Wednesday 30 September 2015

Latest News from First

Another Rotherham move to report is the arrival in Yorkshire today of 32101 LT02ZCK for refurbishment with 33167 LR02LYF returning to Norwich.
32101 pictured soon after arrival in Norwich back in March 2010

Four Volvo B7L's have now moved down to the Bristol Area with 66336 the latest to head South this week and has gone to Bath Depot.
Steve White has kindly allowed us to share a couple of pics of the new Southeners in their latest surroundings.
66337 now working from Lawrence Hill Depot

66332 also at Lawrence Hill

Many Thanks to Steve and First for the updates.  You can follow all the news from the Bristol Area by visiting Steve's excellent website at                      


New Arrivals at Ipswich Buses

Our Regular Ipswich contributor Jim Long has kindly sent us some photos of Ipswich Buses latest arrivals, beginning with Mercedes Benz O295 Citaros 153-155 BF65HVT/HVU/HVV. These are the first of the type for the company.
154 BF65HVU at Foundation Street Depot

Other recent arrivals include Three ex Lothian Plaxton Presidents SN51AXF/AXN (24)/AXP(25).
SN51AXN was recently part of the Woburn Showbus Event.
25 SN51AXP Freshly repainted at Foundation Street

Many thanks to Jim for the photographs.      Grahame.

Afternoon Round-up

A run into Great Yarmouth earlier this afternoon and time to spare for a trip around the usual haunts to see what was about

At Beach Coach Station half of the attendees were members of the Shearings Holidays' fleet. They were both Setras - 126 BK09LUR and 115 BN09FXD

The Bernard Matthews contract employed a Gemini/ALX400 combination. The latter was 32058 W218XBD whilst the former was 37577 AU58EDF. Unfortunately no Olympian this time

As they departed, passing in the opposite direction was National Holidays' Mercedes Benz Tourismo NH15LDH heading for the coach station

Not much to report at Market Gates either with First's 30900 W774DWX employed on the 8s between Caister and the James Paget Hospital complete with First Lowestoft branding


Service Alterations Registered ~ 30th September 2015

The East of England Traffic Commissioner published his fortnightly Notice & Proceedings Report earlier this morning with Go Ahead subsidiaries Anglianbus and Konectbus dominating the proceedings. However, the following are the major changes affecting our local area

Variation Applications Granted
Although out of our immediate area, it was interesting to note that Freestones Coaches had changed its vehicle authorisation at its two sites; Beetley has reduced to eight whilst Bessemer Road depot in Norwich has increased to nine

Registration Of New Services
From November 2nd, Anglianbus service 7 will continue its Norwich to Great Yarmouth route through to Lowestoft, instead of changing its route number to a 61

Stagecoach in Norfolk has registered the winter Coasthopper service between Hunstanton and Wells and Wells and Cromer on an hourly basis from November 9th. (two hourly on Sundays)

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice
Approved under short notice was Borderbus service SL9 between Barnby and the Sir John Leman School in Beccles. The Monday to Friday school day service began on 4th September

Applications to Vary Existing Services
A deluge of major timetable changes here for Anglianbus with services 7, 60H, 60J, 60S, 61, 61A, 61B, 61C, 80, 81, 81A, 82, 82A, 87, 88, 88A, 88B all being amended from November 2nd. These reductions come shortly after the cuts announced by Konectbus effective on the same day and reduce the Beccles operating fleet considerably

Applications to Vary Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
Accepted under short notice was an application to vary route and timetable of Borderbus service SJL5 between Carlton Colville and the Sir John Leman High School from September 4th.

The full Notice and Proceedings Report can be read HERE


Monday 28 September 2015

I'm Back!

Just to let you all know that I arrived back in Norfolk last night after a week away on the south coast. To prove it I thought I would photograph this morning's Sanders decker on the 6 from North Walsham. Unfortunately the sun wasn't playing ball which resulted in this poor quality photo. Apologies for the picture quality but even I don't posses super power to move the sun!

For the record it was former Isle of Man VDL DB250/ East Lancs Lowlander PM03EHR now carrying the name Zeus. Ex Jersey Dart EY05FYP also arrived at the college with First's 882 service


Sunday 27 September 2015

Southdown Surprise

Those of you oh fay with the Worthing area will know that a wander along its sea front area takes you past the entrance to Stagecoach South East's depot in Library Place immediately off Marine Parade

Late yesterday morning saw us on our way to the shops via a regular seafront stroll. Naturally I glanced over to the entrance and saw an old looking bus carrying Southdown colours. On closer inspection I found it to be Eastern Coachworks bodied Leyland Tiger PS1/1 GUF727 of 1946 vintage


Friday 25 September 2015

Half Hour In Worthing

Early yesterday afternoon I spent around half an hour observing bus activity in the central area of Worthing, based on South Street

At around two o'clock Compass Bus Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 GX09AGO became the first subject for the attention of my camera. It was nearing the end of its service which terminates in South Street

Following closely behind was Metrobus Scania OmniCity YN05HCG on a service 23 from Crawley. The vehicle is similar to that currently employed by Anglianbus. It was a joint winner in the Best Go-Ahead Modern Vehicle category at Showbus in 2005

Stagecoach South is the major operator in Worthing and its Transbus Dart GX53MWG is about to depart for Dorrington Tesco in South Street

Compass Bus also operates the local route 7 between Lancing and High Salvington via Worthing on behalf of Stagecoach and YX09FNH is shown here on such a working

Lastly a Compass decker is about to take up its next duty. LK03CEV is a Transbus Trident formerly with Metroline


Thursday 24 September 2015

StreetLite on the X1

Unfortunately there is no Throw Back Thursday this week but I am able to bring a photo of a rare working of a Great Yarmouth Wright StreetLite on the X1 to Norwich this afternoon

SteveW was at Norwich Bus Station to capture visual evidence of 47505 SN64CPZ awaiting departure for Great Yarmouth. My thanks to Steve for the report and photo


Wednesday 23 September 2015

First Update

Latest movements to report today are as follows, 33055 has returned to Norwich in standard livery after refurbishment at Rotherham with 32112 heading North for repaint & refurb.
32112 in Castle Meadow earlier this year.

Jersey Dart 43861 has gone up Norwich after maintainance work at Yarmouth to join sister 43863 as a paint spare for now until onward movement to the South West. Finally Lowestoft Corporation liveried 30888 entered service today and was out on X2 duties as noted by Tim in our previous post.

Thanks to First for the Update.    Grahame.

Lowestoft Corporation in Beccles

Today saw newly Lowestoft Corporation liveried Volvo B7TL/ Alexander ALX400 W744DWX in service and there was speculation that It would work on the X2 service between Lowestoft and Norwich via Beccles

Our intrepid Beccles correspondent Tim Miller tweeted that he had just missed 'number 8' working the X2 earlier today but he was later successful in getting a picture of it at Beccles which is reproduced above

Many thanks for photo Tim


Tuesday 22 September 2015

Sunday in the Sun at the Seaside

Sunday was a very warm and sunny day down here on the south coast so we spent most of Sunday at the seaside in Brighton

We travelled in from Worthing on a Stagecoach South Enviro400 working service 700. We were sitting close to the front window on the top deck and that was from where I took the first photo of Brighton & Hove's Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 472 BK13OAU which carries the company's generic livery whilst sporting branding for service 5

Brighton & Hove also operates open toppers and this is East Lancs Omnidekka bodied Scania N94UD YN06NYL which carries fleet number 920

Next up is a picture of a Metrobus decker 6939 YN56FDP working into Churchill Square to pick up its next duty. The Scania N94UD was new in October 2006

Brighton & Hove also have some deckers in non standard livery and this is black and white Volvo Wright Gemini 421 BJ11XHX. It was formerly named 'Sir Norman Wisdom' but was painted for the Brighton Fringe Festival

Finally a photo of one of the new kids on the block, Brighton & Hove's 'Coaster' branded Wright Streetdeck, 937 BX15ONO pictured on North Street


Sunday 20 September 2015

Latest First Transfers

Today saw Yarmouth Depot return two Volvo B7TL's back to Norwich. 32200 LT52WTE & 32202 LT52WTG made the journey back up the A47 this afternoon.
32202 pictured at Caister Road last year.

Thanks to Danny Beales for the info.    Grahame.

Saturday 19 September 2015

Saturday Specials

33152 LR02LXL in its new Purple Line livery in Castle Meadow
Today was my first visit to Norwich since the beginning of the new Park & Ride services began, i managed to photograph the majority of the new ones in use but wont share on here as i think its fair to say the new operations have been covered well enough around the various blogs and social media outlets. Instead i will share a selection of today's sightings which included the majority of the latest repaints for First.
Former Ipswich B7RLE 66980 in Turquiose Livery

Unfortunatly the controversial 66976, Is it Orange is it Yellow? livery was not out today so i missed the opportunity to give my opinion in the flesh. Sister 66978 was out in her new Purple look today.
Konectbus 617. SN15HKA Part of the new Straight 8 Fleet in Castle Meadow 

I must admit that Norwich seems to be rather crowded with Buses now in the event of the new Park & Ride operations, Castle Meadow became very crowded at times with the amount of services running through, cant grumble from a photography point of view as plenty to see and picture!
Once i had captured all i required i ventured back to Yarmouth to see if i could spot the newly  repainted 30888 which has now reappeared in its new Lowestoft Corporation livery for inspection prior to returning to service, i was not disappointed and my connections at Caister Road paid off as i managed to have the full tour and have her taken outside in the sunshine for an inpromptu photo shoot!
30888 W743DWX now in the guise of Lowestoft 8

Finally a quick update of what is happening at Yarmouth, visitors include Coach 20515 from Ipswich for MOT along with 60621 from Norwich and 37569 from Lowestoft. 34111 is now the sole remaining Olympian in active service here and was on Bernard Matthews duties this afternoon along with 32629.

Thanks to all at Caister Road today.    Grahame.

Southdown Decker

Currently on the south coast staying with my daughter at Worthing. Arrived today and, as I was passing the Dome Cinema on Marine Parade,  I saw a Southdown liveried decker on the opposite side of the road. The bus commemorates 70 years of Victory in Europe

Fortunately my sister in law was in the rear passenger seat and got this photo of 404DCD on her mobile phone. The bus was a Scania Enviro 400 which previously carried the registration GX10KZD


Friday 18 September 2015

Former FEC S116JTP on Ebay

At the beginning of this year Grahame reported that three former Yarmouth Volvo B10BLE Wright Renowns, then recently withdrawn, had made their way to a new home with First Devon & Cornwall.

Ex First Southampton S116JTP in Gorleston High Street on 4th November 2014
Among the trio was 66126 S116JTP which spent an amount of time operating from Caister Road depot. It  was new to First Southampton in August 1998 where it received fleet number 116. The saloon had its engine rebuilt in June last year and spent a short period on loan to Lowestoft in December 2012

Imagine my surprise then, that just after six months use, it has turned up for sale on ebay with an asking price of  £2,600 'straight from service'. With only five days to go there has yet to be any bids lodged. The item can be viewed HERE


Thursday 17 September 2015

Bristol Fashion

The transfer of several Volvo B7L single decks from Norwich to Bristol has begun this week with three vehicles arriving at their new home so far. First to leave was 66327 MV02VBB.
66327 pictured at its new home in Bristol . (Photo Steve White)

Two more have  also made the journey south, 66332 MV02VBX & 66347 MV02VDA arrived yesterday. A batch of short length Darts are rumoured to be heading back to FEC but nothing confirmed as yet.

Thanks to Steve White for photograph.


#TBT Bradwell Swifts

The subject of today's Throw Back Thursday is of two AEC Swifts working Bradwell services during 1982

The first bus concerned is Great Yarmouth's 82 WEX682M, sister to preserved 85 owned by Messrs Speed and Beales. The photos show 82 on service 18 which connected the village with Gorleston High Street and Great Yarmouth Town Centre in the early 1980s. The Reliance is shown on Beccles Road about to turn into Long Lane

The second picture is of the return working by Great Yarmouth's 72 PEX172K which was a direct Town Centre to Bradwell service 19 pictured on Beccles Road. It was shortly after these photos were taken that the two routes were separated and rerouted

The 18 then became a Town Centre to Bradwell service, operating via Southtown Road, Gorleston High Street, Crab Lane and Beccles Road to its terminus in Green Lane at St Nicholas Gardens. The 19 was routed from Beccles Road via Crab Lane, Selwyn Road and Brasenose Avenue before reaching its destination at the then District Hospital. The 18 was run every hour whilst the 19 was to a thirty minute frequency

Meanwhile, WEX682M was an AEC Swift 3MP2R with an Eastern Coach Works B43D body and was purchased new in October 1973. PEX172K was a 3MP2R variant with Willowbrook B43D bodywork and was new in January 1972


Wednesday 16 September 2015

Service Alterations Registered ~ 16th September 2015

This morning saw the publication of the latest East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report and we take a look at its contents to ascertain the changes affecting our local area. Two local independent operators dominate the proceedings

Registration of New Services Granted Under Short Notice
Acle based Our Hire, trading as Our Bus, has retrospectively
introduced three new rural routes operating from Monday to Friday from 14th September 2015
  • Acle Area Flexbus from Fillby to Upton via Reedham 
  • BL1 Stalham Road, Hoveton (Roys Bus Shelter) to Stalham via Neatishead (school days only)
  • 901 Chapel Loke, Lessingham to: Stalham High School, Stalham via: Happisburgh To: Stalham High School, Ingham Road, Stalham Via: Happisburgh (school days only)

Cancellations of Existing Services Granted Under Short Notice
AFSC Limited, trading as Maretts Chariots has ceased three services from 3rd September 2015
  • North Walsham 1 Gimingham to North Walsham
  • North Walsham 6 Paston to North Walsham
  • North Walsham 12 Southrepps to Mundesley
Our Bus has cancelled its previous Acle Flexibus Service from 13th September (replaced by the above) and its 808 Acle area service from the same date

The full Notice and Proceedings document can be found HERE on the GOV.UK website


Tuesday 15 September 2015

Konectbus Update

Konect's smart looking SK15HKD in Red Lion Street,
Norwich on the 8 Dereham Fast on 7th September 2015
SteveW has contacted me with the news that Konect is introducing major changes to its services in November

As already reported elsewhere, service 2/2A between Norwich and Sheringham/Holt are to be axed but there are more reductions planned

The 5, which runs between Norwich and Costessey, is being scrapped and is being replaced by the 53 which will run between Wroxham and Costessey. This means that the Norwich - Tuckswood section of the 53 is being scrapped. Also severely cut are the 6A/X6 services between Norwich and Attleborough, with the 6A scrapped and a reduced service on the X6.

As yet Steve has no idea why these services are going but he notes that all the routes affected are mirrored in some part by other operators - perhaps a new Go-Ahead policy? This also raises the question of where the surplus vehicles will be going!

Many thanks for the information Steve


Saturday 12 September 2015

Our Bus Update

After Joe Leathers Watson's contribution to the Our Bus 730 post of last week, he undertook to identify and photograph three recent newcomers to the fleet

Joe saw two of them early yesterday morning at the operator's South Burlingham depot with the first being Van Hool Alizee bodied L141AHS. It was formerly with School Bus of Oxfordshire and it was still retaining it's previous operator's blue livery. It is pictured returning to the depot after completing Thorpe School duties

The second vehicle is a silver and black liveried Iveco with the registration of R208VJF which was previously with Hayletts Midicoach of Kettering. It has also seen use with Downton Mini Coaches

'The last one' says Joe 'was a pleasant surprise as it is a former East Lothian Council Optare Solo YE52FHC. The picture shows it passing through Thrigby on service 294 to Norwich during yesterday morning. Apparently it has been nicknamed 'Kermit' by the staff.'

My thanks to Joe for the information and photos. This was an easy post to put together as Joe had provided all the information required; obviously he has not forgotten his blogging days when he founded Norwich Bus Page! 


Friday 11 September 2015

Versas Rebranded

Following the return of  the two 2010 built Optare Versas to the Anglianbus fleet from Konectbus, I am pleased to bring you the first pictures of the duo adorned with their new Anglianbus logos

The photos were taken at Anglian's Ellough site in Beccles and have been kindly supplied by SteveW - thanks Steve


First's Burgh Castle Divert

Following the closure of Mill Road in Burgh Castle, First is diverting its service 5 to the village commencing from Monday 14th September

Journeys leaving Market Gates Bus Station between 09:30 and 14:45 inclusively will run via Belton to Butt Lane in the village and then continue along the usual route on their return to Great Yarmouth

The route change will continue until Friday 18th September


Thursday 10 September 2015

#TBT 4829VF

Continuing the Eastern Counties theme, this week's subject of our Throw Back Thursday is an Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol MW6G

4829VF is seen here in a delicensed state on the St Peters Road parking area of the old Wellington Road bus station in the summer of 1977. The 32 seater received fleet number LS803 on entry into service in June 1961

The excellent Bristol Vehicles Website tells me that the MW6G was converted to one man operation in 1970 and demoted to bus duties. A year later it was converted to a 39 seater and fitted with bus type indicators

It was painted in National Bus Company dual purpose livery in May 1973 and was withdrawn from service in 1977 passing to K Askin of Barnsley for scrapping in September of that year

One of its claims to fame was that it worked a weekend trip 'up north' for the then Ipswich Land Transport Society in July 1966. The Society started its trip on an RE but that only got as far as Stowmarket before it was replaced by 4829VF. A photo of it was taken at Wakefield Bus Station which can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 8 September 2015

Sanders' Decker

Prior to the start of this year's Sixth Form College term, the early morning North Walsham to Gorleston 6 college service was regularly worked by one of Sanders Coaches' single deckers

East Lancs Myllenium Lowlander bodied VDL DB250SLF 105 YJ05PXE pictured outside Gorleston's Sixth Form
College this morning having worked Sanders' 07:20 service from North Walsham. Note the spelling of  'Gorlston'
on the destination screen!
Imagine my surprise when I saw one of the operator's double deckers heading back to Great Yarmouth on the route early yesterday morning! I therefore decided that today I would try and get a photo of the said working; which I successfully accomplished.


Monday 7 September 2015

Norwich Morning Visit

This morning saw the start of the new Norwich Park and ride service with Konectbus providing the city with all of its services for the first time. The operator has invested more than £3 million on 18 new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400s for the scheme. There has been a mixed reactions; whilst there were positive comments on the additional bus stops, many thought the £3.50 fare was quite expensive

Konectbus Enviro400 SN65OAD arrives at Postwick Park and Ride to pick up passengers this morning
I made my way there this morning to witness activity and I thought loadings after the peak rush hour were comparatively low. Obviously it is early days so we will have to wait and see how things progress

An opportunity was taken to nip into the city centre to see if any unusual workings were taking place and I immediately saw Border Bus loanee MX12DYO on the 10:50 146 service to Beccles (see right)

Also noted at the bus station was National Express Volvo B9R Caetano Levante FJ12FYM ready to head off on the 727 Brighton service

Also seen on First duty was First Yorkshire 66112 R912BOU still covering for buses away at Rotherham for a repaint


Saturday 5 September 2015

Border Bus Update

Continuing the Beccles theme from yesterday, SteveW has been in contact regarding an update from Border Bus 

The operator currently has this 2012 registered ADL Enviro200 Dart on loan until its own is ready at end of this month. It has been drafted in to assist with the new 146 timetable commencing on Monday. MX12DYO was new to TLC Travel Limited of West Bowling in May of that year with the company operating mainly in the Bradford area. 

My thanks to SteveW for information and photo