Saturday, 16 March 2019

Jubilee Disposal

Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches has sold Plaxton Premiere bodied Dennis Javelin N43AHH to Semmence Coaches of Wymondham. The coach, which also operated as L333JCR when with Jubilee, has reverted to its previous registration.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and to Will Drake for the photo.


Friday, 15 March 2019

First Lowestoft Arrival

Not to be outdone by its near neighbour, First Lowestoft has also received an addition to its allocation in the form of  ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30913 W768DWX

It arrived at the Suffolk depot from Norwich on Sunday and the following day was employed on the 106 Lowestoft town route and also appeared on the 14:40 X22 Lowestoft to Norwich and return. The following day it was on the 99 route and it must have enjoyed the Southwold sea air as Simon Bartram caught it returning to Lowestoft on the 13:15 ex Southwold yesterday.

Simon also reported the unusual working of the 101 service from Lowestoft Bus Station for the Gunton Estate during yesterday lunchtime. It was in the hands of the newest decker in the Lowestoft fleet (X1 deckers excepted of course!) Volvo B9 36215 BJ12VWX.

My thanks to Simon for the reports and photos


First Great Yarmouth Arrival

Yesterday afternoon I was told of the arrival from Sheffield of 37154 YN06URH at First's Caister Road depot. The Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL was new to First South Yorkshire in June 2006 and spent some time in Scotland having been transferred north during November 2009. It had subsequently returned to its native county.

On the repairs front, Lowestoft's Volvo B9TL 37576 AU58EDC is in the workshops awaiting gearbox attention. Others in attendance include 37275 LK58EDJ (differential) and 30954 YJ51RDO.

My thanks to First for the information and Will Drake for the photo


Thursday, 14 March 2019

Plea For Help To Restore Bedford SBG

Way back in June 2016 John Wakefield made me aware of the availability of long lost Bedford SBG / Duple Vega SPW999 on ebay. (See  Long Lost Bedford SBG Now On Ebay). I have subsequently been contacted by Gary Palmer of Cromer Classic Cars who is currently considering its purchase.

See the original post for more photos
Gary says 'I have a unit and a commercial pit that would take the coach however we restore cars. So this is a an appeal from myself to ask if there is any volunteers out there that would love to help me restore this lovely bus or coach (unsure what to call it it at present) I can supply all the materials and endless cups of tea.

I do have a full time mechanic but he can lend a hand when can, but he is book up restoring other people cars ( this of course helps to pay for the unit etc). I would love to see this Bedford grace the roads of Cromer and Norfolk again.' 

If you are willing to assist Gary to take on this project would you please contact him direct via email at or by calling him on 01263 510978. The Cromer Classic Cars website can be found at

SPW999 was new to Babbage trading as Green Grey of Cromer in 1955. It has a further local connection in that it went to Reynolds of Caister in April 1962 and in circa 1991 was sold to a private owner near North Walsham.

My thanks to Gary for contacting us and I hope that he will be successful. My thanks also to John Wakefield for the original photo and information.


East Suffolk Bus Changes

Since the announcement by Konectbus to cease some services in the Halesworth / Southwold area there has been subsequent developments to continue to provide services by other operators.

The X88 service in Southwold when operated by Anglianbus in November 2017
We have already mentioned changes being made by First in our post of 26th February (see First Latest). Borderbus are also planning to introduce two new services to replace the Suffolk County Council funded Konectbus 90 route. The new timetables for replacement 522/524 services can be found on the BorderBus website. The former runs from Halesworth to Beccles whilst the latter operates from Southwold to Beccles, via Brampton, from 23rd April 2019.

The Konectbus 90 ceases to run after 20th April 2019.


Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th March 2019

Having returned from the south coast of England, I am pleased to bring you details of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Whilst there are no entries affecting local services, it is interesting to note that Thetford based Coach Services are to run an open top bus tour of Norwich from 1st April 2019 to 10th May 2019. The daily OT1 route will be a limited stop daily service commencing at Castle Meadow. Meanwhile David McMaster of Awaydays is to amend the timetable of his city circular tour.

PF Travel of Woodbridge has gained approval to use premises at Grove Road in the town for five vehicles subject to certain conditions.

The full East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


Saturday, 9 March 2019

Worthing Observations

I wondered into Worthing town centre this afternoon, via the sea front, with many sightings recorded in the latter area. On the way, whilst heading to Brighton Road, I glimpsed an unidentied Stagecoach London decker which I subsequently saw going through the bus wash at Worthing depot.

Almost immediately I saw another heading my way in the shape of Alexander Dennis Enviro400 19879 LX12DAA displaying Rail Replacement on its destination screen. This time the camera was at the ready and it also disappeared to the depot and went through the washer. Southern Rail are undertaking improvements in the Lewis area and hence the need for replacement services.

Parked up in the depot yard was a Stagecoach South Alexander Dennis Enviro400MMC due for Rail Replacement duties. It was 10955 SN18KNW normally in use on the 700 Coastliner and is pictured later leaving the depot to take up its next working.

Compass Bus Alexander Dennis Enviro200 YX67UYF was being employed on the 16 route to Lancing Broadway which runs at hourly intervals from West Tarring.

Also operating every hour is the Metrobus service to Crawley Bus Station and Scania OmniCity 6559 YN07LKF was working the 16:30 departure from Worthing Pier.


Thursday, 7 March 2019

Brighton Visit

As you will have seen from the previous post, I am currently in the south of England and it would be rude not to take in bus activity in Brighton! So a visit beckoned on Tuesday.

The above picture shows intense activity on North Street with buses from the Brighton & Hove fleet dominating the street scene.

Continuing along North Street, one of Compass Bus new Dennis Enviro200MMCs was observed on the tendered 37 route to Meadow View in the shape of YX68UJY.

Proceeding to Steine Gardens I found Go Ahead London Alexander Dennis Enviro400 E12 SN06BNX. It was laying over after working the Monday to Friday shoppers 773 service from Banstead which would return during the afternoon.

The Brighton & Hove/Metrobus driver trainers were out in force with ex Metrobus Scania OmniCity YN05HCE taking a break at Steine Gardens and ex Southern Vectis President bodied Volvo B7TL PL51LDK passing through Churchill Square.

Around midday a French registered Mercedes Benz Tourismo turned up with an isi lines service. Only one person alighted from the Courriers Automobiles Picards owned CT-231-BC

Meanwhile at the Pool Valley National Express bus station Edwards Coaches Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R FJ11GKY was seen on a London bound service

Returning to Steine Gardens my attention was drawn to the presence of two of The Big Lemon’s Optare Solo M9250SR waiting time. They were YJ68FZL and YJ68FZN both with destinations set for the 56 to Knoll Estate. They were only just delivered in February.


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th March 2019

Hello from the south coast of England and apologies for the reduction in the number of posts this week. However, I can bring you details of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Konectbus is to amend the timetable of two of it’s services in early April. They include the 21 service between Dereham Market Place and Fakenham Oak Street from 2nd April 2019. The other is the 40A/41A/X41 linking Halesworth with Norwich from 2nd April 2019.

Sanders Coaches is cancelling the 608 Lyng to Reepham and X11 Happisburgh Post Office to Norwich High School services from 21st April 2019.

Lowestoft based Britannia Bus is amending two of its services operating in the Milton Keynes and Northampton areas on 8th April 2019.

Finally, Setina Limited has applied for consent to use premises at Salisbury Road in Great Yarmouth as an operating centre for one vehicle. The application was subsequently withdrawn prior to determination.

The full East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


Saturday, 2 March 2019

Brand New Visitor

March sees the start of 19 plate registrations and only two days in i managed to spot a brand new visitor to the town this afternoon.

YD19HHM is a DAF Powered Yutong TC12 E6 of KM Travel, Barnsley. It was parked on Great Yarmouth Seafront.

Another Coach was noted further along the Seafront with National Holidays MB Turismo NH16KEH noted outside the Sealife Centre.


Thursday, 28 February 2019

Another Spratts Coach Acquired

A further arrival to report at Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches is Van Hool bodied Scania K114 HY04HXK. It was new to Eirebus of Dublin as 04-D-325348 in April 2004.

It has been acquired from Spratts of Wreningham and is now the fourth coach in the Jubilee fleet that has seen service with that operator.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the regular supply of news and photos from Jubilee Coaches.


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th February 2019

This morning's Notices and Proceedings Report contains a few entries concerning changes to local bus services and are repeated here for the sake of completeness.

First Eastern Counties has registered a new 99A/99H service between Southwold Kings Head and St Mary's Street in Bungay via Halesworth. The Monday to Saturday service is effective from 31st March 2019

There are a couple of variations in existing First Eastern Counties routes to report. They include timetable amendments for the 40/40A/X41/41A/41 group of services between Hillside Road West in Bungay and St Stephens Street in Norwich. It is also changing the timetables of its 99/99B Lowestoft Bus Station to Southwold Pier Avenue service. First is also to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of 28/29/X29 between Norwich, St Stephens Street and Fakenham, Oak Street. All changes are to take effect from 31st March 2019. The operator is also to cancel its 925 Bramfield Road, Halesworth to Bungay High School service from 31st March 2019.

Konectbus is to cancel its 87/88 Halesworth to Southwold service from 1st April 2019 with its 90 route between the two areas going from 21st April 2019. A third service cancelled by Konectbus is the BH272 between Wangford and Bungay High School from 1st April 2019.

The full East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


B7 Withdrawn Again

News has reached us from First's Caister Road Depot that Volvo B7 66334 MV02VBZ has been taken out of service again

It is seen here in company with Scania L94UB 65673 SN51UYG, also out of service, in the rear yard at the depot

My thanks to First for the information and photo.


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

More BorderBus News

After tripping over SteveW near Morrison's in Lowestoft, and following our photo of the BorderBus demonstrator, we both headed over to their Beccles depot at Ellough.

The reason for the visit was to obtain a photo of the recent addition to the fleet, Scania OmniCity 212 YR61RUY. The staff are always very friendly and helpful and obliged by putting BorderBus on the destination screen

Whilst there I noted that a couple of Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs were out of use and were being robbed for spares - namely X647LLX and LK51XGH.

My thanks to the staff at BorderBus for their time and help.


New Enviro Demo for Borderbus

Borderbus of Beccles have taken delivery of Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC Demonstrator YX68UPY for use on their 146 service between Southwold and Norwich.

It entered service this morning after arriving at Ellough on Monday morning, It is being evaluated for Fuel Economy purposes during its time in Suffolk. I managed to get some sunny shots of it this morning in Carlton Colville as it headed to Southwold.

It has also recently seen use with Go Ahead North East and latterly with Transdev Yorkshire operations before heading to the East Coast.

Thanks to Borderbus for the info on timings.


First Latest

The latest news from First is that Lowestoft's Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30886 W741DWX has been withdrawn with engine failure. Its replacement from Norwich is none other than similar 30913 W768DWX. It looks as though the search for another training vehicle is on the cards!!

Operationally, some of you will probably be aware that First is to provide a new 99A service connecting Southwold, Halesworth and Bungay. This is mainly a commercial service although some funding is being contributed towards the former BH272 school run from Blythburgh to Bungay which will be numbered 99H. This is to make the general public aware that they could also use the service!

On arrival in Southwold the 99A buses will become the 99 to Lowestoft and, therefore, in most cases offer guaranteed connections to Lowestoft. Coastal day tickets are valid on all 99A journeys extending all the way to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. Additionally Halesworth to Norwich passengers can change at Bungay using the new Explorer tickets which are still cheaper than current Konect tickets!

First has tried to provide as good connections as possible at Bungay for Norwich, but recognise it is not perfect. The operator says facts prove that an hourly service is not viable or sustainable.

My thanks to my contact at First for the information


Saturday, 23 February 2019

BorderBus Latest

A BorderBus driver has posted on the Norwich Bus Enthusiasts Facebook Group that the Suffolk operator has taken delivery of Scania OmniCity YR61RUY. Delivered new to Centrewest in October 2011, it recently saw service with Metroline.

BorderBus are also expecting to have a demonstrator on the road from early next week. My thanks to Sam Larke and BorderBus for the information.


Date For The Diary

Friday, 22 February 2019

Wandering Star

Great Yarmouth heritage liveried Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL W219XBD found itself working Lowestoft based services yesterday. Our Lowestoft correspondent Simon Bartram observed it on a 99 service to Kessingland during lunchtime.

He later photographed it on Waveney Road in Lowestoft about to leave on the 14:40 X22 service to Norwich. At Norwich Bus Station Omar Atiallah recorded its arrival prior to it returning to Lowestoft on the 16:20 X2 service.

My thanks to Simon and Omar for the information and photos.


Thursday, 21 February 2019

High Street Interlude

A few errands to deal with in Gorleston High Street during yesterday afternoon in between which I managed to grab a couple of photos.

The first photo shows former First Manchester Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30948 YJ51RRV on the 8 to the James Paget Hospital. It was recently transferred from First Norwich.

The second is of BorderBus ADL Enviro200 104 BB62BUS on the 580 Waveney Line to Bungay service. It looks to have recently been cleaned and has branding for the Southwold - Beccles - Norwich route.


Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th February 2019

There is nothing of relevance to our local area in this morning's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, of interest is the timetable amendment by David McMaster, trading as Awaydays, to the Norwich city centre route 1 from 1st April 2019.

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


Not Training Just Yet!

Former First Bradford Volvo B7TL 30913 is the latest arrival for First Norwich which we reported a few days ago, initial reports had it as a Driver Trainer replacement for the withdrawn 32809 which sadly suffered engine failure. However due to vehicle requirement in the city 30913 was quickly pressed into public service and was noted in use on service 21.

30913 seen in Theatre Street heading for the N+N Hospital.

Many Thanks to Chris Dugdell for use of his Photo.


Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Wrights Acquisition

Wrights Coaches has another addition to its fleet. The operator tweeted earlier today that it had acquired Mercedes Benz Tourino BV57JYO from Spratts of Wreningham

The new arrival brings the fleet total up to eight coaches and minibuses.


Monday, 18 February 2019

Latest Arrival at Our Bus

Following the post of 27th January (Our Bus News) regarding the impending arrival of Optare Solo W441CWX, Sam Larke has supplied a photo of it in the Our Bus yard.

It arrived by low loader last week and is to donate its engine to CN05JYP. W441CWX was last used as a parade float for a mosque and is to be stripped for spare parts. My thanks to Sam for the photo and information


Sunday, 17 February 2019

Rail Replacement

With engineering work being carried out on the local rail network, replacement buses were in use at both Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft stations during the weekend.

Earlier this afternoon Smiths Coaches' Volvo B12M FP51EUN was ready to receive its passengers at Great Yarmouth Station whilst Wright Coaches' Scania K114 R25PTS was on standby.

Both are regulars on local rail replacement services


Saturday, 16 February 2019

First Driver Trainer Replacement

It appears the oldest member of the current FEC fleet has finally expired, Trident 32809 T809LLC has given up after engine failure at Norwich. It was latterly being used as a Driver Trainer.

32809 pictured at Caister Road last year.
A Replacement for the driving school has been sourced from First Bradford in the shape of Volvo B7TL/ALX400 30913 W768CWX.

30913 Seen working in Bradford in July 2018 (Mark Doggett)

 Thanks to First for the info and to Mark Doggett for use of his photo.


Friday, 15 February 2019

Friday Findings

A total of seven coaches were observed on the trip around Great Yarmouth earlier this morning.

Outside the Hotel Victoria on Kings Road was Majestic Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BN17JMX whilst on the hotel car park was Skills of Nottingham's VDL Futura YJ13HVB (pictured).

As usual, a group of Shearings/ National Holidays coaches were parked on Marine Parade close to the SeaLife Centre. Together were the latter's Kassbohrer Setra NH14JBH with the former's 849 BF16XOV bringing up the rear. On the opposite side of the road was a second Shearing's Tourismo in the shape of 133 BU18YSK

At Beach Coach Station was Belle Coaches' Scania K410EB4 BC17BEL, in Just Go livery, and National Holidays' Tourismo NH15GCH


Thursday, 14 February 2019

Mid Week in Norwich

One of those rare mid week days when I was determined to get to Norwich to photograph activity in the Fine City. It initially meant a stroll to the city centre via Bishopgate and I was hopeful that I may see a Norwich School Olympian in the lay by. There wasn't, but there was a Dolphin Travel Bova in the form of FRZ2054.

On arrival in the city centre, it was noticeable that Konectbus were using vehicles of many colours as the attached photo shows. Here former Go Ahead London red Wight Eclipse Gemini LX05EAJ is passed by ex Thames Travel ADL Enviro200 SN10CCZ.

Lurking behind the twosome in the photo is Bluestar liveried Mercedes Benz Citaro 426 HF55JZD on 'the shining bus service for Southampton' - a little off route perhaps!

During my couple of periods of observation I noticed Simmonds were using a couple of deckers on their services including East Lancs OmniDekka bodied Scania WVE284 (pictured) and Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President MSU917

At the Castle Mall entrance, on Castle Meadow, were two Sanders Coaches on a school trip. Former Lochs & Glens Volvo B13 920 BT14DLZ was parked in front of  ex Parks of Hamilton Volvo B9R 918 SD60DGO.

A former Sanders vehicle seen in its new guise was VDL/ Berkhof YJ12CHK now re-registered by its new owner Felixstowe Travel as M30FXO. It was one of two of the fleet seen on Theatre Street - the other was Volvo B9R M50FXO.

Of the National Express services I saw, all three were in the hands of Whippet's Caetano Levantes including the 490 London service.

Yes, I know I haven't posted a First photo, but I didn't notice anything that unusual to report!