Most people who go shopping on the High Street rarely give a thought to what’s behind the façade. Parades of shops often have service roads – grimy places where deliveries are made and the rubbish collects ready for removal. Here is one such road in North Finchley…

This photo was taken 10 years ago and was one of my early forays into HDR editing. Although I achieved the effect I wanted back then I’d probably do it different now – in fact I’d probably B&W it for starters 😉

This is my entry for Nancy’s Challenge this week.

Yesterday I got out and about for a walk round the local area. Alasdair’s GCSE’s are almost over and I can get back to doing what I want to do 🙂 Here some transport shots from a somewhat overcast yesterday.

Here we see a delivery in progress to ABC Depot on Station Road……It’s a tight fit coming down there with cars parked both sides and there was a bit of shuffling of some vehicles to make room for the truck to park up in the loading area. The tractor unit is a Renault Range-T. It was new to Steven Sharpley Transport of Driffield but has been sold on. I wonder if Alan Firmin have bought it second-hand to evaluate the Range-T (they’re mainly Mercedes customers) but it’s more likely to be an owner-driver filling-in for them.

On Regents Park Road here’s a 143 bus passing the old bank building – I believe it was a Barclays……The Trophy Centre and Felafel Feast on the right occupy the old Coal Offices of Finchley Central station.

London Ambulance 7794 passes along Ballards Lane on Blues ‘n’ Two’s…

Another truck on Ballards Lane passes the Finchley Central bus stop and passengers who are likely waiting for a bus to Golders Green or Brent Cross……Steve Williams Transport are based in Wrexham in Wales. I’m guessing he overnighted at South Mimms services and is on his way to complete his delivery?

A 125 Bus heading along Ballards Lane past Victoria Park……The housing behind the bus was built by Martyn Gerrard estate agents and includes their head office.

Another shot on Ballards Lane at the North Finchley end. A 460 bus heads for Willesden……This is the latest Volvo / Wright bus combination delivered to Metroline and they are replacing the Volvo / Plaxton vehicles on the route. The tall building in the centre is 100 Kingsway – upmarket flats to rent. The building also houses The Arts Depot and the bus station. On the left you can see the sign for The Elephant which is a Fuller’s Public house and does very nice Thai food to accompany well kept ales. The pub used to be called The Moss Hall Tavern.

To finish, here’s one of the fourteen year old Volvo’s on the 460 route at its North Finchley terminus outside 100 Kingsway…

For the Transport Enthusiast, Unusual means an odd working – something out of the norm.  For example: –

The 460 bus route from Willesden to North Finchley is normally the preserve of Metroline’s Volvo double-deckers so it was somewhat of a surprise when MCV bodied MAN MM819 turned up on the route at Golders Green.   Presumably, the rostered vehicle had broken down and the garage was short of spare vehicles of the correct type…

MM819

If it’s not an odd vehicle on a route, then it’s a route in the wrong place.   Buses working on a road that normally does not have a bus service.   For example, Woodside Avenue in Haringey.   Here we see a 134 bus on diversion following a burst water main in Muswell Hill which closed the road on its normal route.   Diversions, whilst interesting for the enthusiast, are a nuisance for the operator and passengers alike.  The diversion has to be safe for the size of vehicle (no low bridges for example) and needs to get the passengers back to the normal route as soon as possible – though in this case I recall the 134’s then ran straight up the A1000 to North Finchley rather than regaining their normal route in order to keep lost time to a minimum.  Passengers wanting to get to Muswell Hill were able to change at East Finchley onto the 234 or 102 routes.

TP42

Another unusual working – Here is a Bendybus on the North Circular Road.   It’s definitely off route, the 29 doesn’t go anywhere near the North Circular!   So what was it doing there?   London Mayor, Boris Johnson, made an election pledge to get rid of Bendybuses in London (I can think of more pressing things that he could have promised) 😦  Arriva, having won a contract to provide bus services in Malta, decided that some of its relatively new Bendies could go there.  This vehicle (MA128) was one of those selected.   So the conclusion is that it was on its final journey from the capital before being shipped out of the country.  Off then to warmer weather and away from the rain and traffic jams on the A406 North Circular Road – which definitely are Not Unusual!

MA128

Finally, Rail Replacement Services – Not unusual in themselves these days with parts of the London Underground Network being closed at weekends to facilitate major uplift work.   They do bring out a variety of vehicles from the operators.   With normal services still to be maintained – it can be an interesting group of vehicles too.  Often older vehicles that perhaps only normally operate at peak hours and invariably the occasional ‘Dog’ that drivers will normally refuse to take out! – It’s amazing how much better a vehicle looks to a driver when there’s overtime at stake 😉   It also brings unusal operating challenges.   Here we see Arriva DLA13 at Woodside Park station.   Normally the station sees services on the 383 route, operated by 8.9m vehicles.   DLA13 is 10.6m long and to turn around requires a three point turn to get back out on the road – an unusual maneouvre for a bus once out of the garage.   Having got to this point, the bus refused to go into reverse gear.   It took a shutdown, restart and lots of engine revving to finally coax it into gear – I guess, with the number 13, the driver should have known it’d be a Dog 😉

DLA13