Saturday 28 July 2012

Friday in Norwich

Friday was also the the day that Grahame Bessey paid a further visit to Norwich.

During his time there he saw both of the First Volvo B10BLEs transferred in from Great Yarmouth during the early part of the week. 60807 (left) was about to leave Castle Meadow for Wroxham on the 12 , whilst sister 60808 (right) was noted departing the bus station on service 14 for Silfield.

Grahame also reports that all moves between First Norwich and First Northampton have now been completed.

One of Northampton's former Volvo B7L/ Wright Eclipses was noted in service in Castle Meadow.

The vehicle was 66301 (KV02VVC) and is seen heading west.
Dereham - based Konectbus was using one of its Mercedes - Benz Citaros on the Costessey Park and Ride service

Here 804 (BL57OXN), now in Konect colours, returns to Costessey on the 604 service.

The bendybus was formerly with London General as their MAL111.

Many thanks to Grahame for sharing his photos with us

Friday 27 July 2012

Friday Afternoon Activity

A couple of hours spent in the town centre and holiday areas of Great Yarmouth this afternoon revealed the following activity.

At the BHS stand was a former Metrobus Scania waiting for the 13:50 departure for Kessingland.

Now in Anglianbus colours as their 446, YN05HFG is one of the last received by the Suffolk operator.

Behind it was Ambassador Travel's Volvo B12M 197 (KIG1857) which was providing some additional luxury for the shoppers on the Asda Free Bus.

KIG1857 was formerly FN52HRM and had previously seen use on National Express work prior to its demotion to general fleet duties.

Proceeding to the seafront I was keen to observe the Our Bus Seafront Circular which resumed summer operations earlier in the week.

Whilst waiting I was passed on North Drive by  First's Routemaster RML2480 (JJD480D) heading for the Seashore Holiday Centre.

Soon after, I sighted Our Bus SF54OUY - a Mercedes Benz Vario O814D with Plaxton Beaver bodywork.

It was the regular vehicle operating the service last year and I managed to capture it at the Britannia Pier stop.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Volvo Trio Transferred Away

Unfortunately with grandparent duties taking up much of my time recently, I have not been able view/post much activity in the last few days.

However, Grahame Bessey reports that Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot has lost three of its Volvo B10BLE's to other depots within the First East of England fleet.

60807 (S658RNA) and 60808 (S659RNA) have moved to Norwich, whilst 66165 (W365EOW) has gone to First Essex.

The latter, which has subsequently been sighted at Basildon, is seen here at the Caister Road site during March of last year.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Lowestoft Area News

© Syd Eade
Contributor Syd Eade reports there  was a surprise visitor on Lowestoft town service 101 on Saturday.

Syd was fortunate in getting a photo of Great Yarmouth based 32202 (LT52WTG) working the route on Katwijk Way.

He says that Plaxton Presidents are quite rare at Lowestoft these days, and of course the 101 is an SLF route.

He also reports that one of Anglian's recently acquired Scanias left the road at North Cove yesterday afternoon after being involved in a road traffic accident. He believes it was 445 (YN05HFE) which was later confirmed by an Anglian driver.

© Syd Eade
Syd also saw sister vehicle 442 (YN05HFH) in service in Lowestoft yesterday, but exactly what it was doing is a mystery as no destinations were shown and not even a card in the window! He guesses it was probably on the 601 service.

My thanks to Syd for the report and photographs

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Double Deck Coach Arrival

An unusual visitor to Beach Coach Station today was a double deck coach from a Norfolk operator.

Guist-based Richards Coaches' Volvo B12T GDZ9097 arrived just before 2.30pm this afternoon.

It has Berkhof CH57/16CT bodywork and was new to Ferris Coaches of Nantgarw (near Cardiff) in May 1998 as their R157RJH.

Among those also on site were Shearings Volvo B12M 603 (MX04AEC) and Whippet B10M J688LGA. The latter had arrived on Coastal Service A from Cambridge via Newmarket.

Saturday 14 July 2012

USA Holiday - June 2012

As promised, a posting on the bus/ light rail operations observed whilst on a 17 day trip touring around parts of the USA.

Our 'tour bus' (as the American's call it!) was this All Aboard America's Prevost number 545 operated by Industrial Bus Lines of Carlsbad in New Mexico.

Prevost is a leading North American manufacturer of intercity touring coaches with more than 80 years of experience in the bus industry. Free WiFi enabled, (a bonus!) our bus was expertly driven over the 2,300 miles by our Phoenix-based driver Bruce.

Our first base was in Denver with our hotel being a couple of blocks from the main shopping mall on 16th Street. Free buses operate throughout the length of the mall with stops at every block between Union Station and the Civic Center.

Operated by Regional Transportation District (RTD) the hybrid electric powered vehicles drive through the pedestrian area.

Our first destination was Red Rocks Park, where its amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon; the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world.

A second Prevost was there in the shape of Gray Line's 781. Gray Line, formed in1910, claims to be the world's largest provider of tours activities and attractions

Common place in the USA are the yellow school buses and this, I understand, is an AmTran bus with a Navistar International 3800 chassis

School bus builder AmTran was founded in 1980 and is short for the American Transport Corporation.

This example is pictured at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota.

Jackson, Wyoming was another interesting place to visit. Not only does it provide the gateway to the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, it also has a public transport system known as START.

START, or the Southern Teton Area Rapid Transport system runs a number of routes within the town of Jackson and beyond

Pictured is hybrid vehicle 276 travelling eastbound on the free town shuttle in Jackson nearing the Gill and Center stop on the evening of 11th June

Salt Lake City was next on the agenda and the Utah capital is home to a bus and light rail system and both are operated by  the Utah Transit Authority (UTA).

The photo shows bus 12022 travelling southbound along State Street on the 200 route heading for the TRAX (light rail) Station at 5300 South Murray.

The last photo shows TRAX unit 1148 arriving
at Courthouse on Main Street with a Blue Line service to Salt Lake Central

The Utah Transit Authority has a very comprehensive website providing details of all their operations including the bus routes and the light rail system (TRAX)

A very enjoyable, but hectic holiday - I now need another to recuperate!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Beach Coach Station - 11th July 2012

A brief trip to Beach Coach Station this afternoon between the showers (is there any more rain left up there!)

The first vehicle observed was Shearings Volvo B12M 502 (MX03AAF) in the old Shearings livery.

Among other coaches noted were Beeston's Van Hool 222GRA, Chenery's Setra SPV555, DCP Travel's DAF OJI4369 and Suffolk County Council's MAN 292 (AY56BJU)

Some of the coach parking has been given over to car parking to replace some of the spaces lost to the new housing development - the amount allocated to coaches was quite generous. The new access has been completed but is not yet in use.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

New Buses for the X1?

The X1 blog reports rumours that the new buses are expect for the X1 Peterborough to Lowestoft via Great Yarmouth service

Gerard reports the vehicles are currently parked in a location north of London labelled for Olympic use but with X1 branding. The livery is different from the current one and it is believed the lower bodysides are burgundy. The seventeen buses (not 22 as hoped for) have leather seats and and are rumoured to have more powerful engines than the current fleet.

We will just have to wait and see what happens after everything settles down following the Olympics.

News Update:

A reliable source has subsequently advised that here are NO replacement X1 vehicles in the Olympic fleet, although discussion is shortly to take place on replacing the Gemini's in next year's vehicle allocation.

Monday 9 July 2012

Service Alterations Registered - June 2012

The Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area published two Notices and Proceedings Reports on the Business Link website on 13th and 27th of June

Both reports provide details of proposed alterations to bus services in the Eastern Traffic Area

The most significant changes locally involve the reintroduction of the Great Yarmouth Seafront Circular by Our Bus and a change of operator for the 878 service between Alpington Village Hall and the Great Yarmouth Colleges.

Registration Of New Services


From: Alpington Village Hall
To: Great Yarmouth Colleges
Name or No: 878
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 01-Sep-2012
Other Details: College days only.

From: Great Yarmouth, Haven Seashore
To: Great Yarmouth, Haven SeashoreVia:
Name or No: Seafront Circular
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 21-Jul-2012
End Date: 02-Sep-2012
Other Details: 21/7/12 to 2/9/12.

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice


Operating between LOWESTOFT BUS STATION and NORWICH, ALL SAINTS GREEN given service number X2 effective from 24-Jun-2012. To amend Timetable.


Operating between Lowestoft, Dip Farm Car Park and Lowestoft, Marine Parade given service number A1 effective from 23-Jun-2012. To amend Timetable.


Operating between NORWICH RAIL STATION and ROYAL NORFOLK SHOWGROUND given service number 100 effective from 27-Jun-2012. To amend Timetable.

Cancellations of Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice


Operating between AYLSHAM MARKET PLACE and GORLESTON CHURCH LANE COLLEGE given service number 837 effective from 31-Jul-2012.


Operating between Alpington and Great Yarmouth college given service number 878 effective from 21-Jul-2012.

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices and Proceedings No 2129 & 2130

Saturday 7 July 2012

Latest Anglianbus Arrival

The fourth Scania Omnicity from London's Metrobus operation has been noted on the road in Anglianbus colours.

Grahame Bessey was fortunate to capture Anglian's 445 (YN05HFE) laying over between duties outside Lowestoft Police Station on Old Nelson Street on 27th June

This leaves just YN05HFG to be accounted for and, by a process of elimination, it should receive fleetnumber 446.

So for the record the ex Metrobus vehicles now numbered in the Anglianbus fleet are as follows:-

442 YN05HFH
443 YN05HFJ
444 YN05HFF
445 YN05HFE
446 YN05HFG

Again my thanks to Grahame Bessey for the photo.

Grahame's Norwich Visit

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey paid a visit to Norwich city centre on Tuesday (3rd July)

He saw at least three of the recent transferred Volvo B7L/ Wright Eclipses from First Northampton to First Eastern Counties

The first photo shows 61148 (MV02VBU) at Castle Meadow on city service 28 to Thorpe Marriott

Sister vehicle 66342 (MV02VCU) was also noted in Castle Meadow on a Costessey Queens Hills working.

A third example was noted by Grahame at Norwich Bus Station off Surrey Street - 66336 (MV02VCC) was the vehicle in question.

Another interesting sighting was that of Anglianbus Dennis Javelin 109 (CSK282) complete with Plaxton Derwent bodywork

The Javelin previously carried the registration J127LHC and took the cherished plate on the demise of a Mercedes Benz O303.

CSK282 is pictured on St Stephen's Street not in service - presumably it had worked a schools duty.

The final photo is that of Sanders 33 seater Scania L94UB/ Wright Axcess-Floline T362JWA.

Numbered 311 in the Sanders fleet, it seen in Castle Meadow on the X44 from the North Norfolk coast.

T362JWA was new to Apcoa of Sunbury on Thames in May 1999.

My thanks to Grahame Bessey for providing the good quality photos. 

Tuesday 3 July 2012

Tuesday Round-up

First's Gemini 37516 AU07DXS diverted along King Street

Central Area

Much activity in Great Yarmouth town centre this afternoon - both routemasters were active on First's service 3 and a diversion for buses was also in place.

As reported yesterday on the blog, part of King Street was dug up to permanently repair the burst water main of last month.

The diversion was, therefore, in force with buses travelling southwards along King Street before turning into 
Anglianbus Scania Omnicity 444 YN04HFF makes
 the turn from King Street into Yarmouth Way
Yarmouth Way and onto Hall Quay for the resumption of their normal routes.

Before the Regent Street bus lane was introduced, all Southtown/ Gorleston bound routes used Yarmouth Way.

As it was unusual to see vehicles using this route I took a number of pictures of them doing so and the additional ones can be seen on my Flickr site.

Repairs looked to be complete.

Beach Coach Station

Work on the new access to Beach Coach Station is also nearing completion as my photo shows; so it shouldn't be too long before it is brought into use.

Vehicle wise the most noteable coach present was Shearings' Volvo B12M 603 (MX04AEC)

Monday 2 July 2012

Bus Lane Closed

Workmen have begun digging up part of a road forming a major bus route in Great Yarmouth town centre following a burst water main last month.

First's Gemini 37570 (AU58ECT) negotiates the road in question
The incident happened in a busy shopping street, at the junction of King Street with Regent Street, on Saturday, June 23rd.

The leak was temporarily repaired on the day of the incident and this morning contractors started work on a twelve metre by six metre area to repair the road permanently.

Completion is due by the end of Wednesday