Changes to Arriva bus services around Darlington

Since yesterday, Arriva has set in place quite a reorganisation of bus services around Darlington. This was an operation acquired from Stagecoach and I was travelling some of the bus transferred during the transaction on a visit to Teesdale during the Mayday Bank Holiday weekend of 2008. The seats still retained the covering patterns or moquette favoured by their former owner while many if not all had gained Arriva corporate paintwork by that time.

1, 1B Darlington – Bishop Auckland – Crook – Tow Law

All of these will depart now from Stand I on Tubwell Row in Darlington. The X1 sees an extra service from West Auckland at 07:44 that follows the route of service 6 as far as Tindale Crescent before continuing along the usual X1 route to Darlington with an arrival time of 08:25.

2 Darlington – Branksome

Also departs from Stand I on Tubwell Row in Darlington.

3 Darlington – Mowden

Also departs from Stand I on Tubwell Row in Darlington.

4 Darlington – Minors Crescent – Darlington

Now departs from Stand J on Tubwell Row in Darlington.

5, 5A Bishop Auckland – Shildon – Newton Aycliffe – Aycliffe Industrial Estate – Darlington

This now departs from Stand H on Tubwell Row in Darlington with no change in timetable. However, evening and Sunday services no longer interwork with those on service 7 and the Sunday service interwork with the X66 instead.

7 Darlington – Newton Aycliffe – Woodham – Chilton – Ferryhill – Durham

It is the addition of Thinford’s DurhamGate development to the route that has meant the breaking of any interworking with service 5A. The required additional running time between Ferryhill and Durham is the cause both of this and changes in timings. There is one journey that has been removed from the service and added to another: an early morning one commencing from Coxhoe to Durham. Buses now depart from Stand H on Darlington’s Tubwell Row.

8 Darlington – Aycliffe – Ferryhill – Spennymoor
8A Ferryhill – Spennymoor

Service 8 remains unaltered apart from a change to departure stand (now H) on Darlington’s Tubwell Row that also affects the 8A. It is the latter that sees route changes to take in the southern section of Thinford’s DurhamGate development while an opportunity to standardise route timings also gets taken.

9 Darlington – Haughton Road – Springfield
10 Darlington – Haughton Road – Whinfield

An extra vehicle is added to the roster for this service to improve timekeeping and it now uses Stand F on Prebend Row in Darlington as its departure point.

11 Red Hall – Darlington

No change.

12, 12A Hurworth – Darlington Town Centre – Trees Park Village

No change.

13A, 13B Darlington – Firth Moor – Darlington

Now departs from Stand G on Prebend Row in Darlington.

14 Darlington – Skerne Park
14A Harrowgate Hill – Darlington – Skerne Park
14B Springfield – Darlington – Skerne Park

Because of the withdrawal of services 6 and 6A, this route gets quite an overhaul with even different stands being used for each service. All do use Stand J on Tubwell Row for services to Skerne Park. Services 14 and 14A see revised timetables with former long journeys on the 14 as far as Morrison’s supermarket being extended as far as Whinbush to serve former customers of the 6 and 6A using the number 14B. On the way to Whinbush, the 14B uses Stand K on Tubwell Row. The 14A will depart from Stand H on Tubwell Row for Harrogate Farm.

19 Darlington – Faverdale – West Park

No change.

21 Darlington – Sedgefield – Trimdon Village – Peterlee
21A Middlesbrough – Sedgefield – Trimdon Village – Peterlee

Service 21 now departs from Stand H on Tubwell Row in Darlington.

59 Askrigg – Hawes – Leyburn
X59 Askrigg – Hawes – Leyburn – Darlington

No change.

75 Darlington – Staindrop – Barnard Castle
76 Darlington – Winston – Barnard Castle

No change.

X26, 26A Darlington – Richmond – Colburn – Catterick Garrison
X27 Darlington – Richmond – Marne

No change.

X66/X67 Darlington – Harrowgate Hill – Stockton – Middlesbrough

The only change is to the Sunday timetable when journeys run thirty minutes later so as to interwork with services 5 and 5A. Otherwise, the Darlington departure point or the rest of the timetable is untouched.

Gas works

Macclesfield’s streets have been getting dug up again and it’s a reminder of what was going on around this time last year when traffic light renewal was under way. About that time, there seemed to be some gas works ongoing too and it is gas mains renewals that are causing the disruption at the moment. The powers that be seem to have focussed their attention around the roundabout at the intersection of Churchill Way and Cumberland Street/Hibel Road. So far, that doesn’t seem to having much effect on the buses that I use though services to Kerridge (the bus used for that service now displays its destination and the vehicle has gained a cherished registration mark too; what was wrong with the standard issue 54 one?), Bollington and Upton Priory surely can’t have escaped the build up of traffic caused by temporary traffic lights. Of course, it would be best if this sort of thing went away for a while but that might be why signs have appeared about a few weeks work lasting for eighty years afterwards. Only time can tell if that promise comes to pass with the rigid plastic pipes that they seem to be using.

Still waiting on complete clearance

Heavy rain might have been visiting Macclesfield this morning but bus travellers between Macclesfield and Buxton still are being diverted around by Whaley Bridge. Of course, what is rain at lower levels can become sleet and snow up higher on those hills. With that there was last night, you wouldn’t have imagined that heavy rain lay ahead but such is the British weather that big changes like that often happen quickly. What does take a while is the melting of any ice that has formed and the rain only makes it more slippery in the interim period. The result is that I have tended to walk on the carriageway where the footway looks very suspect. Speaking of roads, buses are able to travel and the usual complement of buses serving routes 4, 10, 11, 21, 27 and 130 were out and about. So, while the snow hasn’t departed us yet, milder (and wetter) weather lies ahead. Quite where all the water locked up in snow and ice is going to go is anyone’s guess but rivers and streams could get very full and the next complaint that we get to hear could be about flooding. Well, there’s always something but we have little choice but to get through it.

Calming down?

Yesterday proved to be a very busy day on this part of the web with the site statistics showing it was the busiest day that it ever had. In contrast, it is a much quieter place this morning with visitor numbers being more usual. It would seem that the same could be said for buses around Macclesfield. There was a very late 130 but that can happen on any day with Knutsford, Bollington and Macclesfield town services being out and about. Only for the snow that was on the ground in places and the need to clear and grit some areas, it could have been any other day. Of course, another dump of snow could change things and the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton remains shut, resulting in a diverted service 58 (it’s not the only alteration to Bowers services in Derbyshire). A weekend foray into the hills remains tempting but transport considerations come into play as does the need for items like snowshoes. We’ll see what comes next.

Update @15:40: Service 58 between Buxton and Macclesfield now seems to be running as usual so the A537 must have been cleared to facilitate this.

Subject to delay

From what I have seen this morning, buses are running around Macclesfield though there are delays. For one thing, I had a longer than expected wait for my bus to work but the 130 (Manchester) is running as are the 4 (Upton Priory), 10 (Bollington), 11 (Kerridge) and 27 (Knutsford). All of them were sighted around Churchill Way while I was waiting. As I write this, fog is cutting down on visibility and the air is cold enough to freeze the ears off you but you can move about with a spot of due care and attention. Saying that, it seems that the A537 between Macclesfield and Buxton is impassable with the 58 being redirected to connect with the 60 at Whaley Bridge, even though the road around by Kettleshulme and Rainow has its own problems according to the information that I have.

Update 1: You’ll find updates on Bowers bus services and the same for other Centrebus operations on Twitter and Facebook. Seeing the effectiveness of this, it might be an idea for Arriva to do the same with the current sluggishness of their bus company website. Being a multi-regional operator means that they are under siege from all directions when we the sort of weather than we are having.

Update 2: On the way home, things seem to be going like the sort of weekday with no snow about. Yes, there were delays with the 130 but the 27 ran near enough to time so travelling was no ordeal.