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Posted by: John Brace | 10th January 2012

Arriva 410 Bus: From “Ferry Across the Mersey” to “Folsom Prison Blues”

English: Mersey Ferry Royal Iris of the Mersey...

Image via Wikipedia

So, having a rare day out with the wife we returned from Liverpool on the Mersey Ferry (she likes the ferry whereas my taste in music isn’t Gerry and the Pacemakers “Ferry Across the Mersey” as loud as possible). We get an Arriva 410 bus from Woodside planning to change on Conway Street on the way back.

The bus goes through the bus station, lets some passengers off, past the new Asda and carries on down South Claughton Road. There must have been at least about twenty passengers on it.

A noise as loud as a firework going off a few feet away happens, and one of the windows on the left side of the bus goes from transparent to opaque with lines running from the point of impact. How it actually managed to hold itself together is anyone’s guess. In a surreal twist the one passenger sitting next to it carries on listening to his music through a Walkman oblivious to his lucky escape.

The bus driver stops the bus at the next stop near Cole Street, informs everyone that they’ll have to get off and get on another 410 that’ll be sent. He invites anyone who smokes to get off and have a cigarette (and looks visibly shaken up himself). As we get off the bus and walk past you can see the glass window is completely buckled and warped. It was clearly something that hit the window with a massive force.

There were many ideas from the bus about what happened, one said a kid through a stone (unlikely when you consider the damage), another said someone fired something at the bus. Certainly the guy sitting next to the window, when he realised what was going on was out of the bus like a shot and not seen by anyone on the replacement bus.

I was looking out of the wrong window at the time and didn’t see anything, but heard a very loud bang similar to a firework or a gun shot. The police didn’t turn up before the replacement bus arrived and decided to investigate things at the bus depot instead. You’d think they’d take a possible firearms discharge more seriously… but it’s certainly strange when Arriva can arrive on the scene quicker than Merseyside Police.

We got off on Conway Street by the entrance to Birkenhead Park, the bus driver came round, stopped the bus and pushed out the glass with a rolled up newspaper. Certainly the thing had rattled him, but I expect he got the rest of the day off. It was one of the massive windows you get to look out of…


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