Friday 28 November 2014

Déjà vu in Lowestoft

Ambassador Travel's FJ09DXA London bound
Ever had that feeling that you have seen it all before?

That certainly was very much the situation at Lowestoft Bus Station earlier this afternoon where I witnessed a Great Yarmouth theme!

As I arrived, Great Yarmouth based Ambassador Travel's Scania K340EB4/ Caetano Levante FJ09DXA pulled up to the Gordon Road stand to get ready to begin the 13:05 National Express 491 service to London Victoria
Former Great Yarmouth Caetano Nimbus 42358 EY05FYP on a Lowestoft town service in Gordon Road
The Great Yarmouth connection continued with the arrival of former Caister Road stalwart 42358 EY05FYP on an unidentified town service. A regular in Great Yarmouth on First's service 2, the Caetano bodied Dennis Dart had transferred to Lowestoft during May this year
Recently transferred from Great Yarmouth 43862 EG52FGK retains the Great Yarmouth fleet names
Another ex Yarmouth 'Slim Jim' was noted exiting the bus station on the 99 to Kessingland. 43862 EG52FGK had only recently moved south from the Norfolk town
To complete the experience current Great Yarmouth loanee Dart/ALX200 42921 EU05AUN departed with the 103 service to Carlton Colville

It was very much a case of déjà vu!

Great Yarmouth Transport Feature

Former Great Yarmouth Corporation Leyland PD2 EX6566 which is now a
resident at the East Anglia Transport Museum. Due for its mot next week!
Welcome to Black Friday!

Today is anything but black, although it does seem to be taking a long time for daylight to arrive on the east coast!

Friday means the publication of the local weekly newspaper the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Contained in this week's issue is 'Peggotys' full page report on the arrival of the new StreetLites and a look at the history of local buses

Page 8 has contributions from Colin White, Eastern Transport Collection's Joint News Editor, and Ray Allard of Bradwell. The article also mentions East Norfolk Bus Blog (fame at last!) and includes photos of local buses

There is also a seperate Great Yarmouth Mercury online report on the £1.75 million investment in the new buses, which can be accessed HERE

Thursday 27 November 2014

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th November 2014

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

Whilst recent previous reports contained little of interest, Publication No 2193 contains changes to local services in our area and notice of a new application being granted

Bus & Us owned Routemaster RML 2321 CUV321C in Holt
New Applications Granted

Melton Constable based Bus and Us Limited have been given approval for the use of Vicarage Farm at Briston as an operating centre for one vehicle

Applications to Vary Existing Services

Anglian Bus has given notice of amendments to the timetables of its 86 service, between Beccles and Norwich Bus Station, and the 87/88 route, between Durban Close, Halesworth and Newmarket Road, Norwich. Changes are effective from 5th January 2015

B R Shreeve and Sons, trading as Belle Coaches, is to amend the route and timetable of its LT179 schoolday service between Gorleston and Norwich commencing from 5th January 2015

Konect Bus of Dereham is to amend the timetables of two routes serving the Sheringham area. The changes to service 2, between Norwich and Sheringham, and the 2A, between Sheringham and Holt, will start from the 5th January 2015

Cancellations of Existing Services

Anglian Bus is cancelling the operation of its 93 school day service between Oulton Broad and Langley School, Loddon from 5th January 2015

The complete Notice and Proceedings Report can be viewed on the website by clicking HERE

Many thanks to The_ Reviewer for his/her assistance

Wednesday 26 November 2014

Former First Volvo On ebay - UPDATED

A former First Essex Volvo B10M has become available for purchase

Plaxton bodied N608APU is currently being advertised on ebay at a price of £6,995

Thamesway, then part of the Badger Group, took delivery of the coach as part of a batch of 19 for 'City Saver' express services between London and Southend via Lakeside

Whilst the majority of the batch moved on to First Eastern Counties, 20108 remained with First Thamesway. In January 2004 it went on extended loan to First Wyvern for use on school contracts.

However, by June of that year N608APU had found employment with First Devon and Corwall. In late 2008, following a couple of years of inactivity in the reserve fleet, the Volvo lost its corporate First livery in favour of all over white and received the registration of WSV509

Earlier this year it passed to Blueline Travel of Rochford who had acquired it from Munden of Bristol in part exchange for former Ipswich Olympian H705PTW

Update: It has just been reported on the First Essex Yahoo Group that N608APU has been sold to Worthen Motors of Shrewsbury

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Latest Reports

Olympian W434CWX still sees regular use
outside its Bernard Matthews contract work
Over the last twenty four hours I have received a couple of reports of workings from our regular contributors

Firstly Jamie Skinner provides evidence that the Volvo Olympians still see regular use in addition to their Bernard Matthews contract duties

This morning he saw 34114 W434CWX on an East Norfolk Sixth Form College relief working to the James Paget Hospital. Although it doesn't show on the photo, it was showing service 1 on its destination screen

The second report comes from Syd Eade who saw erstwhile Great Yarmouth  Dennis Dart SLF 42921 EU05AUN on the 14:10 X2 service from Norwich to Lowestoft. It has been some time since Syd had seen a Dart on that route. It is understood that the former First Essex saloon is on loan from Great Yarmouth to cover additional Bernard Matthews duties

My thanks go to both Jamie and Syd for the reports and to the former for his photo

Monday 24 November 2014

New Anglianbus Terminus?

Intense activity at the 'Beccles Tesco Terminus' this morning
Reports are coming in this morning that a 'new Anglianbus terminus' has been established in Beccles!

Our intrepid reporter Tim Miller reports on a period of intense activity from the scene, with three of Anglians' buses being drafted in to cope with the unexpected rush

In attendance were Scania Omnidecker 550 AO57EZM, Dennis Trident 725 W825NNJ and Optare Solo 904 MX53FDM

My thanks to Tim for the report and photo  .........  cue the tumble-weed!

Saturday 22 November 2014

StreetLite Mystery Tour!

As highlighted in yesterday's report, one of First Great Yarmouth's new StreetLite sextet was not in revenue earning service

Instead 47504 SN64CPY paid a visit to Norwich to ferry new recruits around the area with First Business Manager Chris Speed in charge of the mystery tour!

I was fortunate that one of the new recruits recorded the event and here's his photo of 47504 with Chris at the controls

The bus is seen at Norwich's Lansdowne Road Depot and I can't help thinking that the destination is a little bit over the top !

The photo is courtesy of C Hardy and my thanks to him for his permission to use it

Latest First Norwich Repaint UPDATED

The next Norwich repaint to report is 33060 LN51GJU.

Jim Long has been on the ball today and captured her looking a bit different to yesterday's photo.

What a difference a day makes! It is now complete with First lettering and Pink relief, note the Red fleetnames!

Many Thanks to Jim for use of his photos.

Friday 21 November 2014

Now In Use

As you will have seen from the previous post, three of the four remaining StreetLites entered revenue earning service today. So here are photos of the trio seen in Gorleston High Street this morning

47503 SN64CPX on the 2 to Barrack Estate
47505 SN64CPZ heads off to Burgh Castle
47506 SN64CRF returns from Bradwell on service 6

First Great Yarmouth Update

I have been reliably informed by two sources that all of Great Yarmouth's new Wright StreetLites will be available for service today, with the exception of 47504 SN64CPY (not 47505 as previously stated)

Their availability for service means that transfers away will inevitably occur and the first to leave is 43862 EG52FGK which has permanently moved down the A12 to Lowestoft. Others are expected to follow in a few days

Caetano bodied Dennis Dart SLF 43862 EG52FGK outside Caister Road depot in June last year
Talking of Lowestoft, their Dennis Dart SLF 43481 R681DPW paid a visit to Caister Road for repairs, only to be returned without any work being carried out - being deemed to be in a poor state of repair!

Many of you will wonder what the latest situation is with regards to Olympian 34110. An assessment of its condition and the costs to return it to service means that it is currently uneconomical to repair. If anyone is looking to preserve the last Olympian built a lot of money will need to be spent on it!

During my visit yesterday, I looked in at the rear of the depot and noted similar 34112 had been moved from the side to the rear to make way for a new glass container to store replacement windows. Thereby eliminating the need to having to order them in

Of the Olympians in the yard 34113 W433CWX is a lost cause and only 34112 W432CWX has a remote possibility of a return to service - but thought to be extremely unlikely

Thursday 20 November 2014

In Search of Lampposts!

National Holidays NH14CBH was one of four coaches at the Coach Station
Unable to make the meet up with fellow blogger Steve W this afternoon, I made a conscious effort to get up and about this morning

My main purpose was to see if any of the four new StreetLite arrivals at First's Caister Road depot would be in service

On the way I thought I would look in at Beach Coach Station to see if there was anything around -
expecting to see an empty site! However, four coaches were there including new National Holidays Setra NH14CBH

Pleased with that, I continued to First's Caister Road site where I found 47502 SN64CPV outside the front of the depot being readied its next duty

StreetLite 47506 SN64CRF with 47504 behind
Also parked on the front apron was ex First Leicester ALX400 32065 W425SRP restricting views of the inside of the depot. However, within minutes it reversed back into the depot to reveal 47506 SN64CRF with another parked immediately behind

Just inside the northern arch were Olympians 34108 W435CWX and 34186 S686AAE together with 46503 SN64CPX peeping out from the corner

As their ticket machines had not yet been installed, it was highly unlikely that the new buses would enter service today

Just as I was about to leave 47501 SN64CPU arrived off service

Wednesday 19 November 2014

Anglianbus Trident Movements

No 711 in happier times at Lowestoft on 16th December 2013
So far unreported on the blog are some recent movements within the Go Ahead Group concerning two Anglianbus Tridents

Today Anglian has reported the transfer of former Brighton & Hove Trident 711 T811RFG to Headingham for spares

It joins similar (though active) 723 W823NNJ which moved earlier in the month in the same direction; having recently been on loan to konectbus

The situation regarding No 711 was obtained in good faith from the Anglianbus website but its location has been disputed by another enthusiast!

From the outset, East Norfolk Bus Blog (ENBB) has always stated that the quality of information contained on other websites is out of our control and is not our responsibility. Rest assured ENBB always reports the facts and not the fiction!

Anglianbus subsequently amended the entry to say that T811RFG 'has gone to Brighton & Hove (not Hedingham as previously reported) for spares'

Local Coaches For Disposal

BIG9842 at Reynolds Garage in February 2012
Today's Route One Magazine contains details of some local coaches offered for sale

Swift Coaches continue to advertise the availability of its Autosan A1012T registered BV57MTJ

Belle Coaches of Lowestoft are promoting the disposal of  two of its vehicles; 1992 Setra S215HD K2JTB and an unidentified S315 version. Both are surplus to requirements

However, the surprise entry is that from Caister based Reynolds Coaches which has placed Plaxton Premier 350 bodied Volvo B10M-62 BIG9842 ready for disposal

Whippet Coaches Sold

Whippet loanee Volvo B9R LK53KVP at Beach Coach Station on 5th August 
Despite nothing appearing on their website, Swavesey based Whippet Coaches has been sold to Tower Transit

The sale was completed on Friday (November 14th) and a report appeared in yesterday's Hunts Post.

As regular readers of the blog are aware, the company operates a number of seasonal East Anglian Express coastal services to the area - although some continue through to December!

'Speaking to The Hunts Post, Mr Lee, whose grandfather Henry set up the business, said the decision to sell had been a tough. “It’s been going for 95 years and we would have liked to have made it to the 100th year. But the family is getting older and we decided we would not go to a fourth generation so we thought this would be the best move.

“It was the right time to make a change and let someone else have a go and make the business a success. At the moment the business is in a good position and we would like it to remain that way.”

Whippet Coaches Ltd was originally based in Graveley, where Henry lived after moving from London. It moved to Hilton, then Fenstanton before shifting to its current headquarters in Swavesey five years ago.

It has a fleet of about 50 buses and employs about 100 people. No jobs were threatened by the sale, said Mr Lee, who preferred not to reveal how much the company had been sold for.

He added: “We would like to thank everyone who supported us over the years and all the staff. We hope the new business has a successful future.”

Tower Transit operates buses in London and is part of Transit Systems, which runs bus services across Australia.'

Tuesday 18 November 2014

More StreetLites At Caister Road

First Essex 47527 at Heysham
Grahame reports the arrival of two more StreetLites at First's Caister Road Depot

47506 arrived earlier this morning and was seen in the bus wash area

The second arrival was that of First Essex 47527 - sent to Caister Road in error!

My thanks to Grahame for the info and to Malcolm Jones for the photo of 47527 at Heysham Docks on Sunday

Sunday 16 November 2014

More StreetLites Arrive

Five First Eastern Counties StreetLites at Heysham - they are left to right 47504, 47505,47509,47507 and 47503
After a couple of weeks of no show, our correspondent Malcolm Jones  has at last managed to obtain some pictures of the remainder of the Great Yarmouth bound First Eastern Counties StreetLites at Heysham today

He visited the docks earlier this afternoon and found the remaining four eventually bound for Caister Road had travelled over from Northern Ireland.

All four (47502 to 47506) were without their registrations

Also captured on film were two of the contingent bound for use in Norwich in the shape of 47507 and 47509

My thanks to Malcolm for going out of his way to get these photos and I trust you enjoyed your shopping in Kendal!

All photos are copyrighted to Malcolm Jones

Borderbus in Beccles

David Waters has kindly passed on photos from Wednesday last week whilst he was in Beccles.

Borderbus recently aquired Enviro 300 KX54NKH and its seen here working the 146 to Norwich.

Also seen in the Bus Station is BB62BUS a smaller Enviro 200.

Note both are wearing moustache logos to promote the Movember Charity.
Enviro 300 KX54NKH about to depart for Norwich

Saturday 15 November 2014

Interesting Independents In Norwich

Ex Shearings Holidays MX04AEW is now with Solus Travel of Tamworth
I was also in Norwich earlier today; plus I managed to capture photos of the same buses that Grahame did - so he has stolen my thunder just a little!! LOL

After leaving my wife at The Forum, I bumped into Sam from the Norwich Buses blog in Theatre Street with his camera at the ready. After a quick chat I continued on to Castle Meadow to view activity there

I had only gone just as far as the
Crusader Holidays Setra EU07FHX
Debenhams store when a coach in Shearings blue livery passed me on Red Lion Street. I wasn't quick enough to get a photo, but managed to identify it as Volvo B12M / Plaxton Panther MX04AEW  which was devoid of Shearings fleetnames

I subsequently found it parked opposite the Castle Mall entrance on Castle Meadow as it was taking on board passengers. A quick glance at the legals revealed it was operated by Solus Travel of
First's newly repainted Dennis Trident/ Plaxton President 33163 LR07LXZ
Tamworth and, as I was taking my photo, one of the passengers told me they had visited the Christmas Spectacular at Thursford the previous evening -  'and very good it was too!'

Just five minutes later and a Crusader Holidays branded Setra passed me and stopped to pick up some of its clientèle. The coach was registered EU07FHX and forms part of the Motts Travel fleet

I then carried on with taking more photos of First's buses; including
South coast visitor - YN08MPY of the Compass Travel fleet
that of recent repaint 33163 LR02LXZ - as mentioned earlier in Grahame's report

Finally, as I was about to leave, another visitor (this time from from the south coast) arrived in the shape of Compass Travel's Scania K340EB4 / Irizar YN08MPY

A number of interesting catches during my hour's stay on Castle Meadow


New Look Norwich Latest

 A Brief trip up to Norwich this morning to attempt to photograph all the recent repaints and loans, my work was done in less than an hour in Castle Meadow with all the required vehicles appearing in double quick time.

First up is 33126 LT02NVO which is on long term loan from First South Yorkshire, seen working the 23A service.

33154 LR02LXN was repainted at Simon Morris in Ipswich and has returned sporting unusual Black fleetnames and no pink relief has been applied.

Last on the list to photograph was 33166 LR02LYD which has returned from Rotherham in its new Purple line guise, lacking any lettering at present which it needs to make the livery complete.

33163 was also noted in use to complete the repaints out and about today in the city.

Currently away at Rotherham is 33003 whilst 33060 is at Simon Morris in Ipswich being treated.

I ventured back to Yarmouth to seek out the Streetlites and both were out and about, 47502 was photographed at Caister Road between duties.

I am told the rest of the batch are expected in Norfolk during next week for service preparation


Thursday 13 November 2014

StreetLites Enter Service - Special Report

The first day in service for 47502; here it's on the 12:05 service 6 from Market Gates to Bradwell   Photo: Tim Miller
Jamie Skinner caught 47502 on Church Lane Gorleston on its way to Belton 
The grapevine was busy this morning with reports that First's two recent StreetLite arrivals were in revenue earning service today

As suggested in an earlier post they were most likely to appear on First's 5, 6 or 7 routes.

It was no surprise then that both Tim Miller and Jamie Skinner reported the use of 47502 SN64CPV on service 6 to Bradwell and the 7 to Belton respectively
Surprisingly 47501 was noted working on the 8 to the James Paget Hospital this afternoon   Photo: eastnorfolkbus

And if that's not enough, Jamie also provides a video of his ride on one of the StreetLites for your delectation! My thanks to both Jamie and Tim for their valued reports

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Ex Neaves Merc Heads South

Former Neaves Mercedes Benz Vario L111ANT has arrived at Tony Glew's Private Hire premises in Colchester, Essex

The 33 seater Robin Hood bodied vehicle was absorbed as part of the take over of Catfield based HS Neave and Sons by Sanders Coaches of Holt in April this year

My thanks to Ipswich Transport Society for the information which was contained in their Journal dated November 2014

Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th November 2014

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

Publication 2192 contains no information regarding changes to local services in our area but there is notice of a new application that has been granted

Christopher Craske and Kevin Craske, trading as Craske Coaches of 39 Laxfield Road in Sutton, have been given consent to operate five vehicles from Unit 2 Horizon industrial Estate in Catfield. The Transport Manager is Ann Harvey

The complete Notice and Proceedings Report can be viewed on the website by clicking HERE

Repaint Update

33154 is not far off being completed now, Jim Long managed to catch a shot of her after gaining the main part of the new livery, just the pink lines and vinyls to be added.

33003 has left Norwich and headed north to Rotherham for repaint into Purple line colours to join 33163 & 33166 which have already returned to the city.

Thanks Jim for the photo

Tuesday 11 November 2014

New StreetLites Arrive

Two of First Great Yarmouth's allocation of six new Wright StreetLites arrived at the Caister Road depot during yesterday afternoon
The first of the six 47501 SN64CPU outside the depot earlier this morning
The interior of 47501
The 10.8 metre door forward variants have spent the last week being prepared for service at First's Roundtree Way site in Norwich

The 37 seaters are the first new vehicles for the town for some time and are expected to enter service towards the end of this week - probably on the 5,6 and 7 routes

The depot was also playing host to Norwich Optare Solo 53123 EO02NFE thought to be undergoing repair

I am grateful to First Great Yarmouth Operations Manager Danny Beales and his staff for allowing me access to view and photograph the newcomer

Sunday 9 November 2014

Saturday in Bury St Edmunds

Stagecoach East 22330 resting in between services
Most of Saturday was spent in Bury St Edmunds. Whilst the sisters were enjoying their retail therapy, I disappeared for an hour to the bus station

Upon arrival there was nothing much out of the normal happening. Stagecoach East MAN/ Alexander 22330 AE51RZJ was laying over after working a service 11 from Cambridge. ADL Trident 18346 AE55DKO also worked the 13:50 service 11 ex Cambridge

Chambers W425WGH leaves the bus station with the 753 to Sudbury
Chambers' deckers appearing were ex London General Presidents 565 W425WGH and 573 W491WGH. I also renewed my acquaintance with Optare Solo MX58XDB, now in Chambers' colours. She was a regular on Anglianbus services in the Great Yarmouth area and was often employed on the 581 route from Beccles

Mulleys were also using one of their former Anglianbus Scania/ Wright Axcess-Ultralow buses
Mulleys ALX400 X56XAW was painted at Mardens in August but is still lacking fleetnames and destination display
However, just when I thought things were getting a little mundane, a Mulley's orange liveried decker turned up in the shape of X56XAW on the 355 service from Mildehall. The vehicle is one of two 
Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL double deckers added to the fleet in August 2014 and was new to Dublin Bus as 00D70107 in November 2000

BF63ZSK on the 12:30 National Express service from London Victoria
Great Yarmouth based operator Ambassador Travel was employing Volvo B9R/ Caetano Levante 210 BF63ZSK on the National Express 491 service from the capital to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

The coach is one of three new to Ambassador in January this year and it was running some fifteen minutes behind schedule

Finally Stephenson's continue to operate the Bury town services marketed under the Breeze slogan
Stephensons ADL Enviro200 461 EU60CBF in charge of the 16 from Newmarket
It was also using specially branded Suffolk Rider vehicles for its service 16 between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds via Red Lodge and Mildenhall. ADL Enviro200s EU60CBF and YX11CTO were observed on the route

Whilst the day was primarily cloudy and overcast, I have used some software to enable the photos to appear more presentable

Saturday 8 November 2014

Magdalen Estate Diverts Continue

Gemini 37576 at the temporary Hertford Way terminus
This is the third weekend of diverts at Gorleston's Magdalen Estate - although it's only the second time work has been carried out!

During this period, the X1 operated between Gorleston High Street and James Paget Hospital via Church Lane, Middleton Road and Lowestoft Road with all stops on Middleton Road being served.

Service 2 operated as normal as far as Selwyn Road and then continued along the whole length of Trinity Avenue before continuing right onto Magdalen Way to terminate at the bus stop on Magdalen Square. On the return journey it operated via Hertford Way, right into St Anne's Crescent, then as normal.

On Saturdays, some service 8 journeys from Caister operated via Middleton Road to
32213 complete with Magdalen Estate destination
Lowestoft Road and Bridge Road whilst others operated via Trinity Avenue and terminated at the lay-by on Hertford Way. 

An additional shuttle service ran every half hour between Hertford Way and Gorleston High Street to allow passengers to transfer to other services.

Regular contributor Jamie Skinner was on hand to witness the diverts in place in Hertford Way and also in Gorleston High Street 

Whilst in the High Street he captured a photo of Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President 32213 LT52WTW with the unusual destination of Magdalen Estate being displayed

My thanks to Jamie for his regular reports and photos
Dennis Dart SLF/ Caetano 43860 EG52FGF nearing Hertford Way with the shuttle service