Friday, 30 September 2016

Spruced up Spectra

Earlier this year Stagecoach Norfolk withdrew the remaining Optare Spectra Double deckers in its fleet and one has made its way up to the North West and found a new owner.
YJ51ZVF pictured at Pilkingtons Depot. Photo. Gobbiner

YJ51ZVF was new to Reading Buses as their 722 before being aquired by Norfolk Green at Kings Lynn, it was number 7 in their fleet before being renumbered to 13981 when the company was taken over by Stagecoach. It is seen above in its new livery of Pilkingtons of Accrington in Lancashire.

Pictured by myself at Kings Lynn Bus Station in 2013 

Many Thanks to Gobbiner for the use of the photo, you can view more of his excellent photos on his Flickr site here


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th September 2016

Another fortnight quickly passes us by and, before you know it, the East of England Traffic Commissioner has published his latest Notice & Proceedings Report

As always we look through the publication for information on changes to our local bus services and this time there is little to report other than the surrender of a licence by Kessingland Cabs from the 23rd September 2016. Any registered services running under this licence have also been surrendered with immediate effect

The complete Notice & Proceedings Report, covering the whole of the Eastern Traffic Commissioner's Area, can be viewed HERE


Ex Local Coach Surfaces In Cyprus!

Observed on a Facebook group site yesterday was this run down looking Plaxton bodied Ford R192. The photo, taken in Cyprus earlier this month, was supplied by Paul Emery and is reproduced here with his consent

What has it to do with this area I hear you ask? Well the number plate disguises the fact that it is believed to be former NEX945J which used to operate with Norfolk Motor Services. Apart from being able to discover that the 45 seater was new to the company in April 1971, I can find no further information about it

Robert Kelly subsequently contacted me and says 'the body configuration was C45F and it stayed with Norfolk Motor Services until December 1977 before later going to Granville Tours.

My thanks to Paul for the use of the photo and to Robert for the later information


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

X11 Dart!

EU05AUM crosses Haven Bridge on its way to Belton
Kyle Hewett emailed me yesterday evening about an usual working on the X11 service to Belton

He says that 'while walking back to work on my lunch break I crossed over and noticed an unusual bus working the X11 which was none other than a Dennis Dart'.

The X11 is almost exclusively worked by double deckers and the use of  Dart SLF 42920 (EU05AUM) was quite rare

My thanks to Kyle for the photo and taking the time to email it in to me

Subsequent to this post Richard Woods contacted me and suggested 'it may be the case that it was a short run working from Market Gates rather than through from Norwich. I work in Acle and overlook the route, so I see most of the buses out on the road.

Yesterday it had Streetlite 47505 out on an unidentified X1/X11 diagram, along with usual Excel and Barbie liveried DDs. I only saw it heading towards Great Yarmouth, so I must have missed it heading towards the city earlier. I didn’t see the Dart at all, so 47505 may have been operating on the same diagram to cover for shortage/failure?'

Thanks for that Richard and I also suspected the same thing with 42920


EATM Recovery

Nicky Pursey contacted me yesterday regarding some bus antics at Beccles on Saturday afternoon. The East Anglia Transport Museum was running one of its regular outings to Beccles with one of their vehicles; former Eastern Counties Bristol FL6G 557BNG.

Some entertainment provided at Beccles Old Market Place on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Nicky Pursey
However, it was declared a failure at Beccles with TWO punctures, which meant ASW Recovery Services being summoned. Nicky said it was incredible watching the driver manoeuvring the vehicles around the Old Market Place effecting the recovery.

My thanks to Nicky for the photos and information. Meanwhile 557BNG was noted at the Museum on Sunday afternoon


Suffolk Norse

On my way back from the Trolleybus Weekend, on Sunday afternoon, I thought I would try and find the Lowestoft operating centre for Suffolk Norse. In the PSV Circle's Suffolk Fleet Publication it is listed as the Highways Depot, Mobbs Way, Oulton Broad Industrial Estate.

The three Suffolk Norse coaches parked up at the operating centre
Accordingly I turned off Yarmouth Road into Mobbs Way and continued to the western extent of the road and no sign of it! However, a small road off to the south led to the centre and three 'full sized' coaches were parked up. The trio comprised Alexander Dennis Enviros SN56AYL and SN56AYP with third being Dennis Javelin YO52FHJ.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Trolleybus Weekend

This weekend saw the East Anglia Transport Museum hold their Trolleybus Weekend featuring all available vehicles from the fleet. As usual, On the Sunday I took advantage of the Park and Ride service from the Co-op store on Ashburnham Way and was rewarded with a trip on First's heritage liveried ALX 400 30888 (W743DWX)

Understandably the event concentrated on the trolleybuses at the museum where rides were available on the vehicles themselves

Accordingly a ride was secured on Maidstone Corporation Trolleybus 52 (LCD52) and, again, I did a double take when passing Ashton-under-Lyne trolley 87 (YTE826) painted in similar colours to the old Great Yarmouth Corporation livery!

Next up was the Dennis Lancet UF YYB118 in the colours of Somerset independent Hutching and Cornelius - a very enjoyable ride with a number of circuits around the site

Also on display was Sheffield Transport No 513, a Roberts car dating from 1950. It was moved from Blackpool to the EATM in early 2011 on long term loan from Beamish but due to operational difficulties the tram is unable to run the full length of the track 

The visiting buses included a Midland Red coach on the Saturday, a London Transport Green Line RF on both days plus a former Eastern National Bristol Lodekka FLF6G on the Sunday.

Unfortunately I missed the first mentioned vehicle, but thankfully Tim Major provides a photo of the Midland Red BMMO C5 4780 780GHA in the Museum car park. I can just about remember these C5's arriving at Beach Coach Station in the early 1960s from the West Midlands

The Green Line RF was Metro Cammel bodied AEC Regal MLL818 new to London Transport in September 1952 being based at Dorking garage. RF218 was withdrawn from service at Addlestone in August 1977, being acquired for preservation two months later

The third visitor was NTW942C an ex-Eastern National Bristol FLF Lodekka with an Eastern Coach Works body dating from 1965.

My thanks to Tim for the photo and for the private viewing of former Lowestoft decker 918NRT currently undergoing restoration