Wednesday 30 April 2014

Service Alterations Registered ~ 30th April 2014

Neaves YJ03PKZ on the 36 for Norwich at Wroxham in June 2011
The latest Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report was published earlier today on the Gov.UK website.

Publication No 2178 includes a new service to be provided by Sanders Coaches plus the cancellation of services previously operated by Neaves

New Applications Received

Melton Constable based Bus and Us Limited have made an application for an new operating centre at Vicarage Farm in Briston and intends to have one vehicle based there

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice

Sanders Coaches have introduced service 36 between Happisburgh Post Office and Norwich High School. The Monday to Saturday service operates via Lessingham, Sea Palling, Hickling and Wroxham.  The effective date was 14th April 2014

Cancellations of Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

Following their acquisition by Sanders Coaches, Catfield based HS Neave and Son have cancelled three services from 14th April 2014
  • Schools service between Catfield and Hoveton
  • Service 36/12X operating between Happisburgh and Norwich
  • Service 32/32A operating between Norwich and Norwich 

Information source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2178 - published on 30th April 2014.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

Beach Coach Station at Noon

National Holidays Setra NH09KRH
I looked in at Beach Coach just before noon today and found no sign of the new coaches reported by Grahame yesterday

However, there were representatives of the National Holidays and Alfa Travel fleets present. Setra NH09KRH was from the former and Mercedes Benz Tourismo BU13ZTS was from the latter

Also in attendance were another two Setras; Welsh's Tours example had cherished numberplate W26HOL, whilst Nash's of Birmingham were using BD02HDA

Catch A Bus Week

Catch the Bus Leaflet
(Click image to enlarge)
Yesterday saw the start to the national Catch A Bus Week; an initiative designed to encourage people to use the bus more often

As part of the promotion, a bus will be touring the county between 28th April and 4th May. After yesterday's start in Norwich it was Great Yarmouth's turn today

This morning, the promotion bus was parked outside the Tesco store off Pasteur Road in the town. I took the opportunity to visit the vehicle and found the staff in attendance very friendly and helpful

It was run by Norfolk County Council travel and transport staff and representatives of the bus companies who were on hand to answer travel questions and offer discounts

The Catch the Bus promotion vehicle was ex Nottingham City Transport W924SNR
To launch the event yesterday, Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council were offering a written pledge of quality in a new Norwich Bus Charter. It is expected that there will be a similar charter in place for the Great Yarmouth area

The bus in use was a former Nottingham City Transport Dennis Trident/East Lancs Lolyne registered W924SNR

This afternoon the bus moved to the town's ASDA store and staff were also available at Market Gates Shopping Centre to deal with enquiries

Monday 28 April 2014

Two new Shearings Setras at the Coach Station earlier this evening
All the 14s!

Grahame Bessey was passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station this evening on his way home when he saw many new coaches present

These included three 14 registered and two 63 registered vehicles

The two 63 registered coaches were Setras from the Shearings
Alfa Travel's new Tourismo BX14LCJ
fleet. Conveniently parked next to each other, they were 631 BX63BFA and 636 BT63GCV

Regular visitor to the coach station, National Holidays were using a new Setra on
its tour in the form of NH14DBH 

Another tour company, Alfa Travel, was employing a Mercedes Benz Tourismo bearing the registration BX14LCJ
Another 14 reg was WA14DUY from South Wales based Mainline Coaches

A fifth new vehicle on site was WA14DUY. This was a VDL owned by Mainline Coaches of Gilfach Goch; a small former coal mining village in the Borough of Rhondda In South Wales

It is unusual to see so many new coaches at the coach station and my thanks to Grahame for the information and photos

SN60CAA on the X2 to Lowestoft!

Jamie Skinner was in Norwich today and observed Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA heading away from Norwich eastbound towards Lowestoft (well that's what he thought?!)

He then subsequently happened to be in Norwich Bus Station about to catch the 12:50 X1 to Great Yarmouth when he saw 33423 just pulling into the stand from Lowestoft displaying Norwich X2; confirming his previous thoughts!

Luckily his camera behaved itself this time and he managed to quickly get some pictures of it before catching his bus back to Great Yarmouth

Thanks for the report and photos Jamie

Another North Norfolk Adventure

Konect's Norfolk Coaster open topper R739XRV at Muckleburgh
Following Grahame Bessey's report on the Konectbus open topper operating in North Norfolk Syd Eade offers his experience on his trip on it

'I also visited North Norfolk to ride on the Konect open topper on Thursday the 24th. You may like a couple of the photos to add to your item on ENBB as it wasn't such bad weather, although not the few passengers on board left at
Syd's photo illustrates the point concerning the low bridge between
Sheringham and Weybourne
Sheringham, so the run to and from Muckleburgh was a special just for us. That low bridge would concern me though as any standing passenger would strike it.

The North Norfolk Railway were running their DMU so a chance was taken to have a ride on that, which included the NRMs power car 51192 which ended its days in the Manchester area, but in 1988 was running from Norwich to Lowestoft 

Power car 51192 at Holt on the North Norfolk Railway awaiting its next duty
and Great Yarmouth. A true local unit then. 

My only disappointment was when a steam saddle tank engine (Ring Haw) was attached for the next journey and the diesel engines shut down, I left. Surely after paying £22 for a Rover for two to ride on a booked Diesel service it should not then be steam hauled.!  I have found this 'Steam Is The Only True Motive Power' attitude on other preserved railways, they just cant imagine that a visitor would enjoy a Diesel, especially a DMU!

Congratulations for topping the 1000 blog entries'

Many thanks for the report and photos Syd. I certainly wasn't aware of the local connection with the diesel multiple unit 

Sunday 27 April 2014

Cromer & Sheringham Visit

Sanders former Arriva Scotland West VDL/Plaxton YJ07JSY at Cromer Bus Station
And with Grahame Bessey's report, its on to post number 1001....

'Yesterday I had a trip up the coast with the family to try the new Konectbus Open Topper for size! We left in glorious sunshine only to arrive in Cromer with the gloom descending!, We just missed the open topper so we boarded the 2 service from Norwich to Sheringham which was Optare Tempo operated, first time for 
Konnectbus open topper R739XRV was formerly in use on the Isle of Wight
me on one of these and very impressed, driver was helpful and could not ask for a better trip and a very cheap fare too!

We had a look around the Railway Station and then decided to have a wander around the town before having the first of three journeys aboard the Olympian Open Topper! The rain was unfortunately coming down by now so it was upstairs but covered back to 
For the rail buffs, Class 37 D6732 was in action on the North Norfolk Railway

The kids loved it and and we managed an outside journey later in the day after a nice Fish and Chip lunch at Mary Janes in Cromer!

Big Thanks to driver Jonny Whittaker who looked after us whilst aboard and the kids even had a goodie bag thrown in for good measure!. Well done to Konectbus!

On the way home, we 

Ex Great Yarmouth Transport Bristol VR/ ECW No 29 CVF29T at Trimingham
Owned by a Mr Mick Peters, it is used as a summer house overlooking the sea
returned via the coast road, and I wondered if a certain Great Yarmouth Transport Bristol VR was still sitting in a field at Trimingham, indeed it was still there in First Blue Bus livery as it has been for a few years now! Such a shame it cannot be returned to its former glory!

Great day was had by all!'

Many thanks for the report and photos Grahame

1,000 Not Out!

My first blog photo, Dart M379MEX exiting Market Gates on 4th January 2011
This is the 1,000th post I have made to the blog - where has all the time gone!

I just cannot believe how much it has developed over the last three and a quarter years into what it is today. It is hard to understand that when I first set it up on 3rd January 2011, to write up my own sightings, that the number of visitors to the blog are now approaching 400,000!

I did try to think of a photo to celebrate the event, but couldn't find any of the local fleets with a fleet number 1000 to do it justice. I know that Anglian were using Scania R81EMB with that number but I couldn't actually find a picture with that number in place

So instead I have come up with the first photo I ever posted to the blog - that of a First Eastern Counties step entrance Dart 46379 M379YEX which was enjoying its last days in service

I would just like to thank you all for your continued support over the years. A special thank you also to all my regular contributors who are very much appreciated and have made the blog what it is today

I continue to look forward to more blogging ........

Rail Replacement

SN60CAA on rail replacement at Lowestoft Station for those destined for Norwich
Following weekend improvement work to the railway line between Norwich and Brundall, rail replacement bus and coach services have been introduced for those customers wishing to travel between Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft and Norwich. However, a limited train service will continue to operate from the two towns to Brundall

Great Yarmouth's WV02EUR on standby at Lowestoft Station
Regular contributor Syd
Eade observed activity at the Lowestoft end of the line yesterday where First were operating the rail replacement service.

Whilst the two vehicles involved were not locally based, they were both driven by Lowestoft drivers

Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA was on rail replacement duty and was running the booked services.

Acting as standyby was X1 liveried Volvo B12M/ Plaxton Paragaon 20515 WV02EUR

My thanks to Syd for his report and the supply of photos which remain his copyright

66332 Repaint

Dan Whiting has emailed me a photo of the recently re-liveried First Norwich Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L taken during yesterday afternoon in Castle Meadow

It is the first photo of  66332 MV02VBX seen out on the road since its repaint and it is thought that it was not in public service at the time - despite the destination showing as Wroxham!

My thanks to Dan for the photo and report

Saturday 26 April 2014

More from Caister Road

34186 awaits its next duties inside the depot on 18th February 2014
More Olympian information from Ryan reveals that 34109 W436CWX is now awaiting parts and 34111 W431CWX is over the pits at Caister Road. Northern Counties Palantine bodied 34186 S686AEE has now been relocated to the rear yard

Meanwhile ADL Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA was due to return to her home depot yesterday after her stint on X1 duties. However, the former Jersey bus has now been recalled to rail replacement work

My thanks again to Ryan for the information and for spotting the error

Friday 25 April 2014

Latest On The Olympians

First Olympians 34113 and 34112 at Caister Road Depot on 13th February 2014
Ryan reports on the latest situation regarding the seven CWX registered Olympians allocated at First's Caister Road Depot

One of the seven is to give up its gearbox to enable another example to operate.

34113 W433CWX is to donate its gearbox to 34108 W435CWX

This means that four of the Olympians will then be available for service, but their use on general duties is expected to be limited as they are mainly intended for contract work. The four have fleet numbers 34108-11 (W435-7/1CWX)

My thanks to Ryan for his regular updates

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Bus Adverts Helps Business Celebrate 50 Years

Following our posts on the Wilco advertisements appearing on the rear of some local buses, First have now issued the following press release

Richard Shortis, Richard Alger and staff from the East Anglia Transport Museum with 
the two buses
In order to help launch his new venture in 1964, Norwich businessman Kevin Shortis booked an advert of the back of a bus.

Now five decades later, the Shortis Group has again trusted the bus to promote its message after a new mega-rear advert was been created on six First Buses.

Kevin Shortis, now almost 75, is still heavily involved in the business which has 81 trading sites across the country and 600 employees, it is his son, Richard, who leads the business day-to-day in his role as managing director.

The Shortis Group, which includes Wilco Motor Spares and Fast-Fit Tyres and Exhausts, was started in Barn Road, Norwich, in 1964. Its original advert is still on the back of a bus today – a vintage 1964 AEC Reliance which is stored at East Anglia Transport Museum in Carlton Colville.

Ten years ago, the bus was saved from scrappage and restored to its former glory by a team from the museum, including First Eastern Counties’ staff manager, Richard Alger.

Richard Shortis said: “It’s lovely that we managed to get the two buses together. We have done a lot of bus advertising over the years. It’s very prominent and eye-catching – it’s a brilliant way to raise awareness.”

Buses in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich and Leeds will carry the advert for six months.

First Eastern Counties’ General Manager, Hugo Forster, said: “For many businesses, advertising on buses is a great way to attract new customers and promote a brand. We are delighted that the Shortis group has continued to advertise with us over the years.”

Source: First Eastern Counties Press Release - 23rd April 2014

Full House!

Two National Holidays Setras at Beach Coach Station were NH11LTH and NH13LWH
Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station was full of vehicles when I called in at lunchtime today

However, the vehicles were primarily showman's vehicles parked up in connection with the traditional late Easter fair. Not only that, other roads in the area were being used too.

With new housing development recently built on the corner of Nelson Road North and Sandown Road, the site can no longer accommodate all the fairground vehicles

There continued to be a small area allocated for coach parking; if the coaches could get near to it! Amongst those that did were four coaches from the National Holidays/ Shearings Holidays fleet.

The former were three Setras in the form of NH11DTH, NH11LTH and NH13LWH. The later was represented by Volvo B12M MX05AFV

The fair opens from tomorrow until Sunday inclusive

Whippets Coaster Restarts

The first Whippet Coaster service of the season is worked by SF05XYZ
Today saw the return of the Coaster services from Cambridge to Great Yarmouth operated by Whippet Coaches

Service H began today operating via via Bury and Lowestoft with Volvo B12B/ Jonckheere Mistral SF05XYZ being the coach on duty. The service will also run on Tuesdays from 22nd July to 26th August plus Thursdays during May

Service A runs via Norwich on Saturdays only between 26th April to 20th December; Mondays only (not bank holidays) 28th July to 1st September; Wednesdays only between 30th April to17th December  and Tuesdays and Thursdays only between 5th June to 30th September

A third Coaster service is the G between Cambridge and Great Yarmouth via Mildenhall and Lowestoft and operates on Sundays only between 27th April and 26th October

I hope you got all that! For further information, including timetables of all the Coaster routes, visit the Go Whippet website

Tuesday in Norwich

Sanders Solo 210 YK04KWA on former Neaves 32 service to Wroxham
After delivering my daughter to Norwich Railway Station I decided to spend an hour or two observing activity in Norwich City Centre

My first noteworthy photo is of Sanders Coaches Solo 210 YK04KWA operating Neaves service 32 to Wroxham in St Stephens Street.

With that location not offering much out of the ordinary I decided to
National Express Volvo B9R/ Caetano Levante FJ12FYN arrives from Stansted
visit the bus station. After signing in, I was about to take up residence on the west side of the site when a National Express service arrived.

It was National Express Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante 138 FJ12FYN on the 727 route from Stansted Airport, having left there at 10:35

Other National Express duties observed were the 490 by Chenery's similar FJ11MKC from 
Four different buses in four different liveries at Norwich Bus Station yesterday
London Victoria and Ambassador Travel's FJ09DXE on the 491 going in the opposite direction

Konect's bendibuses were in use on the Costessey Park and Ride with three of the five active examples seen during the hour I was there; 801 BD57WDA, 803 BL57OXM and 804 BL57OXN

The arrival of Norwich Sightseeing Leyland Olympian/ Northern Counties Palatine G520VBB made for an interesting line up as it passed through the bus station with four different buses seen in four different liveries. The partial open topper was flanked by Norfolk Green's Optare Versa 25271 YJ10EYD and Anglianbus Wright StreetLite 351 MX60BWK on the left and Sanders Coaches Scania OmniCity 309 YN53GFE on the right. My thanks to the driver for slowing down to allow me to get the photo

First ADL Enviro 33423 SN60CAA on the 13:00 Lowestoft to Peterborough
Finally, an excuse to get another photo of First Eastern Counties ADL Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA on the blog. First Great Yarmouth liveried 33423 has now moved up from the X1 shorts to duties covering the whole of the route. 

Its appearance is due to the servicing commitments with the existing fleet in addition to the absence of another vehicle for bodywork repairs

Latest Olympian Activity

Olympian trio in the rear yard at Caister Road Depot in December last
Regular contributor Ryan updates us with the latest Olympian activity at First's Caister Road depot

His report says that two of the Olympians were undergoing inspection repairs yesterday. They were 34109 W436CWX and 34114 W434CWX

Another two in the fleet are currently in the rear yard - 34108 W435CWX and 34111 W431CWX

Unfortunately, with the arrival of four of the former low floor First Leicester ALX400s, the Olympians are less likely to be seen in service now. They are mainly used on contract duties instead

Many thanks for the use of the photo and the update Ryan

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Anglianbus Update

On the Anglianbus website this morning there is an official update on some changes to the allocation of East Lancs Lolyne deckers

Former Brighton & Hove Trident 711 T811RFG has now been withdrawn from service. The photo shows 711 in Gordon Road, Lowestoft on 16th December last

The bus has been replaced by similar 725 W825NNJ transferred in from Konectbus

Monday 21 April 2014

Latest Leicester, Lowestoft Bound

ALX400 W425SRP in Scratby heading for Lowestoft on the 1A route
The latest former First Leicester arrival was noted on a Lowestoft bound service in the holiday village of Scratby this afternoon

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey was fortunately in the right place at the right time to get a picture of ALX400 32065 W425SRP passing through with the 1A service to Lowestoft via Great Yarmouth
(I double checked this time to make sure I got the details correct!)

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photo

Easter Monday Midday

Scanias from Cambridgeshire - Judds JJT394 and Impression Holoidays EC14PTC
Two coaches from Cambridgeshire were on view at Beach Coach Station at around noon today

The first was from Wisbech's Judds Travel in the shape of Van Hool Alizee bodied Scania JJT394. Owned by sister company Emblings in March 1998 it was originally registered R2JWE

The other coach was newly registered Van Hool EC14PTC, owned by Impression Holidays of Peterborough. It has a stunning blue metallic paint scheme and was delivered to the company during mid March

Saturday 19 April 2014

Easter Saturday Disruption

Traffic congestion was causing problems leading to the bunching of buses. Jamie's
 photo shows two ALX 400s on Magdalen Way bound for the James Paget Hospital
Late this morning I travelled from Gorleston into Great Yarmouth along Southtown Road and what a struggle it was to complete my journey - it took almost half an hour!

I was driving and I expected the buses were similarly delayed. This was subsequently confirmed by regular reporter Jamie Skinner who sent the following report

Buses all over place... No number 8 turned up in Yarmouth so I got a number 2 to Gorleston... The driver reported it took her 15 mins to get from Yarmouth coach station to Market Gates! 

I got home and spotted two ALX400s at once on Magdalen Way in Gorleston  - one clearly on time and the other late by 15 minutes. Returning on the 8 back to Yarmouth, I spotted Olympian S687AAE in the High Street heading for the James Paget Hospital at around 13:52 

Sadly, even though the driver smiled, my camera only got a side view! My camera didn't take it quick enough as the bus I was on pulled away. Probably best as the front of it looks messy as the paint has started to flake off. 

Travelling along the High Street two minutes later, I spotted another number 8 James Paget bound!

Clearly bus services were suffering long delays due to the heavy traffic trying to get into and out of the town. My thanks to Jamie for his report and photos

Wednesday 16 April 2014

The French Connection

French interloper BM-313-NZ owned by Slembrouck of Quesnoy-sur-Deûle
Seven coaches were basking in the sun at Beach Coach Station around lunchtime today including a visitor from France

BM-313-NZ is operated by Slembrouck of Quesnoy-sur-Deûle and has number T917 affixed to its passenger side. It appeared to be on a private charter.

The company's website ( says the business was established in 1929 and
National Holidays Setra NH11JTH enjoying the sunshine
currently operates 21 coaches and 206 minibuses. Slembrouck employs a staff of 230 (some 123 full time equivalents)

Also present were two of the National Holidays fleet; Setra NH11JTH and Volvo B12M MX04AFK. The latter was formerly with Shearings Holidays.

Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo 75 BU13ZTV was undergoing emergency 
repairs in having its front windscreen replaced

From over the border was Belle Coaches Setra 26 NJI9242 and the two other operators represented were Talisman Coaches of Great Bromley, Essex and Maxfield's Executive Coaches of Sheffield

Service Alterations Registered ~ 16th April 2014

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

Publication No 2177 includes a number of changes to services operated by Anglian, First Eastern Counties and Sanders Coaches

Variation Applications Granted

First Eastern Counties are to amend the number of vehicles allowed to operate at some centres.
  • Increased authorisation at Vancouver Centre, Kings Lynn to 15 vehicles
  • Increased authorisation at Vulcan Road, Norwich to 46 vehicles
  • Removed operating centre: Scot Group Limited, Saddlebow Industrial Estate, Kings Lynn
  • Increased authorisation at at Lansdowne Road, Norwich to 79 vehicles

Licences Surrendered

Ann Harvey trading as Feline Travel at The Street in Catfield has surrendered her licence with effect from 9th April 2014 with all registered services surrendered with immediate effect

Registration of New Services 

As already reported on this blog, First Eastern Counties has registered a new service between Lowestoft Bus Station and Kessingland. Service 99 will commence from 26th May operating Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays and Public Holidays

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice

Anglian Bus has lodged an application for a new service under short notice between Wrentham and Southwold via Wangford, Church. The 61 commenced from 18th April 

Applications to Vary Existing Services

Anglian Bus of Beccles is to amend the timetable of service 61 operating between Bungay and Lowestoft from 9th June 2014

First Eastern Counties are to vary a number of their services from the 25th May
  • The timetable of services 75/76/77/78 between Felixstowe and Ipswich are to be altered
  • The route, timetable and stopping places for three Lowestoft routes 101, 102 and 103 are to be amended
  • The summer service 3 between Newport Caravan Park and Great Yarmouth Seashore Holiday will see changes to its route, stopping places and timetable
  • The X22 between Lowestoft Bus Station and Beccles Old Market will also see changes to its route, stopping places and timetable

Sanders Coaches is to amend the timetables of a number routes in the North Norfolk area from the 1st June
  • Service 4 between Edinburgh Road, Holt and Cadogan Road Cromer 
  • Service 9 between Holt Market Place and Oak Street in Fakenham
  • Service 6 North Walsham Post Office and Great Yarmouth Market Gates
  • Service 55 North Walsham Post Office and Norwich City Centre
The route and timetable of service 5 between Charles Road, Holt and North Walsham Post Office are also to be amended

Cancellations of Existing Services

First Eastern Counties are cancelling the registration of Lowestoft Town service 123 between Gordon Road and Gordon Road from 25th May

Information source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2177 - published on 16th April 2014.

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Sanders Acquires Neaves

Sanders DAF/Wright Cadet YJ03PKX on one of Neaves 36 duties today
Holt based Sanders Coaches issued a press release yesterday regarding their acquisition of H S Neave and Son Limited trading as Neaves located in Catfield

All vehicles and staff have transferred to Sanders as well as bus services 32 and 36. There will be no change to the timetables as Sanders plan to operate the services with Neaves current staff, providing continuity to existing customers.

Sanders reassures passengers that, whilst the colour of the buses may change to yellow, the standard of service will still remain exactly the same

As part of the takeover process, the timetables for Neaves routes 32 and 36 now appear on the Sanders website

Many thanks to Brian Ellis for his help with this post. Photo with permission from Norwich Buses Updates on twitter @NorwichBuses

Saturday 12 April 2014

Multiple Mulleys

The three Mulleys coaches (left to right) X472KUT, WCF99 and X888MUL
Driving through Great Yarmouth earlier this afternoon, I observed four coaches at Beach Coach Station

I initially thought that they represented four completely different companies but, on closer inspection, three of them were actually from the Mulleys' fleet!

The coach in Mulleys' colours was X888MUL, a Beulas Stergo bodied Iveco Eurorider. In
green was Volvo B12T/
National Holidays Volvo B10M NH06FEH
Jonckheere WCF99 with similar Volvo B10M/ X472KUT in light blue making up the trio.

The fourth coach present was NH06FEH, a Volvo B10M/Plaxton Panther from the National Holidays fleet.

Minutes earlier a second unidentified National Holidays coach was noted on Fullers Hill heading towards the town centre

Thursday 10 April 2014

First's Service 99 Re-registered

Routemaster NML623E in its former Flying Banana livery carrying the destination 
display for service 99 Lowestoft to Southwold. First planned to operate it on a 
summer Sunday service but the proposal failed to materialise
Christian Newsome has alerted me to the fact that First Eastern Counties seem to be reintroducing their 99 route after some absence. The 99 last operated on 3rd April 2011

The service had been logged with VOSA on the 28th March and should restart on 25th May. Its introduction would be in direct competition with Anglianbus 61

My thanks to Christian for the heads up and to Syd Eade for the photo

Tuesday 8 April 2014

+++++ Stop Press +++++

Grahame Bessey reports this afternoon's safe arrival at Caister Road of ALX400 32065 W425SRP from First Leicester

Customer Satisfaction Improves

Left to right First Eastern Counties' Norwich operations manager, Lee Howes,
General Manager, Hugo Forster and Business Manager, Chris Speed
The results of a national bus passenger survey published by independent watchdog, Passenger Focus, have revealed that First’s customers in Norfolk have seen an increase in satisfaction.

89% of First’s customers in Norfolk said that they were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the service in the county – a 2% increase since 2011.

Passenger Focus’ National Bus Survey is considered the bus industry’s definitive gauge of passenger satisfaction. The survey was carried out between 8 September and 1 December 2013.

The survey also noted improvements in punctuality, the cleanliness and appearance of the buses and drivers’ attitudes.

Managing Director of First Eastern Counties, David Squire, said: “We are thrilled with our score which reflects the hard work and commitment of all my colleagues. We’ve got excellent teams in place at our depots who are improving our services and helping to encourage more people to travel with First.”.

Source: First Group Press Release 7th April 2014

Monday 7 April 2014

This Afternoon's Activity

I nipped into Great Yarmouth this afternoon for some shopping via a visit to the library in Gorleston High Street

Age before beauty - Olympian 34114 leads President 32206 and Gemini 37579
Before catching one of the former Jersey Darts into town, I observed Volvo Olympian 34109 W436CWX in Gorleston High Street back on one of its regular workings on the 7 to Belton

On arrival at Market Gates I headed to Beach Coach station to witness the Bernard Matthews contract workings this afternoon

There was a triumvirate of buses (posh word for three!) appearing instead of the normal twosome on the contract. Not only that, but they were of three different types as well!

Anglian Fleet Support Vehicle in attendance
It seemed to be 'age before beauty' with W434CWX leading the charge! The second bus was President 32206 LT52WTM with Gemini 37579 AU58EDK bringing up the rear
Olympian 34114

After that surprise, I returned to Market Gates to see the Anglianbus Fleet Support vehicle parked in front of Scania 456 AN61BUS. I was unable to discover what the problem was as both left just after I had taken my photo

Ipswich Trolleybus Operates Again

Ipswich Trolleybus 105 runs at Carlton Colville for the first time since 1962
This weekend saw the first running of Ipswich trolleybus 105 at the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville

Tim Major tells me it ran on Saturday for the first time since 1962, after undergoing a ten year period of restoration. A few minor jobs remain before the vehicle takes centre stage at the Suffolk Made and Operated event in May

Registered PV8270, it was constructed in 1948 with a Karrier W chassis and a Park Royal double deck body. Withdrawn in 1962 it was converted into a mobile Civil Defence showroom and then subsequently used as a temporary canteen. The trolleybus was purchased from Ipswich Corporation in 1971 for preservation 

Ipswich No 44 on loan from the Science Museum
Number 105 is not the first Ipswich trolleybus to operate at the museum, as for a time, in the early 1970's and 80's it was home to number.44 which was on loan from the Science Museum. Ultimately the vehicle was returned to the custody of the Science Museum and it currently resides in its store at Wroughton near Swindon. During the time 44 was at the museum' agreement was reached for the vehicle to be tested under power and ran around the museums somewhat limited overhead layout at the time.

My thanks to Tim for the report and photos - further information and photos of 105 can be seen on the Ipswich Transport Museum and East Anglia Transport Museum Facebook sites

Saturday 5 April 2014

First Heritage Liveries

A recent post on Clive Nixon's Ipswich Bus Blog relates to a chat he had with First Eastern Counties Business Manager Chris Speed

Business Manager Chris Speed
Photo: First Eastern Counties
Chris started out as a driver at Great Yarmouth and in his new role spends three days in Ipswich and two at Great Yarmouth

After speaking to Clive about First's plans for Ipswich, he then went on to talk about the 'three training buses' to be repainted into heritage liveries. These include one in Tilling red and cream with gold fleet names, one in Great Yarmouth blue and cream and one in Lowestoft brown and cream. Much to the disappointment of Ipswich bus enthusiasts, I understand that the Tilling red and cream liveried vehicle will be based at Norwich

There are currently only Plaxton Premier bodied Volvo B10Ms in the training fleet with some of Great Yarmouth's Volvo Olympians due to join the training school soon. I would suggests that these would be the prime contenders for the new heritage liveries

My thanks to Clive Nixon for his help and consent to use the information on this blog - the full post can be viewed by clicking HERE

Friday 4 April 2014

Scania Repaired

A fifth posting on the blog in one day - a bit of a record for me!

Last night I had nothing to report, but responses from supporters have enabled me to keep you up to date with what's going on

My last report of the day relates to a tweet sent by regular contributor Tim Miller

Tim informed me yesterday that one of Anglian's OmniCity deckers had been delivered to Car & Commercial for front end repair following an accident

The repairs have now been completed and the Scania now looks as good as new

My thanks to Tim for the report and photo

Shearings Trio

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey writes that for most of the week three Shearings coaches have been observed at Beach Coach Station

The threesome, all Setras, are
515   BU13ZTG
225   BF10VCV
and   BT63GDO

The last mentioned doesn't appear to have a fleet number affixed and seems to be a new
visitor to the town whilst the others have been noted here before

My thanks to Grahame for the report and photos

Setra BT63GDO appears to be a newcomer to the town

Swift Update

Autosan Eagle BV57MTJ with Volvo 491JVX at Swift's Southtown Road yard
Regular contributor Joseph Leathers-Watson has provide details of recent activity with the Swift Taxis' fleet

A reliable source informs him that coaches are currently out of service.

Autosan Eagle BV57MTJ recently failed in service due to the failure of its windscreen wipers
P109WJO running back to the depot following the completion of schools duties
in April 2011
leading to an Our Bus vehicle to come to the rescue and complete its duties

BMC Schoolbus BX55OFN is also out of service and awaiting repair after it broke down when leaving the depot the other day.

Finally, Swift are advertising on their website the disposal of  1996 Dennis Javelin Wadham Stinger P109WJO - one of the oldest coaches in the fleet

My thanks to Joe for the information and photos