Or: can you get a bus from Station Road to Market Street via Dizzy Heights and Dangerous Corner?

In October 2017, yours truly wrote about the start of a new series entitled Pablo. It is a part-animated and part-live action children’s television series by CBeebies and RTEJr. One that I have had the joy of contributing to alongside several other people with autism spectrum conditions. The first series began in October with 52 episodes spread out over a year.

On the 18 April 2018 (whilst yours truly was busy writing up two sets of Master of Ceremonies’ notes for two concerts), something strange happened at 5.50pm.

It was the airing of Around The Houses, the Pablo episode co-written by myself and Andrew Brenner. We see Draff getting anxious about buses. Later on, his knowledge of Transport for the Art World (TfAW) tendered services saves the day.

Sounds familiar? A lot of the ideas were inspired by my formative years and my recent experiences on public transport. On some occasions, my Draff-like knowledge of the 221 and 343 services have put the odd driver out of a pickle. Even down to drawing sketch maps of the route to help bus drivers.

If you have a TV Licence, you can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer. Please note the link is only valid for another sixteen days after this post’s publication. In a few weeks or months time it should be available on Netflix.

Before I go… can you get a bus from Station Road to Market Street (via Dizzy Heights and Dangerous Corner)?

Here’s where I go all Draff on you. A journey from Station Road to Market Street via Dizzy Heights and Dangerous Corner will be an epic bus trip. One with many changes and a journey between two countries as far as the United Kingdom is concerned. Several times longer than an eleven minute long Pablo episode. For the record:

Station Road to Dizzy Heights:

A simple one should our journey start in North Wales. We walk from Station Road to Water Street in Penygroes. There we board the 1 to Porthmadog and walk to Dizzy Heights. Besides being the name of a forgotten CBBC series set in a hotel, it is a holiday home on Awel Y Grug. We walk from the town centre stop outside The Royal Sportsman up to a roundabout. We turn right onto Penamser Road before seeing Awel Y Grug on our left hand side.

  • 1: 0905, Penygroes [Co-op] to Porthmadog [The Royal Sportsman] (arr. 0938) – Arriva in Wales.

Dizzy Heights to Dangerous Corner:

Here’s where we reach ninja levels of bus bashing! This time, less walking but more sitting. If you had any sense, you would have brought some sandwiches with you. The nine minute transfer between buses at Wrexham (should the T3 arrive in good time) is enough for a toilet stop in the bus station.

  • TrawsCymru T2: 1016, Porthmadog [The Royal Sportsman] – Dolgellau [Sgwar Eldon Square, Stand 1] (arr. 1110) – Lloyd’s Coaches;
  • TrawsCymru T3: 1120, Dolgellau [Sgwar Eldon Square, Stand 1] – Wrexham [Bus Station, Bay 1] (arr. 1325) – Lloyd’s Coaches;
  • Sapphire 1: 1334 Wrexham [Bus Station, Bay 7] – Chester [Railway Station] (arr. 1419) – Arriva in Wales.

On reaching English soil, we walk to the Lightfoot Street stop on Hoole Road via Station Road (another one!), Hoole Way and Hoole Road. On the opposite side you should see a branch of Richer Sounds. From there we take a bus to Warrington. Hence:

  • X30: 1435, Chester (Hoole Road, opposite Richer Sounds) – Warrington [Bus Interchange, Stand 7] (arr. 1555) – Arriva in the North West;
  • 22: 1600, Warrington [Bus Interchange, Stand 1] – Newton-le-Willows [Railway Station, Stop D] (arr. 1623) – Warrington’s Own Buses;
  • 34: 1638, Newton-le-Willows [Railway Station, Stop A] – Leigh [Bus Station] (arr. 1656) – Arriva in the North West;
  • 598: 1705, Leigh [Bus Station] – Hindley Green [Stop D] (arr. 1721) – Stagecoach in Manchester.

With the buses we stop short of Dangerous Corner. It is walkable from our Hindley Green stop in ten minutes. The bus that would take us to Dangerous Corner from Hindley Green is either the 132 or the evenings only 33 to Piccadilly Gardens. Arriving at 1721 means a 45 minute wait for the 1805 to Dangerous Corner. As for the 594 to Leigh, this finishes running after 5pm.

So, foot seems to be a better option, at least to the Dangerous Corner bus stop on the junction of Corner Lane and Westleigh Lane. At least there’s a bus shelter, but there is quite a wait till the next bus. Even after the ten minute walk from Hindley Green.

Dangerous Corner to Market Street:

As anticipated by Draff – sorry, Stuart Vallantine – the most finicky part of the mammoth journey is in Greater Manchester. Due to the lack of decent connections, there is no bus to Market Street till 1808.

That is Market Street in Atherton which seems to be fairly walkable from Dangerous Corner. Thank goodness for the fact that Market Streets are ten-a-penny. The next bus towards Market Street in Wigan is the 132 service at 1805.

Or, we can walk back to Hindley Green and return to our 598 to another Market Street. One in Hindley. On public transport, the easiest option. Hence:

  • A walk from Dangerous Corner, leaving at 1740 for Hindley Green; then,
  • 598: 1751, Hindley Green [Stop D] – Hindley [Bird I’th Hand] (arr. 1759) – Stagecoach in Manchester.

To complete the journey to Market Street, we walk a few yards back from our stop and turn left onto Market Street. Sadly too late to call into many of the town’s shops, but its answer to The Super Place is a massive Tesco Extra. Which, a few shops later is best accessed on foot via Mill Street. Arriving at 1803, too late to catch up on Pablo’s latest adventures on CBeebies.

*            *            *

On the whole, it is quite a journey. Its route through the Welsh Mountains alone could make a pleasant trip. If you want to stay at Dizzy Heights, book as early as possible; its views make the self-catering property a must among holidaymakers.

Pablo is shown on CBeebies at 1750 on weekdays. Details can be found on the BBC website or in your copy of the Radio Times.

S.V., 02 May 2018.

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