #45 service to Warrington.

Network Warrington 71 in Northwich Interchange
The #37 turned up eventually and it was dud Arriva NW&W 2608. Matthew didn't fancy doing this and whilst we considered what to do next we saw Arriva NW&W 2612 on a #1 Weaverham circular service.

Arriva NW&W 2612 in Northwich Interchange
A few minutes later we saw required Arriva NW&W 708 on the #4 to Barnston so we decided to do this.

Arriva NW&W 708 in Northwich Interchange
We got on the bus and we we booked Arriva NW&W Daysaver ticket at £5.30 each before we sat down. Matthew resisted the temptation to honk the horn and was very well behaved! The bus set off along Watling Street and we turned right onto Chester Way. We crossed over the Weaver and we turned right onto Castle Street. At the end we turned left onto the A533 and we climbed the hill past the hospital and over the railway line. We ran to the end of the road and then we turned left onto Runcorn Road. We ran up the hill and we turned right into Manor Road and into the estate. We ran around the estate and we got up and flashed the tickets to the driver aso we could return back into town on the bus. We got back onto the A533 and we ran down the hill, following the road to the right over the Weaver. We ran past the Tat chemical works and back over the railway line before we dropped down into town. At the bottom of the hill we continued onto the one way system and over the Weaver into the town centre. When we got to the Interchange we saw required Arriva NW&W double decker 4645 was waiting on the #82 to Chester. We had around 2 minutes to get off the bus and get on the double decker if we were going to catch it, we we decided to do. We got off Arriva NW&W 708 and we walked briskly back a couple of stands and we got a picture of Arriva NW&W 4645 before we jumped on it.

Arriva NW&W 4645 in Northwich Interchange
We flashed the Arriva NW&W Daysaver ticket to the driver before we went upstairs and sat down. The bus set off along Watling Street and then turned right into Chester Way. We crossed over the weaver and we turned left onto the A559. We ran West out of town and as we passed some minibuses parked up off Milner Road adjacent to Greenbank railway station. We continued out past Hartford station and we joined the Westbound A556. As we continued towards Chester we were now in thick fog. We turned right onto Weaverham Road and we ran through the Cuddington housing estate before we joined the Southbound A49. We turned right by the petrol station to re-join the A556 and we carried on Westwards. We then continued on along one of the fast parts of the route through Oakmere until we joined the Westbound A54. We continued for a further 500m and then we turned left into Kelsall village. The fog was now clearing and it was sunny! After running through the village we re-joined the A54 about a mile further West. Another short run along the A54 and we turned left to go into Tarvin Village. When we got off the bus we decided to get up and get off the bus here. Matthew took another picture of Arriva NW&W 4645 before it continued on to Chester.

Arriva NW&W 4645 in Tarvin
Once off the bus we walked down Forge way and we went to the Co-operative Food store where Matthew had a can of Coke as well as a couple of small bottles of pop and a couple of chocolate bars. Once we had purchase the stuff we went back to the same bus stop as the #84 to Chester was due 18 minutes after the #82. Matthew had a bottle of Sprite and ate a Bounty. The bus was a few minutes late which was not too surprising with heavy traffic in Chester and Crewe town centres. The bus turned up and it was dud Arriva NW&W 4102.

Arriva NW&W 4102 in Tarvin
We got on the bus flashed the Arriva NW&W Daysaver ticket to the driver before we went upstairs and sat down. We set of Westwards down the High Street and we re-joined the A54. A few hundred yards down the road the at the next roundabout we joined the Westbound A51 and we ran through Littleton and over the A55 and A41 into Vicars Cross. We crossed the Shropshire Union Canal and we went around the one way system onto Christleton Road. We continued West along the A51 into Broughton and we could see the mist over the River Dee to the left of us. We went around the Square roundabout and we turned sharp right onto City Road and up towards the railway station. At the end of the road the bus terminated and we let the bus empty before Matthew took a picture inside Arriva NW&W 4102.

Inside Arriva NW&W 4102
When we got off the bus we had around 35 minutes to get 1/4 of a mile across town to foregate Street so that we could catch the #82 back to Northwich. In the meantime we decided it was best to visit the toilet so we set off across the road to the railway station. On the way we stopped to get a picture of Helms Dennis Dart 114 which was on a City Rail Link service.

Helms 114 in Chester
There were also a couple of other buses parked opposite the railway station. The nearest one was Helms Enviro200 121 on layover

Helms 121 in Chester
Also on layover we saw Helms Wright bodied VDL bus 115.

Helms 115 in Chester
We went into the forecourt of the railway station and we located the toilet which was to our delight on the near side of the barrier! Once Matthew had finished using the facilities we set off on foot along City Road and we saw Arriva NW&W 4406/4407 on the #1 to Wrexham and Stagecoach Merseyside 21262 on a a X8 to Liverpool. We went around the big square roundabout and we went under a couple of subways and then we were on the right side of Foregate for us to catch the bus back with around 12 minutes to spare. It was quite busy with both people and buses. Whilst we waited we saw Stagecoach Merseyside 47515 on a #9 to Piper's Ash.

Stagecoach Merseyside 47515 in Chester
There were plenty of different buses coming and going on the 2 park and ride services that pick up at this stop. To cope with demand extra seemed to have been put on and these were usually older double deckers. Once such example was Stagecoach Merseyside 17272 on a PR2 service to Broughton Heath.

Stagecoach Merseyside 17272 in Chester
In the next few minutes we saw Kee Travel 0008 KEE and National Holidays NH13 DWH as well as Stagecoach Merseyside double decker 18002 on a PR1 service to Wrexham Road. A few minutes later as expected we saw required Arriva NW&W on the #82 to Northwich.

Arriva NW&W 2950 in Chester
We got on the bus and we flashed the Arriva NW&W Daysaver ticket to the driver for the final time today before we went sat down at the back of the bus. We set off across the bi square roundabout onto the A51 and we travlled eastwards out through Broughton. Where the Road splits away from the A5115, we veered left and we ran up through Vicars Cross and over the A55 & A41. We continued through Littleton and down the hill and then we turned left onto the A54. It was now quite foggy and we couldn't really see where we were going! We turned right into Tarvin High Street before we rejoined the A54 a little further East. After a short run along the A54 we turned right again to run through Kelsall. We rejoined the A54 and we ran through Oakmere before we veered left onto the A556. At the crossed roads we turned left onto the A49 and we entered the estate in Cuddington along Ash Road. We ran through the estate and we rejoined the A556 and ran East to Harford where we came off and went onto the A559. We ran past Hartford and Greenbank railway stations and we entered Northwich from the West end crossing over the Weaver before coming into the interchange on Watling Street. Once we got off the bus we spotted mum parked in the car park, but as it was foggy we decided to take a couple of pictures of the buses in the strange orange fog lit up by the streetlights. We saw Arriva NW&W 2618 on a #29 to Winsford.

Arriva NW&W 2618 in Northwich Interchange
We got in the car and mum was waiting in the car with Greggs sausage rolls and a bottle or Irn Bru. We set off along Watling Street and we travelled east out of town. At the first big roundabout I accidentally took the wrong turn as it was foggy so acfter a quick turn we resumed East on the A559 out of town until we reached the A556. We continued East to the M6 and we saw AAA Travel YLZ 1348 as we went around the roundabout. We went South for a couple of junctions and the fog lifted as we got onto the Southbound A500. As we got to Stoke it was foggy again and at Sideway we went east along the A50 to Longton where we came off to see what was parked up at Z Carz today. There wasn't many on the spare ground, or at least at the near end. In the first row was Z Carz minibus YS09 LWV.

Z Carz YS09 LWV in Longton
In the two closer buses in the first row was Z Carz Ford minibus PY08 KDX

Z Carz PY08 KDX in Longton
Nearest minibus in the first row was Z Carz minibus GL04 CVE.

Z Carz GL04 CVE in Longton
In the second row was Z Carz minibus BU04 GYW.

Z Carz BU04 GYW in Longton
We turned into Willow Row to see what was in the compound, and there were one or two parked on the road. The first one we saw was new arrival Z Carz minibus PE10 MJK.

Z Carz PE10 MJK in Longton
Also on the road was Z Carz Ford minibus HK57 LGW.

Z Carz HK57 LGW in Longton
Also in the road was another new arrival, Z Carz minibus DG10 VMJ.

Z Carz DG10 VMJ in Longton
In the compound was Z Carz Citroen minibus LV59 DZC.

Z Carz LV59 DZC in Longton
Also on the road was Z Carz Iveco minibus YJ53 WPD.

Z Carz YJ53 WPD in Longton
From the taxi fleet was Z Carz Renault minibus YJ61 GYZ.

Z Carz YJ61 GYZ in Longton
The final bus we saw was Z Carz Renault minibus DS07 LSN.

Z Carz DS07 LSN in Longton
We rejoined the A50 and we left at the next roundabout onto Baths Road so that we could visit Tesco to put some petrol in the car. After filling up we re-joined the westbound A50 which we did up to Heron Cross. We went through Blurton along Blurton road and we turned right onto Church Road. We turned right onto Beaconsfield Drive and we got home around 19:00. For a let tea Matthew had bangers and mash with carrot followed by a jam filled shortcake biscuit. Matthew then chilled out on his computer until bedtime around 00:30... Mark

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