A visit to Merseyside Transport Trust’s open day in Burscough yesterday and what should I spot but a heritage bus in Ribble/North Western livery numbered for the now lost and much missed 311 route which ran from Liverpool through to Ormskirk taking in the Old Roan, Maghull and Lydiate.
It brought back memories of the campaign and petition to try to stop Arriva abandoning the route back in 2015. Here’s a link back to my postings about the matter back then:-
Four years on since the bus was withdrawn and Lydiate residents without access to a car are still struggling to get to Ormskirk, which is just 4 miles away, with only the 310 bus to use and that just skims the very edge of Lydiate.
I’ve posted a couple of times recently about 2019 being the centenary of the creation of Ribble buses. My two previous posts are available via the links below:-
Maghull resident Kevin Duggan has now let me have a couple of photos of a special livery ‘Ribble’ Arriva bus which we could all see out on the road a suppose…… Watch out for a red 300 or 310…….
Click on the photos to enlarge them
Vintage Ribble bus photoed at the West Lancs Light railway in 2018
I posted recently about the 100th anniversary of the founding of Ribble Buses in 1919 – here’s a link back to that posting:-
Well the other day I bumped into a chap who is deeply involved in organising the Ribble 100 celebrations and I gained more of an understanding about activities throughout 2019 to mark the centenary. Here’s the detail:-
And finally here’s a link to the Ribble Vehicle Preservation Trust’s website:-
Click on the photo to enlarge it.
I scanned this from a print that generous friends presented to me at Christmas.
Maghull’s M4 and M5 circular buses are shown awaiting passengers in the interchange area of of Maghull Station. Note they are were termed ‘Road/Rail Link’ buses back then on the destination blinds.
Since then of course the interchange area has been redeveloped although for bus users and even car drivers dropping people off probably not for the better. Now the buses sit where cars are supposed to pick up and drop of friends and family, forcing cars to drop off folks where the bus stops are! Of course the buses move to the bus shelters when the appointed time arrives but on a cold, wet day being stood there whilst yards away a nice warm bus is also stood there with its doors closed is frankly a pain.
A 231 circular bus parked in the drop off area on 28th December 2015
What’s more I have even seen bus drivers blow their horns at cars that have dropped off folks by the bus shelters and are in the way of the buses. At face value the obstruction of the shelters by cars is wrong. However, bearing in mind that bus drivers also seem to take exception to cars being in the drop off area, when they want to park their buses there, the buses are actually the cause of cars needing to use the bus shelter area!
By the way I have tested this out for myself on a few occasions when I have been picking someone up from Maghull Station. On one memorable day I parked behind a bus in the drop off area only for another bus to park alongside me so I could not get out. I assume the driver was upset that I was where he wanted to park his bus, yet I was parked where I was supposed to be! Why Merseytravel have never sorted this muddle out properly I do not know. it’s not as if they don’t know what’s going on.
Back in the 1970’s the buses waited their passengers right outside the station entrance so progress seems to have made things worse not better for users of the circular buses.
The photo is also amongst my Flickr photos at:-
September’s meeting went on for over 2 hours but that seems to be par for the course these days.
We had a presentation from Protect Aughton Landscape Together who are campaigning against high grade agricultural land in their Parish being potentially taken out of crop growing use only to be replaced by solar panels. Aughton is to the north of Lydiate so the issue is of interest and concern to Lydiate residents. Here’s a link to the campaign group’s facebook page:-
Lydiate Parish Council had already sent in an objection to West Lancs Borough Council to the proposals on the similar basis as the one we sent in about the wind turbine plan for Altcar Parish to the west of Lydiate. This was a unanimous view of the Parish Council i.e. Labour rulers and us Lib Dems in opposition. And it’s not because we Lib Dems oppose renewable sources of energy, quite the opposite in fact, but it’s because of that old chestnut in this area of the high grade agricultural land. Building anything on it either in Sefton or the surrounding parts of West Lancs that have the same quality of land is just not on when only 2% of England has such high quality food/crop growing land. I do wonder though about Labour as their troops on Sefton Council have consistently voted to build on Sefton’s high grade agricultural land yet Labour oppose it happening on West Lancs land surrounding Sefton. Very odd.
We had a discussion about doing a Neighbourhood Plan for Lydiate and this forms a separate posting to follow soon.
Tennis Courts and caged play areas – We approved some significant expenditure on the tennis courts at Sandy Lane Park and the other caged ball areas at Coronation Park. We are talking quite a few thousands of Pounds but patching up the fencing around these areas is no longer cost-effective. Best to bite the bullet and do a major job. The tennis courts will probably need resurfacing in the not too distant future too but that’s a worry for another day. Lydiate has had quality parks in recent years and I hope we all want to retain such standards.
The Leeds Liverpool Canal is celebrating its 200 year old birthday (Bicentenary) next year (2016) and we agreed that as the canal is a significant feature and leisure facility in our community that we should take part. Hopefully Mersey Motor Boat Club who operate out of Lydiate will be keen to promote celebrations as well.
A blast from the past a former Ribble Lydiate bound 321 bus in model form. Obviously not the 311 but sadly it’s another lost route for Lydiate residents.
311 Bus – We also discussed the sad demise of the 311 bus route previously run by Arriva and before them Ribble Buses for many years. It ceased on 31st August, because Arriva said they could no longer make any money out of it. I asked that we write to Pat Breckell who ran the community campaign to try to save the bus. She deserves some recognition for her efforts and I am glad the Parish Council agreed.
These were the highlights for me anyway.
I recently purchased the photo below of a Lydiate bound 321 bus parked outside Liverpool’s Lime Street Railway Station close to the long gone Skelhorne Street Ribble (then North Western) Bus Station.
Now compare that photo of a model of the very same bus from Exclusive First Editions. Note the Ribble vehicle numbers are the same -2470.
I have posted about the model of this bus before at:-
You can see a photo of the old Skelhorne Street Bus Station on Philip Mayer’s flickr page:-
I recall these very buses and indeed traveled on them in my childhood but my recollection of Skelhorne Street Bus Station was that is was a dark and not very welcoming place to a youngster.
Both photos are amongst my Flickr shots at:-