Tuesday 30 April 2013

Anglianbus MD to Leave in July

A press release on the Go-Ahead Group's website yesterday announced that Andrew Pursey, Anglian Bus Managing Director, is to leave the company during the summer.

Andrew will remain with the business until the end of July to enable a smooth transition to a new management team. He will be succeeded by Julian Paterson who will become Managing Director of both Konectbus and Anglian Bus. Julian will be supported by Philip Eden, who has been appointed Operations Manager, Anglian Bus.

Since Go-Ahead acquired Anglian Bus in April 2012 Andrew has overseen the transition of Anglian Bus from an established family-run business to ownership by The Go-Ahead Group.

Andrew said:"I have been involved in running Anglian Bus for the past 23 years and during the last 12 months I've seen the company enter a new era as part of Go-Ahead. I am now looking forward to supporting Julian Paterson in delivering a smooth transition before leaving to take up a new challenge."

Source: Go-Ahead Press Release

Monday 29 April 2013

Caister Road Update

The latest news from First's Caister Road Depot is that Lowestoft's Enviro200 44512 DK57SXF is there for repairs. It's engine has been removed for work to be undertaken.

As reported previously, ALX400 30900 W774DWX is awaiting an MOT; whilst Dart 42448 R448CCV was taken away for scrapping on Thursday last (25th)

Meanwhile two of Great Yarmouth's allocation remain on loan to Lowestoft (Dart 43478 and Olympian 34187) and will be retained until the latter's last two deckers receive the refreshed livery

My thanks to Ryan for the regular reports

More repair work is in the offing following Dart 43435 P435NEX breaking down in Caister during yesterday evening. Harry Stanley reports it experiencing problems whilst on service 1 to Martham at around 19:15. A replacement arrived in the form of 43470 R470CAH. Thanks for the info Harry

Sunday 28 April 2013

Saturday in the City

Yesterday lunchtime I had an hour or so to spare to observe bus activity whilst the other half was shopping in Norwich City Centre

My first photo is that of Norfolk Green's Alexander Dennis Enviro400 SN12EHO in Surrey Street on 12:25 X29 service to Fakenham

Making my way into the bus station, I observed Chenery's Caetano
Levante bodied VolvoB9R FJ11MKA in the layover area. Adorned in National Express livery she had just completed the 09:00 from the capital

On X2 duties was First Lowestoft Volvo B7TL/ALX 400 30901 W756DWX. She had arrived on the 11:08 from Lowestoft and was returning with the 12:40 back to the Suffolk town when I captured her leaving
Also noted on City Sightseeing service was open top Leyland Olympian G520VBB; though I would suspect that it was a little 'too drafty' on the top deck with the cold north easterly wind in evidence!

The final photo shows former Brighton & Hove Trident W821NNJ now working for Konect Bus. No 721 was noted on Rampant Horse Street heading for Queens Hill on route 5

Saturday 27 April 2013

ALX 400s in the News

Two of First's Alexander ALX 400 bodied Volvo B7TLs are in the news today

The first is 30900 W774DWX which was captured by Grahame Bessey at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot yesterday resplendent in its new refreshed livery.

Assuming it passes its MOT on Tuesday it will transfer to Lowestoft to enter service there
Grahame also caught 32652 AU05MUP off its normal X2 route on Whapload Road in Lowestoft on his way home yesterday.

It was being employed on Lowestoft route 104 heading for the Town Centre.

Grahame adds 'this is rather odd for a double deck vehicle as you rarely see anybody on the normal Dart on this service!'

My thanks to Grahame for the report and the photos which are his copyright

Friday 26 April 2013

40th Spring Bus & Coach Gathering

The 40th Spring Bus & Coach Gathering was held at the London Bus Museum at Cobham Hall Brooklands in Weybridge, Surrey on Sunday last (21st April 2013)

Tim Major visited the event, formerly known as the Cobham Rally, which was located at the museum complex which also displayed motor racing heritage and aircraft history of the area

Tim reports that, as a part of the proceedings, the museum celebrated the arrival of three new vehicles
Firstly RT2657 was an early post-war AEC RT with Park Royal bodywork built in 1948 and features a roofbox route number box. This vehicle left London in 1965, bound for the Paris Transport Museum where it  resided for the next 48 years until it was donated to the London Bus Museum earlier this year. The LTPS and EATM have of course repatriated LT trolleybus 796 and Glasgow tram 488 from the same establishment.

Secondly there was RW3, one of three experimental AEC Reliance single deckes with Willowbrook bodies, purchased by LT in 1960 to test the concept of a separate exit door. 

The vehicle has been the subject of extensive restoration to original condition by private owners and the bus has been placed on long-term loan to the museum.
Finally RM2760 (not pictured) was the last Routemaster to be built. It retains an AEC engine and original interior and Stagecoach has placed it long-term loan to the museum
The only other vehicle photographed was an AEC tree-lopper. London Transport service vehicle 971J, was once a front-entrance STL-type bus in the Country Area.
My thanks to Tim Major for his report and pictures

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Trident On the X47

AnglianBus was employing former London Trident X386NNO on the X47/A47 service between Gorleston's James Paget Hospital and Norwich Bus Station yesterday

The Rackheath based decker is seen here in Gorleston High Street yesterday afternoon on the way to the James Paget with the 14:00 from Norwich

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Where Are They Now ~ AO02RBZ

Another in our 'Where Are They Now' series features a First vehicle - AO02RBZ

AO02RBZ, a Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M, joined the Eastern Counties fleet in May 2002 when she received fleet number 202.

Whilst her home depot was Kings Lynn she could often be seen on the X1 service linking Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth with Norwich, Kings Lynn and Peterborough.

Later renumbered in the First fleet as 20502, she migrated to Bonnie Scotland during 2009 and is now employed by First Glasgow

Syd Eade saw her earlier this month when she was being used, along with her sisters, on peak hour extras on the service 1 between Glasgow and Helensburgh/Balloch.

My thanks to Syd for information and photo

Monday 22 April 2013

Winterton Service Curtailed

Owing to carriageway patching work, Bulmer Lane in Winterton is being closed to all through traffic from its junction with The Craft to its junction with Edwards Road from 08.30 to 16.30 for today only

During this closure, First's service 1 will operate along the same route as the 1A between Hemsby and Martham in both directions.

The road closure means First are unable to serve Winterton village during these times.

First apologises for the inconvenience caused by the non-availability of service

Saturday 20 April 2013

Where Are They Now ~ R31GNW

Another in our 'Where Are They Now' series; this time featuring a former member of the Sanders Coaches fleet.

R31GNW is an Optare Delta bodied DAF which was new to Speedlink, Greater London, in December 1997

Sanders Coaches of Holt acquired her in September 1998 and she subsequently received fleet-number 503

R31GNW is now to be found in Ireland and is owned by Kearney's of Cork. Still retaining some Sanders logos, she has been re-registered as 97C40035 and is primarily used on school bus duties

My thanks to Fred Dean Junior for the photo which bears his copyright

Friday 19 April 2013

Friday First Thing

After carrying out one of my regular family taxi duties, I thought I would continue into town to see what was lurking about!

A seafront run revealed a small number of coaches outside hotels being readied to transfer their passengers back home after a short stay in the resort.

The most notable was a Mercedes from the Alfa Travel fleet outside the
New Beach Hotel.

After the photo, the Tourismo, 79 BU13ZTZ, departed with no passengers onboard and was later seen heading westbound on Fullers Hill

Sister 75 BU13ZTV was also observed at Beach Coach Station.

Looking in at First's Caister Road depot, Dart 42448 R448CCV was noted parked in the rear compound.

Presumably she is awaiting her last journey to the scrapyard following withdrawal earlier in the month.

Thursday 18 April 2013

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th April 2013

An Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report was published yesterday on the Department for Transport's website

The report, numbered 2151, includes reference to the registration of a new local route and applications to vary services in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area

Registration of New Services

From: Aldeburgh
To: Saxmundham
Name or No: 64A
Service Type: Normal Stopping
Effective Date: 26-May-2013
Other Details: Mondays to Saturdays.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

Operating between Great Yarmouth, Market Gates and Bradwell/Belton given service number 6/6B/7 effective from 26-May-2013. To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable.

Operating between Great Yarmouth, Market Gates and Burgh Castle given service number 5 effective from 26-May-2013. To amend Timetable.

Operating between NEWPORT (CARAVAN PARK) and GREAT YARMOUTH (SEASHORE HOLIDAY PARK) given service number 3 effective from 26-May-2013. To amend Timetable.

Operating between LOWESTOFT BUS STATION and PETERBOROUGH RAIL STATION given service number X1 effective from 26-May-2013. To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable.

Operating between LOWESTOFT and MARTHAM given service number 1/1A/1B effective from 26-May-2013. To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2151 published 17th April 2013

Wednesday 17 April 2013

Where Are They Now ~ WJI8928

Copyright Adam Glentworth
The second of our 'Where Are They Now' series features a former member of the Swift Taxis fleet based in Great Yarmouth.

WJI8928 is a Plaxton bodied Scania K93CRB which was new to Shearings as their G881VNA in May 1990 and was given fleet number 881

Whilst with Swift, WJI8928 received fleet number 134 and was named Swift Canary; presumably because of its yellowish-green livery

The Scania was one of the nine vehicles Swift placed in an online auction in August 2011 and I managed to photograph the line up of most of them, including WJI8928, in Copyfax yard during that month

She is now owned by Black and White Coaches of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire and has been repainted in their  livery

My appreciation goes to Adam Glentworth for allowing me to use his photo in this blog

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Anglianbus Information Days

Beccles-based bus operator Anglianbus is holding a series of information days starting from late April onwards

In partnership with selected Norfolk and Suffolk County Council Libraries, Anglian will be hosting these days as an opportunity to discuss any queries you may have or to find out any information you may need for your travel arrangements throughout the Summer.

A selection of timetables and general information will be made available at the events

New X1 Vehicles Delay

Gerard, on the X1 blog, reports that the arrival of new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s to replace the current Eclipse Geminis on the X1 route have been delayed

Gerard continues...
'New buses should begin to appear in late August/early September. The reasons for the delay are that stringent efforts are being made by 'First' to ensure that the new vehicles are suitable for the long distance route. Points of contention have been the quality/depth of the seats, the weight to speed ratio to guarantee running at 58mph and the internal lighting / layout arrangements. These were all finalised too late for the May/June build slots, but at least we know we will get something suitable when the buses begin to appear.'

Meanwhile, there is widespread speculation among bus enthusiasts as to where the Geminis will move to when the new buses arrive. As regular readers of the blog will know, eastnorfolkbus does not spread these rumours but reports on what is actually happening on the ground. Obviously I will endeavour to keep you fully informed when anything does actually occur!

Monday 15 April 2013

Where Are They Now ~ MX60GXC

The first in an occasional series which looks at the current location of vehicles which previously used to operate in the Great Yarmouth - Lowestoft area

Some of you may remember my report of 14th October 2011 concerning Anglian's use of a white Wright StreetLite in Great Yarmouth.

MX60GXC was then on a short term loan from dealer Mistral and had received temporary fleetnumber 327 whilst in the Anglian fleet

She has subsequently received yellow and blue livery; but it is not that of Anglian but of Bakerbus which operates buses around Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, Cheshire and Stockport.

My thanks goes to Roys UK Buses for permission to use the photo and to <3 Astons Coaches for the heads up.

Sunday 14 April 2013

Wedding Hire

A former London routemaster was seen in Great Yarmouth yesterday adorned with ribbons for a wedding.

Park Royal bodied CUV151C, carrying fleetnumber RM2151, was observed heading north along the western bypass around lunchtime

The decker is owned by Coach Services of Thetford and in recent years could be seen operating regular seasonal shuttles for passengers on the North Norfolk Railway from its station into Holt village.

Saturday 13 April 2013

Further Caister Road Update

Ryan reports on further activity affecting First's Caister Road depot

Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President 32211 LT52WTU is back at Great Yarmouth after a two month stay in Norwich

Meanwhile Dart 43478 R478CAH and Volvo Olympian 34187 S687AAE  have both moved to Lowestoft on loan

My thanks to Ryan for the update

Belton Bus

Another of the four ex First Essex Dennis Dart SLF/ ADL Pointer 2's was noted in service yesterday afternoon

It is the only one whose photo hasn't appeared on the blog since its arrival in Great Yarmouth last month

42920 EU05AUM was in Gorleston on the service 7 to Belton -
between the showers in what looked like a deserted High Street!

Friday 12 April 2013

Caister Road News Update

Following my report on Tuesday that Dart 43433 P433NEX had been withdrawn, Ryan tells me she was towed away that morning from First's Caister Road depot

Presently undergoing MOTs at Great Yarmouth are Norwich's Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 36175 BD11CFZ and Trident 33171 LR02LYO

Recent arrivals from First Essex, ALX400s 30900 and 30901 (W774/56DWX) have both left the depot and are now at Full Circle receiving a repaint

Meanwhile former Eastern Counties Dart 43473 R473CAH has been written off at Braintree whilst with First Essex

Many thanks to to Ryan for the continuous updates from Caister Road

Thursday 11 April 2013

Unusual Workings In Lowestoft

Grahame Bessey observed some unusual workings in Lowestoft today which included the use of Great Yarmouth Dart 43478 R478CAH on the 101 service to Hollow Grove.

Anglianbus were employing MAN EcoCity 604 WX62HHE on the 601 Great Yarmouth - Lowestoft - Southwold route; the first of the WX62 batch to be seen on the route by Grahame.
Anglian's white StreetLite MX12JXV continues to see use - this time on 601A duties on the Kessingland - Lowestoft - Pleasurewood Hills route.

A photo of the StreetLite can be seen on my 19th March posting to the blog

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photos which are his copyright

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Dart Duo Demise

The latest news from Caister Road is that two Dennis Dart SLFs have met their end

It has been confirmed that Darts 43433 P433NEX and 42448 R448CCV have been withdrawn.

The first was new to Eastern Counties in September 1996 and spent some time working in the Ipswich area and then Bury St Edmunds up to the withdrawal of services there

The latter was new to Western National in December 1997 and was acquired from First Devon and Cornwall in February 2005

My thanks to Graham for the update


Another report and photo from Grahame Bessey  .......

'Whilst driving over the Breydon Bridge this morning on my way to work in Lowestoft, this caught my eye sitting in Tesco's car park, an East Lancs bodied Dennis Trident registered 90KXV' 

The bus is being used as a promotional vehicle/shop for Mind Candy Limited (Moshibus.com) and was new to Metrobus in June 2001 as their Y416HMY - carrying fleetnumber 416

Thanks for the report and picture Grahame!

New National Holidays Setra

Regular correspondent Grahame Bessey was passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station yesterday evening, on his way back home from work, when he espied a National Holidays duo laying up for the night.

Both were Kassbohrer Setras S415GT-HD and the first was NH09ORH which was new to the company in May 2009

More surprising was the appearance of new vehicle NH13BWH - the first of the new 13s seen by Grahame

My appreciation goes to Grahame for his continued support and for the report and photos - the latter are copyrighted

Monday 8 April 2013

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd April 2013

An Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report was published last Wednesday on the Department for Transport's website

The report, numbered 2150, contained very limited changes to services in the Norfolk/Suffolk coastal area with only variations to two services being reported.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

CB000515/B242 - operating between Southwold and Southwold given route number Southwold Shuttle, to amend start date to 01/05/2013.

CB000858/B293 - operating between North Walsham Area and North Walsham Area given route number Poppy Bus, to amend Timetable and Route starting on 29/04/2013.

A report on the Southwold Shuttle appears in this week's Lowestoft Journal

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2150 published 3rd April 2013

Sunday 7 April 2013

Worthing Revisited

Further to my blog posting last week regarding my Worthing visit, Syd Eade has contacted me about his trips to the Sussex seaside resort

'James Race and myself often go down to Worthing for short breaks in the summer and actually stay with one of the Worthing depot engineers.

We have worked on the PD3 open toppers as a crew on the Worthing-Shoreham Beach service, and even took Lowestoft 21 down to use on a free service during the Worthing Rally
Richard Alger and myself paid for the destination blinds to be made specially and they are still in the bus in case we want to go again! 

Driving the old Regent in Worthing was nothing compared to central London however (I hate the M25, so went right through the centre and over Tower Bridge to get to and from Worthing!) 

I have sent a couple of photos for your interest, James has since lost his long hair of course!'

Thanks to Syd for the report and photos which are his copyright.

Saturday 6 April 2013

The Beccles Service ~ 25 Years Ago

In response to yesterday's posting about the Anglian decker, regular contributor Syd Eade has sent me a photo of how things used to be; almost 25 years ago!

Syd writes....
'Your latest blog entry of the Anglian decker on 581 just shows how the route has changed over the years for the better. 25 years ago the service had been reduced to just a single journey each way, service 615, and that could easily be handled by a 16 seat minibus, and it served Aldeby and Burgh St Peter too!'

However, the loading on Anglian's decker, when I saw it yesterday, wasn't that heavy either; so a minibus would have probably coped with the number of passengers carried

My thanks to Syd for the report and photo - interesting to see how times have changed!

Friday 5 April 2013

Essex Tour

Regular contributors Syd Eade and James Race have just returned from a tour of Essex taking in Chelmsford and Basildon with the main aim of seeking out the First Essex hybrids introduced on the 100 Chelmsford to Lakeside service by First Essex

Syd takes up the story....
'James and myself had another snow-filled day out yesterday. A number of ex First Eastern Counties buses were seen during the day; 20501 AO02RBY being a surprise on the X30 to Stansted Airport although it seems the destination display doesn't want to let you know! 

It was squeezing between both ends of the age spectrum at Chelmsford, between a barely one week old Volvo and one of the few remaining step Darts.'

Syd  reported that ex First Eastern Counties Dart 42447 R447CCV was observed whilst Volvo B7TL/ ALX400s 30902/3 W757/8DWX were also noted.

Syd continues....
'We travelled down to Basildon on the hybrids, before retreating back home. The biting cold wind stopped us loitering for photos, although in the 15 minutes there we not only found our old friend 43448 but Ex Sanders PL08YMA now working for Ensign.

So all in all a very successful day, which 
was further 
enhanced when we found one of the as yet unused ADL35 Hybrids, which had only been delivered the previous day. 

Also seen was the Mercedes Citaro demonstrator in use with First Essex on service 351. 

Considering it was only 4 hours from arriving to departing Chelmsford we could not have
planned the day better if we had tried ( although a properly planned day would have included some warmth and sunshine! )'

My thanks to Syd and James for their contributions with the photos being copyrighted

Last of the Quartet Enters Service

The final migrant of the four Darts from First Essex has now entered service

Grahame Bessey was fortunate in capturing a photo of 42921 EU05AUN at Kingsway in Hemsby earlier this afternoon.

Thanks for the info and photo Grahame

Photo copyright Grahame Bessey

Anglian Decker on the 581

One of the former Brighton Tridents unusually appeared on the 581 Beccles - Great Yarmouth and return working earlier today

Normally operated by a single decker, Anglian 515 T813RFG is pictured on Beccles Road in Bradwell with the 14:15 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Beccles Old Market

Wednesday 3 April 2013

Last Brighton Decker

The last of the four former Brighton & Hove Dennis Trident/ East Lancs Lolynes to be repainted will soon re-appear in Anglianbus colours

Regular contributor Tim Miller reports that T811RFG was seen in Car & Commercials yard at Beccles yesterday following its preparation for painting

Scania Omnicity 443 YN05HFJ has recently left the premises after repairs following a side swipe

Also parked in the corner of the yard was Optare Solo 320 AU58AKN but Tim was unsure as to why she was there

Many thanks to Tim for his report and photo

Beach Coach Station ~ 3rd April 2013

Stephen Gowler reports that Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station was jam packed with vehicles this afternoon!

With the exception of five coaches, all others present were related to the traditional fair which is held on the weekend following Easter.

The five coaches included Setra S416GT-HD H11OWT looking very smart in its Isle of Wight Tours livery.
Another Setra from Shearings was there in the form of 321 BK11CPX. A second member of the Shearings fleet, Volvo B12M 704 MX05AFZ, was receiving emergency windscreen replacement

Parks of Hamilton's Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B9R registered 1RWM was also present as was Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo 65 BN12CLU

Many thanks to Stephen for the information and photos

Tuesday 2 April 2013

Norwich Activity

Regular correspondent Grahame Bessey paid a visit to Norwich earlier today to capture some photos of workings

Anglianbus started their new 140 service today linking Norwich City Centre to Hall Road via the Tuckswood Estate.

Two MAN EcoCity Gas Buses were observed on the route with 611 AU13FBJ and 612 AU13FBK both making an appearance
 Two former AnglianBus vehicles were observed operating in Sanders livery having recently been acquired by the Holt-based company.

The two seen were 314 YN03UVR and 315 YN03UVT. Sanders also has a third ex Anglian vehicle in the form of YN03UVM which still retains the Anglian fleet livery!

Grahame also photographed Sanders recent arrival 213 X812NWX, a DAF SB120/ Wright Cadet obtained from John Fishwick & Sons of Leyland in Lancashire

First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL/ ALX400 30886 W741DWX was also active and appeared on the X2 Lowestoft - Norwich service in its recently applied refreshed First livery

Many thanks to Grahame for the information and photos which are copyrighted

Monday 1 April 2013

Worthing Wander

Easter Sunday meant a visit to see brother-in-law in West Wittering, but with a late start by others in the group we were kicking our heels a bit in Worthing

After picking up a paper we decided to drive along the Marine Parade to pass sometime.

Just before passing the pier entrance I glanced over to the Stagecoach garage entrance and
saw a yellow and green decker guarding the entrance.

Quickly retracing our route, I parked up and decided to get a photo of  her. The vehicle in question was former Southdown Leyland Titan PD3 Queen Mary BUF260C

Immediately behind her was another yellow and green vehicle; ex King Alfred UOU419H a 1970 Leyland Panther
I thought it unwise to just look around so I called into the office for permission which was duly granted without any hesitation.

So armed with a Stagecoach hi-viz vest I wandered around the depot taking pictures on the way.

I was surprised by how many vehicles had been packed into the buildings and I counted a total of 34 buses on
site - excluding the two preserved buses

The remaining photos taken of vehicles on the depot are now featured on my Flickr site

Finally, I got that elusive photo of a Compass Bus; Dennis Enviro 200 GX62COA at Steyne Gardens in Worthing on Easter Monday (1st April) heading for the pier