Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Getting Full Value out of my Bus Pass

With a whole day to do it in, and a means of doing it for nothing in my pocket I decided to try and get as far in the general direction of home as I could from Norbury using nothing but my bus pass. Believe it or not, I actually enjoy riding on local buses. They take you places you'd otherwise never go (a bit like narrowboats) and the other passengers can unwittingly provide you with hours of harmless amusement. As a professional I also can't stop myself keeping an eye on the driver and seeing how well he or she is doing their job.
The day got off to a bad start when the 08.25 Newport to Hanley bus failed to show in Norbury. I've asked the company for an explanation, but I suspect the driver just didn't expect anyone to be waiting there and chose to stay on the main road instead of coming round the village. With the next bus not until late afternoon I had no option other than to walk the two miles along the A519 to Woodseaves village where, after another 50 minute wait I was able to pick-up the 432 to Stafford.
Things got better after that. First's 101 to Newcastle-under-Lyme was bang-on-time. This bus crosses the Trent & Mersey twice in Stone and as we did so at the Star Inn I noticed I was now exactly two hours down on my original plan.
Newcastle-under-Lyne Street Market
First's "North Staffordshire Bus Guide" suggests that the only way from Newcastle to Crewe is to change from one First bus to another at Tunstall or Hanley. In fact another company, D&G Buses, run a direct service. I had just ten minutes to wait - enough time for a quick whotsit and a dash round the large street market. The route to Crewe has very scenic, even including a circuit of the duck pond at Madeley village and a distant glimpse of the summit of Mow Cop approaching Crewe, where I took a break and where I'll now take another.


No Direction said...

I didn' think you could use a bus pass before 9.30am, yet you hoped to get on the 8.35 ???

Jim said...

Just as well it didn't show then Ray! But you are right;I would have had to pay.
Baker Bus has now confirmed its driver took a short cut and "will be disciplined" (I assume this is a punishment).

Anonymous said...

Yes if the bus had arrived you would have become a "twirly"

Anonymous said...

Not in Staffordshire you wouldn't... all concessionary bus pass holders can travel free at all times - it's the only place in England that allows it.

Norbury is famous for drivers missing it out - I've seen it happen several times before. They don't like that tight turn in the middle of the village.