Wednesday 27 February 2013

Service Alterations Registered ~ February 2013

Two Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Reports were published on the Department for Transport's website during February

The reports, numbered 2146 and 2147 were published on the 6th and 20th February 2013 respectively. The former contained a significant number of changes to services operated by Sanders:-

Registration of New Services

From: Sheringham, Station Approach
To: Cromer Bus Station
Name or No: 22
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 18-Mar-2013
Other Details: Mondays to Wednesdays, Fridays.  

From: Stalham
To: Cromer Bus Station
Name or No:
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 18-Mar-2013
Other Details: Mondays to Fridays.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

  • Operating between Fakenham, Oak Street and Kings Lynn, Bus Station given service number X8 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between CROMER and NORWICH given service number 5A effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Route and Timetable.
  • Operating between Cromer Cadogan Road and North Walsham - Post Office given service number 5 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between Holt, Edinburgh Road and Cromer, Cadogan Road given service number 4 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between Reepham and Norwich, Norwich High School given service number 44/44A/X44 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between NORTH WALSHAM and CROMER given service number 33/33A effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Route and Timetable.
  • Operating between NORWICH and HOLT given service number 45 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between HOLT and FAKENHAM given service number 46 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Route and Timetable.
  • Operating between North Walsham - Post Office and Norwich City Centre given service number 55 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between N. Walsham (Park Lane) and Reepham High School given service number 615 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Route and Timetable.
  • Operating between Holt, Market Place and Fakenham, Oak Street given service number 9 effective from 18-Mar-2013. To amend Timetable.


The report numbered 2147 published on 20th February 2013 contained the following information:-

Registration of New Services

Operating between Southwold and Southwold, given route number Southwold Shuttle starting on 29/03/2013.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

  • Operating between Bungay and Lowestoft given service number 601/601A effective from 02-Apr-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between Lowestoft and Norwich given service number 146 effective from 02-Apr-2013. To amend Timetable.

Cancellations of Existing Services

Operating between Halesworth and Lowestoft given service number 602 effective from 02-Apr-2013.

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices and Proceedings 2146 and 2147 published on 6th and 20th February 2013 respectively

Thursday 21 February 2013

Caister Road Further Update

Further to yesterday's post on the blog, Ryan reports that Dart SLF 42450 R450CCV has been taken away from Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot for scrap - presumably by Alpha Recovery, Cramlingham (dealer)

With local driver trainer (Plaxton Premier 20109 N609APU) away for inspection repairs, Caister Road is using Norwich trainer 20128 P768XHS on loan. She is seen here with recent First Essex arrival ALX 400 30900 W774DWX. Sister 30901 W756DWX was still awaited earlier this afternoon

Many thanks to Ryan for the report and photo

Wednesday 20 February 2013

The Essex Touch

Recent activity at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot has certainly got an Essex feel about things

Regular correspondent Grahame Bessey reports the arrival of First Essex Dart 43473 R473CAH yesterday for an MOT

He also states that First Essex ALX 400 30900 W774DWX migrated from First Essex back to First Eastern Counties arriving at the Great Yarmouth depot yesterday. After completion of MOT/inspection work she will be used at nearby Lowestoft. Sister 30901 W756DWX is also expected today.

Many thanks Grahame for the report and to Ryan for the photo

A Foggy Day in Old Yarmouth Town

With apologies for the similarity between the post title and the song composed by George Gershwin, most of yesterday saw the seaside at Great Yarmouth shrouded in cold foggy weather

Whilst most photographers would pack up their bags and head for home, Richard Alger took this atmospheric picture of a First Eastern Counties Wright Eclipse Gemini.

37156 AU07DXS is seen waiting at Great Yarmouth's Regent Road stop for the off to Lowestoft on the X1 early yesterday morning

Many thanks to Richard for the photo

New Buses for the X1

Firstgroup has recently announced that its bus division has ordered 464 new vehicles worth £76m for delivery in the 2013/14 financial year. This order will bring First’s investment in new buses to around £240m in three years.

Part of this order includes 22 new vehicles to replace the current Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs on the long distance X1 route linking Peterborough, King's Lynn and Norwich with Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft

Gerard's X1 blog speculates that they will be Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s fitted with 6 cylinder Cummins engines with delivery commencing as soon as May this year. Some of the upgraded features could include leather effect seating and wi-fi in response to customer satisfaction surveys. The full specifications can be viewed here

Meanwhile X1 services have resumed their usual route in Gorleston following the early completion of road resurfacing work at the Church Lane, Crab Lane, Magdalen Way and Shrublands Way junction.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Swift Dart Departure

Last Thursday I reported that details of Swift Taxis' TransBus Dart FJ53VDL had appeared in Route One's classified section as being available for disposal on a spares and repairs basis

The bus has since left Swift's Southtown yard and Neil Chilvers saw her on the back of a Terrs (Sutton Bridge) recovery trailer yesterday afternoon heading westwards on the A47 at Easton

When with Swift, the Dart possessed fleetnumber 137 and was named Swift Lark. She was acquired from Blofield based Amza when the Great Yarmouth operator bought the business in December 2009

Many thanks to Neil  for the report

Latest News: 
FJ53VDL  is now with Shropshire Bus & Coach at Wem Industrial Estate, north of Shrewsbury in Shropshire. After some attention, she is expected to be back in service in about three to four weeks time. A photo of her at Wem can be viewed here

Monday 18 February 2013

Gorleston Diverts

Firsts Dart 43433 P433 NEX at Almond Road
With road works starting at the junction of Church Lane, Crab Lane, Magdalen Way and Shrublands Way in Gorleston, today is the first day of bus route diversions

The resurfacing work means that access to and from Magdalen Way and Shrublands Way has been closed to traffic.

As a result First's service 2 now gains access to Shrublands
Estate from Forsythia Road (instead of Shrublands Way) and undertakes a circular tour of the estate via Almond Road before regaining its route

First's service 8 to the James Paget Hospital, and the X1 route to Lowestoft, continues west along Crab Lane (instead of turning left into Magdalen Way) and joins the A143 Beccles Road. The services then turn
eastwards into Long Lane/Trinity Avenue and then rejoin their original route at Magdalen Way

I ventured out earlier today with the camera to record some of the unusual movements involving these services

The bus route diversions are expected to continue for three days, ending on the 20th of February

Sunday 17 February 2013

Felixstowe Scanias

Paul Bennett contacted me this morning with the news that three former Anglian Scania OmniCitys from the YN03UV* batch are to be found in Felixstowe

Former 421 YN03UVP, 424 YN03UVU and 425 YN03UVV are all parked up at dealers MAN Truck and Bus in Bryon Avenue in the town as part of the agreement to acquire the MAN EcoCity gasbuses

The trio have been at Felixstowe for around three weeks now awaiting onward sales

Many thanks to Paul for the information

Saturday 16 February 2013

New Buses, New Liveries

As you are all no doubt aware, four more of the new biogas buses joined the Anglian fleet at the beginning of the year and were introduced into service in late January.

Two appeared on the 601 between Southwold and Great Yarmouth via Lowestoft on Tuesday 22nd January with the other two environmentally friendly vehicles introduced onto the 588 service
between Halesworth and Norwich, via Bungay, from Wednesday 23rd January.

All four were initially launched with the standard Anglian Bus livery due to operational requirements. New designs for these vehicles were being worked on following delivery.

With the help of regular contributor Grahame
Bessey, I am now able to update you with pictures of these new designs. He has provided photos of three of the four vehicles in the new liveries

My thanks to Grahame for his assistance in preparing this post

Meanwhile a further three await entry into service in the near future

Thursday 14 February 2013

Local Vehicles For Sale

Today's Route One publication has a number of local vehicles for sale in its classified section.

Two Swift Taxis bus/coaches are being advertised for sale and they include Transbus Dart 137 FJ53VDL, which has been parked out of use at the rear of the company's Southtown Road site for sometime now. Named Swift Lark, it is being offered on a spares or repair basis and details can be viewed here

A surprise, however, is the sale of the 2004 dated BMC Probus 850 Club - 139 BX54VUM Swift Nightingale. Details of the 35 seater can be seen here

Both vehicles were acquired from Amza of Blofield following its demise in December 2009.

Reynolds of Caister are also selling vehicles in the publication, which includes a 1996 Toyota
Caetano 21 seater. Two Plaxton Paramount 3200 bodied Dennis Javelins are also available for sale and are thought to be those with the cherished CHZ registration plates

Among other vehicles available are two former 03 Anglian Scanias (with dealers Southdown PSV) and some coaches from the North Walsham based Marrett's Chariots fleet.

Today's Route One magazine can be viewed here

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Disruption to Bus Services in Gorleston

Church Lane, Crab Lane, Magdalen Way Shrublands Way junction affected by the resurfacing works
With road resurfacing work due, the junction of Church Lane, Crab Lane, Magdalen Way and Shrublands Way in Gorleston will be closed to all traffic to and from Magdalen Way and Shrublands Way from Monday 18th to Wednesday 20th February 2013.

Traffic from Church Lane and Crab Lane will be able to continue in an Easterly or Westerly direction only.

The closure primarily affects First's routes and during this closure its services will operate as follows:-

  • Service 2 towards the James Paget Hospital ~ Normal route to Church Lane then via Crab Lane, Forsythia Road, and Almond Road resuming normal route turning left into Oak Road.
  • Service 2 towards Great Yarmouth ~ Normal route to Oak Road then via Almond Road, Forsythia Road and Crab Lane resuming normal route crossing over the junction onto Church Lane.
  • Services X1 & 8 towards the James Paget Hospital ~ Normal route to Church Lane then via Crab Lane, the A143 Beccles Road and Long Road/Trinity Avenue resuming normal route turning right onto Magdalen Way.
  • Services X1 & 8 towards Great Yarmouth ~ via the outward route above but in reverse.
  • A temporary stop will be put up at the Magdalen Way end of Trinity Avenue as an alternative to the missed out northbound stop for service 8
  • Service 6 & 7 routes are unaffected

Other operators' services may also be affected. Whilst it is half term for the Sixth Form College, Ambassador Travel's daily 730 service may also need to be rerouted

Monday 11 February 2013

Norwich Bus Station Temporary Closure

Norwich's bus station at Surrey Street is to close for eight days later this month for repairs to the roof.

The work will take place between 0600 on Sunday 17th and 2359 on Sunday 24th February 2013 with buses running to the normal timetable using alternative stops nearby

First's X1 and X2 services are affected as follows:-

  • X1 towards Dereham, Kings Lynn and Peterborough will depart from outside John Lewis on All Saints Green.
  • X1 towards Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft will depart from Surrey Street outside Norfolk Tower near the Surrey Tavern.
  • X2 towards Loddon, Beccles and Lowestoft will depart from Surrey Street outside Norfolk Tower near the Surrey Tavern.

Anglian's X47/A47 routes will depart from St Stephen's Street Stand H whilst the A146 will also pick up in Surrey Street outside the Norfolk Tower close to the Surrey Tavern

Further information on the temporary departure points can be viewed here

Sunday 10 February 2013

Last Day of Anglian's 603

Yesterday was the last day of Anglian operating its 603 route between Carlton Colville and Lowestoft Bus Station.

As previously mentioned, loadings have been quite low apart from the first bus after the concessionary bus pass deadline of 09:30

Regular contributor Syd Eade was on hand to record the last rites...
As it was the final day of Anglian running the 603 to Carlton Colville, thoughtfully cancelled by them within weeks of having the route to themselves, I ventured out to get a couple of photos. It was a bit gloomy and overcast but I did see both the regular Solos running plus the dinner time meal relief, which was Trident X251NNO on the 13:12 departure.
305 MX53FDP (shown above) and 326 YN04LWP were the two regular Solos involved

The lower photo shows Trident 508 X251NNO exiting Gordon Road Bus Station with the 603

My thanks to Syd for the report and photographs.

All photos are copyrighted to Syd Eade

Saturday 9 February 2013

Norwich Flying Visit

A flying visit to Norwich this afternoon with a little time for some observations in St Stephens Street and at Surrey St Bus Station

The first vehicle photographed was one of Anglian's MAN EcoCity gas buses in St Stephen's Street. 608 AU62DWL was working the 588 service to Halesworth.

Making my way to Surrey St Bus Station I
snapped Konectbus Wright Pulsar Gemini bodied VDL YJ05PXD negotiating its way around St Stephens roundabout displaying Thickthorn Park & Ride on its destination screen

Coinciding with my arrival at the bus station was Norfolk Green's DAF/ Optare Spectra YE52FHG appearing on the X29 route

Two further Anglian
MAN EcoCity buses were observed - 603 WX62HHF arriving in Surrey Street Bus Station on a 146 service from Lowestoft and 610 AU62DWC departing St Stephens Street with a 588 to Bungay.

The final photo shows Konectbus ADL Enviro 400 606 SN61CZW leaving a busy bus station with the Dereham Fast 8 service.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Yesterday's Shearings

Passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station yesterday afternoon, I observed a Shearings vehicle in the distance in its distinctive blue livery

It was rare visitor Setra 830 BK11CSF which is shown at the coach station basking in the winter sunshine

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Further First Update

Further news regarding the previous Caister Road update is that First Eastern Counties Dart 43452 P452RPW was towed away from the depot yesterday

Volvo B10BLE 60807 S658RNA is to receive a new engine before it returns to service.

Also decker 32208 and Volvo B12M 20514 are now back on the road following repairs

My thanks to Ryan for the continuous updates

Sanders Activity

Des Speed was on an X1 service from Great Yarmouth which was waiting at the traffic lights to enter Norwich Bus Station yesterday.

Imagine his surprise when a Sanders Scania Omnicity YS03ZKV turned into the bus station from the opposite direction, with the rear engine cover open! 

After dropping off passengers the bus proceeded to the layover bays. Des didn't know if the bus continued further with the engine cover up, as he had to catch a connecting service.

Surprise news from Grahame Bessey is that Sanders has acquired three similar vehicles from Anglian Bus. A friend of his was visiting the bodyshop at Full Circle on Friday when he observed three Scanias with YN03UV* registrations awaiting their painting into Sanders livery.

My thanks to Des for the photo and information and to Grahame for his exclusive news!

Monday 4 February 2013

Caister Road Update

Ryan has emailed the latest developments at First's Caister Road depot in Great Yarmouth

He reports that the engine has blown up in Dart 42450 R450CCV - leading to its withdrawl. She is currently keeping company with the other withdrawn Dart (43452 P452RPW) in the rear yard

Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP has been
out of service since Thursday night (31st) awaiting replacement of glass in its emergency door.

On the decker front, 32208 LT52WTO has sustained accident damage to the top deck window and roof, which could put her out of action for a little while. Meanwhile sister 32211 LT52WTU has moved to Norwich permanently

Volvo B10BLE 60807 S658RNA has returned to Caister Road but it looks as though further repairs are needed before she can return to service.

My thanks to Ryan for the photos and the update

Sunday 3 February 2013

More Gas Buses Arrive

Regular contributor Zak Nelson visited Anglian's Ellough depot in Beccles around yesterday lunch time

He saw two brand new MAN EcoCity gas buses present with no fleet numbers, no decals and no registration plates. Only distinguished by a piece of paper in the windscreen

Many thanks for the photo and information Zak

Stalham Fire ~ May 2004

Continuing with the buses on fire theme, Grahame Bessey has sent in some photos of the fire at First's Stalham outstation a few years ago

Four vehicles were parked up at the site on 5th May 2004 when the fire occurred. The vehicles involved were Darts M230VWW, J514FPS , Coach N613APU and Scania R144GSF which was only slightly damaged.

Only the last mentioned escaped intact with the remainder written off.

The Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M N613APU (right in the top photo) appears to have suffered the worse

My thanks to Grahame for the details and for sharing the photos with us. They were taken only a matter of a few hours after the fire subsided