Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th May 2022

No relevant local entries appear in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full Report can be viewed here soon


New £3m Development

Ground is being cleared at the southern end of Great Yarmouth's Beach Couch Station for a new £3 million housing development. The Jubilee Court development will comprise the construction of three blocks of three storey buildings containing one bedroom flats for council tenants.

Whilst the development is not in the area used for coach and lorry parking per se, there are plans being considered for the use of the whole of the Coach Station site for housing.

Whilst the site is not intensively used through out the year, there is a need to provide a location close to the holiday area to accommodate long stay coaches - during off peak season too. The coach industry is still recovering from the COVID pandemic and its is encouraging to see some recent growth in this sector. If this is to continue there needs to be some recognition of this issue.

The closure to traffic of the St Nicholas Road/ Nelson Road Central junction has already led to confusion among operators with at least one coach not being able to find its way to the coach station. The driver had to call the police as he couldn't negotiate a way out of his predicament. There doesn't appear to be adequate signage for coach drivers trying to find the coach station. When out with my camera, I have had at least one driver approach me to say he had difficulty finding parking in the town whilst this construction work is under way.

Those involved in the planning process need to be aware that there has to be adequate and convenient parking for coaches or the operators will take their coaches and their money spending passengers elsewhere.


Monday, 23 May 2022

First Day Of Cabriolet 1C Service

Following Saturday's publicity launch of Great Yarmouth's open top seafront service, the Clipper Cabriolet 1C service began yesterday.

Alfie Clarke supplies a photo of the first departure from Hemsby Beach at 09:15 with Cabriolet 6 CRZ 622 in charge. Numbered 37059 in the First fleet, it was previously registered YJ06 XML and formerly operated in closed top form for First Bradford

Regular contributor Syd Eade also provided some photos of the first day of the service 1C and some are reproduced in today's post.

He says all ran very fine and many had decent loads. The only issue was the road train getting in the way plus illegally parked cars causing difficulty turning at Seashore.

His first contribution shows the normally standby vehicle CRZ 166 passing the under construction Ferris Wheel.

The next features CRZ 266 at the Marina Centre stop. The new state-of-the-art Marina Centre is on track to open in the summer of this year.

An on board view of the passing of CRZ 488 seen on Marine Parade just before the Marina Centre,

The final offering shows CRZ 466 at the Seashore terminus prior to continuing to the Pleasure Beach,

My thanks to both Alfie and Syd for their photos


Saturday, 21 May 2022

Saturday Open Top Freebie

It was quite a relief that the weather played ball today with the sun shining compared to the previous day's cloudy and damp offering. An ideal day for an open top bus ride; and free at that!

Never one to miss such an event I found myself early to the venue (unusual for me as I'm nearly always late!) The first bus arrived well before start time ably driven by Chris Speed who reversed CRZ 599 onto the forecourt of the Britannia Pier to act as standby.

It was said Mr Speed who also bagged his place to take the first one out and he is seen here driving CRZ 366 past the Tower building on Marine Parade.

He is also observed with CRZ 366 passing the old Windmill Theatre on the return journey to the Britannia Pier

Not to be outdone CRZ 466 also joined the fray and is noted passing the Wellington Pier entrance and the Winter Gardens

As it would be rude not to accept the invitation for a free ride, I duly climbed on board for the run to the Pleasure Beach and back which was well loaded!

An interesting couple of hours and I wish the venture well. Chris said that after a successful first year it justified the investment to run an improved service this year.


Thursday, 19 May 2022

Lowestoft Flying Visit

With the car booked in for a service, a quick visit to Lowestoft beckoned this morning with the first observations recorded at Gordon Road's Bus Station.

My first photo shows First's Coastal Clipper 37568 AU58 ECJ preparing to leave the bus station on service 1 to Martham via Great Yarmouth.

Shortly after, Dennis Dart SLF 42921 EU05 AUN arrived at Gordon Road following the completion of its 109 route from Hollow Grove. The former First Great Yarmouth stalwart is seen here with its subsequent working, the 122 to the town's Rock Estate via Oulton Village.

Adjourning to the rail station, Vertas Alexander Dennis Enviro300 SN56 AYO was at the bus stop 'not in service'. It had transferred from Suffolk Norse.

After a visit to Lowestoft Tourist Information and bookshop, I was about to leave the station when the heavens opened! Standing outside I was fortunate to get a photo of Angie Tours' Caetano Levante bodied Scania P28 PJO passing by.

Finally on return to the bus station, I witnessed one of the two First Lowestoft Coastal Clippers, 37576 AU58 EDC, on the 99 service.


Free Open Top Bus Tours

As a forerunner to the introduction of First Eastern Counties' open top bus service commencing this Sunday, the operator is offering free rides on its Clipper Cabriolet service on Saturday.

The rides begin at the Britannia Pier bus stop and will run as far as the Pleasure Beach before returning to the Pier and are available between 10 am and 3pm. There is no need to book and buses will run every few minutes according to demand.

My thanks to Zak Nelson for the photo which features all six open toppers.


Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Morning Round Up

A quick tour around the holiday area of Great Yarmouth this morning witnessed at least eleven coaches in evidence. I travelled to Marine Parade via St Peter's Road passing Hodgsons Coaches' VDL YD19 GTZ on the way - complete with National Holidays branding. Although I didn't get a photo of it, as I was driving, there was picture of it at Beach Coach Station posted on their Twitter feed

Heading from south to north the first coach encountered was Skills Coaches' BU69 XYR in Leger Holidays New livery. The Volvo B11R is awaiting passengers from the nearby Carlton Hotel

Further along Marine Parade, outside the Royal Hotel, was Mercedes Benz BJ59 OJL operated by ICM Travel of Derby. The coach was new to Pullmanor of Herne Hill of South London in January 2010.

Van Hool TX17 Astron YD14 GFK, owned by Gibbons Coaches, was parked outside the New Beach Hotel. New to Parry of Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire in April 2014, it still retains their livery which has been adapted by Gibbons.

Continuing northwards, Prince's Road was busy with two coaches picking up passengers at the same time. First to arrive was Klarners Executive Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BL16 GBZ immediately followed by Welsh's Tours' VDL W26 HOL

Outside the Prom Hotel on Marine Parade was Elcock Raisen's Irizar i6S integral 1577 NT. New to the Shropshire operator as JE18 ACF in May 2018, it received its current registration in October of the same year.

Noted on North Drive was locally-based Marett's Chariots BMC 403 VF62 GAA, previously with Felix of Long Melford. The driver informed me the coach was being retained on contract to a film company shooting a pilot series for a television company.

Meanwhile three coaches had managed to find their way to Beach Coach Station via a complex route after the closure of the the Nelson Road North/ St Nicholas Road junction. With regular visitor Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BN17 JCU was Caledonian Travel's VDL SF17 EDJ and Acklams Holidays' Tourismo BV69 LOJ