Sunday, 1 April 2012

Saturday 31/03/12, A West Yorkshire Day Rider

Started yesterday on Stagecoach Solo 47297 (YJ55BKZ). This one started life in Huddersfield with Yorkshire Traction as 517 based at Waterloo depot. When the depot in Huddersfield closed the bus and bacth 47297-300 (YJ55BKZ/BLF/K/N) moved over the Wakefield Rd Depot. Arrving into Barnsley nothing really was out of the ordanary. So onto M.A.N 18.240 HOCL-NR A69 ADL Enviro 300 22632 of Stagecoach (YN08JFU) to Pontefract on a service 35 (Barnsley-Hemsworth-Pontefract). Arriving into Pontefract and having 20 minutes until the next bus i went outside in hope that the Ross Travel Enviro 200 was there new 12 plate one However it wasn't and was there other Enviro 200 (YX61DRZ) which is shown in the photo on the right leaving Pontefract Bus Station. There was also a few M Travel vehicles to be seen, Mainly ALX400 Dennis Tridents which replaced Spectras and MCW Metrobuses on there main routes. As i went back inside onto stand D i noticed as everyone did a large group of people in the bus station waiting at a stand. Suddenly they all started clapping and cheering and after some confusion i realised they had been waiting for a Selby bus as the last one failed to operate due to a brakedown apperntly. I purchased my Arriva West Yorkshire Day Rider (£4.40) on Arriva Yorkshire VDL Wright Pulsar 1453 (YJ59BSO) which moved with the rest of the bacth to Castleford Depot when the 43 New VDL Wright Geminis enterd service. The Pulsar didn't really suite route 150 (Selby-Knottingley-Pontefract-Wakefield) as much as other vehicles but at least it got me to Wakefield on time so i could make the connection (2 Minutes later) onto the 127 which was VDL Wright Gemini 1529 (YJ61OBC). At Ossett i changed onto the 126 which was VDL Wright Gemini 1527 (YJ61OBA) To Dewsbury. In Dewsbury as normal i had missed the 202/203 by about 1/2 minutes and had to wait. Intesting times however as Ikarus Citibus thingy 11 (R10 WAL) was loading on one stand and DAF ALX300 443 (R443KWT) on another. As i waited a National Express Plaxton Elite operated by Stagecoach Yorkshire from Stonegravels Depot (Chesterfield) Arrived onto stand. The correct National Express stand which is also shared by Free Town Bus in Dewsbury which saw a FTB Optare Solo stuck waiting to get onto stand until the coach moved however it took about 8 minutes for the National Express driver to load the elderly passengers so by that time 2 Free Town Buses had arrived. The first one then left without loading leaving the second one to pull up onto stand. Recently Arriva Yorkshire have replaced the East Lancs Lowlanders on routes 202/203 (Leeds-Dewsbury-Huddersfield) with Volvo B9TL Darwen Olympus vehicles recently cascaded off Wakefield flagship service 110 (Leeds-Wakefield-Hall Green Express). 1801 (YJ57BEU) was my vehicle onwards to Huddersfield where i had a KFC for lunch and then took afew photos until it was time to get the bus back to Dewsbury. The photos i took in Huddersfield went really well concidering it was overcast. 
Noted in Huddersfield bus station was a ALX200 Dart which are based at Halifax Depot. This was parked on Layover bay 3 in the bus station all the time i was there and i didn't get chance for a photo. It looked to me (With my not so good eyes) It was showing 900 Halifax on its blind however this i know is operated by K Line (A Centrebus Operation) With First in Huddersfield been 90% Wright Eclipse/ Wright Gemini bodies and 10% Plaxton Pointer Darts, Volvo B7 ALX400 & Volvo Olypian Alexander Royales the ALX200 stuck out like a sore thumb. Also worth noting is the branding of the cascaded Volvo B9TL Darwen Olympus for the 202/203 as showing in the photo on the Right. The branding isn't clear on the photo however it is clear that the bottom of the window is now coverd with the Arriva buses, here to take you there vynal that is popping up on most branded Arriva deckers nowdays. I noted 1804 (The vehicle in the photo), 1805, 1808, 1809 & about 5 more branded however 1801 wasn't branded. The branded looks good on the Darwens. Same Arriva didn't purchase anymore of these type as there very nice buses with great views from the front on the upper deck with the large window. The only problem with them is that they rattle and the seats could do with a retrim but thats not bad to say there 5 years old now. They look mordern too ! Huddersfield is well known for having its fair share of modern low floor vehicles however its the unfair share of High floor and Step entrance vehicles in the fleets of Stotts and other
local to Huddersfield companies people don't seem to recognise. Ive noticed fellow Enthusiasts much more resently saying Huddersfield is just low floor vehicles with a selection of Volvo Olympians. I do have to disagree with that Yes First have Volvo Olympian Alexander Royales on the Holmfirth Routes including the one in the photo which was painted in this livery of former Huddersfield Transport back in the day in 2008/2009. The bus 30843 (T663VMU) has retained the livery ever since and it looks very nice indeed. But also to be found in Huddersfield & Holmfirth alike are the intresting vehicles on Centrebus Huddersfield Bus Company including East Lancs Myllennium bodied DAF SB220 731-5
(X211-5HHE) new to Yorkshire Traction for Route 212 (Barnsley-Athersley South) which moved to Huddersfield before the sale of Stagecoachs Waterloo depot to Centrebus Huddersfield Bus Company. There is also the very intresting Bluebird Mini Pointer Dart 540 (NK53TJV) which has recently arrived from Go North East. This is the only one of its kind in the UK with any company. There are also the Mercedes Minibuses operated by Stotts Coaches, Milnsbridge. These operate local services and can mainly be found in Holmfirth, Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Holmfirth is a nice little village which is in and around the valley and made famous by the great TV Comady Last of the Summer Wine. The bus station is great for photos and quite busy for the size of the town. One of the Stotts Mini Mercs can be seen in the photo on the Right just above this text. After leaving Huddersfield on Arriva 1808 to Dewsbury it changed onto 1805 (Misallocated) on Route 126 to Wakefield. A 30 Minute wait reveled to me just how many of Arrivas DAF ALX300 have survived after the VDL Wright Geminis enterd service and also how bad Wakefield Bus Station is. Firstly i sat on the wrong stand reading the overhead information which is above the wrong stand. The problem is Wakefield isn't owned by West Yorkshires PTE (Metro) and isn't maintained by them ether. It is owned and operated by Arriva. The roof was leaking, Stand information is all wrong and out of date and above the wrong stand too which doesn't help the tired commuter. The problems of Wakefield Bus Station can wait for anyother day. I left Wakefield on Stagecoach Yorkshire 22540 (YN57MXG) operating route 59 (Barnsley-Royston-Wakefield). One of my favorit routes on the Stagecoach Yorkshire network. After this it was time to go home, 47297 again home and at that i will conclude i had a great day in the West of Yorkshire, a lovely part of the county and country alike.

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