Derbyshire Wayfarer: Derby, Chesterfield & Sheffield

Derbyshire Wayfarer: Derby, Chesterfield & Sheffield
A selection of buses at Belper Bus Station which doubles up as a bus garage.Tom Harrison

Continuing with his trip reports to places outside of the North West of England, Tom decided to try out the Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket. This allows the ticket holder unlimited travel in the Derbyshire area unlimited travel on buses and trains for £13.00.

In my opinion, this ticket warrants great value considering how many places you can visit in one day. My journey took in the highlights of Chesterfield, Sheffield, Ilkeston, Matlock and Belper. Some of the companies I traveled on include Arriva Midlands, Stagecoach Yorkshire as well as Trent Barton and Kinchbus – both of which are a subsidiary of the Wellglade Group.

Chesterfield Comet

The first journey of the day took me from Derby bus station to Chesterfield on Trent Barton’s ‘The Comet’ service. This was operated by a smart 2009 Volvo B7RLE with Wrightbus Eclipse Urban bodywork, complete with a stylish interior, air conditioning and WiFi. The only gripe here was creaky suspension from the rear axle. The journey took me via Alferston and arriving in Chesterfield just over an hour after leaving Derby.

Upon arriving in Chesterfield I took a look around the market and shopping precinct before deciding on the next journey to make. I saw a 2004 East Lancs bodied Scania N230UD working the 43 to Sheffield so I browsed the bus station directory and saw the Stagecoach Gold X17 service operated to Sheffield. I decided to take this to Sheffield as it was a smartly presented 2018 Alexander Dennis Enviro400MMC which had the usual creature comforts such as USB charging, e-leather seating and WiFi.

Seeing as the Wayfarer ticket was multi-modal I decided to take a train back to Derby after arriving in Sheffield Interchange, this was because once you reach a destination outside Derbyshire the ticket is not valid on local bus services. The journey to Derby was provided by a Cross Country Voyager train, stopping only at Chesterfield and Derby before continuing on to its destination of Plymouth. Sadly this was a very busy journey – so much so I stood the entire duration of the hour journey back to Derby.

Ilkeston Flyer for A Pint

Adding further value to the ticket, I decided to do a couple of shorter trips from Derby. The first of which was a trip on the ‘Ilkeston Flyer’ on a 2008 Volvo B7RLE with Wright Eclipse 2 bodywork, where I went to Ilkeston and stopped off for a pint of beer. The journey was as it was branded, ‘fast’ and this was to their standard specification including WiFi, air conditioning and next stop announcements. After a refreshing break, I decided to take the Yourbus Y59 service back to Derby. This service operates every hour from Shipley View, to Derby city centre via Ilkeston and West Hallam and was operated by a 2012 Mercedes-Benz Citaro O530. You can see a short video of this trip by clicking here.

It was around 5pm by the time I got back to Derby city centre and my hotel was just a few meters from the last stop on the Y59 service. I decided to have a break here and get something to eat before continuing the exploration throughout the evening. I love pushing the validity of tickets to their boundaries, and this trip was certainly no exception.

Skylink to East Midlands Airport

Thoroughly full and rested, I checked the validity map to see where I could possibly go next. I decided to go to East Midlands Airport because this was operated by Kinchbus. Skylink is the brand that operates to East Midlands Airport, with services arriving here from Nottingham, Leicester, Derby, Loughborough, Long Eaton and Coalville. On my journey, a smartly presented and branded 2014 Mercedes-Benz Citaro O295 was operating this journey. It had a very pleasant interior, which included luggage racks, 240V plug sockets and USB charging as well as next stop announcements. You can see a short video of this trip by clicking here.

Having waited at East Midlands Airport for a short while, I decided to get another 2014 Mercedes-Benz Citaro O295 back to Derby, This journey was much busier than the trip going to the airport. I would like to do the full stretch to Loughborough in the near future – who knows it could be sooner than you think.

Rail Replacement to Matlock

The next journey on the to-do list I came up with was a journey to Matlock, having thought about this, I could have included it earlier in the day by using the Stagecoach Gold X17 service from either Chesterfield or Sheffield. Nevertheless, I decided to go to the railway station, but later learned that a rail replacement service was in operation – I didn’t mind about it being a coach. In fact, I was surprised at the allocation of a 2010 Scania K360 OmniExpress, this provided an enjoyable journey to Matlock.

This was my first time in Matlock, and I was pleasantly surprised how quaint this county town was, especially with Matlock Spa situated close-by. I passed some time at the amusement arcades whilst I awaited the 20:10 ‘Sixes’ 6.1 service by Trent Barton to Belper bus station. This journey was operated by a 2010 Optare Solo M950, the specification of which, wasn’t that impressive. After an interesting journey through Cromford and Wirksworth we arrived at Belper bus station on time at 20:43.

Having a short connection at Belper bus station, I took the time to have a quick look around as it doubles up as a bus garage for sleepy buses. The connection I was waiting for was the ‘Sixes’ 6.3 which started in Whitemoor at 20:04 and arrived at Belper bus station at 20:15.

Quite a lot of passengers who were in the 6.1 service were waiting with me for the onward connection to Derby on the 6.3. This was operated by a 2005 Scania L94UB with Wrightbus Solar bodywork – smartly presented inside with the usual creature comforts of free WiFi and next stop announcements. Interestingly this had a standing load on the way into Derby with several groups of people on their way for a night out on the pop.

The Day After – PlusBus around Derby

Sunday 17th February 2019, as I wanted to get the bus to the railway station on Sunday afternoon, I decided to buy a PlusBus ticket with my train ticket from Liverpool. As I hold an 18-25 Railcard, I got the Derby PlusBus ticket for just £2.40 which entitled me to travel on Arriva Midlands, Trent Barton, Kinchbus and Notts & Derby. I typically enjoy a more relaxed day of travelling on Sundays as I’m usually due to take a train back to Liverpool later that afternoon or evening.

Starting in Derby, I took the ‘Mickleover’ service to Mickleover, this took roughly 15 minutes passing through California and the Royal Derby Hospital. This service was operated by a smart 2016 Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMC and had various interior features such as coffee shop style flooring, USB charging ports to keep passengers’ mobile devices powered as well as free WiFi. On my return, I took the ‘Villager’ V1 service back to Derby bus station which was operated by a 2008 Volvo B7RLE.

As time was of the essence, I decided to do a few more short trips, which included taking the Arriva Midlands 38 service to Sinfin where I took the opportunity to visit the Asda Superstore for some lunch. After consulting the timetable, I decided to get a different route back to Derby, which was the Arriva Midlands 7 service which serves Normanton and Sunny Hill. Both of these services were operated by Arriva’s latest arrival of 19 Wrightbus Streetite DF as part of a £3.5 million investment.

Lastly, I took the Arriva Midlands 4 service to Alvaston Blue Peter, this was operated by a 2008 Scania OmniLink. After a short journey to Alvaston, I waited for the Arriva Midlands 1A back to Derby bus station. This journey was operated by a 2009 VDL SB200 with Wrightbus Pulsar bodywork which was branded for the F1 service.

For those who are interested, my friend over on YouTube, video47 recently made a good video of the bus scene in Derby.

Tom Harrison

Related Posts


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *


Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented