Thursday, 2 October 2014

Service Alterations Registered ~ 1st October 2014

The Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's latest Notices and Proceedings Report was published on the Gov.UK website yesterday

Publication 2189 contains little, or no, information concerning changes to local buses in our area. However,  there are changes registered regarding operating centres

New Applications Received
A new application has been made in the name of Craske Coaches with an operating centre for five vehicles at Horizon Industrial Estate in Catfield. Partners Christopher and Kevin Craske have registered the business at Laxfield Road in Sutton and Ann Harvey has been named as the transport manager. Vehicles with eight passenger seats or less will not be operated under the licence without the prior written agreement of the traffic commissioner

New Applications Granted
Director Jeremy Cushing, trading as Our Hire in Englands Lane in Acle, has received approval to use Units 3/4, MB Site, Norwich Road, South Burlingham as an operating centre for ten vehicles. Again vehicles with eight passenger seats or less will not be operated under the licence without the prior written agreement of the traffic commissioner

Variation Applications Granted
Nightingales of Beccles have moved their operating centre from their yard in Benacre Road in Beccles to a nearby site at The Moor Business Park where two vehicles will be based

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Avon Calls Twice!

Avon calls at Great Yarmouth's Market Place
Regular correspondent Jamie Skinner noted the Avon Cosmetics double deck bus making a return visit to the area

The bus was observed in Great Yarmouth's Market Place earlier today and is the second visit to the area since Grahame saw her in Lowestoft during March this year

The decker is Transbus Trident KN52NDV and was new to Armchair in January 2003 as their DT13 before passing to Tellings Golden Miller as their TA161.

Thanks for the report and photo Jamie

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Over The Border

Former Yarmouth B7RLE 66950 now in its new Ipswich colours
A well earned day off from work meant I could give the camera a work out so i decided to visit the all change town of Ipswich to update my collection with all the recent activity of both First and Ipswich Buses.

I decided to travel by train for a change as I usually drive and then use the Park & Ride site at Martlesham just off the A12, Instead I
Ipswich Enviro 200 YX63KGE on Park & Ride Duties at The Buttermarket
boarded the 08.30 service from Norwich bound for Suffolk's county town.

I arrived around 9.15 and then made my way to the Old Cattle Market area as the sun is spot on for photos for most of the morning, most services run past here, some going into the Bus station others stop adjacent to it.

Within a few minutes, My good friend Jim Long appeared to greet me (our Suffolk reporter!) and I also met David Warren for the first time, an excellent photographer and well worth having a look at his Flickr gallery.

Galloway's Optare Solo YJ14BGE
The First Ipswich repaints are gathering pace and plenty of the fleet now wear the new "Air Force Blue" fronts or whatever else it has noted as! Ex Yarmouth Volvo B7RLE's 66950 & 66957 both carry the new colours.Yarmouth's 30888 remains here on loan also and was noted today on the 66.

Carters ex London Trident LR52KWH
Ipswich Buses fleet has become very colourful since my last visit with two versions of a new livery in use, the main livery is Green, Purple and White with a few vehicles in the same style but the Purple is replaced with Sky Blue as you can see from the photo of Enviro200 YX63KGE which was operating the 800 Park & Ride service alongside the ex Nottingham Optare Versas.

Plenty of smaller operators also run into Ipswich including Galloway of Mendlesham who were using Optare Solo's including YJ14BGE which is an SR version with the newer style front. Carters operate services serving Colchester and Manningtree and recent arrival Trident LR52KWH was noted at the bus station awaiting her next duty.

Ex Stagecoach Dart Y262FJN branded for X3 services
Observing the operations today it did strike me that both First and IB are trying to improve both vehicles and customer services in a very competitive market and I have to say all vehicles were well presented in their new liveries, still plenty of vehicles to be refurbished I know but impressed with the results so far!

An enjoyable day was had, 300+ photos added to the collection and a couple of friendly faces along the way! (Next time Coffee is on me Jim!)


Saturday, 27 September 2014

Darting Back in Time

43463 at Harford Park & Ride site
The Dennis Dart is slowly becoming a vehicle of the past, so in its honour we go back to 2005 and a trip to a damp wintery February in Norwich.

Our Photo special looks at the Pointer versions that ran in the city that year.

First photo is that of Park & Ride liveried 43463 R463CAH seen at Harford, these were operated out of Great Yarmouth depot at the time and after they finished here they were transferred to Lowestoft where only 43466 from the batch remains in
42458 shortly after arriving at FEC

Next up is 42458 R458CCV pictured at Castle Meadow, taken shortly after transferring from First Devon & Cornwall, she also had spells at Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft before moving to Essex.

The third photo is 42780 S680SNG which is one of a batch of ex Hong Kong Darts that arrived for use in 2005, some were branded for use on Costessy Park & Ride services, these moved onto Great Yarmouth
Ex Hong Kong version 42780 S680SNG
before transferring to First operations in the South West. 

Only two Darts remain in use with Eastern Counties, both operate from Lowestoft Depot,43466 (R466CAH) & 43481 (R481DPW). Both are expected to be withdrawn in November this year.

More photo specials are planned from my collection in due course, watch this space...


Reynolds Latest

BIG9854 pictured at Reynolds Garage today
Reynolds fleet update is continuing with BIG9854 Lady Penny being treated to a make-over, she now has new front and rear light clusters as well as the black swoop incorporated in the livery similar to the recent Plaxton Profile arrivals here.


Better Late Than Never!

Stagecoach LTZ1256 on Shuttle Duties
The annual Showbus event at Duxford took place last Sunday and unlike most blogs we are a bit late in posting a review due to work and other duties along the way!

Anyway, my transport for the day was First Eastern Counties ALX400 32479 which as you all know is now wearing the Red ECOC livery from the late 1980's. First Business Manager Chris Speed was at the wheel and
Lincolnshire Bristol VR JVL619H
we were joined for the trip by Clive Nixon who runs the Ipswich Bus Blog.

First thing to report was no rain, the odd black cloud did appear but thankfully no wet stuff!.

First provided quite a selection of vehicles on the day with Eastern Counties sending along Six vehicles from each of their depots including two Excel liveried Enviro 400's 33813/33818 as well as
New Hybrid Enviro400 UK14OXF
33423,36180, 32479 and freshly refurbished B7RLE 66957 from Ipswich.

Second Production version of the LN WFM801K
For me the most impressive vehicle was Richard Belton's 1969 Lincolnshire Bristol VR JVL619H which looked like it had just emerged from ECW at Lowestoft ready for her
first day in service!, a real credit to him
and the hours and money put into the
project really shows what can be achieved.

The modern buses on show included
one of the first production versions of
Alexander Dennis new Enviro 400 Gyrodrive Mechanical Hybrid vehicles UK14OXF which operates for Brookesbus, it is one of 14 used for services at Oxford Brookes University.
Eastern National Bristol RE SVW274K

Crosville liveried Leyland National WFM801K was only the second production LN built, it was originally registered as UFM801K but a Ford Capri bearing the same mark was noted and it was promptly changed
to WFM! It is now owned by Julian Patterson.

Another impressive Bristol on show was RE SVW274K which was latterly owned by Viv Carter it is now with BBC Suffolk's Luke Deal who has restored it to NBC Green livery

Final picture is that of Showbus veteran the former ECOC Bristol Lodekka JAH552D, now in Stagecoach livery and used for corporate use and private hires.

Overall an enjoyable day was had, nice to meet up with plenty of old faces as well as meeting some new enthusiasts along the way and also fellow bloggers from the area.

Many thanks to Chris Speed for inviting myself and Clive along on VA479 and well done to First for the turn out of vehicles from local Depots.


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Swift Departure

491JVX is a newcomer to the Our Bus fleet
Another Swift Taxis' coach has left the fleet

491JVX, a Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M, has been sold to nearby operator Our Bus of South Burlingham

The coach is a 50 seater and was formerly registered M124UWY when new to Wallace Arnold way back in March 1995.

Swift acquired 491JVX from National Holidays and gave it fleet number 116 and the name Swift Quail

Joe Leathers-Watson observed the coach with its new owner at South Burlingham this morning returning to the depot. He informs me that that it only has the "Our Bus" logo on the front with the sides and rear remaining in plain white.

My thanks to Joe for the report and photo