Thursday, 18 October 2018

College Coasthopper

One of Sanders Coaches Coasthopper branded vehicles was unusually in use on the 834 Gorleston to Stalham service earlier this afternoon

Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLE 509 HF54HGX is seen waiting time for its 16:00 departure from Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College on Church Lane.


New Arrivals Due

With production activity increasing at Bernard Matthews in the lead up to Christmas, First Eastern Counties are having to provide additional buses to cope with transporting more workers. Already Caister Road has retrieved Trident 32809 T809LLC from Norwich training duties for such work.

Wright Solar bodied Scania 65677 SN51UYL seen in Colchester (Photo: Grahame Bessey)
We recently received information from First that two more buses would arrive at Caister Road to enable First Great Yarmouth cope with demand. Straightaway Grahame began investigations to identify what was going to arrive through his contacts locally and in Essex

Scania 65672 SN51UYE when based at Ipswich (Photo: Jim Long)
Later we found that the newcomers would be two Scania saloons from First Essex and, not only that, they were identified to be 65672/7 SN51UYE/L. The former has been with First Eastern Counties before when based at Ipswich. They are expected to arrive in the next day or so.

My thanks to Grahame for the detective work and to the contacts at First for the information.


Reynolds Retrace ~ BIG8768

I have tracked down another former Reynolds coach with its new owner. Plaxton Premier bodied Dennis Javelin BIG8768 is now with Global Travel of Kidsgrove

It is seen at Derby Bus Station on 5th September and retains its Reynolds livery complete with yellow triangle. 'Guy Arab UF' tells me that the only reason the photo is on Flickr is because 'no one else seems to have it with the current Global Travel'

My thanks to Guy Arab UF for his permission to reproduce his photo


Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Wednesday Wonder

This afternoon I went for wander into Great Yarmouth and found four tourers at the town's Beach Coach Station.

Left to right: National Holidays NH15LDH, NH63BYH Alfa Travel BX15OED and National Holidays NH17DFH
Three were from the National Holidays' fleet in the form of Mercedes Benz Tourismos NH15LDH and NH17DFH plus Kassbohrer Setra NH63BYH. The fourth coach was Alfa Travel's Tourismo BX15OED

ALX400s 32058 W218XBD and 32061 W221XBD pass Beach Coach Station earlier this afternoon
I hung around to see what was working the Bernard Matthews contract runs and was surprised to see three deckers from First arrive. They were Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 32061 W221XBD, 32058 W218XBD and 30959 YJ51RCO.

Yesterday's arrival at Caister Road, Trident 32809 T809LLC, is receiving its class 6 MOT and will also be used on Bernard Matthews duties in the near future.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th October 2018

Today's Notices & Proceedings Report, published by the Eastern of England Traffic Commissioner, contains some entries affecting the local bus network.

First Eastern Counties is to amend the route, timetable and stopping places of its 75,76 and 77 routes between Ipswich and Felixstowe from 18th September 2018. Also on the same day, First is to alter the timetable of its X7 service by providing more fast services operating hourly between the two towns.

Regarding operator licensing there has been two surrenders and one application withdrawal. AJ & GA Buckland of Marlesford Road of Hacheston, Woodbridge and Carol Ann Penny of Station Road in Lingwood are to cease operations. Michelle Cushing has withdrawn her application to use premises at Englands Lane in Acle as an operating centre prior to determination

The full report will be available soon on the Traffic Commissioner's website


Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Trident Returns

Almost six months after leaving Caister Road, former First Southampton Trident 32809 T809LLC has returned to the town from Norwich where it was in use as a driver training vehicle. The Trident is here for its annual MOT.

After a run through the bush wash, Trident T809LLC is parked up in the rear yard at Caister Road
My thanks to First Eastern Counties for the information and photo


Gloomy Gorleston

A few observations during a visit to a gloomy Gorleston High Street during yesterday afternoon.

Lowestoft's Volvo B9 36215 BJ12VWX on a X11 Belton to Norwich service
The first is Lowestoft's Volvo B9 36215 BJ12VWX which was employed on an X11 service from Belton to Norwich. Not sure if this is unusual or not as it could be part of its day's interworking schedule with the X1 prior to returning to its home depot.

Volvo B7TL 32206 LT52WTM in service after a layoff
The next is of Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 32206 LT52WTM which has subsequently returned to service following an engine replacement. It had been off the road since June and the last I heard was that it was due to return during September.

BorderBus Scania OmniCity BB58BUS works the 580 service yesterday

BorderBus regularly uses a decker on its 14:16 Bungay to Great Yarmouth 580 service and yesterday freshly painted Scania OmniCity 208 BB58BUS did the honours.


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Sunday Five

Gee-Vee Travel's GT11GVT & National Holidays NH17BFH
Just the five coaches appearing at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station at lunch time today.

The first pairing comprised National Holidays' Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH17BFH parked beside Gee-Vee Travel's GT11GVT. The latter being a Bova Futura, a type quite common in the Gee-Vee fleet.

The second twosome were AVA's Neoplan Tourliner MF11LUO keeping company with Eastbourne Executive Travel's Kassbohrer Setra BL02XJU. The Setra was previously with Hawkes of Derby after being delivered new to Evobus of Coventry in July 2002

Eastbourne Executive Travel's BL02KJU  and AVA's MF11LUO in the lunch time gloom
The remaining vehicle was Chesterfield based KM Executive's VDL YD17WYY.


Friday, 12 October 2018

Darting Around The UK

First bought a batch of Ex Connex, Jersey Caetano bodied Darts in 2013 which were split between various depots of which Great Yarmouth was one. The Darts are now well travelled after their spell with FEC. They worked at Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich before being transferred elsewhere.

43861 EG52FGJ at Caister Road awaiting entry into service back in May 2013. (Grahame)

The batch were moved down to the South West to First Kernow in 2016, this included similar vehicles from Essex and Potteries.

43861 pictured with First Kernow at Newquay Bus Station in June 2017. (Zak Nelson)

Recently the Darts have again moved on, This time up to Scotland with First Glasgow. The vehicles are being repainted into a newer version of First's corporate livery.

43859 EG52FHD now in the newer corporate livery in Glasgow. (David Oakley)

Many thanks to Zak & David for the photographs.


Torbay ~ Late September

Whilst it's almost a fortnight ago now, I thought I would share some photos with you of my week's stay in Torbay. I was hoping to post this earlier but with the amount of photos taken and a bout of the dreaded lurgy it has been delayed until now.

Stagecoach Gold Scania N240UD/Enviro 400 15929 YN63BXB on Torbay Road in Torquay heading for Totnes
During almost all of  last week in September we were blessed with warm sunny weather whilst being based in Torquay. The predominant operator (in case you're unaware!) was Stagecoach South West. However, not all their buses were in the usual colours as three routes had special liveries and that doesn't include the presence of Stagecoach Gold which connected the area with Totnes and Plymouth.

Stagecoach South West 15316 YN67YJZ exits Paignton Bus Station on the Hop12 to Brixham
The branded Hop12 Newton Abbot to Brixham route was worked by 67 registered Scania N250UD /ADL Enviro 400 MMCs which looked very smart in their red and white colours scheme.

Hop 22 branded Scania 15865 WA62ANX  awaiting passengers at the Strand in Torquay
The Hop22, between Dawlish Warren and South Devon College was worked by green and white liveried ADL Enviro400 bodied Scania N230UDs from late 2012.

Open tops at Torquay - Stagecoach South West's 18186 MX54LPN passed by English Riviera Sightseeing's J343BSH
The latter, a Leyland Olympian, was previously used by Essex-based Talisman
The St Marychurch to Paignton Zoo Hop122 was operated by recently converted ALX400 bodied ADL Trident open toppers in their yellow white and orange colours with each one individually named.

Dartmouth Rail River Link Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President Y827TGH leaving Paignton Bus Station for Totnes
Open toppers were also provided by English Riveria Sightseeing Tours and the Dartmouth Rail River Link. The former was also using former Stockport Leyland Titan PD2/3 FFY403 on some journeys

The only independents I observed in the area were Allansway Coaches (trading as Country Bus), Dartline and Torbay Buses - all of which were seen operating Optare Solos! Photos clockwise: Country Bus uses YJ11EKJ at Teignmouth, Dartline YT09OTX also in Teignmouth, Torbay Buses 'Discover the Cockington Experience' branded RK07KOA at the Strand in Torquay and finally Torbay Buses LP15LPN departing Paignton Bus Station

Belle's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BF62JZF in the coach park of a Belgrave Road hotel in Torquay
Of the short stay tourers visiting the area, the most interesting appearance was that of a Belle Coaches' Tourismo which was last week employed on rail replacement at Lowestoft Station!

Other photos from the trip can also be viewed on the Eastnorfolkbus Flickr site


Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Service Alterations Registered ~ 10th October 2018

For the second consecutive week, this morning's Notices & Proceedings Report, published by the Eastern of England Traffic Commissioner, contains no relevant alterations to the local bus network. The full report will be available soon on the Traffic Commissioner's website


Freestones' New Arrival

Omar Busboy Atiallah contacted me this morning, via messenger, to prove that he does escape the confines of the enquiry office at Norwich Bus Station now and then!

He has sent me this photo of Freestones new Scania coach at Norwich Bus Station which saw use on Megabus services during yesterday.

My thanks to Omar for the photo and information.


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

BorderBus Fifth Scania

As previously reported over on the excellent Steve's Bus & Train Page, BorderBus has acquired a fifth former Stagecoach London Scania. The OmniCity, LX59CNA, was used by the operator for fuel evaluation purposes in May last year.

It has subsequently been repainted from London red to all over white and Ashley saw it departing from St Stephen's Street in Norwich on the 146 back to Beccles and Southwold earlier today. My thanks to Ashleybus444 for his tweet and photo


Monday, 8 October 2018

Lowestoft Rail Replacement

Angies Tours'King Long WJI5242 about to work the 9:45 Lowestoft to Norwich replacement
This Sunday witnessed rail replacement buses in use on the Norwich to Great Yarmouth/ Lowestoft and Ipswich to Lowestoft routes.

Regular contributor Simon Bartram witnessed events at Lowestoft Station yesterday and sends photos of some of the coaches involved

My thanks to Simon for the information and photos

Belle Coaches' Mercedes Benz Tourismo BF62JZR on stand by duty at Lowestoft Station

Spratts Coaches' Volvo B10M / VanHool T9 Alizee on Belvedere Road in Lowestoft returning with the 11:00 from Norwich

Sanders Coaches' Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M WSV503 awaiting its next duty at Lowestoft Station

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Coach Station Threesome

On passing Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth earlier today, I observed three vehicles present including National Holidays' Kassbohrer Setra NH11JTH.

National Holidays' Kassbohrer Setra NH11JTH at Beach Coach Station
Also on view was Happy Als Neoplan Tourliner PK13GDE and Scania OIG9948 from C&G Coaches of Chatteris in Cambridgeshire.


Friday, 5 October 2018

Latest Repaint for First Norwich

The latest vehicle to be repainted for Norwich is Volvo B7TL 32214 LT52WTX, the former Great Yarmouth based vehicle has gained the new generic Lilac fronted livery for use on all routes in the city.

32214 working the 13 service to Attleborough in Castle Meadow.

Many Thanks to Zak Nelson for use of the photograph.


Flying Banana Feature

Full page feature in today's Great Yarmouth Mercury
Today's edition of the Great Yarmouth Mercury has a full page feature on the Flying Banana Buses which used to operate in this area.

'Peggotty' has prepared the item from information and photos provided by yours truly. Other information has also been added and it looks to have been well researched.

My thanks to Mark Doggett for his supporting photo and to Mike Bullock for the feature.


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Charles Reynolds

It is with some regret that I have to tell you that former coach operator Charles Reynolds has died after a year long battle with cancer. Aged 62, Mr Reynolds' passing comes less than week after his wife's funeral.

Local MP Brandon Lewis was one of the first to pay his respects on Twitter this morning calling him 'a lovely man and a great servant to the town, who will be sadly missed'

It was only two months ago that all of his company's coaches were sold at an auction at the Ormesby Road premises in Caister.

Our condolences go to his family and friends.


Trolleybus Weekend ~ 22/23 September 2018

As I wasn't in attendance this year, Tim Major and Simon Bartram have sent some photos from the Trolleybus Weekend held at the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville on the 22nd and 23rd September 2018. 

Flying Banana liveried WA06OAS was used on P&R services - photo: Simon Bartram
The museum was grateful for the assistance of First Group in providing a bus for the Park and 
Ride Services to the event which involved the use of Flying Banana liveried WA06OAS

Hastings Tramway Company's 34 BDY809 on display - photo: Tim Major
Tim tells me there were eleven trolleybuses in operation. They were Bournemouth 202, Portsmouth 313, Belfast 246, Derby 237, Maidstone 52, Ashton 87, London Transport 260, 796, 1201 & 1521 plus Newcastle 628. Also on display was Hastings Tramway Company 34, BDY809, which has just been externally completed and awaits the installation of the rebuilt resistance grids.

Southern Transit's Citymaster GB18RML in the Carlton Colville yard - photo: Tim Major
Again the museum benefited from a number of visiting vehicles with Southern Transit bringing their ADL Enviro 400 Citymaster  GB18RML from their Shoreham base.

Ex London Transport AEC Regal IV NLE539 - photo: Simon Bartram

Also making the trip was former London Transport AEC Regal IV RF539 (NLE539). New in service in April 1953, it was finally withdrawn during February 1972 and placed into store at Hertford. After a number of private owners it subsequently entered preservation.

RM8 VLT8 was the first built of the production buses and exhibited at the 1958 Commercial Motor Show - photo: Tim Major

Other ex London Transport buses were also in attendance and they included RM8 (VLT8), RM857 (WLT857) and RML613 (WLT613).
London Transport Auxiliary Breakdown Tender JJ4379 converted using an AEC Regent chassis - photo: Simon Bartram
An unusual visitor was former London Transport Auxiliary Breakdown Tender 832J, converted in 1950 using the chassis of STL162 (JJ4379), a 1933 AEC Regent.

My thanks to Tim and Simon for the photos and to the former for his help in preparing this post. Looks as though I missed an interesting event and apologies for the delay in publishing this report.


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd October 2018

This morning's Notices & Proceedings Report, published by the Eastern of England Traffic Commissioner, contains no relevant alterations to the local bus network. The full report will be available soon on the Traffic Commissioner's website


Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Another Sanders' Vehicle Finds New Owner

In late August I reported that Sanders Coaches' VDL/Berkhof YJ12CHK had been sold following its last duty with the Norfolk operator. (33rd East Coast Truckers Convoy - 26th August 2018) Felixstowe Travel tweeted this morning that it is now the latest addition to their fleet.

Ex Sanders' YJ12CHK finds a new owner. Photo source: Felixstowe Travel
My thanks to Nick on twitter for the heads up.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Worthing Coaches Visit

This evening I have returned after a week's break in Torquay followed by a couple of days in Worthing and my thanks to Grahame who has been holding the fort whilst I've been away.

Former Sanders Volvo B9 OU05AVB is now with Worthing Coaches - seen in their yard this morning
This morning I visited Worthing Coaches premises at Spencer Road in Lancing and my thanks to the manager who allowed me in to take the photos. Unexpectedly I found a double decker on site in the form of OU05AVB which, up until recently, saw use in our area by Sanders Coaches. It was employed on its first school run this morning having arrived at the depot in the last day or so. Alongside was Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R FJ61EWA

Scania K410EB6/ CaetanoLevante BU18OSP with National Express livery in Worthing Coaches' Lancing yard
On site was another Caetano Levante bodied coach represented by Scania K410EB6 BU18OSP in National Express livery.

Also present was Worthing Coaches Scania K340EB4/Irizar YN08DFD and another coach, Youtong YE18CWZ, thought to be owned by People First.


Thursday, 27 September 2018

First Norwich Latest

A few colourful additions to the First fleet in Norwich have appeared over the last couple of weeks and Mark Doggett has been out and about to capture them in use in the city.

First up is Volvo B9TL 36202 BN12WOC which has gained a full wrap advert for Hits Radio, two views of her in and around St. Stephens.

Next is former Essex Volvo B7RLE 66822 MX05CEO which has gained the Advert livery for the companies contactless payment system similar to Dart 42938 at Lowestoft. Its pictured below in Tombland working the 38 Service to Long Stratton.

Finally the second of the two recent arrivals from Essex 66824 MX05CEV has gained the new generic lilac front for use on all City routes and is seen below in Castle Meadow.

Many Thanks to Mark for his superb photos.


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th September 2018

A couple of changes to services on the periphery of our area are included in today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Coastal Red, trading as Lynx, is to amend the timetables of two of its routes serving Wells Next The Sea. They are the 36 to Fakenham Oak Street and the 37 to Hunstanton with changes to take effect from 28th October 2018.

The full report will be available soon on the Traffic Commissioner's website.


Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Showbus 2018 - Are You Going?

Jubilee Coaches L555JCR - not necessarily the vehicle attending!
Just a brief reminder that Showbus 2018 is being held at Donington Park this coming Sunday 30th September and, again, I will be unable to get there as I have yet another commitment!

However, have you thought of getting there using a local operator? Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches is attending the world’s biggest display of buses and coaches by running a coach there picking up at Acle at 06:30am - returning at approximately 8pm. The fare is £15

To book, simply call them on 01493 749918, or email

The Showbus website can be viewed at


New Arrivals at Sanders

Two former Lochs and Glens Touring Coaches have been aquired by Sanders recently and have already been noted at their depot in Holt.

One of the new arrivals noted in the parking area at Holt.

Both are Jonckheere bodied Volvo B13R's, BT14DLX & BT14DLZ. These have replaced two 12 plated Coaches that have recently been sold.

Thanks to Nick and Josh on Twitter for the heads up!


Friday, 21 September 2018

Ex Metrobus Scania on School Working

Former Metrobus Scania YN53RYB seen on Waveney Drive in Lowestof
You will no doubt remember that I reported on 10th September 2018 that BorderBus had been loaned former Metrobus Scania YN53RYB (see BorderBus Loan & Lamberts Update).

Simon Bartram has supplied a photo of it in use on 15:25 Sir John Leman High School SJL3 working back to Carlton Colville during yesterday afternoon.

My thanks to Simon for the information and photo.


Thursday, 20 September 2018

Something For The Weekend

EATM Trolleybus Weekend Poster
Regularly at this time of the year, the East Anglia Transport Museum holds its end of season Trolleybus Weekend.

This year's event will see all available vehicles from the fleet in use and, as the nights begin to draw in, there will be running after dark on the Saturday. 

As usual, the free park and ride service will run from the Co-op food store on Ashburnham Way in Lowestoft, with bus services to Beccles and Lowestoft also operating. Timetables are available by clicking HERE

There will also be the BBQ in the park plus trade stands along with static exhibitions and visiting vehicles. This promises to be a busy weekend for vehicle enthusiasts and families alike.

Opening times are 12 noon to 9pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

More information on the Museum can be viewed on their website at


Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th September 2018

Little of relevance in today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

West Norfolk Community Transport have introduced a new 29A Monday to Friday service between Fakenham Oak Street and Easton College from 11th of September 2018 replacing the previous 29A

The full report will be available soon on the Traffic Commissioner's website.


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

First Norwich Developments

Former First Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President 32214 LT52WTX is currently in the paint shop at Simon Morris and is due to return to Norwich later in the week with its new lilac front. Its place is expected to be taken by another ex Great Yarmouth President 32205 LT52WTL which is to be similarly treated. Already reported elsewhere is the move to Norwich of 66822 MX05CEO now in m-ticket livery - similar to Lowestoft's 42938 WX05SVD

32214 LT52WTX seen in Norwich's Castle Meadow in January this year
Interestingly the PVR (peak vehicle requirement) at Norwich) is increasing to 107 plus Excel buses. This is the highest it has been since September 2012 when Network Norwich was launched with just 98 buses, reduced from 105.

Loadings in certain situations mean Norwich requires bigger buses - 62 seat ex London Volvo’s and Trident’s will not cope on certain journeys. The 1630 X29 Norwich to Fakenham is a case in point where the colour of the bus appears less important than the number of seats - yellow, purple, blue and red have been seen in the last month alone!

My thanks to my contact at First for the update


Monday, 17 September 2018

Tridents Traced

Both T801LLC and T849LLC at First Caister Road premises in March 2018
You may remember our post of 24th April 2018 (see New Norwich Trainer) concerning the then location of the three former First South West Dennis Tridents which had moved to the Great Yarmouth area on loan over the Christmas period.

First 32809 T809LLC continues as a driver trainer in Norwich whilst the two others were sold privately. Following the report of a sighting of both 32801/49 T801/49 in Lincoln during June on our Facebook page, I am now able to confirm that they have been acquired by Black Cat Travel of Lincoln