2016 Bus Tour weekend:   
29 April-1 May 2016   



  Friday 29 April 2016

Visit to the West Lancashire O Gauge Group in Bootle.


Photos: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive

  Saturday 30 April 2016

The 40th LUPTS Bus Tour: Saturday 30 April 2016




Download the day’s itinerary from here.


Report and pictures by Jonathan Cadwallader.


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We left Liverpool as intended on an Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian of Springfield Bus & Coach. Now registered F20 HOW, it was originally S903 JHG, being fleet number 16669 in the Stagecoach Ribble fleet.


Departing via the M62 we joined the M6 before making a brief stop at Keele Services. Shortly afterwards we left the motorway on the A500, before a lengthy run along the A50 took us to Junction 24 of the M1. Heading north for 5 miles, we then turned east along the A52, which at this point is known as Brian Clough Way.


A short time later we pulled in at the Toton Lane terminus of one of the new branches of the Nottingham Express Transit system. Our tour was originally planned to take place in 2015, but a serious delay in completing the 2 new lines of the NET led to a postponement. On alighting from the bus it was clear that something was amiss. A growing number of passengers were waiting at the stop but there was no sign of a tram. It turned out that one had failed en route, causing disruption to the timetable. I asked our bus driver to remain at the stop for a while in case we needed the bus to reach Nottingham city centre, but fortunately the difficulty was resolved and we made our way on a somewhat delayed tram.



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Unlike many of the new generation of tram systems in Britain, there are two types of tram running in Nottingham. Fleet numbers 201-215 were built by Bombardier in Derby in 2002-2003 from their Incentro range, whilst 216-237 were constructed by Alstom in Barcelona in 2013-2014 and come from their Citadis family. Time was allowed to photograph cars in a somewhat damp city centre and for brief visits to cafes and pubs as desired by the various tour participants.


I had arranged special access for our bus to collect the party from the Clifton South tram stop, being the terminus of the other recently opened branch. Situated south-west of the centre it has a large park and ride facility, complete with an on-site security man. Unfortunately a further problem on the tramway led to several of our group not having arrived at the appointed time of the bus departing. This was of considerable concern as we needed to be at our next destination in time to catch a train at 14.00 and time was running out.

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Photos: Charles Roberts/Online Transport Archive


An express transit of our own was made to the Ruddington station of the Great Central Railway - North, where the train was held back for a few minutes to allow us to join. A Class 47 provided the power to take our service the 8.5 miles to a point alongside the works of Brush Traction in Loughborough, just east of the Midland main line. It is hoped that the installation of a new bridge across the MML will soon lead to the GCR-N being joined to the line from Loughborough to Leicester North.


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On our return trip we alighted at Rushcliffe Halt, travelling back to Ruddington from there on a former Nottingham City Transport AEC Regent III, part of the collection of the Nottingham Area Bus Society. NABS have their base on the same site as the railway at Ruddington with a collection of approximately 20 buses in various states of restoration. There was time then to inspect the collection, chat to the society members, visit a model railway and have a cup of tea before leaving Ruddington at 16.30. A few of our party had managed to travel on a miniature railway which was not scheduled to be operating on that day.


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A major consideration when planning tours is the availability of public toilets once off the motorway network. Most of our journey home was to be via A roads through the Peak District. Only Baslow offered the possibility of a toilet stop once in the area but, sadly, it had no chip shop. So our traditional chip stop break had to be taken at the less than scenic Tibshelf Services before leaving the M1


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A pleasant ride through Derbyshire followed, leading to a return to Liverpool at 20.30.  A few more passengers on board would have helped the finances and we could have done without the drizzle in Nottingham and the disruption to the tram schedules, but, all in all, it was a good day.


  Sunday 1 May 2016

Sunday lunch at Trattoria 51 Pizzeria, Southport.



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Last updated: 01 May 2017

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