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Extensions beyond Ruthin and Mold

During the 100 years of the Ruthin to Mold bus service, among its many changes have been extensions to other locations. Birkenhead Direct daily bus services from Birkenhead to Mold, Loggerheads and Ruthin began in 1924 at a fare to Ruthin of 6/- or 30p and to Loggerheads of 4/- (20p). There were two daily journeys in summer and one in winter. There was also a daily summer charabanc service from Birkenhead to Loggerheads only, using a saloon with retractable canvas roof. Most journeys to and from Birkenhead also extended beyond Ruthin to Denbigh. For the winter of 1930, there were two journeys, one in the morning and the other late afternoon (1015 and 1800 ex-Birkenhead; and 0900 and 1700 ex-Denbigh). Buses did not wait at Ruthin. By the summer of 1935, there were four journeys daily to and from Birkenhead, with two in the winter. This pattern continued until the war, when the journeys were reduced to one. On a Sunday, it left Birkenhead at 1115 and other days at 1715, with the Sunday service leaving Denbigh at 1605 and other days at 0830. This indicates that Sunday traffic was from the Wirral no doubt for leisure purposes in North Wales. Weekday traffic, on the other hand, was to bring people from Denbigh and Ruthin to Birkenhead for shopping and personal business, no doubt with some transferring at Birkenhead Woodside onto Mersey ferries for Liverpool. After the war, in 1947, there were two journeys in the summer and one in the winter. In 1949, this, however, appears to have reduced to one but increased to two in the summer months of 1950. In 1953, it increased further to three journeys in the summer and then to four in the summer of 1955 but remained throughout at one journey in the winter. This pattern of four in the summer and one in the winter continued from 1955 till 1961, when it reduced to only one journey daily throughout the year, again with the Sunday journey leaving Birkenhead in the morning, whereas during the week the morning departure was from Denbigh. During the period 1967 to 1968, the summer journeys were increased to two but from 1968 till 1983 it reverted to one. From the summer of 1983, the direct journey from Denbigh through to Birkenhead ceased, although there was a journey from Denbigh through to Mold with a connection for an onward journey to Birkenhead. Since 1959, the service number for the Denbigh - Ruthin - Mold - Birkenhead service was F9 and immediately prior to this it was 104. Denbigh During the 100 years of the Ruthin to Mold service, there were a number of periods when passengers were able to travel from Mold directly to Denbigh via Ruthin, without leaving their bus. As mentioned above, journeys from Birkenhead also extended to Denbigh. In the earlier periods from 1925 when Denbigh was shown in the Birkenhead - Mold - Ruthin timetable, there was always a time when passengers could stop over at Ruthin on the journey for at least 30 minutes, suggesting that there may have been a change of bus. By 1928, it is clearer that buses travelled through from Mold to Ruthin and then to Denbigh with about four through journeys on most days during the summer but only one journey in the Winter. By 1930, the timetables stopped showing through journeys but did show a good connection at Ruthin. The Birkenhead service continued to run through to Denbigh until its demise in 1983. In September1990, Crosville Wales, who was at that stage operating the Ruthin to Mold service, extended the service from Ruthin to Denbigh and from Mold to Chester.  It was given the service number B5 and there were four journeys that went from Denbigh via Ruthin and Mold through to Chester during the day.  It did not operate on Sundays. A few months later, in February 1991, the service changed, running now from Rhyl but terminating in Mold, without continuing to Chester.  There were five through journeys Rhyl to Mold and it was given the service number 52.  In October of 1991, however, Crosville Wales ended this experiment and the service reverted to Mold - Ruthin - Denbigh, with only two through journeys beyond Ruthin to Denbigh, these now also given the service number B5. In July 1994, the extension to Denbigh ended and the service from Mold reverted to terminating at Ruthin. Chester Today’s service extends to Chester on two journeys per weekday. This has not always been the case.  After the war, in a significant development, 1949 saw Crosville introduce its first through Ruthin - Mold - Chester service, numbered 56. It operated one return journey from Ruthin beyond Mold to Chester daily, save for Wednesdays & Sundays. The 56 was soon to become two return journeys per operational day. In September 1965, Crosville withdrew the Ruthin - Chester through service which, till then, had still operated five days a week. Through journeys resumed again in 1977. Crosville allocated the service number B8 and there were four journeys from Ruthin into Chester on Mondays to Fridays with an extra journey on a Saturday. By 1980, the service number changed to B1X and there was one extra journey each day. In 1985, the service was reduced to only four journeys and yet another service number allocated, this time B7 and B7X. In 1986, however, the extension to Chester again ceased. The extension reappeared in 2001 when, by that time, the service was being operated by GHA Coaches under contract to both Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils. GHA was able to link Ruthin - Mold B5 with its separate 41 Mold - Treuddyn - Chesters so that Chester passengers from Ruthin need no longer change buses at Mold. The journey time from Ruthin to Chester was almost 90 minutes. The following summer, this was advertised as the “LoggerheadsLink”. Denbighshire County Council made improvements to the Ruthin to Mold service in 2009 and again in 2010 and introduced two return through journeys operated initially as 1A and then as X1 between Ruthin, Mold and Chester, with an end-to-end journey time of just 60 minutes, saving about 30 minutes on the previous journey. These also operated via Broughton Retail Park. The extension to Chester operates in this way today and passenger numbers on these journeys have consistently been higher than any other on the corridor (except journeys carrying school learners). Other Extensions to the Service The service from Birkenhead to Mold, Loggerheads, Ruthin and Denbigh commenced in 1924. In 1926, however, a further through service commenced on the Wirral from Liscard Village. The route included Wallasey, Moreton, Hoylake, West Kirby and Heswall. One journey leaving Liscard at 1000 went through to Ruthin, with a connection for Denbigh and one journey from Liscard at 1430 terminated at Loggerheads. Also in 1926, a through service to Ruthin started from Warrington, serving Frodsham and Widnes. There was also a facility for a connection from Northwich. This service only operated in the summer months. In 1927, a daily service commenced from Liverpool that went through Garston, Speke, Widnes and Runcorn, crossing the Mersey by the Widnes-Runcorn Transporter Bridge. While showing connections to Ruthin and Denbigh, those travelling through were required to change at Loggerheads onto the bus that had originated in Liscard. The through service from Liverpool, Warrington and Liscard did not appear in the timetables from the early 1930s, although there were a number of services that terminated in Loggerheads that did. Most of these journeys became express services and would not convey any passengers other than those going to and from Loggerheads.
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Birkenhead Woodside in the late 1960s, overlooking the Mersey to Liverpool, with blue Birkenhead Corporation buses predominating. To protect Birkenhead Corporation, there was a special condition attached to Crosville’s timetable preventing Crosville from picking up and setting down in the Birkenhead to Bromborough section. Note the lone Crosville saloon in green, to the right
1970 Birkenhead - Mold - Ruthin - Denbigh timetable
Loggerheads Extensions