Friday 31 May 2013

Anglian's 164 Route

Optare Solo 318 AU08GLY on the soon to be withdrawn 164 service
As you have probably read in the local press, Anglian's 164 route between Saxmundham and Ipswich is to be withdrawn from the end of June

The route is usually dominated by the use of a Scania but this week there have been some strange choice of buses of the service

Rob Collins has provided some pictures of two of the unusually rostered vehicles
The unusual occurance of a MAN EcoCity gas bus on the 164 route
awaiting the start of their journeys at Saxmundham

First up is Optare Solo AU08GLY, whilst the second photo shows the use of one of the MAN EcoCity gas buses (AU62DWN) on the route. Rob thinks its the first time one of the gas buses has been used on the service

My thanks to Rob for his report and the supply of the photos

Thursday 30 May 2013

Service Alterations Registered ~ 29th May 2013

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

The report, numbered 2154, includes the surrender of a licence by a Lowestoft business; alterations to vary services by two Suffolk operators plus a notice of a public inquiry for a Norwich company.

Licences Surrendered

Licence surrendered with effect from 16 May 2013
Registered Bus Services running under this licence have also been surrendered with immediate effect.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

Operating between Framlingham Area and Framlingham Area given route number Suffolk Links Loes, to amend route and stopping places starting on 28/05/2013.

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

Operating between Orford and Woodbridge given service number 62 effective from 28-May-2013. To amend Timetable.

Notice of Public Inquiries to be Held

Public Inquiry (46510) to be held at The Court Room, Eastern Traffic Area, Eastbrook, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8BF, on 20 June 2013 commencing at 14:00(Previous Publication:(2154))
PSV - S17 - Consideration of disciplinary action under Section 17 (The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981)
PSV - Sch.3 - Consideration of Transport Managers Repute under Schedule 3 (The Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981)
PSV - S28 - Consideration of disciplinary action under Section 28 (The Transport Act 1985)

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2154 - published 29th May 2013

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Beach Crusader

Crusader Holidays Volvo/Jonckheere MT12MTT
at a damp and overcast Beach Coach Station this afternoon
Eight coaches at Beach Coach Station today; which featured Crusader Holidays liveried Jonckheere bodied Volvo B9R MT12MTT from Motts Coaches

Also on view was another white Shearings Holidays Volvo B12M 527 MX03AED and a National Holidays Setra in the shape of NH09ORH

The remainder were:-
Grayway - YJ09CXA
Peelings Coaches - JJ8022
Three Star Coaches - KE54HEJ
Welshes Tours - W25HOL
Whippett - SF05XYP 

Friday's Arrivals Allocated (Updated)

43865 on a local service at Lowestoft Bus Station earlier today
Further to the arrival of three former Jersey Dart/ Caetano Nimbuses on Friday, Grahame Bessey can now reveal their future destinations and their respective fleet numbers

43859  EG52FHD  Great Yarmouth
43872  EG52FFU  Worcester
43873  EG52FFJ  Worcester

The initial list has also been corrected to 21 vehicles so, therefore, there will be no 43858 allocated.

Meanwhile another example was seen at work in Lowestoft by Grahame earlier this morning before
the rains came!

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photo

Monday 27 May 2013

National Breakdown

National Holidays Volvo B12M YJ03VOG suffering the ignominy
 of being dragged away on a low loader
On passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station, earlier this afternoon, I arrived in the nick of time to witness the rescue of a National Holidays' coach

Transbus Paragon bodied Volvo B12M YJ03VOG was being taken away on a low loader by a Tears Heavy Recovery vehicle and it is not known what the problem was

After her departure a further six coaches remained on site - quite a low number for a bank holiday Monday

Sunday 26 May 2013

Ipswich Trolley 105

Ipswich Trolley 105 PV8270 a Karrier W Park Royal H56R of 1948 
Whilst not specifically relating to our local area, Ipswich Trolleybus 105 has been preserved with the help and advice of the members of the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville

She was the centre of attraction at today's Electric Transport Celebration held at the Ipswich Transport Museum
Borismaster LT5 LT12EHT at Ipswich transport Museum
Ipswich 105 was registered PV8270 and is a Karrier W Park Royal H56R of 1948 and withdrawn in 1962. She was used as a canteen for a few years until purchased by the Museum.

105 has taken 10 years to restore and has taken some 50,000 man hours to achieve it.

To mark the occasion a London Borimaster was there in the shape of LT5 LT12EHT, which was moved around the museum area appropriately in electric mode

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

Sunny Sunday at Hemsby

First Routemaster 39623 NML623E at the Hemsby terminus
Today is the first day of operating the summer service 3 provided by First between Hemsby and Great Yarmouth. 

It is being operated by one RML and one low floor vehicle this year with 39623 NML623E in use on the first Routemaster run this morning. 

Grahame Bessey got a picture of her and reported 'she looked immaculate in the bank holiday sunshine
Lowestoft ALX 400 30886 W741DWX departs from Hemsby's Kingsway for Lowestoft
she headed along Beach Road to the terminus'

Grahame then made his way to the village shops where he saw Lowestoft ALX400 30886 W741DWX leaving Kingsway bound for Lowestoft on the 1.

Many thanks to Grahame for the report and photos

Ipswich Bendy

Mercedes Bendy BX54UDJ at Ipswich's Tower Ramparts
I know it's slightly out of our area, but I think blog readers might wish to be aware of the appearance of a bendybus in Ipswich last week

Mercedes-Benz Citaro BX54UDJ (ex-Go Ahead MAL79) arrived at Ipswich Buses on Thursday morning for evaluation purposes

Jim Long says that it is being trialed on the Ipswich Park and Ride with the idea of possibly using them on the service should they gain the contract in November

My thanks to Jim for the report and photo

Saturday 25 May 2013

More First Deliveries Due

Gerard Fletcher on his X1 blog reveals a list of further deliveries to the First fleet

Despite its destination screen saying to the contrary, Volvo B9TL
FJ08FYN is on an X1 service to Peterborough on 24th November 2009
His contact at First enlarges on this by identifying the full list of vehicles being acquired as follows :

Enviro 400 SN60CAA (J57156)
Enviro 200 AY08EKT
Enviro 200 EU60LFS (J52083)
Enviro 200 FJ58YSL
Enviro 200 KX57BWF
Volvo B9TL FJ08FYN
Dart MX56HYP
Dart MX56HYO
Dart TBC
Enviro 200 YX08HJF
Enviro 400 VT59JPT

It is noticeable that Volvo B9TL FJ08FYN has been taken back into the fold having been previously used by First Eastern Counties on loan in late November 2009

Also of interest is that Enviro 200 AY08EKT was formerly employed in service by Carters of Capel St Mary, Suffolk

No final decisions have made on the allocations and duties for the incoming vehicles 

First Update

Former Connex Jersey J79350 at Mardens on 17th May for repaint
 into First Group colours. 
Behind is J101732 (EG52FHD) in her new livery
Ryan confirms that both First Lowestoft Dart/ Caetano Nimbuses 43865/8 were delivered yesterday and went straight into service at the Suffolk town

That leaves two First Essex buses which will be picked up today (Saturday) and two First Worcester examples awaiting collection

Jim Long has identified the 10.9 metre Jersey Dart due to arrive at Caister Road next week.

The bus is EY05FYP (ex Jersey J79350) and, following prep work, she is scheduled to operate off the Great Yarmouth Depot

Many thanks to Ryan, Grahame and Jim regarding this update. Photo courtesy of Gricerman

Friday 24 May 2013

Second Jersey Dart in Service in Great Yarmouth

Jersey exile J101723,now First 43862 EG52FGK, on Beatty Road
working the service 4 to Barrack Estate
I understand from Ryan that a second Jersey Dart/Caetano Nimbus was due in service in Great Yarmouth during yesterday afternoon

Despite being on 'Nimbus watch' during yesterday afternoon and this afternoon, she eluded my camera!

However, Grahame Bessey managed to capture 43862 EG52FGK on her way to the Barrack Estate late this afternoon

Many thanks for the photo
Grahame and to Jim Long
for his assistance

More Jersey Arrivals

First Lowestoft 43868 EG52FGX and 43865 EG52FGU
at Caister Road on Thursday afternoon
Grahame Bessey reports the arrival of three more former Jersey Darts/ Caetano Nimbuses today

So far confirmed are EG52FFJ and EG52FFU with the third later identified as EG52FHD

Following on from yesterday's report, both 43865 EG52FGU and 43868 EG52FGX  moved over to Lowestoft this afternoon

My thanks to Grahame for the report

More Pics from Caister Road

First Essex 43855 EG52FGC in front of a First Worcester
 example at Caister Road yesterday afternoon
Following yesterday's update on the position regarding the ex Jersey Dart/Caetano Nimbuses, I thought I would pay a visit during yesterday afternoon to see if I could get any of my own photos

Upon arrival I observed two Nimbuses on the north side of the depot which looked ready for dispatch to their new depots.

First Essex 43855 EG52FGC was noted parked in front of a First Worcester one; thought to be 43874 EG52FFY although no fleet number was being displayed on the vehicle
The two withdrawn Darts 43468 R468CAH and 43446 P446NEX
 in the rear yard at the Caister Road depot

Behind them in the distance were two First Lowestoft examples 43865 EG52FGU and 43868 EG52FGX which also looked to be ready for collection

I then made my way to the rear of the depot, fronting Harley Road, where I observed both of the recently withdrawn Darts (43468 R468CAH and 43446 P446NEX) parked next to each other in the rear yard

Thursday 23 May 2013

Dart Update from Caister Road

Ryan reports that Dart 43468 R468CAH has been withdrawn from service. She was new to Eastern Counties in February 1998

Her place in the active fleet will be taken by a former Jersey Dart/Caetano Nimbus - 43862 EG52FGK

Grahame Bessey reports that two of the Nimbuses have left Caister Road for First Worcester. Their identities are 43869 EG52FFL and 43871 EG52FFV

Dart/Caetano Nimbus 43871 EG52FFV at Caister Road
 destined for First Worcester
Seven of the Jersey Darts are currently undergoing prep work at the depot. 

The seven are listed below with their corresponding fleet numbers and their future operating centre

43855 EG52FGC   Clacton  
43857 EG52FGE   Clacton
43862 EG52FGK   Great Yarmouth
43865 EG52FGU   Lowestoft
43868 EG52FGX   Lowestoft
43874 EG52FFY   Worcester

Following the completion of the X1 rebranding of Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP, sister 20515 WV02EUR is to be similarly treated at Full Circle in the next few days

My thanks to both Ryan and Grahame Bessey for their regular reports and to the latter for the photo

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Beach Coach Station ~ 22nd March 2013

Peelings Coaches of Tittleshall JJZ9130
Stephen Gowler looked in at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station earlier today and came up with a grand total of sixteen visitors at the location

The local contingent included DCP Travel of Lingwood's Van Hool TIL7718 and Belle Coaches of Lowestoft's Setra 37 MIL3503

Other Norfolk/Suffolk based coaches appearing were JJZ9130 of Peelings Coaches of Tittleshall and BIG4662 from Lewis Coaches of Brandon
Volvo B12M 528 MX03AEE in a new white Shearings
Holidays livery
National Holidays were utilising Volvo B12Ms MX03AEV and NH04LCH whilst Shearings were employing another B12M 528 MX03AEE in a new white Shearings Holidays livery

The remaining coaches were:-
Alfa Tours - Chorley 33 PN05AMX
Excelsior - Bournemouth FJ08FYH
Go Whippet - Swavesey SF05XYP
Happy Al's - Birkenhead AA11ALS
Hills - Wolverhampton BX11DGF 
Leons of Stafford 179 CT09LCT
Leons of Stafford 208 DT13LCT 
Maxfields - Sheffield A9WXE 
Talisman - Clacton BU13ZUA
Watersons - Pontefract M50RSW

My thanks to Steve for his extensive report and all of his photos - unfortunately I am unable to reproduce all of the sixteen photos here

Tuesday 21 May 2013

Volvo Rebrand ~ Front View

First's rebranded Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP
 in front of the Caister Road depot earlier today
As reported on yesterday's blog, Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP has returned from Full Circle following re-branding

Yesterday's picture showed only the rear and side of the coach whereas today's shows the frontal view and very smart she looks too

Photo is courtesy of Grahame Bessey who captured her earlier this morning

Monday 20 May 2013

First's Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP with her X1 rebranding

Volvo Returns With New X1 Branding

Grahame Bessey reports that First's Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12M 20514 WV02EUP returned from Full Circle earlier today, resplendent in her new X1 branding

She is pictured on Howard Street North in Great Yarmouth earlier this evening by Sheldon Rees

My thanks to Grahame for his report and to Sheldon for his permission to use his photo

The Jersey Boys

First Great Yarmouth Dart/Caetano Nimbus
 43861 in use on the service 4 to the Barrack Estate
I caught the bus into town today and was rewarded with a journey on the only ex-Jersey Dart/ Caetano Nimbus in First Great Yarmouth livery.

I was quite surprised when 43861 EG52FGJ arrived at my stop on route 2 to Barrack Estate

Upon entry I was greeted with a smell of freshness followed by a surprise of how comparatively smaller she looked inside - they
EG52FGK and EG52FGE with withdrawn P446NEX
are after all only 39 seaters!

I then made my way to First's Caister Road depot where I espied more of them at the rear of the site providing company for recently withdrawn Dart 43446 P446NEX

Whilst 43446's destination screen showed Belton, I am almost sure that it will not be her next destination!
In the front of the depot were two of the three of Friday's arrivals
 - EG52FFT and EG52FGU

The five Nimbuses present in the rear yard were EG52FGK, EG52FGE, EG52FGX and EG52FGY plus another unidentified example

A walk to the front of the depot and I saw two of the three of Friday's arrivals at the front of the depot - EG52FFT and EG52FGU

The remainder could be seen inside the rear of the depot undergoing prep work

Sunday 19 May 2013

Around and About ~ Bury St Edmunds

Saturday meant a day's outing to Bury St Edmunds for shopping (and also a few bus observations!!)

The first vehicle I saw, and was able to get a photo of, was Stephensons' Volvo Olympian/Alexander (Belfast) Royale 829 N881FKK. She was formerly 95-D-253 when with Dublin Bus.

This is the first time I have seen a Stephensons decker working Bury services; although it may be quite a regular occurrence nowadays
Continuing the decker theme, I observed three Chambers' buses whilst loitering in the vicinity of the bus station.

Two examples were former Stagecoach London Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton Presidents in the new livery in the form of  L433 W516WGH and L438 W956WGH.

The other was Volvo Olympian/ Northern Counties Palantine N529LHG in the old livery devoid of any fleetnumbers

The fifth decker I noted was Stagecoach East's Trident 18342 AE55DKF still with Citi decals. She had been displaced off the Citi 1 services by the new Enviro400s. Another Stagecoach example appearing was saloon 22320 AE51RYW; an ALX300 bodied MAN

Mulleys' vehicles also featured with former Anglianbus Scania MUI7919 (previously R84EMB) on a Mildenhall bound 355 service.

In addition to their many Solos, Mulleys also supplied a East Lancs Flyte bodied Scania L113CRL in the form of P640ENN

Thetford based Coach Services were using former Menzies OmniCity YN03UWM, Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE CS12BUS and Optare MX09AOT on local routes
The sole representative of the Galaway fleet seen was VDL/Wright Cadet AY05KVF; a vehicle seen on my previous visit to Bury

Finally, as I was about to leave Ambassador Travel's Caetano Levante 206 FJ09DXA arrived on the 491 service from the capital.

After unloading passengers she continued on her way to her ultimate destinations of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft

Saturday 18 May 2013

Former Jersey Dart Updates

Two of the ex Jersey Darts 43854 EG52FFZ and 43856 EG52FGD left First's Caister Road at 11.30 this morning on their way to their new home at Clacton

Grahame Bessey captured them on camera inside the depot and also on their departure along Lawn Avenue

So far unreported on the blog is yesterday's arrival of another three of the Jersey exiles bearing registrations EG52FGU, EG52FGK and EG52FFT
This takes the total to twelve having now arrived at the depot with all them being prepped at Great Yarmouth prior to entering service with their respective depots

Meanwhile, the first Great Yarmouth example, 43861 EG52FGJ, was allowed out today; only to suffer the indignity of being towed back to the depot this morning by ASW due to battery problems

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photos which are copyrighted

Caister Road Update

Ryan has kindly provided another update from Caister Road

Sadly Dennis Dart SLF/ Plaxton Pointer 43446 P446NEX has been withdrawn from service

On the plus side, Dart 43478 R478CAH has returned to Caister Road following a short period on hire to Lowestoft

Lowestoft's Enviro200 44512 DK57SXF has not yet returned home as expected but is still in the workshops awaiting parts

Great Yarmouth's own Dennis Dart SLF/ ADL Pointer 42929 SN05EAJ is still in need of a new engine whilst Volvo B7L/ Plaxton President 32211 LT52WTU is requiring a back axle

Meanwhile ALX400 30887 W742DWX still remains on loan at Ipswich in the old livery

Also two of the former Jersey Darts left for Essex this morning - full report above

My thanks to Ryan for the updates

Friday 17 May 2013

An Hour in Great Yarmouth

A visit to Great Yarmouth during a damp yesterday afternoon included a look in at Beach Coach Station and some observations at Market Gates

A trawl of the Coach Station revealed eight vehicles including Alfa Travel's new Mercedes Benz Tourismo 76 BU13ZTW.

Also there was National Holidays VJ03VNB
I returned to Market Gates in time to escape the worst of the rain and to see the arrival of Sanders Scania saloon 312 T367TWA to work a North Walsham service; normally the preserve of one of the CDN registered DAF/East Lancs buses

Immediately after, First Volvo B10BLE 66126 S116JTP pulled up behind her and, following the departure of a Gemini to Peterborough, took up its place on an X1 'short' to Norwich

Whilst there I witnessed a Shearings Setra dropping off a few hardy souls wanting to do some shopping. Number 328 BK11CRX then continued on to the Carlton Hotel to disembark the remaining passengers

Thursday 16 May 2013

The First Great Yarmouth Dart in the Refreshed Livery

The first fomer Jersey Dart to appear in the new First Great Yarmouth livery is 43861  EG52FGJ

Previously registered as J101719 whilst on Jersey, she is pictured here at the rear of Caister Road depot yesterday

The Great Yarmouth logo, which adorns the sides of the saloon includes Britannia Pier, Nelson's Monument,
the Suspension Bridge, the Town Hall, Scroby Windfarm plus deckchairs indicating the tourism element

Having been sworn to secrecy for sometime now regarding identity of the First fleetnumbers and the prospective allocations of the Darts, I am now able to provide the current details for you

You will see that the twenty-two Darts are being distributed to four operating centres and not just the First Eastern Counties fleet

All vehicles are being prepared at Great Yarmouth prior to entering service with their respective operator and the details are as follows:-

42358  to be confirmed  43858  to be confirmed  43859  to be confirmed  43860  to be confirmed 
43861  EG52FGJ          43862  to be confirmed  43863  to be confirmed  43864  to be confirmed

43865  to be confirmed  43866  to be confirmed  43877  to be confirmed  43868  EG52FGX      

43854  EG52FZZ          43855  EG52FGC         43856  EG53FGD          43857  EG52FGE

43869  EG52FFL          43870  EG52FFV          43871  to be confirmed   43872  to be confirmed
43873  to be confirmed  43874  to be confirmed

My thanks to Grahame Bessey for the photographs which are his copyright and to First for allowing the information to be published

Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th May 2013

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

The report, numbered 2153, includes the grant of an application by First Eastern Counties to increase the number of vehicles at some of their operating centres and the closure of another. There are three cancellations of services including two of Anglian's well documented in the local press and the cessation of a school's service by Ambassador Travel

Variation Applications Granted

  • CAISTER ROAD GREAT YARMOUTH NR30 4DF New authorisation at this operating centre will be: 74 vehicle(s),
  • GAS WORKS ROAD LOWESTOFT NR32 1UZ New authorisation at this operating centre will be: 44 vehicle(s),
  • COTTON LANE BURY ST. EDMUNDS IP33 1XP Removed operating centre: 
  • ROUNDTREE WAY NORWICH NR7 9DA New authorisation at this operating centre will be: 47 vehicle(s),
  • LANSDOWNE ROAD NORWICH NR6 6NF New authorisation at this operating centre will be: 78 vehicle(s),
  • No.6, WENTWORTH ROAD IPSWICH IP3 9SW New authorisation at this operating centre will be: 24 vehicle(s),

Cancellations of Existing Services

Operating between Bradwell and Norwich (Notre Dame School) given service number 910 effective from 01-Sep-2013.

Operating between Saxmundham and Ipswich given service number 164 effective from 28-Jun-2013.
Operating between Leiston and Ipswich given service number 165/118 effective from 28-Jun-2013.

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2153 - published 15th May 2013

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Trolleybus Films at the Seagull Theatre

JJS Entertainment are holding a film show at the Seagull Theatre on Morton Road in Lowestoft this Saturday (18th) at 7.30pm

At the event there will be a edited showing of 'The London Event' film in full high definition which should be amazing to see on the big screen!

This will be followed by the premier showing of their latest film 'Preserving London's Trolleys' This uses much unseen footage showing how the buses have survived and the efforts that have been made to making them what you see today.

Admission can be pre-purchased from the Seagull Theatre by telephoning 01502 589726 or paid for at the door on the night. Entrance has been reduced to £6 (£5 for concessions) and ALL the profits will go to the East Anglia Transport Museum.

My thanks to Syd Eade for the information

Tuesday 14 May 2013

Even More Jersey Arrivals!

Grahame Bessey reports the arrival of a further three ex Jersey Dart SLFs to First's Caister Road yesterday

They are in the shape of EG52FFV, EG52FFY and EG52FGX.and are among a total of twenty-one expected to be delivered to the Great Yarmouth depot for preparation work to be undertaken

One of the earlier arrivals, EG52FGD, was having First Essex vinyls applied during yesterday evening.

My appreciation goes to Grahame for the help he has provided

Monday 13 May 2013

Where Are They Now ~ G469LVG

Another in our occasional series of 'Where Are They Now' and this time it features a former Caroline Seagull coach - G469LVG

G469LVG is a Dennis Javelin 12SDA with Plaxton Paramount 3200 bodywork; one of a pair new to Cobholm Hire (Caroline Seagull) in early 1990.

Sister G470LVG has been acquired by a local preservationist and more information on her can be found here

Later registered HKZ1329, G469LVG subsequently moved to Smiths Coaches of Blofield where, for around ten years, she earned her keep on private hire and contract work.

When I photographed her at Blackfriars Road in Great Yarmouth during June 2010, I was unaware of her connection with the Great Yarmouth independent. She was parked up less than a mile from her old depot at Queen's Road!

Norfolk Coachways acquired her in August last year and, until recently, she retained the Smith Coaches livery with Norfolk Coachways fleetnames applied. She has subsequently received a repaint with the light blue being replaced by orange which can be seen here

That is not the end of the story, however, as Norfolk Coachways have just sold her direct from service within three hours of going on sale. She is travelling north and joining Abbeys Travel of Hull

My thanks to Chris Birchnall of Norfolk Coachways for the information

Caister Roadworks

With roadworks being undertaken in Caister High Street, it will be closed to all through traffic at its junctions with Norwich Road and Ormesby Road, from today (13th) until Wednesday 15th May.

This closure affects the operation of First's services 1/1A and 8 with diversions in place as follows:-

  • Service 1/1A to Martham:.Normal route to Caister High Street then via West Road and Grange Road  and to resume normal route on Norwich Road.
  • Service 1/1A to Lowestoft: Normal route to Prince of Wales Road then via Norwich Road and Caister Bypass then to resume normal route at Yarmouth Stadium.
  • Service 8 to Caister: Normal route to Caister High Street then via West Road, Grange Road, Norwich Road, Caister Bypass and Ormesby Road to resume normal route on Second Avenue.
  • Service 8 to the James Paget Hospital: Normal route to Ormesby Road then via Braddock Road, Eastern Avenue and Beach Road to resume normal route at Caister High Street.

Unfortunately the diversions will mean First are unable to serve a number of stops on Ormesby Road.

It is not yet known how operators Anglian and Sanders will divert their services through the affected area

Sunday 12 May 2013

More from Caister Road

Ryan continues to update us on activity at First's Caister Road depot

My report regarding First Dart 43478 R478CAH appears to be presumptuous as she subsequently received her MOT at Lowestoft's Gasworks Road site instead

Following her engine seizure, Volvo B10BLE 66168 E368EOW is to go to Full Circle to have a new one installed

Lowestoft's Enviro200 44512 DK57SXF hasn't yet ventured out of the depot following its repair

Many thanks for the update Ryan

Great Yarmouth Obs

Contributor Harry Stanley was in Great Yarmouth at around 3 pm yesterday afternoon and he offers the following observations:-

  • Dart 43440 P440NEX was being used on routes 2 and 4 in addition to one of the First Essex exiles
  • Dart 43481 R681DPW was employed on routes 7 and 6 
  • Volvo B10BLE's 66126 S116JTP and 60808 S659RNA were in action - although unsure of the services operated
  • The X1 shorts included the appearance of Volvo Olympian 34114 W434CWX together with one of the usual Plaxton Paragons.
  • One of Anglian's gas powered MAN EcoCitys was laying over at stand H at Market Gates

My thanks to Harry for his report

Saturday 11 May 2013

Caister Road Update

Regular correspondent Ryan reports the latest news from First's Caister Road Depot in Great Yarmouth

The engine in Volvo B10E 66168 W368EOW has seized and she has, therefore, been withdrawn from service

Work on Lowestoft's Enviro200 44512 DK57SXF has been completed and is to return home this weekend.

Sister 45119 RT09JPT is presently at Caister Road and could cover for the expired  66168; she is shortly to receive an MOT

Dart 43478 R478CAH, currently on loan at Lowestoft, is expected to return home for its MOT

Many thanks for the update Ryan

Meanwhile I observed three of the former Jersey Darts parked at the rear of the depot during yesterday afternoon. Currently there are six present at the Caister Road site with more joining soon.

For the record the sextet, with previous Jersey registrations, are:-

J101729 now EG52FFZ           J101721 now EG52FGE           J101706 now EG52FFL
J101719 now EG52FGJ           J101726 now EG52FGD           J101728 now EG52FGC

Friday 10 May 2013

Where Are They Now ~ WA05UNF

Another in our 'Where Are They Now' series and this time it features another First vehicle - WA05UNF

WA05UNF, a Plaxton Profile bodied Volvo B7R, was new to First Devon and Cornwall in August 2005. After a brief stint with First Essex she later joined the First Eastern Counties fleet

Whilst her home depot was Kings Lynn, her main duties were supporting the Geminis on the X1 route connecting Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth with Norwich, Kings Lynn and Peterborough.

Numbered in the First fleet as 20353, she subsequently migrated north of the border to Scotland and is now employed by First Aberdeen. Syd Eade observed her working in Glasgow during early April

My thanks to Syd for information and photo

Thursday 9 May 2013

Route One ~ 9th May 2013

The latest issue of Route One contains information of interest to followers of the local bus scene

In the 'Deliveries' section there is an article about the arrival of two new Mercedes Benz Vario/ Plaxton Cheetahs to Holt based Sanders Coaches. The 29 seaters increases the operator's Cheetah fleet to eight.

Also reported is a new delivery to another Norfolk operator, D&H Harrod of Downham Market. The company, which regularly transports workers from the Sandringham Estate, has acquired a 34 seat Mercedes Benz Tourino from Royal European Coach Hire. It carries personalised registration plate N19DHH

On the negative side, Aylmerton based Marret's Chariots have advertised three of their vehicles available for disposal. They are 1992 built Volvo B10M/ Berkhof VIL9195 (though advertised with a Jonckheere body!); 1998 Mercedes Benz Vario/ Plaxton Cheetah 927NOF and 1998 Volvo B10M/ Jonckheere Mistral R6APT

Swift Taxis continue the search for a buyer of their BMC Probus BX54VUM

Latest Decker Repaint

Grahame Bessey has emailed me a photo of the latest First decker repaint which he photo'd in Lowestoft Bus Station during yesterday evening

First Lowestoft's Volvo B7TL/ ALX400 30889 W744DWX is the latest to benefit from the refreshed colour scheme

My thanks to Grahame for the photo

Beach Coach Station ~ 8th May 2013

Stephen Gowler reports the presence of eight coaches at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station yesterday

There were two Alfa Travel coaches present including Volvo B12B/Plaxton Paragon PN09KXK and Mercedes Benz Tourismo BN11UFL

Shearings Grand Tourer liveried Setra 206 BK10EJG also put in an appearance

Lowestoft based Belle Coaches were represented by Van Hool bodied
Volvo B10M NJI9244 adorned with fleetnumber 06

Whippet supplied H19WCL, a Volvo B10M/ Jonckheere Mistral, on its regular Coastal Service

The remaining three were Carters of Litcham YM55UKK, Prentice Westwood of West Calder 570PRR and Hills of Hersham HIL4376 (in Grand UK Holidays colours)

My thanks to Steve for the report and pictures

Wednesday 8 May 2013

The Welsh Connection

One of Norse's two latest arrivals was noted by regular correspondent Tim Miller in the Beccles area earlier today

New in May 2000, the Volvo B10M Plaxton Panther W173VEL is one of two former Celtic Travel (of Llanidloes, Powys) vehicles recently acquired by the Norfolk County Council fleet operator via Plaxton Bus & Coach Sales

My thanks to Tim for the photo and information