|Route B - The Busway, Stagecoach|
That may be overstating things a bit. But I did like the ‘car traps’; ditches that essentially trap a car to stop it from driving along the bus way. I will bet a trapped car does nothing for the timeliness of the service, and it did look a bit severe… but I understand the principle.
Seats taken – Alison joined us for this bit – off we went and soon found ourselves in the middle of the countryside on the busway. It was actually great fun… if you like that kind of thing. I guess this was all the more because any time the bus went anywhere near anything, Alison squeeked – perhaps giving away that she is as unused to being a bus passenger as I was. At Histon, we had our photo taken by Jamie Armstrong; he had prewarned us he would be there and we were on the look out…..hence the need for the front seats…. That was our excuse anyway.
|There was a lot of this going on|
This is where our trip had to alter once again. We were planning to travel to Oakham and make a 5 minute connection on to Nottingham. We were a bit more wary of this now, and Michael had been scheming a credible alternative that would take us out to Uppingham (in Rutland), across to Leicester and then up to Derby. It had more margin in it, more buses and more scope for changing things (the original plan via Oakham hinged on making the one connection). However, as there had been talk of meeting up with Trent Barton Buses we felt we should stick to the schedule if we could.
The Oakham bus (Centrebus 9) arrived and was loading late. At 5 minutes late we stood back… and as it departed 7 minutes late we felt that we had to let it go and set about the safer plan B. We hadn’t heard from Trent in any case.
|Centrebus R47 to Uppingham|
At Uppingham we boarded the Centrebus 747 for Leicester. This was perfect for all the usual comments about ‘flying to Leicester’ and ‘when we land’ etc. (I think you have to be a dad to like that sort of thing!) I didn’t fly, but was fairly quick and we soared out of Rutland and into Leicestershire (I was informed by Michael later that the bus ran 2 minutes behind throughout… but who was counting – asides Michael). We arrived in Leicester and went for a coffee; where the barista donated the change in his pocket…
|Centrebus 747 - Uppingham to Leicester|
Back on the road, this time on the Kinchbus Skyline – which takes in the Airport as well as Loughborough and Derby. We were on our last bus to our chosen destination and it was home and dry.
|Kinch 'Skyline' to Derby|
As we approached Loughborough, a loud and annoying continuous beep emitted from the drivers cab. The reason is was loud and annoying was, I suspect for a reason. The bus was seriously sick – overheating as it turns out. We limped through Loughborough and drew to a stop; the driver had already been in touch with the depot so we hoped things were in hand. This wasn’t the last bus to our destination… and very sadly, I considered the lost and gained mileage and how this driver would record his late running docket. Too much OmniDAS depot allocations I think… or maybe it was that I hadn’t thought about it this week!!!
|Replacement 'Skyline' to Derby|
We finished our journey on the new bus and then had dinner (cue another plug from Wetherspoons) and blogged, Michael removing the libellous and unrepeatables as usual. And finally to our last trip to the hotel (I had booked it a little out of town). Now, to include this trip in the journey or not? It is in service – we took it – it was for a purpose to do with the trip. I have included it, but for any pedants please choose to ignore as you wish.
|Arriva 45 - as far as Pride Park, Derby|