Saturday 31 August 2013

Norwich On Friday

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey spent some time at Norwich Bus Station on Friday and took some photos of some interesting workings

As already reported elsewhere, the introduction of Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA into X1 service has allowed for the beginning of the repaint of X1 Geminis into the new First livery.

37158 AU07DXV (above) is the first to be so treated and, following vehicle shortages at Kings Lynn, she has been immediately pressed into service without any form of branding applied

Grahame also saw all three of Sanders recently acquired Wright bodied Scania L94UBs from Reading.
316   YN05GXX
317   YN06NXS
318   YN06NXR
Finally, with the regular open top bus G520VBB being unavailable, Coach Services' former London Transport Routemaster RM2151 CUV151C was being employed on the Norwich Sightseeing service.

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

Huddersfield Trolley Arrives

Huddersfield Trolleybus 541 pictured at Carlton Colville shortly after arrival
On Wednesday I blogged details of the forthcoming End of Season Gala to be held at the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colvile on the 14th and 15th of Sepember

On the previous evening, the star of the show, Huddersfield Trolleybus 541, arrived from Sandtoft and was offloaded

Fortunately Neil Chilvers had his camera
541 viewed from within the trolleybus depot 
to hand and took some photos of her in the yard outside the Trolleybus Depot

As mentioned previously 541 is being used with Bournemouth Trolleybus 202 to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Trolleybus Association.

For further information about the event please click here

My thanks to Neil for the photos which remain his copyright

Friday 30 August 2013

Down Memory Lane ~ Sheffield United Tours 271

Sheffield United Tours AEC Reliance YWA271 at a then extant Beach Railway 
Station - which was later demolished with the site forming Beach Coach Station
I was recently looking through some old photo albums of mine when I came across some pics of buses/coaches that used to operate in the Great Yarmouth area.

Rather than keep them to myself, I thought I would share them with you with the hope that I might stir some memories and receive some comments.

So that is how the new occasional 'Down Memory Lane' series was born!

The first photo to fall out of the album was that of a Sheffield United Tours (SUT) AEC Reliance with a Burlingham C37C body. YWA271 was one of a batch of twelve taken into stock by SUT in 1957 and is pictured inside the then existing former Great Yarmouth Beach railway station premises

I can remember many of this operator's coaches laying over at Beach Coach Station during their daily summer service to Great Yarmouth in the early 1960s. At the time, I was still at school and was lucky to have a Brownie 127 camera as a birthday present. With film being quite expensive (I only had half a crown a week pocket money!) I was limited to the amount of photos I could take.

On finding this gem, I thought I would see if there was information out there on the world wide web! Two interesting sites came up; the first one is established by the company's ex employee preservation group which includes a brief history of SUT

A second site, by Peter Gould, also contains a brief history of SUT between 1935 and 1974  plus incorporates a fleet list of the vehicles operating during the same period

What became of YWA271 and SUT in particular? Well 271 was withdrawn from service in 1965 and SUT became part of the nationalised Transport Holding Company which, on 1st January 1969, became the National Bus Company

I would be interested to receive readers' thoughts on this article and the feature in general - apologies to our younger readers who may wonder what all the fuss is about!!

Thursday 29 August 2013

Double Deckers

Two double deckers side by side at Beach Coach Station earlier this afternoon
A good turn out of twenty buses and coaches at Beach Coach Station earlier this afternoon, including two double deckers

One of the regular operators to visit Great Yarmouth during the summer months is Luton based Three Star Coaches. 

Their presence this afternoon was in the shape of JHZ7175, an Ayats Bravo 75 seated double deck coach

An unusual visitor was Volvo Olympian R385LGH from Youngs of Cambridge. New to London General in January 1998 with fleetnumber NV185, she has Northern Counties CH47/26D bodywork. Youngs acquired her during 2012

Other notables were Alfa Coaches' Mercedes Tourismo 78 BU13ZTY; Towlers of Emneth's VanHool bodied Scania CAZ7446; Fareline of Wingfield's Volvo B10M/Jonckheere F94CBD and Whippet Coaches of Swavesey's Volvo B10M H19WCL

More News From Caister Road

First's Gemini 37158 AU07DXV has had its X1 livery replaced
Ryan's latest update from First's Caister Road advises that the recently re-liveried Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL has appeared there

He has sent a photo of 37158 AU07DXV in the new colour scheme at the depot entrance in the fuel lane

Ryan also reports that Volvo B7TL/ President 32201 LT52WTF is away at the moment having a new engine fitted

My thanks to Ryan for the report and photo

Wednesday 28 August 2013

EATM End Of Season Gala

The East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, are holding their End of Season Gala over the weekend of the 14th and 15th of September

In addition to the usual attractions, the National Trolleybus Association (NTA) are looking to commemorate their 50th anniversary. As a part of their celebration,  they are moving Huddersfield Trolleybus 541 from Sandtoft to Carlton Colville for the event so that it can operate together with Bournemouth 202 also owned by the NTA

Regular readers of this blog will remember articles relating to Huddersfield Corporation with a feature on the Huddersfield Trolleybuses appearing on the blog on 18th July last (including photos kindly supplied by Syd Eade)

As usual, the gala includes free regular bus services to Lowestoft and Beccles using the museum's fleet of preserved buses. Also available are vintage bus tours of Lowestoft and its museums. Time tables are available here on the EATM website

Sponsored by Anglianbus, the Gala begins at 1:00pm on Saturday with after dark running until 9:00pm. Sunday opening times are 10:30am to 5:00pm.

Click on the poster to see a larger image

Tuesday 27 August 2013

New Anglianbus Website Goes Live

Earlier this afternoon local operator Anglianbus went live with their new website; very similar in design to that of sister company Konectbus

The clean and fresh looking site includes detailed timetables for the new network which is due to commence on 2nd September

The new Anglianbus website can be viewed by clicking here

Worthing Carnival Procession

Former London Transport RTL1427 NLE701 was one of two deckers appearing
in this year's Worthing Carnival
Worthing Rotary Carnival has been an annual August Bank Holiday fixture in the town since the 1920s and is the flagship event for the three Rotary Clubs of Worthing, Worthing Steyne and West Worthing.

Large crowds line the route of the Carnival procession which leaves Grand Avenue and proceeds along the seafront to Steyne Gardens

I was in Wothing to view the procession this year and observed two buses taking part in the event; both of them Sussex-based vehicles

Near the front of the procession was former Southdown Leyland Titan PD3/4 open topper 409DCD of 1964. The 'Queen Mary' forms part of the Stagecoach South special events fleet. A photo of her taken on a previous visit can be viewed on my flickr site

The second decker was former London Transport RTL 1427 NLE701, which was delivered new in May 1953. She passed into preservation in 1978 only to be hired back to LT for learner duties at Chiswick depot. The RTL was subsequently acquired by Hove-based Pavilion Coaches for private hire work in 2003

Monday 26 August 2013

East Coast Truckers

Smith's of Blofield Volvo B12M FP51EUN leads Javelin FN02HGY
Some eighty vehicles took part in the East Coast Truckers event held annually on every Sunday of the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The charity run takes children with special needs to Pleasurewood Hills and Great Yarmouth for the day.

Thousands of people line the route from County Hall in Norwich to the resort

I was elsewhere this year, but regular contributor Tim Miller witnessed the convoy as it passed the Wellington Pier during the late afternoon and reports two coaches from the Smiths of Blofield fleet were also in the convoy

The leading coach was Jonckheere Mistral bodied Volvo B12M FP51 EUN, new to Lochs & Glens of Aberfoyle in January 2001. She was followed by FN02HGY, a Dennis Javelin Marcopolo delivered to York of Coggenhoe in August 2002

My thanks to Tim for the report and photo

Friday 23 August 2013

Trident Rebranded

Trident W821NNJ with the Anglian fleetname applied on the rear
Following her lunchtime outing to Great Yarmouth yesterday, Anglianbus Trident 721 W821NNJ subsequently appeared in the Beccles yard of Car & Commercials

My previous posting referred to the fact that it was unlikely that she could be repainted in the new Anglian livery in time for use on school duties at the beginning of September

It appears that Anglian are removing the Konect branding from the all of their recently transferred in vehicles and applying Anglianbus fleetnames in their place

Trident W821NNJ was being similarly treated during yesterday afternoon with the rear of the bus receiving the branding

My thanks to Tim Miller for the report and photo

Thursday 22 August 2013

Anglianbus Konects!

Former Konectbus Trident 721 W821NNJ on Anglianbus 581 service to Beccles
So far unreported on this blog is the transfer of Konectbus Dennis Trident/ East Lancs Lolyne 721 W821NNJ to sister company Anglianbus

It is initially thought that the double decker will be mainly employed on relief and schools work; which means she will not be able to receive a repaint before taking up the latter duties at the beginning of September

However, on a tip off from blog contributor Tim Miller, I was advised that she was working the 12:25 Beccles to Great Yarmouth 581 service today.

Whilst I was too late to see her on the outward journey, I did manage to intercept her on the return 13:15 Great Yarmouth to Beccles on Beccles Road in Gorleston

My thanks to Tim Miller for the heads up

Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st August 2013

An Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report was published yesterday on the Gov.UK website

Report No 2160 contains changes affecting bus services and operators in this area and includes the registration of four schools services under short notice by Ambassador Travel and Sanders Coaches. There are also timetable changes to First's X1 and 1/1A/1B routes and Sanders Coaches service 6. The latter has also cancelled two services under short notice

There is also notice of a forthcoming public inquiry in respect of  North Quay Services Limited trading as Eurosun Coaches

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice

From: Ditchingham To: Loddon Schools
Name or No: 2.  Normal Stopping Service
Effective Date: 05-Sep-2013
Other Details: Mon - Fri, term time only

From: Rockland St. Mary To: Loddon Schools
Name or No: 1. Normal Stopping Service
Effective Date: 05-Sep-2013
Other Details: Monday to Friday, term time only

From: Cromer A149 Westcliffe Road. To: Suffield Park Infants School
Name or No: 61. Normal Stopping Service
Effective Date: 01-Sep-2013
Other Details: Schooldays only

From: Bodham Red Hart Bus Stop. To: Shoringham Primary School
Name or No: 66. Normal Stopping Service
Effective Date: 01-Sep-2013

Applications to Vary Existing Services

  • Operating between LOWESTOFT and MARTHAM given service number 1/1A/1B effective from 29-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable
  • Operating between LOWESTOFT BUS STATION and PETERBOROUGH RAIL STATION given service number X1 effective from 29-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

Operating between North Walsham - Post Office and Great Yarmouth - Market Gates given service number 6 effective from 01-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable

Cancellations of Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

  • Operating between Thorpe Market, The Green and Suffield Park, Mill Road given service number 59 effective from 01-Sep-2013.
  • Operating between Ridlington Church and Stalham Middle School given service number 707 effective from 01-Sep-2013.

Notice of Public Inquiries to be Held

Public Inquiry (46210) to be held at The Court Room, Eastern Traffic Area, Eastbrook, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 8BF, on 05 September 2013 commencing at 14:00

PSV - S17 - Consideration of disciplinary action under Section 17 (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 2160 - published 21st August 2013

Wednesday 21 August 2013

Simonds at the Double

Simonds of Botesdale's Volvo B12B 378BNG
Two Simonds of Bottesdale coaches were among the twenty at Beach Coach station earlier today

On the front rank was 378BNG with RE08JAK parked immediately behind. They are both Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B12Bs

A third of the type was also present in the form of Dereham Coachways YJ55EZE

Other notable visitors included Shearings Setra 225 BF10VCV and Alfa Travel's Volvo B12B 48 PN08KXK

Caister Road Update

First Essex ADL Enviro 400 VT59JPT on the Caister Road forecourt
Photo copyright Grahame Bessey
Ryan, our regular correspondent from First's Caister Road depot, reports that ADL Enviro 400 33424 VT59JPT is due to be collected from Great Yarmouth later today by First Essex

Volvo B7TL/ ALX 400 30888 W743DWX has moved to Great Yarmouth from First Essex's Braintree depot

After receiving much attention in the Caister Road workshops, she is expected to transfer to Lowestoft for further use

My thanks to Ryan for his report and to Grahame Bessey for the photo

Reynolds Arrival

W203YAP on the forecourt of Reynolds' Ormesby Road site on Monday evening
Reynolds of Caister has secured another addition to its fleet

Regular contributor Graham Bessey reports the acquisition of Mercedes Benz 0814D/ Plaxton Cheetah 29 seater W203YAP

She has has received the Reynolds all over silver colour scheme, although no decals have been applied as yet. W203YAP has been re-registered BIG8790

My thanks to Grahame for the reports and photo

Tuesday 20 August 2013

Anglian Afternoon Activity

Recently reliveried Optare Excel 216 W216PRB on the delayed 14:50 to Beccles
This afternoon Anglianbus were employing unusual vehicles on services in Great Yarmouth

Both of the former Konect Optare Excels repainted in the new Anglian livery were seen in the town centre within minutes of each other

The 14:50 601 Kessingland service was operated by 229 X229WRA whilst the 14:50 to Beccles was

Anglian StreetLite 350 MX60BWH unusually works an A47 service
worked by 216 W216PRB

The latter is yet to receive any Anglianbus branding as the photo above shows

The appearance of Wright StreetLite 350 MX60BWH on the A47 route to Norwich was also quite unexpected

Most of the afternoon services were disrupted by traffic congestion due to an accident on the Breydon Bridge

ECW Breakdown

First's 37572 AU58ECW enjoying better times on a diverted X1 service in
Great Yarmouth during January this year
Blog reader Terry Wilkins reports that First Wright Eclipse Gemini 37572 AU58ECW broke down at the Hertford Way bus stop in Gorleston during yesterday evening

She had no power steering, so it was left to ASW Recovery Services Breakdown Lorry - M357HMS - to pick-her up at around 7.30 last tonight.

My thanks to Terry for the report

Monday 19 August 2013

Enviro 400 First Day Out

Enviro 400 SN60CAA about to work the 12:55 return to Peterborough
Earlier this morning Gerard reported on his X1 blog that First Eastern Counties recently acquired ADL Enviro 400 had made her inaugural X1 appearance in service on the 06:42 Kings Lynn to Peterborough

Formerly with Connex Jersey (registered as their J57156), SN60CAA was expected to continue with the K3 diagram by working the 08:05 to Lowestoft via Norwich
33423 SN60CAA on arrival at Lowestoft Bus Station earlier today
and Great Yarmouth

Unfortunately,due to family commitments, I missed 33423's appearance by around five minutes.

However, I needn't have worried though as Grahame Bessey was on hand to witness her presence in Lowestoft

My thanks to Grahame for the photos and report

Saturday 17 August 2013

Our Bus Duo For Sale

Our Bus Dennis Javelin F339HWF seen on Great Yarmouth's
Western Bypass on 12th November 2009
Two members of the South Burlingham-based Our Bus fleet are currently available for disposal on ebay

Dennis Javelin F339HWF is a 70 seater coach acquired from Solent Travel in Wooten during July 2002. She was previously registered as F79FWG and a picture of her in the South Yorkshire fleet can be seen here on Flickr

The second coach is N482CEG, a Plaxton Premier bodied DAF SB3000 capable of seating 53 persons. Our Bus purchased her from Norfolk operator Joplin of Tittleshall in September 2009

The deadline for bidding for these two vehicles is in early September with two offers already being received for the Dennis Javelin

Friday 16 August 2013

Repeat Ipswich Visitor

A member of the Ipswich Buses fleet visited Beach Coach Station yesterday for the second time within 16 days

She was 72 seater decker VDL DB250/ East Lancs Lowlander 54 PF04WML on another excursion from the Suffolk county town

Marett's Chariots ~ Acquistions

Shearings MX03ACY at Beach Coach Station on 3rd August 2010
An operator that doesn't appear very often on this blog is Aylmerton - based Marett's Chariots

Situated almost three miles south of Cromer, this operator has acquired three former Shearings Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B12Ms

The 48 seaters are MX03ACJ, MX03ACY and MX03ACZ and the last two mentioned were regular visitors to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station when part of the
Shearings fleet

Thursday 15 August 2013

Last of the Scrappers Leave

The last of the withdrawn First Eastern Counties Dart SLFs have now left the Caister Road premises

The final ones to be taken away by Alpha Recovery of Westlade (dealers) were 43441 P441NEX and 43470 R470CAH

The photo (right) shows 43441 in happier times with a Belton bound service on 10th February 2012

My thanks to Ryan for the continuous updates from First's Caister Road depot

Beach Coach Station ~ 14th August 2013

Smartly turned out was Sunbeam Coaches Mercedes Benz YX54BHF
Some 30 coaches and minibuses put in an appearance at Great Yarmouth Beach Coach Station yesterday

The Norfolk representatives were D & H Harrod's Volvo B10M N12DHH and Sunbeam Coaches of Norwich Mercedes Benz O814D YX54BHF - formerly with Brownes of West Ruislip.

Norse had Dennis Javelin V668FPO and Irisbus Eurorider
Trans Linc Scania/ Van Hool TC03TLC was an unusual visitor
PN06TVP conveniently lined up side by side

From Suffolk came Beestons' Mercedes 0816D/ Plaxton Cheetah YN10HHS

TransLinc Scania K114IB4/ Van Hool Alizee TC03TLC was hiding on the back row of the assembled coaches.

Other noteable visitors were Lodges of Chelmsford Mercedes Benz Tourismo AL08DGE, Alfa Travel's Tourismo 79 BU13ZTZ, Shearings Volvo B12M 712 MX05AHD and National Holidays Volvo B12M NH05DDH (new to Shearings as 728 MX05AJV)

Photos of the above coaches will soon be available on the eastnorfolkbus flickr site

Seaside Services

Our Bus Mercedes Benz Vario SN53KZH deputises for the regular vehicle 
Yesterday afternoon witnessed different vehicles being used on seasonal services in the resort

With the non availability of the regular Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz Vario SF54OUY on the Our Bus Seafront Circular, sister SN53KZH deputised for her yesterday. The latter has been appearing on the route more frequently of late

Wright Eclipse 37562 FJ08FYN on the 3A route yesterday
First's Service 3, between Hemsby and Vauxhall Holiday Park, continues to operate with Routemasters; RML 2480 JJD480D was in use yesterday

She was accompanied on the 3A by recently acquired Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 37562 FJ08FYN.

The Volvo is usually to be found on the 8 service between Caister and the James Paget Hospital, with occasional appearances on the Lowestoft to Martham route

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Buses ~ September 2013

The latest issue of Buses magazine landed on my doormat this morning and it contains three items of local interest

The Publicity Matters column looks at the improvements brought to information provision at Great Yarmouth's Market Gates bus station

Preservation Update includes a photo of preserved Great Yarmouth AEC Reliance 85 AEX85B at Weybourne as part of North Norfolk Railway's Bus Rally held in early July

Regular contributor to this blog, Grahame Bessey, has had his picture of First Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33424 VT59JPT at Caister Road published in Fleet News

Buses is officially on sale from tomorrow

Tuesday 13 August 2013

New Anglianbus Network

Photo courtesy of Grahame Bessey 
As previously referred to in earlier posts, from 2nd September 2013 Anglianbus will be introducing a new bus network across Norfolk and Suffolk.

There will be new service numbers and new routes, additional journeys and a new more direct Great Yarmouth to Norwich express service.

Journey times have been revised to improve punctuality and reliability.

Operations Manager Philip Eden:
"We believe the changes will benefit the majority of our passengers and provide more reliable services and I’m confident that the new anglianbus Network will help us attract more people onto our buses. We’re particularly excited about our new more direct Norwich to Great Yarmouth service 7, our through service from Norwich to Southwold 88/88A, and a bus every 20 minutes between Kessingland and Yarmouth on the 61. We are pleased too to be able for the first time to provide a service to Whitton Estate (the 60) in Lowestoft following many requests".

A summary of the routes affected in our local area are as follows:

122 becomes 52
Acle – Norwich – Cringleford 
to be operated by konectbus

146 becomes 60
Beccles – Lowestoft – Pleasurewood Hills
every 20 minutes.
New service mainly every 20 minutes via Whitton Estate and Bentley Drive. Norwich to Beccles withdrawn.

146A 146B & 146C becomes 60A 60B & 60C
Beccles School journeys
Minor changes to integrate with new 60.

522 becomes 62
Beccles – Halesworth – Kessingland
every 2 hours.
Essentially every 2 hours running through onto 61 at Kessingland from/to Yarmouth. Rerouted in Halesworth via Harrisons Lane to avoid low bridge.

524 becomes 89
Bungay – Beccles – Southwold
Revised timetable incorporating BH002 School journeys.

580 becomes 80
Diss – Beccles
Revised timetable to improve timekeeping and rail connections with later bus to/from Diss and new facilities for Bungay Sixth Form College.

581 becomes 81
Beccles – Great Yarmouth
Revised timetable to improve timekeeping and extra journey at 18:10 from Yarmouth to Beccles.

581A becomes 81A
Ellough Road – Aldeby – Great Yarmouth
Minor changes to timetable.

586 becomes 63
Cobholm – Great Yarmouth - Hemsby
14:45 Hemsby to Great Yarmouth withdrawn.

601 becomes 61
Southwold – Kessingland – Lowestoft - Great Yarmouth
Every 20 mins Kessingland to Great Yarmouth with hourly extensions to Southwold. Extra early morning buses. With service 60 provides 6 buses per hour between Pleasurewood Hills and Lowestoft Rail Station. Sunday service extended from/to Great Yarmouth with connections to Norwich.

601A becomes 60
Beccles – Lowestoft – Pleasurewood Hills
New service mainly every 20 minutes via Bentley Drive.

602 becomes 62
Beccles – Halesworth – Kessingland
Essentially every 2 hours running through onto 61 at Kessingland from/to Lowestoft/Yarmouth. Rerouted in Halesworth via Harrisons Lane to avoid low bridge.

731 becomes 69
Brundall – Acle – East Norfolk 6th Form
Route slightly revised.

830 becomes 68
Rackheath – Acle – East Norfolk 6th Form
Route slightly revised.

A47 becomes 52*
Acle – Blofield – Brundall – Norwich – Cringleford
every 60 minutes.
*to be operated by konectbus

X47 becomes anglianexpress 7
Great Yarmouth – Norwich
every 30 minutes (and every 60 mins on Sundays!)
New direct express service between Great Yarmouth and Norwich. Peak journeys extended from/to Gorleston. Still operates via Yarmouth Road for Broadland Business Park and Norwich Station. Acle covered by 52.

BH001 School Bus becomes 88BHalesworth - Southwold
No change to timetable.

BH002 becomes 89
Bungay – Beccles - Southwold
Revised timetable. Includes BH002 school journeys.

C1 & C2 become 82 & 82A
Beccles Town routes
Change to route and timetable to allow use of larger vehicles, as a result, Kemps Lane and Pleasant Place will no longer be served.

L2 & L3 become 92 & 93
Langley School buses
No changes to timetables.

W9 becomes 90
St. Felix School bus
No changes to timetables

The new network will be contained in 6 handy timetable leaflets with a brand new website for anglianbus being launched from 26th August.

Sunday 11 August 2013

Latest from Caister Road

Two First Essex ADL Enviro 200s awaiting collection during July
Grahame Bessey reports the latest position regarding the recent arrivals from Ensign via a Full Circle visit for a repaint into First livery

The remaining ADL Enviro200 left Caister Road yesterday for Essex when 44596 EU60LFS departed Great Yarmouth during the afternoon

With the earlier movement of Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA to Kings Lynn for preparation for X1 duties, this leaves just 33424 VT59JPT still at Caister Road awaiting collection by First Essex

Finally, Grahame noted the loan of Great Yarmouth Dart 43862 EG52FGK to Lowestoft whilst working the 105 service on Friday morning

My thanks to Grahame for the report

Saturday 10 August 2013

Visit to Bury St Edmunds

One of  Stephensons Dennis Darts operating a Bury St Edmunds town service
Earlier today I visited Bury St Edmunds and managed to get some spare time to witness local bus activity

Essex- based Stephenson's continued to operate town routes with its Alexander ALX200 bodied Dennis Darts providing the mainstay of services; including 457 GU52HJY featured in the photo

Vehicles previously from the Norfolk area were seen with new operators
V307LGC, formerly with Konectbus, operates a Chambers service to Sudbury
Mulleys were using Scania L113CRL/ Wright Axcess-Ultralow MUI7919 on an unidentified service to the bus station. She was previously with Anglianbus as R84EMB, being acquired in October 2011

Former Konectbus VolvoB7TL/ Plaxton President V307LGC was noted on a Chambers service to Sudbury. She has since received the new Chambers colours and
A surprise visitor was Lucketts Neoplan Skyliner A20HLC
fleet number L419

Stagecoach East ADL Enviro 400 18338 AE55DJY also appeared at the bus station on a Cambridge working

Finally, Lucketts Travel's Neoplan N122/3L Skyliner A20HLC (complete with trailer) arrived and parked up in St Andrews Street South

Lucketts Travel features in the current issue (August 2013) of Buses

Friday 9 August 2013

Anglian's Optare Departures

YJ55BLX is seen in Great Yarmouth last week prior to the Konect move
Three of Anglian's Optare buses have recently left the fleet; although they have moved to operators within the Go-Ahead Group

Optare Tempo YJ55BLX has transferred to Konect and is soon to go to Full Circle for a repaint into their livery.

It was only last week that I photographed her operating on the 601 service between Great Yarmouth and Kessingland. 

Another former Anglian bus, Versa AU08DKN, is currently in the process of receiving the Konect livery at Full Circle

A third Optare, this time a Solo, has been reported in the Sudbury yard of Chambers and it was later confirmed that she has been transferred there. MX58XDB was often seen in the town employed on Anglian's 581 route from Beccles

Also of interest is the recent withdrawal of four Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Tridents. They are 700 V161MEV, 701 X251NNO, 702 X384NNO and 703 X386NNO

The latest Anglianbus fleetlist can be downloaded here

Thursday 8 August 2013

Reynolds Coaches Update

Today's Route One magazine highlights the availability of two coaches in the Reynolds of Caister's fleet

The Caetano Optimo bodied Toyoto Coaster BIG7756 was new to Translinc of Lincolnshire in 1998 as their S32FFW and Reynolds acquired her in February 2011.

Plaxton Premier bodied Dennis Javelin BIG9836 at Reynold's 
Caister-on-Sea site in February 2012
The second vehicle advertised for sale is Reynolds' 1994 Dennis Javelin in the shape of BIG9836. 

The Plaxton Premier bodied 57 seater was delivered as M606WTW to Ferrers of South Woodham Ferrers in November of that year.

She was taken into the fold by Reynolds eight years later

The publication also features an article on the revocation of Norwich - based Peoplemovers' East Anglian O licence by the Eastern Traffic Commissioner

Obituary ~ John Shreeve

Three of  the Belle Coaches fleet at Beach Coach Station on a 
wet day in October 2006
Mr John Shreeve, a director of BR Shreeve & Sons (trading as Belle Coaches) for more than fifty years, has died after a long battle with cancer

Belle Coaches have been operating continuously in the Lowestoft area since the early 1920's. Mr Benjamin Robert Shreeve started the business in partnership with Mr Charles Day running a bus service between Lowestoft and Oulton Broad using 14 seater Model T Ford charabancs. The partnership was later dissolved with Mr Shreeve forming his own company.

By the 1950's, Mr Shreeve's three sons, including John, were all working in the business which enjoyed rapid expansion following local operator acquisitions. In 1959 a Saxmundham company was purchased and, soon after, a new operating base was established at Leiston under the control of John Shreeve. This was primarily to serve the United States Air Force bases at Bentwaters and Woodbridge.

John continued to run the Leiston part of the business for many years until handing over responsibilities to his son Ken

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Another Ipswich Visitor

Ipswich Buses Scania 60 PJ54YZT on an excursion from the Suffolk town
There were around two dozen buses and coaches at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach station this afternoon

One of the highlights was the appearance of an Ipswich Buses Scania N94UD double decker on an excursion.

No 60 PJ54YZT is the second Ipswich Buses decker to appear on two consecutive Wednesdays
Freestone's Volvo GDZ571 alongside Belle Coaches OJI4758
Also of interest was Freestones of Beetley's Joncheere bodied Volvo GDZ571.

Parked next to her was Belle Coaches Setra 40 OJI4758

Perrys of Woolpit sent along the diminutive Toyota Coaster BB50R BF52ACU

A comparatively high number of vehicles present; probably due to this evening's horse racing meeting

Service Alterations Registered ~ 7th August 2013

An Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report was published earlier today on the Gov.UK website

Report No 2159 includes changes affecting bus services and operators in this area and include a number of changes registered by First Eastern Counties in the Lowestoft area. The full report can be viewed here

New Applications Granted

Authorisation:1 Vehicle(s).
Transport Manager(s): MATTHEW JOHN HARRIS
New Undertaking: Limousines and novelty type vehicles are not to be operated under this operator’s licence.. Attached to Licence.
New Undertaking: Vehicles with eight passenger seats or less will not be operated under the licence without the prior written agreement of the traffic commissioner who may require you to agree to certain undertakings.. Attached to Licence.

Licences Surrendered

Licence surrendered WEF 30 July 2013
Registered Bus Services running under this licence have also been surrendered with immediate effect.

Applications to Vary Existing Services

  • Operating between LOWESTOFT BUS STATION and NORWICH, ALL SAINTS GREEN given service number X2 effective from 15-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable
  • Operating between Lowestoft Bus Station and Beccles, Old Market given service number X22 effective from 15-Sep-2013. To amend Route, Stopping Places and Timetable.
  • Operating between LOWESTOFT (GUNTON, CRESTVIEW DRIVE) and LOWESTOFT (HOLLOW GROVE, COWSLIP CRESCENT) given service number 101 effective from 15-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable
  • Operating between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood given service number 14/14A/15/15A effective from 22-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable.
  • Operating between Stalham and Wroxham given service number 12/12A effective from 22-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

Operating between Lowestoft Bus Station and Lowestoft Bus Station given service number 103 effective from 15-Sep-2013. To amend Timetable.

Source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2159 - published 7th August 2013

Sunday 4 August 2013

Pleasure Beach Visitors

Five coaches of the Clarkes of London fleet parked up in the
rear yard at Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach yesterday
Regular contributor Rob Collins visited the tourist area of Great Yarmouth yesterday.

After consuming a portion of the local delicacy of fish and chips, he espied no less than five coaches from the London based Clarkes Coaches fleet parked in the rear yard of the Pleasure Beach attraction

As he was refused entry by security to get some close up photos, he had to settle for one picture from behind the security fence which shows all five coaches together

Clarkes was first established in 1958 and at the time traded predominantly as a small time haulier transporting coal within South East London area. Initially providing the odd trip to the seaside for the local children, the business soon developed into providing coaches for local schools and clubs.

Outgrowing the previous base in Anerley, South East London, Clarkes headquarters moved to the current three acre site at Kangley Bridge Road, Lower Sydenham in 1992. With purpose built offices, workshops and bodyshop, high level security and sufficient parking for up to 100 vehicles it is situated close to capital. Clarke's commuter fleet is located at the Kent depot

Many thanks for the report and photo Rob. Further information about the operator can be found on their website

Saturday 3 August 2013

Query Corner

Norfolk Green MCW Metrobus KYO622X which was new to London Transport 
Earlier in the week I received a query from Rob Collins regarding a former Norfolk Green decker

Rob explains.....

'When my wife and I  got married we had a Metrobus as a wedding car - KYO622X. 

It was still in London red and was lent to us when I worked at Norfolk Green. 

However I have no knowledge of whether she is still running or gone to the bus garage in the sky. 

Could you enquire if she is still about, I enclose a picture of her when she was at Norfolk Green. Any help you could give would be most gratefully received'

After a search through the internet and through my own reference sources, I found that she was delivered new to London Transport in September 1981 as their M622. As for KYO622X's current whereabouts I have drawn a complete blank. I relayed that to Rob who replied

'If, for any reason, she is still about and running, my father said he would buy her as a late wedding gift, 13 years too late, but I would keep him to his word. Feel free to put photo on the blog, you never know one of your readers might hold the key, thanks for all you are doing'

I am therefore asking if any blog readers are aware of KYO622X's existence and also of any subsequent history since her disposal by Norfolk Green.

Please use the comment tab below or email me at

Thursday 1 August 2013

Another Konectbus in Anglian Livery

Optare Excel W216PRB at Car & Commercials yard in her Anglian livery
Regular contributor Tim Miller looked in at the Car & Commercials yard in Beccles earlier today and observed a second former Konectbus vehicle in the new Anglianbus livery

Optare Excel W216PRB was first noted in the yard being prepared for a repaint during the middle of last week and emerged from the paintshop earlier this morning.

Tim writes 'She just needs a screen fitted back in and she is good to go'

However, W216PRB still retains part of its Konectbus identity, featuring the Konectbus web address at the top of the rear windscreen!

My appreciation goes to Tim for the report and photos

High Street Diversions Again!

First Eastern Counties Dart 42920 EU05AUM being diverted
via Church Road on the service 7 to Belton earlier today
Today buses were continuing to be diverted away from Gorleston High Street after a water main burst on Tuesday evening

First have transferred the services affected via Beccles Road and Church Road to gain their normal routes on Church Lane - similar to the arrangements made when another main burst in the High Street in early June

Whilst the road is not closed to traffic, buses have been advised to use Church Road by Norfolk County Council's Highways Department