After returning to Stafford and catching a train to Stone (of which more later), our next stop was Barlaston. Again, this would require the use of a rail replacement bus – this time, the BakerBus X1 service. In a prime example of joined up transport, this service departs from the opposite side of Stone to the railway station it supposedly connects with.
The bus turned up a few minutes late. I got on board and waved my train ticket at the driver, but he called me back before I could take a seat.
“Where are you going?”
“I said, where are you going to?”
“Oh, OK. I was just checking!”
He muttered something about “just getting on without saying anything”. Fair enough – I’m used to big city buses where any communication between passenger and staff is frowned upon.
We headed out of Stone on a wide dual carriageway, but true to form this did not last long, as we turned off and headed up another narrow country lane. A few minutes later we pulled up at Barlaston, with the driver wishing us a cheery goodbye as we alighted.