Arrival

Saturday involved, after sorting a couple of household things, a beer trip to meet Andy & JC. We’d arranged to meet at around 2pm in The Crystal Fountain in Cannock, so as that’s in the wilds of Staffordshire that means the horrors of Arriva. Andy, of course, has little choice but to use Arriva or walk, but that serves him right for living in a backwater.

So, the given meeting time means we need lunch. And the Arriva 1 or 2 connects Walsall, Cannock, and Bloxwich. The Bell is in Bloxwich. The Bell is known to serve good cobs and beer, and has a nice beer garden. It’s a sunny day. So, The Bell it is. A short hop on a NXWM 10A, a ride in the 89 through Pelsall, and we’re there. a swift couple, some lunch, and off to get the Arriva 2: it goes round the houses a bit, but stops very close to the Crystal Fountain.

It also stops, according to TfWM data as used by bus apps and, seemingly google, here:

It doesn’t. The 2E stops there, but the 2 goes around here:

So we got to watch it go round the corner.

The positive side of this is that the 1 is actually quicker, using the A34 more, and with a short walk from here (confusingly named “St Johns Road” on the bus and “Forrest Avenue” in the TfWM Data):

we were at the pub. Which sadly, didn’t give a good impression: lots of noise, blokes stood in doorways, limited beer selection, terrible music being played loud in the beer garden, and some of the decor from that lovely refurb damaged. We moved on.

Now, one thing that I’ve got very used to with NXWM is that they have very accurate, responsive GPS transponders in the vehicles. A smartphone app can , therefore, give you a countdown (or indeed a count up if a bus is very delayed) of an ETA that can be frighteningly accurate- when it goes to “DUE” the bus will literally appear with a minute.

We’ve been caught out by this before in Selkirk: other companies evidently use less accurate transponders or update the feed slower, and you can wait around longer than expected, or indeed, give up, and leave the stop, and miss it as it sails past you 2 min later. This time we waited. In the rain, as like Andy said, “Arriva can never keep to a timetable”. Eventually, the 2 arrived.

We then thought a visit to The Colliers Arms might be nice as the 2 passed through that way. We knew it did, we’d been past. On the outward journey last year, on the other half of the one-way system. Worse still, we missed out on The Star too.

This left us with The Masons (whatpub link). You can see what I thoought of that. Thankfully, The Ivy House, and a finish back at The Bell saved the day, but then NXWM must have been channeling Arriva, by seemingly not running any 89 buses for a couple of hours in the early evening, so the route back was via Walsall. Our bus mojo was not strong this day.

One Response to “Arrival”

  1. Willenhall Lad Says:

    Actually I had to resort to an £8.80 taxi to get to Cannock as the “Select” bus service is back the the “green Bus Service” of Ezzo folklore – plus the underspent £6.20 Arriva day pass left me £15 down.

    It was of course, JC’s fault.