Port Panorama Classic Bus Running Day in Liverpool

The Merseyside Transport Trust held its annual Easter running day event on Sunday 27th March to raise much-needed funds for the upkeep of its fleet expanding collection of vehicles.

The MTT has held a running day event on Easter Sunday for a few years now; each year has a different theme. This year’s event was named ‘Port Panorama’ – a take on a tour previously operated by Liverpool Corporation back in the 1960’s. This was the ideal opportunity to see the last of the remaining dock network along the northern banks of the River Mersey as far as Princes Dock and the southern banks at Kings Parade and via the famous Albert Dock complex.

A selection of four superbly restored buses operated free services from Liverpool’s world-famous Pier Head to locations around the waterfront and dock hinterland. These included; A36 a 1938 AEC Regent III with bodywork by Crossley, A267 a 1957 AEC Regent V with MCCW bodywork, L835 a 1967 Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 with bodywork by MCW and finally 2025 a 1969 Bristol RE with Park Royal bodywork.

This is one of only a few opportunities a year to enjoy a ride on vintage buses in Liverpool. The event is aimed to take passengers back down memory lane as well as attracting new members, volunteers, sponsorship and generate interest within the community.

Souvenir programmes were available to purchase for £4; these included a guide to the day and also information on what the Merseyside Transport Trust does and how your time and generous donations will be put to good use.

There were two primary services to the day. Each bus would start at the Pier Head and head out on the northern bound to Princes Dock passing the Isle of Man Ferry landing stage and continuing to the bascule bridge at Stanley Dock (which was restored in 2010) before the bus returned to the Pier Head. The bus would then have a few minutes break before undertaking the southern bound journey to Brunswick Station via Albert Dock and Kings Parade – with views over the Mersey to Cammell Lairds in Birkenhead.

The Merseyside Transport Trust also provided three feeder services in the morning and afternoon, these operated as a service 1D from Netherton Magdalene Square, which departed at 10:00. A service 20 from Fazakerley Elmham Crescent which left at 10:19 and a service 28 from Netherton Magdalene Square which departed at 10:40 towards the Pier Head. The trusts buses call at all stops en route where a clear hand signal is given to the driver. Return journeys departed Mann Island at 17:35.

If you missed this event, not to worry as the Merseyside Transport Trust host events throughout the year. The next event is the West Lancs Classic Bus Running Day, which is held around Burscough, Ormskirk and Parbold and mixes classic buses with a few real ale pubs situated off the beaten track. See their website for more details.

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Tom Harrison

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