When I embarked on my Cheshire Day Ranger trip, I had thought that buses would be the weak link in my plans. As it turned out, while delayed trains had (briefly) thrown my plans into disarray, the buses had worked much better. My second bus of the day was just as good as the first, and turned up exactly on time. I was relieved as I had been waiting at the stop for some time – so long, in fact, that I actually saw the same bus go past on its inward journey some twenty minutes earlier.
As I gazed out of the window, picturesque Cheshire villages soon gave way to runway landing lights and budget hotels, as the number 200 made its way along the Manchester Airport approach roads. I alighted at the airport’s transport interchange complex and made my way to the railway station, where things were in slight disarray, with trains cancelled, passengers confused by the departure boards, and an unattended suitcase on platform 3 causing some consternation.
“How much is it to Northwich?”
“How much do you want it to be?”
My bus driver was a comedian. Marvellous. I eventually negotiated a fare of £2 and sat down for an enjoyable 20-minute ride through country lanes and small villages.
The number 48 is an infrequent rural bus service, making just five return trips a day between Frodsham and Northwich. It looked like the sort of bus which has “regulars”, who get on the same bus every day and probably sit in the same seat. I took a seat near the back, probably occupying someone else’s usual spot. I’m sure I got scowled at by at least one other person who got on.
I arrived in Northwich with plenty of time to get the next train, which was fortunate as, unknown to me, the railway and bus stations are some distance apart. A brisk walk across town ensued, but in the end I arrived in plenty of time for my train. The plan was to take a train from Northwich to Manchester Piccadilly, then onward to my next destination, Styal.