Sunday 31 August 2014

Tom's Travels ~ London

Belle Coaches Setra MIL3503 on Victoria Embankment - in front of the London Eye 
Belle Coaches driver Tom Baker has been out on his travels again

Last Sunday's trip to Colchester Zoo was followed by an outing to London yesterday

Accompanied by a colleague, he took a group of around 48 Essex & Suffolk Water employees and their family members on a private hire to the capital for a spot of sight seeing utilising Setra MIL3503

My thanks to Tom for his report and photo

Thursday 28 August 2014

#tbt Throw Back Thursday

Four of the ten Olympians at Caister Road depot on  Sunday 10th February 2007 
Twitter users will be aware of the meaning of #tbt - for those not in the know it stands for throw back thursday which provides the excuse for uploading old photos

My contribution is a photo from 2007 showing four tri-axle Leyland Olympians outside Caister Road depot

They were four of a batch of ten LM class Olympian new to China Motor Bus during 1993

Subsequently transferred to Britain in 2004, they were re-registered in the K480-9EUX range; K480 was 30106 in the First fleet with K481-9 receiving consecutive fleet numbers from 30097 to 30105

For a few years they operated in the Glasgow area and were subsequently delivered to Great Yarmouth from Rotherham after being painted in Barbie 3 livery.

They still had evidence of their First Glasgow heritage which was visible in the form of stars on the destination boxes and windscreen stickers - which can just be discerned on 30101 in my photo

K481EUX was the only one of the ten to survive and is now in preservation with its original colours of blue and white and delivered registration of FW3858

Wednesday 27 August 2014

X1 Olympian

Jamie Skinner contacted me by email earlier this morning to say he was at Market Gates when the his X1 bus arrived

At around 8:30 he saw Volvo Olympian 34114 W434CWX heading towards him to work the service

He also tweeted pictures of the interior prior to his arrival at Norwich Bus Station, which can be viewed on the eastnorfolkbus twitter feed on the left of this web page

Following arrival, he alighted and immediately took a photo of 34114 which he forwarded via twitter

Thanks Jamie for the email, tweets and photos
Seasonal Rarity

First's seasonal service, between Hemsby Beach and Great Yarmouth's Vauxhall Holiday Park, is usually the preserve of the double deckers

Imagine Jamie Skinner's surprise when a single decker turned up to provide the service.

Not any ordinary saloon but a First Yorkshire one at that!

The Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown 60622 R785WKW was captured by Jamie operating the route during yesterday afternoon

My thanks to him for the report and supporting photo

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Bank Holiday Weather!

The British love to talk about the weather and this Bank Holiday Monday was a wash out with rain in place for most, if not all, of the day!

However, Sunday was a better (drier!) day and Belle Coaches took fifty people on an outing to Colchester Zoo using their Setra LIL9457

Driver Tom Baker supplies a photo of the coach at the venue - thanks Tom

Bits & Pieces

SN60CAA in Market Gates on 11th March 2014
A bits and pieces post on the blog this morning....

Firstly, the news that the star of the fleet, ADL Trident / Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA, is to be repainted into the X1 livery has been confirmed

A shame as it really does stand out in its current colours - which provides me with another excuse for a photo of 33423 in its present guise!

It is understandable considering that the service needs to reflect the corporate image for the route

Two First Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipses are to be similarly treated

Operationally, regular correspondent Jim Long tells me that former Yarmouth X1 stalwart 20515 WV02EUR was on rail replacement at Ipswich during yesterday morning. With over running engineering work today it is expected that more buses were in position this morning too

Finally, thanks to a great report by our friends at Norwich Buses, it is understood that some Volvo Olympians are expected from Bolton to operate local Bernard Matthews contracts

My thanks to Danny Beales, Jim Long and Norwich Buses blog

Monday 25 August 2014

66957 Arrives At Ipswich

66957 awaits departure time outside St Andrews Church, Gorleston in February 2009
Regular contributor Jim Long reports that, much to his surprise, First's Volvo B7RLE 66957 arrived at Ipswich at sometime during yesterday morning

Unfortunately Jim was unable to get a photo of WX55TZU as the vehicles were parked too close together

He speculates that 'she will be whisked off to Rotherham asap as her wrap looks worse for wear'

As Jim reminds me, 66957 did spend some time based at Great Yarmouth and I dug up this picture of an X1 working on 10th February 2009

My thanks for the information Jim

Sunday 24 August 2014

Eastern Transport Collection Rally 2014

32479 AU53HJV or VA479 as she is now known
An invite from First Business Manager Chris Speed to go down to Ipswich and collect recently refurbished Volvo B7TL 32479 and attend the ETC Rally was an opportunity not to be waived, we set off around 7.30am, collected the bus and headed back north to Old Buckenham Airfield.

Around 25 Vehicles in attendance with only First having vehicles on show from current local operators. Yarmouth depot supplied Enviro 33423 and Routemaster 39623 plus 32479 of course!

Winner of Best Vehicle AJN825
Plenty of familiar faces had also made the trip with most local bloggers attending making it quite a nice social event also.

The trophy for best vehicle on the day went to Westcliff On Sea AJN825 which had made the trip from Essex.

Lowestoft Corporation Leyland PBJ2F made the trip in the hands of new owners Syd Eade, Richard Algar and Daniel Peart and looked in fine condition in the August sunshine.

Lowestoft 12 PBJ 2F
Eastern Counties were well represented with various types of preserved vehicles mixing with members of the current fleet including Bristol VR GNG710N which wears 1977 Silver Jubilee livery and open topper OCK995K which is currently in use with Carlton Colville Transport Museum.
Jim Long caught us on the A14 showing a special destination!

Overall a very enjoyable day catching up with old friends and meeting a few new faces, even bumping into a friend who had actually flown his own plane into the airfield from London!
Plenty of photos were taken and will be up on my Flickr site in the next few days.

Finally, Thanks to Chris Speed for arranging the use of 32479 and to all the members of the ETC for a great day.

Next Stop Duxford and Showbus!!


Dart 43489

Dart 43489 R689DPW at Foundation Street complete with sticker
Since yesterday's post regarding the reference to Lowestoft's Dart 43489 migrating to Ipswich, I have had a number of messages regarding its future

Regular Jim Long found R689DPW in the west yard at Foundation Street on Friday and managed to get a picture of the Dart there

He continues '43489 will venture off to Clacton 
ADL Enviro200 YX09ACZ in Belmont Road, Ipswich
at some point next week,whereby she will "hopefully" be exchanged with the long awaited 44516 YX09ACY to make up the quartet 44516-9'

David Warren confirms this by stating that he observed a sticker on the windscreen saying 'Transfer to Clacton' and if you enlarge Jim's photo you can clearly see the said sticker

Heritage liveried AU53HJV shows Routemaster NML623E the way to Felixstowe
The twosome are pictured in Cobham Road in Ipswich
Jim also confirms that all three of the foursome already transferred have received the local livery and supports that by providing a photo of 44518 YX09ACZ in Belmont Road heading for the town centre

Jim completes his report by sending a photo of ALX 32479 AU53HJV, in its new heritage livery as VA479, leading Routemaster 39623 NML623E on last Sunday's special working to Felixstowe

My thanks to Jim Long for the photos and report. I am also grateful for the comments from David Warren and SteveW regarding the Dart

Saturday 23 August 2014

Olympian Returns

Olympian 34108 W435CWX in rear yard on 20th August
First Great Yarmouth's active Olympian fleet now numbers five again following the recent availability of 34108

I observed W435CWX in the rear yard at the Caister Road site earlier in the week and it now appears that the gearbox problem has now been fixed making it available for service

Meanwhile, Toby Pearson tells me that Lowestoft's Plaxton Pointer bodied Dart 43489 R689DPW has moved down the A12 to Ipswich

My thanks to Toby for the report

Friday 22 August 2014


Former London Country TPD118X promoting a trading card game at the Market Place
An unusual visitor arrived in Great Yarmouth Market Place earlier this morning

It was former London Country Leyland Olympian LR18, TPD118X which was seen promoting the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game

The bus, which had its front entrance door removed in favour of a centre door, has been used on other promotional work including a mobile clinic

My thanks to Tim Miller for the report and photo

Thursday 21 August 2014

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th August 2014

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

It contains little of interest regarding local services apart from an application from Ourhire Limited of Englands Road, Acle to establish an operating centre in Norwich Road, Burlingham with an authorisation for ten vehicles

The complete publication can be viewed on the website by clicking HERE

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ipswich Loanee In Service

First Yorkshire 60622 R785WKW on service 8 at Beaconsfield Road earlier today
As reported elsewhere, First Yorkshire Volvo B10BLE Wright Renown 60622, officially on loan to First Ipswich, has been sent to Great Yamouth to operate services

R785WKW was again in use this morning being employed on the 8s between Caister's Marram Drive and Gorleston's James Paget Hospital

Meanwhile, the four active Volvo Olympians 34109/11/4/86 were all in use today with the first and last mentioned being seen on route 8

I also noted 34108 parked up in the rear yard at Caister Road depot looking sorry for itself minus it's front radiator grille. However, it has been confirmed that the bus has not been withdrawn

New Arrivals for Reynolds

AW53GAU  Lady Jodie
Reynolds of Caister have welcomed no less than four new arrivals.

Two Plaxton Profile bodied coaches have arrived in the shape of AW53GAU/GAX.

AW53GAU has been named Lady Jodie and as you can see from the photo looks very smart in her Silver livery.

BIG8793 Awaiting her vinyls
Also Two Mercedes Benz, Plaxton Cheetah minicoaches have been aquired, EG52HBB is in full livery and named Lady Violeta whilst BIG8793 is awaiting her lettering to be added.

Unfortunately details of their previous owners are unavailable.

Some of Reynolds fleet are still up for sale on the companies website.

A very impressive Fleet at Caister now it has to be said.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Caister Road Update

34108 departs Market Gates for Belton on 28th May
Ryan has provided the latest update from First's Caister Road depot

The latest Olympian news is that 34108 W435CWX is out of service with gearbox problems and is parked in the rear yard. Sister 34114 W434CWX is undergoing inspection repairs

Two Enviro400s are out of service; 33807 YX63LJN has gearbox issues whilst 33822 YX63LKM has an engine problem

Regarding the Presidents, 32201 LT52WTF is due an MOT and 32210 LT52WTR has no power. Meanwhile ALX400 32064 W224XBD is awaiting a new gearbox

A second Volvo B10BLE is to be converted into a training bus with 60808 S659RNA heading north for a refurbishment and repaint

Finally both Dart 43481 R681DPW and Gemini 37564 AU58ECC have returned off loan to Lowestoft

My thanks to Ryan for the information which retains copyright

Swift Update

Swift's Autosan BV57MTJ is now available for disposal
Joe Leathers-Watson has provided an update as regards local operator Swift Taxis

Firstly, Autosan 67 seater BV57MTJ is now listed for sale on the Route One trader website, which brings the operator's overall coach fleet size down to four.

Joe also says that upon viewing the Norfolk County Council's website, he saw that Swift had lost all, bar one, of its school contracts

Most, if not all of Swift's old Great Yarmouth Flegg High School contracts, have been won by Our Bus

Swift's sole remaining contract is that serving Broadland High School in Wroxham.

Many thanks to Joe for the information

Saturday 16 August 2014

Wedding Belles

Two of First's double deckers were seen providing transport for two weddings in Great Yarmouth earlier today

I observed Routemaster 39480 JJD480D on wedding duty heading south along Great Yarmouth's Western Bypass just after lunchtime this afternoon

The other bus was photogenic 33423 SN60CAA heading into Bradwell eastbound on Beccles Road at around 6:10 this evening

A nice touch was the destination screen proclaiming 'Ali and Paul's Wedding Party'

Photo courtesy of Tim Miller

ETC Annual Bus Rally

Next Sunday, 24th August, sees the Eastern Transport Collection hold their annual bus rally at Old Buckenham Airfield

Two vehicles expecting to attend are former Lowestoft Corporation Leyland PD2 PBJ2F,  and First Norfolk and Suffolk Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA

Some of the buses in attendance will be operating the free bus service between the venue and Attleborough via the railway station

See the attached timetable for the rail and bus connections and click on the image to view it full size

The rally starts at 10 am

My thanks to Syd Eade for the photo and timetable

Friday 15 August 2014

Unusual Workings

First Lowestoft 37564 on the X1 to Great Yarmouth this afternoon
A couple of unusual workings were noted in the Gorleston area this afternoon

The first of note was the use of a Lowestoft X2 Gemini on the X1 service to Great Yarmouth

The 14:20 from the Suffolk town was worked by 37564 AU58ECC and was captured on film on Church Lane in Gorleston

Meanwhile Lowestoft's Dennis Dart 43481 R681DPW was observed on the service 7 15:50 Market Gates to Belton on Crab Lane.

Apparently both were on loan from Lowestoft

Thursday 14 August 2014

Local Observations

OJI4755 passes Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre earlier this afternoon
With business to attend to in both Gorleston and Great Yarmouth this afternoon, I managed to keep dry by dodging the showers to successfully complete my errands!

Whilst at the later, I looked in at Gorleston Beach to find a largish queue waiting for the Belle Coaches shuttle bus to Hopton's Haven Holiday Park

After a few minutes of lurking locally, I was lucky to get a shot of
Ipswich Buses OmniDekka 62 PJ54YZV
Van Hool bodied Scania 19 OJI4755 passing the Gorleston Pavilion Theatre on Pier Gardens

Continuing my journey, I looked in at Beach Coach Station and observed around twenty vehicles present with an Ipswich Buses decker towering above the coaches

It was Scania N94UD/ East Lancs OmniDekka 62 PJ54YZV on an excursion from its home town

Other local coaches present included Spratts Irisbus Eurorider L600KAT, Simonds Volvo B10M 2091PW and D&H Harrod's Volvo B12M N16DHH

The touring coaches comprised Shearings Setra 221 BF10VCO and National Holidays Volvo B12M/ Plaxton Panther NH06BEH

Tuesday 12 August 2014

EATM ~ End Of Season Gala

Whilst you may have noticed it on our twitter feed and facebook site, I would just like to remind you that the East Anglia Transport Museum at Carlton Colville is holding its End of Season Gala on the weekend of 6th and 7th September

All available trams, trolleybuses, buses and locomotives will be operating an intensive service on both days

As usual free regular bus services from Lowestoft and Beccles will operate to the museum with timetables displayed on the museum's website

There will also be free vintage bus tours of historic Lowestoft and its museums

On Saturday evening you will be able to experience the museum by lamplight with after dark operations under way including evening running of bus services

The event, sponsored by anglianbus and konectbus, is open between 1pm and 9pm on Saturday and from 10:30am to 5pm on Sunday

Eastnorfolkbus will be there and will bring you reports and photos from the event

My thanks to Reg Vardy for the poster - to enlarge it please click on the image

Monday 11 August 2014

Anglianbus Changes

As already alluded to in my post of 24th July, Anglianbus is making changes to its bus network commencing 1st September 2014

The operator has published further details on its website of the local services affected which are as follows

53 Hoveton - Wroxham - Dussindale - Norwich - Tuckswood service is to be transferred to sister company konectbus.

53A & 53B Woodbastwick/ Rackheath - Broadland High School service has also been transferred to konectbus

60 Beccles - Lowestoft - James Paget Hospital
Revised timetable with simplified departure times from Lowesoft with school variations on some journeys removed. On Monday to Friday the 1017 and 1307 arrivals at James Paget Hospital (0905 and 1205 from Beccles) will continue to Great Yarmouth as service 63 - providing a through link.

63 Cobholm - Great Yarmouth - Hemsby is extended past Cobholm to James Paget Hospitalwith a revised timetable to improve punctuality.

88 Southwold - Halesworth - Bungay - Norwich has had its timetable amended during the afternoons

88A Southwold - Halesworth has its 1500 departure brought forward by ten minutes

BR001 Southwold - Sir John Leman Schools service is withdrawn

For further details of these and other alterations including timetables please visit the News Section of the Anglianbus website

Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th August 2014

A belated post on the Eastern Area Traffic Commissioner's latest Notices and Proceedings Report which was published on the Gov.UK website on 6th August 2014

Variation Applications Granted

BorderBus Limited has been given authorisation to increase the number of vehicles operating from its Moor Business Park premises in Beccles to fourteen

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice

Great Yarmouth's Ambassador Travel is to introduce three new schools services from 1st September 2014
  • 1 Great Yarmouth to Cliff Park High School via Ormiston Venture Academy
  • 2 Burgh Castle to Cliff Park High School via Ormiston Venture Academy
  • 3 Belton to Cliff Park High School via Ormiston Venture Academy

Applications to Vary Existing Services

First Eastern Counties is to amend the routes and timetables of the following services from 31st August 2014 
  • 65 between Ipswich Rail Station and Aldeburgh Fort Green
  • 64/64X between Ipswich Rail Station and Aldeburgh Fort Green
  • 103 Lowestoft Bus Station to Lowestoft Bus Station
Also changes to the following routes from 21st September 2014
  • 12/12A to amend route, stopping places and timetable between Stalham and Wroxham
  • 14/14A/15/15A to amend timetable between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood

Southwold Town Council is to amend the Southwold Shuttle from 16th July 2014 to relect no service between 21st December 2014 and 4th January 2015 

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice

Our Hire is to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of its Our Bus 808 Acle route from 4th September 2014 

Cancellations of Existing Services

First Eastern Counties is to cease operating its X22 service between Lowestoft Bus station from 31st August 2014 - this is being replaced by an improved 111 service

The full details of Publication No 2185 of can be viewed in full HERE

Sunday 10 August 2014

Norwich Quick Visit

Freestones YN08JBX on a Megabus working to London Victoria
A visit Norwich yesterday saw me with little time to spare to witness some bus activity

However, during the short period of time at my disposal I observed some interesting workings

On entering the bus station I noted Megabus liveried Freestone Scania K340/ Iriza YN08JBX on
National Express Volvo B9R FJ11GKP about to exit the bus station
the delayed 13:10 Norwich to London M16 service

Whilst I had seen many Megabus workings in the past this was my first opportunity to get a photo of one!

Less than twenty minutes later, National Express SR164 FJ11GKP arrived. The former Flights and Go North East Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante
BorderBus Enviro200 BB62BUS on the 146 to Southwold
appeared to be running ahead of schedule on a service from the capital

I continued my walk down to St Stephen's Street in the hope of seeing something worthwhile there

There didn't appear to be much worth taking a photo of until I saw Borderbus Enviro200 BB62BUS hiding at the bus stop amongst some First Norwich
Konectbus Gemini 510 LB02YWX at Castle Meadow with passengers boarding

Two of  the five Konectbus Volvo B7TL Wrightbus Eclipse Geminis, recently acquired from Go Ahead London, were seen in service

510 LB02YWX was noted on Castle Meadow heading for Costessey on the 5 whilst 514 LB02YXF was on 601 Thickthorn Park and Ride duties

Wedding Bells

39623 awaits the journey to St. Nicholas Church
Saturday afternoon saw First Routemaster NML623E employed on a Wedding Hire.

The Bus was driven by Yarmouth Depot manager Danny Beales with a little assistance from yours truly when it came to parking the bus inside the grounds of St Nicholas Church!

Awaiting the Wedding party in the grounds of the Church

The bus transported members of the wedding party to the reception along the seafront and it has to be said that holidaymakers certainly noticed the ex London icon as she passed by.


Saturday 9 August 2014

Gearbox Problem

32064 W224XBD pictured by Grahame Bessey in June 
Ryan reports that ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32064 W224XBD is currently out of action awaiting repairs to its gearbox

Something yet to be reported on the blog, is the refurbishment and repainting of the front of the Caister Road depot which was undertaken during late July

The finished product is shown in our new header above

Thanks again to Ryan for the report

More on CAP229 ~ Updated

CAP229 parked up at Ipswich depot - Copyright Jim Long
Contributor Tim Major, who is an active member of the East Anglia Transport Museum, has been in touch concerning the feature on former Brighton and Eastern Counties open topper CAP229

He tells me that the ECW bodied Bristol K5G was, at one time, a temporary resident at the museum's Carlton Colville site when then owned by the Ipswich Coach Company

He thinks that was in the 1970's following a spell at Ben Jordan's yard with a bird's nest in the top of the radiator

CAP229 is now in the care of the Claude Jesset Trust with an article on its restoration featuring in the Old Glory magazine a few months ago

The upper deck roof is currently in the course of restoration

Jim Long confirms the Ipswich Coach Company ownership and can remember Eastern Counties' Philip Eden (now at Konectbus) bringing it back into the fold after an agreement with the former company

CAP229 was parked up at Ipswich for some time and Jim can remember assisting in towing it to the Eastern Transport Collection premises in the early 1990's along with Eastern Counties OT3

My thanks to both Tim and Jim for the additional information

Friday 8 August 2014

More Ipswich Charcoal

66950 In Bridgewater Road, Ipswich
Another ex Great Yarmouth vehicle has gained the new Ipswich colours in the shape of 66950 WX55TZM.

Jim Long has kindly sent me photos of her in action on her return from repaint at Rotherham.


Memories Of CAP229

CAP229 in Cremorne Lane Works in 1963 - Copyright Jim Long
Contributor Jim Long's memory was well and truly jogged when I posted my report on the Worthing Bus Rally

Jim takes up the story

CAP229 with Brighton & Hove in the 1950s - W J Haynes Collection
'I recall my trip to Norwich on the 13th April 1963 when, as per usual with our trips to Norwich, I would call in at Eastern Counties Central Works in Cremorne Lane

What a workshop they had, as there wasn't anything they couldn't do on the premises

That morning we came across two Bristol K5G open toppers from Brighton Hove still in their livery.

CAP229 was the one we were able to photograph, sorry about the size as it's on one of those 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch negatives that you had a job to get a postcard size with!

I also found a shot of her when with Brighton as a closed top bus which came from W J Haynes of Lewisham in 1963. Mr Haynes offered a postal service from a printed list of his photo's'

Thanks for the memory and the super up to date shot of CAP229'

Jim also identifies the other K5G open topper in the works that day as CAP221. As to its subsequent history, all I can find is a report on this website which indicates it has fared worse than its sister

Thursday 7 August 2014

Worthing Bus Rally ~ Photo Special

The oldest vehicle at the rally was former Southdown Leyland Titan TD1 UF6805
After sorting through, labelling and cropping more than sixty photos I am pleased to bring you a report of the Worthing Bus Rally, at long last!

As you will have seen from the taster that Ipswich Corporation Park Royal bodied AEC Regent 24 EPV24 flew the flag for this area

The event, held on the warm and sunny day of the 27th July attracted a large number of vehicles with buses
Many former London Transport buses attended including ex Metroline NML620E
from the former Southdown and London Transport fleets dominating the displays

The oldest example of the former fleet was UF4813 which came from the Amberley Chalk Pits Museum where it is on loan. The preserved Southdown 813 is a 1929 Leyland Titan TD1 with Brush O27/24RO bodywork. The halfcab is unique in that it has been owned by Southdown / NBC / Stagecoach from new

Former Brighton and Eastern Counties open topper CAP229
Of the latter, I have chosen my photo of  London Routemaster NML620E. It shows RML2620 in the guise of one of it's last London operators Metroline. The bus was new in May 1967 being allocated to Aldenham garage. It ended its life at Kings Cross outstation before being acquired for preservation in March 2004

1958 AEC Reliance 390DKK from the Maidstone & District fleet
Many open top buses were displayed and the one catching my attention was former Brighton, Hove & District Bristol K5G CAP229 with an Eastern Coachworks body. After more than twenty years service, it moved to Eastern Counties Omnibus Company in December 1962 where it was given fleet number LKO397

It was taken out of service in 1967 and was
Leyland Titans BJK672D and DHC782E from the former Eastbourne Corporation 
sold to dealer Ben Jordan of Coltishall in March of the following year. There it stayed for a further seven years prior to being acquired for preservation

Of personal interest was the livery carried by former Maidstone & District AEC Reliance 390DKK. I can remember many of the Maidstone fleet arriving in Great Yarmouth on summer Saturdays in
Thamesdown's Wright StreetLite WX12GDY
the 1960s wearing this livery

Many other preserved buses from operators local to the area were represented including two colourful Leyland Titans from Eastbourne Corporation - 72 BJK672D and 82 DHC782E

Among those buses displayed currently in service was Thamesdown's Wright StreetLite 413 WX12GDY from Swindon
Overland Travel's Leyland National SP30 KJD530P

A local operator I was unaware of from my many trips down south was Overland Travel

The Littlehampton (the town is known locally as LA!) based operator sent along two former London Transport Leyland Nationals KJD530P and BYW382V which still retain their SP fleet numbers!

Compass Bus Dennis Trident T184CLO - new to Metroline
Finally, Worthing based Compass Bus was displaying their recently acquired Dennis Trident/ Alexander ALX400 T184CLO purchased new by Metroline

I hope you have enjoyed the photos of the wide variety of vehicle types, operators and their liveries

These and ther pics taken on the day featured in the 2014 Worthing Bus Rally album on our Flickr site 

First Lowestoft Changes

First Eastern Counties has announced a number of changes to Lowestoft services from Sunday, August 31.

Service X2
  • Most journeys are retimed 5 minutes later throughout so that X1 and X2 can share the same stand in Norwich with 10 minutes between most departures. 
  • Additional journey from Beccles to Lowestoft at 0745 to increase presence and replace 0727 X22 (runs similar times from Worlingham to Lowestoft). This becomes the current 0810 Pakefield to Lowestoft.
  • Saturday PM peak mirrors Monday to Friday from Norwich (every 20 minutes to 1755) to cater for football traffic and shoppers.
  • School holiday timetable is to operate all year round.

Service X22 - 111
  • The X22 is renumbered to 111.
  • Saturday timetable is amended to mirror Monday to Friday at 15/45 ex Lowestoft until 1415 then hourly from 1500. This gives 3 buses per hour to Carlton Colville in the mornings.

Service 99
Minor changes only to late pm journeys. The service has been retimed by 5 minutes to fit in with bus workings and coordinate with X2 departures where possible.

Service 101
The 101 will see the frequency reduced to every 20 minutes.

Service 103
The 103 will run between 0900-1700 only to provide an hourly service from Carlton Colville via Pakefield.

First say that these changes have been made in response to feedback with customers benefiting from a better frequency on the X2 on Saturday afternoons

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Routemaster To Run In Ipswich

First East of England issued the following press release earlier today

Bus passengers in Ipswich will be able to take a nostalgic trip back in time this summer when an iconic Routemaster enters service in the town.

To mark the Celebrate Ipswich Festival, a First Eastern Counties’ AEC Routemaster will run on the 77 service from Ipswich to Felixstowe on Sunday, August 17.

This is the first time the Routemaster will run on service in Ipswich. It will leave the Old Cattle Market at 1030 and arrive in Felixstowe, outside the Landguard Visitor Centre at 1125. It will then depart for Ipswich town centre at 1131.

Chris Speed, Business Manager for First Eastern Counties, said: “We are thrilled that the Routemaster will be running on service to mark the Celebrate Ipswich Festival. We chose the 77 service as it is one of our oldest, most established routes and it seemed fitting for our heritage vehicle.

“I hope as many people as possible manage to ride the Routemaster – it is usually reserved for private hire and special occasions. Our vintage vehicles are very popular – passengers love to travel on them and our drivers love driving them.”

The iconic bus is celebrating its diamond anniversary this year. The first Routemaster prototype was built in 1954 and they entered service in 1956 before they were withdrawn in 2005. More than 2,800 Routemasters were built, fewer than half of which are still in existence.

First will also run its modern retro-liveried bus which will duplicate the journey.

My thanks to Lucy Wright at First East of England