Friday, 20 July 2012



    You might think I'm  a little daft (oreccentric) when I decided I must have a haircut and took several buses and trains to have a trim. But more in the manner of an experiment, I took off overland  by public transport from Goostrey to my  regular barber's at Lostock Gralam. Now, yes, I  know, I hear what you say that 15 minutes or so in the car and you are there. That supposes a vehicle is at hand but on this occasion there was nothing in the stable I could take, My electric bike was a tad tempting but one look at the weather decided otherwise. It had to be public transport using my free bus pass and rail card .The first part of the trip was child's play. The local bus from the Red Lion to Goostrey station, then within minutes the stopping train to Chelford. But that is where a simple journey becomes a little fraught. I saw the slipstream of the bus to Knutsford just settling as a stepped from the train for the two minute walk to the village.  The next bus was almost an hour later I found but no worries. What the matter there was a fine  home-made pork pie from Boon's butchers shop as compensation for the wait - although it did occur to me not many years ago the Dixon Arms, now replaced by what appears to be granny stackers, would have provided a more hospitable waiting room than the solitary bus stop !
The village centre of Chelford is  one of the most hostile places to stand for a bus as the
 main road from Knutsford to Macclesfield is alive with with the thunder of heavy lorries and a constant flow of other vehicles mostly travelling like bats out of hell. There is a speed limit of sorts that seems to be universally ignored and why the local community hasn't risen in protest at this intrusion I don't know. If ever there was a case for a by-pass Chelford should have a good chance.
It was with relief, with pie consumed and battered by traffic noise, I finally stepped on board the bus for the next stage of the journey. This turned out to be far more pleasant experience. A few minutes on arrival in Knutsford I was able to catch  a connection to Northwich, stopping at Lostock Gralam. Only trouble was it dropped me something like half a mile from my haircut. The driver, I will call Mr Grumpy (in fact he was a miserable  bugger) said if I wanted to catch him on the return he was back in 20 minutes. Sure, I was the only client but even when finished and dusted down within 10 minutes an Olympian sprinter would have missed the bus. This is where a Plan B is essential when travelling via  public transport. Lostock Gralam is served by the Manchester to Chester rail line, stopping at Knutsford, so the return home was easy. Apart from the near-hour waiting for the train's arrival, another forty-five miniutes for the bus to Chelford and a little over half an hour for the train to Goostrey! The total journey time, including hanging around, was five and a half hours but the haircut was worth it !  

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