Saturday 31 May 2014

Ipswich News

Recent arrival at Ipswich depot is 60618 R781WKW
I am pleased to provide you with the latest news regarding recent developments at First Ipswich

Grahame Bessey confirms the arrivals of Volvo's 60618 R781WKW & 62143 R589SBA from First's Rotherham Depot

The Volvos are paint float vehicles for Firstgroup whilst Ipswich vehicles 69008
Interior shot of  60618
AU05DMV & 66981 KX05MHK have gone to Rotherham for refurbishment and repaint into the new livery.

Regular correspondent Jim Long has kindly passed on two photos of 60618 upon its arrival at Ipswich. An interior view is included

My thanks to both Grahame and Jim for their help in the preparation of this report

Ex Yarmouth Buses on the 99

Former Great Yarmouth Dart EY05FYP leaves Lowestoft Bus Station yesterday
You may remember the recent transfer of two First Great Yarmouth buses to Lowestoft to operate their 99 route between Lowestoft and Kessingland

Being the old sceptic that I am, I assumed they would be there to make up the numbers and be used on any old Lowestoft route. It appears I have been proved wrong!

Regular contributor Grahame Bessey observed both of them working the service yesterday

My thanks go to Grahame for his report and photos

Ex Great Yarmouth Gemini FJ08FYN returns to Lowestoft on the 99 service

Friday 30 May 2014

Surprise, Surprise!

Ipswich Buses Scania/East Lancs 61 PJ54YZU soaking up the sun!
Shopping in sunny Great Yarmouth this afternoon and, after observing First Olympians 34108 and 34109 hard at work in Market Gates, I walked briskly to Beach Coach station to log the deckers working the Bernard Matthews contract today

I got there just in time to see President 32204 LT52WTK leading the charge with ALX400 32063 W223XBD bringing up the rear.

As they drove away my attention was drawn to the seven occupants of the coach station, especially the surprise appearance of a decker. The bus was an East Lancs OmniDekka bodied Scania N94UD from the Ipswich Buses fleet. No 61 PJ54YZU, in its new livery, was on an excursion from its home town

The other occupants included two coaches from the Richmond's of Royston's Hertfordshire fleet - 648EAU and YER469. The others were Bova YJ08NTD of Nova Tours, Derbyshire, Setra W26HOL from Welsh's Tours, County Lion's Mercedes L1ONU and AA11ALS of Al's Coaches of Merseyside

Where Are They Now? ~ P653ORV

Our Bus Dennis Javelin P653ORV - photo Joe Leathers Watson
Another post in the occasional series of Where Are They Now?- which looks at buses that previously use to operate in our area and what has become of them now

Regular contributor Joe Leather Watson has been doing some research on an Our Bus vehicle P653ORV

The UVG bodied Dennis Javelin was new to the London Borough of Brent in May 1997 with PSV Circle records showing that it was acquired by Our Bus in December 2007
Now with new owner and registration of BIG8796 Photo copyright Adam Barham

After more than five years service with the Norfolk operator, the vehicle was sold to Panther Travel of Harwich, Essex during July 2013

ORV has since been upgraded by its new owner with some new seating and an LED destination screen fitted. It has been given the new registration of BIG8796 and has been named 'Orville' to acknowledge the original one

My thanks to Joe for the information and photo and to Adam Barham for his picture

Goliath and Centurian Disposal

Volvo/East Lancs OU05KKB Norfolk Centurian when with Sanders Coaches 
Sanders Coaches last night tweeted 'Goliath & Norfolk Centurian have left Us for pastures new... Watch this space for our new additions'

The reference was to the departure of the two East Lancs Olympus bodied Volvo B9TLs OU05KLA and OU05KKB respectively named Goliath and Norfolk Centurian

The two deckers were acquired from Weaver of Newbury, Berkshire in October 2009 and it is believed that the latter is already being prepared for service by its new owner Mortons Travel of Tadley, Hampshire

Sanders have already found replacements

Thursday 29 May 2014

Shrublands Diversion

First's 43859 EG52FHD turns into Oak Road on service 2 earlier today
First Norfolk & Suffolk are publicising the diversion of its service 2 to exclude Shrublands Estate

Starting this Monday 2nd June, buses are being diverted in both directions along Crab Lane as footway and resurfacing works will be carried out on Oak Road on the estate

First apologises for the inconvenience and says passengers can catch the 2 either on Crab Lane or at the Magdalen Arms

The work is expected to last for about three weeks and should be completed on 20th June

Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th May 2014

The Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner yesterday published his latest Notices and Proceedings Report on the Gov.UK website.

Publication No 2180 provides little of interest to the local area, apart from the increase in the number of vehicles Feline Executive Travel are allowed to operate at their centre at The Archway in Stalham, Norfolk. The new authorisation is for three vehicles

The full publication can be viewed HERE on the Eastern Area Traffic Commissioners website

Wednesday 28 May 2014

More from First's Caister Road Depot

ALX400 W218XBD on the first day in service - spending most of the day on the 3
Ryan has again been in contact with me regarding First's current activity at Caister Road

He informs me that the latest ex First Leicester ALX400 32058 W218XBD should be out on the road in Great Yarmouth for the first time today. Sure enough I caught sight of it in the town centre early this afternoon - the second time I successfully got a photo of it on service 3!

Recently withdrawn Olympian 34186 S686AAE is now inside the depot ready to receive the gearbox donated from 34187 S687AAE and should be back in service sometime next week

My thanks to Ryan for the constant updates

Swift Disposals

P109WJO and N962DWJ in the company's Southtown yard in December 2013
Following the disappearance of two coaches with VOR signs from Swift's Southtown yard, I contacted Kevin Boyne at the company for information as to their current whereabouts

He kindly responded by saying that both the blue liveried Dennis Javelin P109WJO and the Volvo B10M N962DWJ had been disposed of. Both had been advertised for sale in recent issues of Route One magazine with the latter being offered for sale as spares or for repair

The former has gone to 3D Travel of Cleator Moor in Cumbria whilst the latter has moved to P & M Coaches of Wickford in Essex. Also joining WJO is a third Swift coach GLZ3141 which was noted in active service with Swift earlier this month

My appreciation goes to Swift's Kevin Boyne for providing the information

Following my report, contributor Joe Leathers Watson thought he would check back with the Swift Taxis' website and found that a fourth member of the fleet was for sale! It was Volvo B10M 491JVX, a 50 seater with Plaxton bodywork. Formerly registered as M124UWY, it was new to Wallace Arnold way back in March 1995. It subsequently became part of the National Holidays fleet

It appears that the current Swift Taxis fleet is becoming a mere shadow of its former self

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Recent Arrival Appears On The X2

37562, a recent transfer from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft passes through a very
damp Beccles this morning. Note the removal of the decals referring to its previous 
home with Lowestoft branding yet to be applied 
Regular contributor Tim Miller tweeted me this morning to say that the recent Lowestoft arrival was being employed on the X2 between the Suffolk town and Norwich

He observed Gemini 37562 FJ08FYN passing through Beccles with 8:10 service from Lowestoft. He awaited the return working and managed to get a photo of the bus passing through Beccles with the 09:45 from Norwich

My thanks to Tim for the report and photo

Monday 26 May 2014

Five At The Beach

Shearings Holidays Setra 221 BF10VCO
Early afternoon saw five coaches soaking up the sunshine at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station

Regular visitors Alfa Travel and Shearings Holidays were represented by Mercedes Benz Tourismo 75 BU13ZTV and Setra 221 BF10VCO respectively

A rather nondescript looking RUI2091 came from Amhurst Coaches of Hackney. Despite
that, the coach has a bit of history in being new to Ribble in 1998 as S905JHG. Upon takeover by Stagecoach North West the Volvo/ Jonckheere lost its Ribble fleet number of 1121, to be replaced by 52616

Another Volvo/ Joncheere came in the form of Safford's Coaches DIG4585. Delivered as X64CNY to Bebb of Llantwit Fardre, the coach gained its new registration in 2006

The final vehicle is that of Reg's Coaches green liveried Mercedes Benz BU03LYP. It was new to Dews of Somersham in April 2003

Sunday 25 May 2014

Service 3 Begins

SN60CAA at the Hemsby Beach terminus this morning
As you are all probably know by now, First Great Yarmouth's service 3 commenced today between Hemsby Beach and Great Yarmouth Vauxhall Holiday Park

Not only that, as Ryan suggested, First's Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA was employed on the route this morning

Regular reporter Jamie Skinner was in Hemsby at the time and sends this photo of the decker standing at terminus

Many thanks for the photo and report Jamie

Saturday 24 May 2014

Caister Road Update

First 37562 FJ08FYN on contract duty on 7th March 2014
Previous posts have referred to the prospective move of Great Yarmouth's Gemini 37562 FJ08FYN to Lowestoft this weekend. Ryan, our contact at Caister Road, reports that Lowestoft picked it up yesterday, a day early!

The recent arrival from First Leicester, 32058 W218XBD, is currently over the pits and being prepared for service

President 32208 LT52WTO is currently suffering from over heating problems and work is underway to ascertain the cause

Finally, the summer service 3 begins this Sunday between Hemsby Beach and Great Yarmouth's Vauxhall Holiday Park. It also serves the railway station as well as the town centre and the Great Yarmouth seafront. Ryan informs me that 33423 SN60CAA should be out on the route tomorrow

My thanks go to Ryan for the regular supply of information

Friday 23 May 2014

Late Morning At The Beach

Sanders Coaches Dennis Javelin 1005 P767PCL
I was passing the town's Beach Coach Station at around 11 this morning and espied four coaches on site

All four were comparatively local examples with the first being from the Sanders fleet Plaxton Premiere bodied Dennis Javelin P767PCL

Next in the line up was West Row Coaches' DAF/Van Hool K797KRC. The Mildenhall based
K797KRC a member of the small West Row Coaches fleet
operator acquired the vehicle from Heartlands of Tamworth in early 2011

Dereham based Richards Coaches had parked up their Mercedes Benz Atego YN06WVU, a coach acquired from Gordon of Rotherham in June 2007

The final member of the quartet was Mil-Ken Travel's JAZ6948. The Volvo B12M was new in 2000 and earlier carried
the registration of X669ROF

With no tourers around, it is thought that today's horse race meeting had probably attracted the operators concerned

Latest From Caister Road

New arrival from First Leicester 32058 W218XBD
As reported yesterday evening, First Great Yarmouth has now received their fifth First Leicester Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL double-decker

Registered W218XBD, Ryan got a quick photo of 32058 in the rear yard of Caister Road depot yesterday. Unfortunately the sun wasn't quite playing ball as it cast a shadow of the garage roof outline on the bus!!

Dart SLF 42358 EY05FYP left Great Yarmouth for Lowestoft yesterday and was seen by Grahame Bessey in service on the 101 this morning

Olympian 34187 S687AAE is to be withdrawn following the end of duties on Friday and is expected to donate its gearbox to similar 34186 S686AAE

My thanks to Ryan and Grahame for the reports and to the former for the photo

Swift Re-Registration

Swift's AE07NZC with its new registration
Locally based Swift Taxis has re-registered one of the coaches in its fleet

Eurocoach (Bunbeg) bodied Mercedes Benz AE07NZC has recently received special number plate MW51WFT and was noted at Swift's Southtown yard this morning

Numbered 106 in the fleet, the coach appears to have lost its name Swift Falcon with preference being given to Swift Taxis web address

Thursday 22 May 2014

Twosomes and Newsflash

A quick visit to Great Yarmouth this lunch time saw me witness the departure of Olympian 34109 W436CWX on the 13:20 service 7 to Belton

The two Olympians with different body styles - 34108 has an Alexander Royale
body compared to 34187's Northern Counties Palatine II
With the Olympians out in force, I was hopeful of seeing at least one on the Bernard Matthews contract and my thoughts turned to getting a picture of two of them working it on the same day, as I had previously

However, after taking my place at Nelson Road Central, next to the coach station, I could see two Geminis heading towards me in the far distance. I just hoped that one of them was on service 1; but no they were both on contract work! For the record they were 37572 AU58ECW and 37576 AU58EDC

Not even meriting a photo, I drove over to the depot to see if any Olympians were there and I was rewarded with a second viewing of  34109. But the more interesting subjects were 34108 W435CWX and 34187 S687AEE standing shoulder to shoulder on the forecourt

Finally, Dart 42358 EY05FYP continued to work the service 2 this afternoon following a short break at lunchtime. It appears Great Yarmouth are getting the most out of it before the transfer to Lowestoft

My thanks to SteveW for spotting the 'deliberate mistakes'!

++++++ Latest News++++++
Grahame Bessey reports the arrival of another First Leicester ALX400 at Caister Road. 32058 W218XBD arrived  this afternoon

Last Day For EY05FYP?

EY05FYP on one of its regular routes - the 2 between the JPH and Barrack Estate
Regarding my earlier post that First Great Yarmouth's Dennis Dart 42358 EY05FYP is to transfer to Lowestoft today, it was still operating services in the Great Yarmouth area this morning

I observed the ex Jersey bus on the service 2 working the 10:15 Barrack Estate to the James Paget Hospital and the 11:12 return

I managed to get a pic of 42358 on Shrublands Estate in Gorleston returning to Great Yarmouth. The route was one of its regular duties

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Olympian Resurrection Due

Currently withdrawn S686AAE is to be resurrected in early June 
Following yesterday's post on the blog regarding the withdrawal of First Olympian 34187 S687SAE at the end of the month, Danny Beales has been in touch regarding the resurrection of another

He tells me via facebook that similar 34186 S686AAE is to return to active service in early June. Since its removal from duties it has been confined to the rear yard of the Caister Road depot

My thanks to Danny for the information and it is good to see another one back in service soon

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Latest News From Caister Road

Ryan, our contact at First's Caister Road depot, advises that two buses are to permanently transfer to Lowestoft later this week to enable the latter to operate new routes commencing this weekend

Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus 42358 EY05FYP leaves on Thursday, whilst Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 37562 FJ08FYN moves on Saturday

Its final days are numbered - Olympian 34187 S687AAE on 5th February 2014
Regarding First's two Routemasters 39623 NML623E is presently at Lansdowne Road depot in Norwich and 39480 JJD480D is undergoing an MOT

Another vehicle having an MOT is Plaxton Premier bodied Volvo B10M driver trainer 20122 P732NVG

Finally, the number of active Olympians is to be reduced with the withdrawal of Northern Counties Palatine bodied 34187 S687AAE at the end of the month

My thanks to Ryan for his constant updates

Monday 19 May 2014

Trident on the 61

Former Brighton & Hove T812RFG leaves the stand in Gorleston High Street
I was in Gorleston High Street around lunchtime today and saw one of Anglian's Dennis Tridents on the 61 service to Kessingland

The 13:30 from Great Yarmouth was being worked by one of the only two remaining 1999 registered double deckers in the Anglian fleet. The bus in question was 712 T812RFG

My thanks to SteveW for the tip off

Another Olympian in Lowestoft

A surprise on the 101 today was Great Yarmouth Olympian 34108 W435CWX
Another regular contributor, Syd Eade, informs me that First Lowestoft were using a Great Yarmouth Olympian on services this morning

Syd got his photo of 34108 W435CWX on the 101 route in Broadwaters Road whilst it was working the 08:16 from the bus station to Hollow Grove.

My thanks to Syd for the information and photos which retain his copyright
Coliseum Coaches Neoplan Tourliner WCR833 enjoying the sunshine yesterday
Tim On Tour 

Some of you may know that regular contributor Tim Miller is a volunteer driver for Beccles and Bungay Area Community Transport

Yesterday he took one of the group's minibuses over to Hoveton Hall in Norfolk where he was greeted
The BACT minibus and the Coliseum coach seen side by side
by a larger vehicle from Coliseum Coaches

The Southampton based company were employing Neoplan Tourliner  WCR833 on an outing from Kings Lynn

My thanks to Tim for the tweets and photos.

eastnorfolkbus can also receive your news via twitter. A photo will also be useful

Sunday 18 May 2014

Fire Damaged Solo AO57EXA

A057EXA at Ellough this morning. Photo Copyright Sam Larke - Norwich Buses Blog
Sam Larke paid a visit to Anglianbus Ellough depot earlier today and found the remainder of the fire damaged Solo 958 A057EXA there

Initially, as the bus was seen rear end first, he thought that he was looking at X228WRA which suffered similar fate in January last year - see report and photo HERE

It actually was 958 and with the damage being so severe the bus has been automatically withdrawn. It is alleged  that a turbo had overheated causing the fire.

My thanks to Sam for allowing me to use his photo

Friday 16 May 2014

34108 leads 34111 on the Bernard Matthews duties earlier this afternoon
Olympian Double

Two of First's Volvo Olympians appeared on this afternoon's Bernard Matthews contract workings

Leading the charge was 34108 W435CWX which had earlier worked the 12:50 Market Gates to Belton and the 13:16 return

Following close behind was 34111 W431CWX

Lowestoft Bus Changes

ADL Enviro 200 44928 EU08FHB at Lowestoft Bus Station 
First Eastern Counties has announced some changes to its services in and around Lowestoft commencing on Sunday May 25th

Service 99 The Kessingland service is being reintroduced and will operate at 20 minute intervals from Monday to Saturday and hourly on Sundays. Some peak hour journeys are numbered 99A operating via Pinbush Road on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

Service 101 Evening and Sunday 121 journeys will revert to a through service from Hollow Grove to Gunton and numbered 101. The main route in Gunton will also change, with Europa Road no longer being served. The 101 will use Hollingsworth Road and Harris Road instead.

Service 103 Peak hour journeys to South Lowestoft Industrial Estate are replaced by the new 99 journeys. There is no change to the main 103 service.

Service 122 Evening and Sunday journeys have been re-timed and diverted inbound along Fir Lane instead of Peto Way.

Service 123 There are changes to the route and timetable. It will operate hourly on evenings and Sundays to Carlton Colville, via Pakefield, Ribblesdale and Castleton Avenue (outbound). Inbound journeys operate along The Street.

Service X22 There will be two morning inbound journeys through the estates to Beccles at 0725 and 0930 and one outbound journey at 1315 which are extended through to Beccles, Monday to Friday only. However, there will be an increase in the frequency of the remaining part of the route (ie Long Road and Carlton Colville) from hourly to every 30 minutes between 0930 and 1400 in addition to the hourly 103.

With First's introduction of the 99 there will generally be a 20 minute frequency between Lowestoft and Pakefield. Services 99, 123 and 122 will be interworked to provide an hourly service on all these routes. Service 101 will operate as a stand-alone service, again with an hourly frequency.

Danny Beales, Operations Manager at Firsts Lowestoft depot, says: 'A number of these changes have been made following passenger feedback. The 99 service which serves Kessingland will be reintroduced and the frequency of some routes has been increased.These changes will also improve punctuality, helping to deliver a better journey for our passengers.'

Thursday 15 May 2014

Olympian on Rail Replacement

Olympian 34114 W434CWX on rail replacement in Norwich. Photo © Kieran Smith
SteveW texted me this morning to say that he was on the 'short set' hauled train about to leave Lowestoft at 10:57 for Norwich. Unfortunately it never left as the Somerleyton swing-bridge decided not to play ball!

As a result a rail replacement service was operated with First Volvo Olympian 34114 W434CWX summoned to carry out the duty

Fortunately Kieran Smith captured the arrival of 34114 in Norwich

My thanks to SteveW for alerting me to the rail replacement and to Kieran for his permission to use his photo which retains his copyright

Beccles Konects

Konect's 725 was transferred to Anglian in April and was on view today in Beccles
Regular contributor Tim Miller was passing the bus stops in the Old Market in Beccles when he saw a Konect liveried decker parked up.

It was one of the three East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Tridents recently transferred to Anglianbus. Decker 725 W825NNJ was being used as a restroom for drivers earlier this afternoon

My thanks to Tim for the report and photo

Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th May 2014

Marrett's Chariots Mercedes/Plaxton Cheetah YM55RTO
The Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner yesterday published the latest Notices and Proceedings Report on the Gov.UK website.

Publication No 2179 provides little of interest to the local area apart from the following

Cancellation of Existing Services

AFSC Limited, trading of Marrett's Chariots from The Old School in Aylmerton near Norwich has cancelled three services with effect from the 18th July 2014

  • Service 1A between North Walsham and Aylsham 
  • Service 12 between Cromer and Norwich
  • Service 14 between Cromer and Wymondham

Information source: Traffic Commissioner for the Eastern Traffic Area - Notices & Proceedings Report 2179 - published on 14th May 2014.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Our Bus DAF N482CEG heading for Great Yarmouth
Filby Sightings

After his report on Monday's Anglian Solo incident at Filby, Joe Leathers Watson thought he would return to the village to observe bus activity there

Here is the log of what he witnessed during yesterday morning:- 

Our Bus DAF/Plaxton Premiere N482CEG
Swift Taxis Volvo GLZ3141 Swift Ibis on its way to Flegg High in Martham
Great Yarmouth bound.

Swift Taxis Volvo B10M/Jonckheere GLZ3141 operating service 11 to Flegg High School.

Anglianbus Scania AN61BUS on the 68 route to Gorleston.

Reynolds Coaches Volvo B10M/Van Hool BEZ3139 on its way to Lingwood to operate service 3B to Acle Academy.

My thanks to Joe for the photos of the four workings but unfortunately I am unable to publish them all

Anglianbus Fleet Update

Anglian's Trident T813RFG has been withdrawn from service
Following our exclusive report on Optare Solo 958 AO57EXA catching fire at Filby on Monday afternoon, Anglian advises that it has been withdrawn.

Other news from Anglian is that East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Tridents 722 W822NNJ and 723 W823NNJ have joined the fleet from Konect.

Similar 713 T813RFG has been withdrawn. All three were new to another Go Ahead subsidiary, Brighton & Hove.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Olympians Out In Force Again

Olympian 34187 S687AAE on the 12:05 to the James Paget 
Hospital earlier today. Photo: Jamie Skinner
Many of the Volvo Olympians were out today with my mobile chirping away every time anyone saw one!

With Olympian 34111 W431CWX reported leaving Market Gates on the 12:50 service 7 to Belton, I decided to pick her up on the return journey at the Magdalen Arms. I almost gave up and took a President instead but then saw 34111 appearing in the far distance on Crab Lane

I stepped back and waited for the Olympian to arrive. As it stopped, I looked up to see if the front seat was taken. Looking down at me with a huge grin on his face was fellow blogger SteveW who had been on the run out to Belton

34111 W431CWX leads 33210 LT52WTR on the Bernard Matthews contracts
I took my seat beside him and we caught up on the latest news/ rumours circulating in the local bus scene

We then made our way to the Beach Coach Station to view the Bernard Matthews contracts. As in previous days, the Olympian off the 7 appeared on the workings, albeit with a different driver. Making up the numbers was President 32210 LT52WTR

W434CWX had appeared in Beccles on the 17:15 X2 service for Lowestoft and supplied a picture to prove the point
Olympian 34114 W434CWX appears in Beccles on the X2. Photo: Tim Miller
This evening Tim Miller tweeted that Lowestoft loanee 34114

My thanks to Jamie and Tim for the reports and photos and to Steve W for the company this afternoon

Swift Update

Swift 108 N962DWT Swift Kite with its VOR sign prominently displayed
Regular contributor Joe Leathers Watson provides the latest information on Swift Taxis' Great Yarmouth fleet

Two coaches at Swift's Southtown Road site have now had the dreaded VOR sign placed in their front windscreen

The VOR sign is displayed in a bus by either the company or VOSA (now DVSA) because it's either not
Recently available for disposal 111 P109WJO Swift Albatross also has a VOR
roadworthy or not seen as financially viable to repair. The traditional understanding is that vehicle is not available for work due to an unscheduled mechanical failure

The first vehicle affected is Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M N962DWJ which Swift acquired from National Holidays in August 2006

The other is blue liveried P109WJO currently advertised for sale by Swift. Accordingly its sale price has reduced from £9,995 to £6,995. The coach was purchased from Woodside Motors of Southey Green in Surrey during July 2007

Joe has supplied photos of the two vehicles at Swift's Southtown yard yesterday. My thanks to Joe for his report and photos

More Gorleston High Street Diversions

43862 EG52FGK works the 8 to the James Paget Hospital during January's diversion
First Eastern Counties are diverting buses away from Gorleston High Street in the evenings until Friday this week and also on Monday and Tuesday next week

This is due to the resurfacing of the High Street which will be closed to traffic between 18:00 and midnight each evening

Buses will be diverted via Church Lane and Church Road in both directions and passengers wishing to travel towards Yarmouth should board at the temporary stop on Church Road opposite the church.

Southbound buses towards Lowestoft, James Paget Hospital and Belton etc. will stop on Church Road near the church. Passengers for service 1 to Lowestoft can also use the stop outside the Tramway Public House on Lowestoft Road.

The High Street was also closed to buses in January this year when repairs were made to a water main in High Road

Ipswich Musings & Query

Following my report on day two of the Suffolk Made & Operated event at the EATM, James Long has been in contact

Ipswich Trolley No 2 in Christchurch Park in around 1980
'Having seen those super pix on your blog, you made comment about missing a ride on what was Ipswich Corporation no 24. She is a totally different animal to 21 GBJ192 which as you know is a stick box 7.7 AEC where as no 24 is 9.6 AEC with pre select box. She barks just like an 11.3 AEC but I have never been able to prove that! Nos 18 to 24 were monsters and were ridden by me many times.

Still to this day I don't know why my love for 'Counties' got the better of me; putting Ipswich Buses in 2nd place after the departure of the Trolleys.

1973 ECW bodied AEC Swift WEX690M at the Norfolk Showground in 1993
Haven't the Ipswich Transport Museum. guys done a fantastic job on trolley no 2? Here is a photo of her when she was brought back to static life by Ben Coopers at Claydon way back in the 70's. I think,a good job back then, but the boys have done the museum proud here. What with 105 as well, hats off to EM!!!.

Whilst on,any idea where Great Yarmouth 90 WEX690M is these days? I enclose a photo of her at Norfolk Showground; she looked good there.'

My thanks for the email and photos Jim. An internet search didn't reveal anything about the current location of 90; although one site included a photo of it but added that only two of the batch were saved for preservation and that 90 wasn't one of them!

Following my initial enquiry Neil Jordan asks 'Do you know what other AEC Swift is preserved, i know 85 is, but i saw the other one for sale years ago in a bus magazine.'

Can anyone provide information about WEX690M since its withdrawal or on the other unidentified preserved Swift?

Monday 12 May 2014

Anglian Bus Catches Fire - Updated Report

Anglian's Optare Solo AO57EXA with black smoke coming from the rear
The Great Yarmouth Mercury has just reported that one of Anglian's buses caught fire in Filby earlier this afternoon. The driver and all 22 passengers escaped without injury. The press report and photo is HERE

Since my initial posting I have been contacted by contributor Joe Leathers Watson who was in fact travelling on the bus at the time. Here is his report

'The bus in question was 958 AO57EXA, an Optare Solo, running the 68 from Gorleston to Rackheath and the precise location of the fire was at Croft Hill Farm, Filby.

What happened was passengers at the back first shouted down at the driver saying there is black smoke coming out of the back. The driver immediately stopped the bus and checked the rear and then ran back to evacuate all  passengers and got us all well of the way from the vehicle.

AO57EXA is now fully alight  with the fire crew now in attendance
Within moments of us being evacuated, thick smoke could be seen coming from the bus followed just 5 mins later with flames. 

The driver had already phoned the Anglianbus manager and the Great Yarmouth Fire Brigade, both of whom had a very fast response time. 

While it was being extinguished the bus started tripping out, as the screenwash activated itself together with the windscreen wipers;  it looked like a failed emergency feature

I was just glad that everyone was evacuated safely. I am very grateful to the Great Yarmouth Police and Fire Service for their swift response time and how they handled the situation. 

Anglianbus called out Mercedes Minibus RE56OUL in order to enable some passengers to complete their journey'

My thanks to Jamie Skinner for the heads up and to Joe Leather Watson for his report and photos

Lowestoft's PBJ2F Changes Ownership

One of the vehicles operating at this weekend's Suffolk Made & Operated event held at the East Anglia Transport Museum was former Lowestoft bus PBJ2F. A very proud Syd Eade contacted me last night with the following email:-

'Lowestoft Corporation Leyland Titan PD2/47 Number PBJ2F was first registered on 8th August 1967, I walked down into town and was the first, and only, passenger on her first run in service.

Ex Lowestoft Leyland Titan PBJ2F outside its old depot in Rotterdam Road
Withdrawn in 1977 she spent around 10 years in a scrap yard before being rescued for preservation. Only returned to the road a couple of years back, it was restored to a very high standard by Mick Betterton. Still 98 per cent original, PBJ2F attended quite a few rallys but was always a static exhibit.

Looking after number 12 was getting to much for Mick, and was
purchased last

PBJ2F outside the Tramway Hotel - the terminus of service1
weekend by myself, Daniel Peart and Richard Alger. Despite the damp weather number 12 was brought to the 'Suffolk Made or Operated' event at Carlton Colville. 

On Saturday 10th May she was taken back to her old Rotterdam Road depot for a photograph, then the 12th May was an important milestone as she proudly carried 

real passengers once
Two of the happy custodians, Syd Eade and Daniel Peart, pose in front of PBJ2F
more on a run into Lowestoft, the first people to travel on her in 37 years. On the return we paused outside the Tramway at Pakefield, the first terminus she operated to when new on service 1, with correct destination display of course.

As you can imagine we are all really pleased to have saved the bus leaving the area, and to make it available for use of historic free services. Richard was unfortunately too busy driving other free services to join us on the special runs, so we don't have a photo of all three of us yet, but from the big smiles here you can see Daniel and myself are really happy in our new roles of bus custodians.'

My congratulations on the new arrival Syd and thanks for the report and photos. Looking forward to a ride on her in the near future

Blue Bus in Beccles

Tim Miller records the arrival of Great Yarmouth AEX85B in Beccles yesterday
Regular contributor Tim Miller was on hand to record the arrival in Beccles of former Great Yarmouth Corporation Penine bodied AEC Reliance AEX85B

The visit was in connection with the East Anglia Transport Museum's shuttles between its Suffolk Made & Operated event and Beccles

The Reliance is seen in Beccles Old Market bus station yesterday - thanks Tim for the report and photos