Wednesday 30 November 2016

Service Alterations Registered ~ 30th November 2016

Earlier today the Eastern Traffic Commissioner published his latest Notices and Proceedings Report. It appears that they are now being published on a weekly basis and this one contains no changes to our local bus services

However, the complete Report can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 29 November 2016

Seeing Red

A First Norwich decker was noted heading westbound over Great Yarmouth's Haven Bridge during this morning's peak hour rush

Red Line Plaxton President bodied Dennis Trident 33244 (LT52WUV) appeared not to be in service and is believed to be in town for its MOT at Caister Road

My thanks to Kyle Hewett for the information and photo


Sunday 27 November 2016

Saturday In the City

Yesterday a pleasant sunny November day welcomed us in Norwich for some shopping and some time observing bus activity.

My first subject was seen at the top of the market, outside City Hall, in the form of a Whittles of Kidderminster Volvo B9R/Plaxton Elite YX62FLC. It appeared to be based in Great Yarmouth and was providing an outing to the city

After lunch, and with the better half shopping in Primani and elsewhere, I made my way to Castle Meadow for some photos and I immediately stumbled across Konectbus 600 (SN10CFD) on a Thickthorn Park & Ride service advertising the Radio Norwich Breakfast Show. With rumours circulating that the present incumbent may be on the move, this bus could be a candidate for an early relivery/repaint I would have thought!

Looking good in the sunshine were the many members of the First Norwich Blue Line fleet in their new liveries and latest branding with 36176 (BD11CDG), above, looking the part

Following closely behind was Sanders Coaches LJ53NHN, one of three ex-London VDL DB250LF Wright Pulsar-Geminis acquired by the North Norfolk independent late last year. From the presence of the X55 sticker in the window, I assume it is still awaiting its destination equipment.

Next up is Stagecoach East Coasthopper liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMC 37435 (SN16ORC) in St Stephens Street with the X29 from Fakenham - incidently appearing nowhere near the coast! Similar branded 37438 (SN16ORH) was also seen on the X29

Also noted was a visitor from 'another country', presumably on tour, was Mid Wales Travel's YJ14CFL. The Van Hool TX15 Alicron still retains the base livery of the erstwhile John Fishwick & Sons of Leyland fleet

Finally, indulging in some night time photography I got this photo of Konectbus Alexander Dennis Enviro400 637 (SN65OAW) taking on passengers at Castle Meadow. It was working the 17:10 Norwich Bus Station to Caister via Great Yarmouth


Thursday 24 November 2016

Service Alterations Registered ~ 23rd November 2016

After over a fortnight without publishing one, a second Eastern Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report has appeared on the Government's website today - in keeping with the old saying 'you wait a while for a bus and then two arrive together'!

The delayed 23rd November 2016 issue reports the registration of new services by National Express, a new operator and a service discontinued

Ambassador Travel's Caetano bodied Scania BF63ZSL
on the 371 Birmingham service in February this year
National Express is to introduce two new daily services between the area and the capital from the 9th January 2017. The first is the 497 from Market Gates Bus Station in Great Yarmouth to London Victoria Coach Station via Lowestoft, Bury St. Edmunds, Stanstead Airport, Stratford. The second is 
the 490/491 from Lowestoft Bus Station to London Victoria Coach Station via Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Thetford and Stratford 

Additionally, National Express is to amend the timetable of its 371 service between Birmingham and Great Yarmouth from the same date

Our Hire Limited of Acle has cancelled its 157 service between Bishopgate and St Stephens Street in Norwich under short notice - effective from 10th November 2016

Jubilee Coaches (Rollesby) Limited has had its application approved for a five vehicle operating centre at Jubilee Farm on Fleggburgh Road in the village

The complete Notice & Proceedings Report, covering the whole of the Eastern Traffic Commissioner's area, can be viewed HERE


Service Alterations Registered ~ 16th November 2016

This morning saw the appearance of the latest Eastern Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report dated 16th November 2016) on the website

The delayed publication reveals only a small number of changes to services in our local area. They all relate to the amending of the timetables of four routes operated by Borderbus. They are:-
⧫   Beccles Town Serrvice
⧫   146 Southwold to Beccles
⧫   146 Beccles to Norwich
⧫   580 Great Yarmouth to Bungay
All changes take effect from 3rd January 2017

The complete Notice & Proceedings Report, covering the whole of the Eastern Traffic Commisioner's area, can be viewed HERE


Scania Sold

Reported in November's PSV Circle's Eastern News Sheet is the disposal of a Scania by a Lowestoft coach owner

BLZ7773 at Norwich Road Industrial Estate in Lowestoft during October 2013
Philip Overy, trading as Angie's Tours at Norwich Road Industrial Estate, has sold Jonckheere bodied Scania BLZ7773 to MC Tractors of Ramsey for scrapping. BLZ had operated under registrations as F91KEC and A20HWD but was new to Scancoaches of North Acton as F946RNV in April 1989

The PSV Circle records its sale as 'by May 2016'


Tuesday 22 November 2016

Sunday Visitor

Contributor Kyle Hewett has sent in a couple of photos of an impressive visitor to Great Yarmouth on Sunday

They were of Dhillon of London's Van Hool TX25 Astromega registered DN16LON which he saw in Southtown Road. I also saw it returning home on the A47 Acle New Road as it was getting dark with its company name illuminated on the front.

It was not DN11LON as originally reported (my apologies!) and my thanks to Stephen Tyrrell in helping to identify the vehicle


Monday 21 November 2016

Still Going Strong

Not much to report recently, but I have lately seen Reynolds Coaches oldest coach providing regular valuable schools' services despite its age

This afternoon 221WPH was performing one of its regular school runs transporting schoolchildren from the Phoenix Swimming Pool in Bradwell to Wroughton Middle School in Gorleston. The 35 seater Plaxton bodied Dennis Javelin was new to Woodward of Glossop in June 1989 as F740MVR. Acquired by Reynolds in early 2008, it was susequently reregistered 221WPH and named Lady Charlotte


Monday 14 November 2016

Trident Moves Again As Fleet Drops to 28

Anglianbus has reduced its fleet size to twenty eight once more following the deletion of ex Brighton & Hove Trident T812RFG from the active fleet

Today's update on the Anglianbus website does not even include it in the 'Withdrawn' category but the updated fleetlist on the Hedingham website reveals the vehicle as now being part of their fleet!

The Trident is seen here in Beccles Road, Gorleston on a diverted 61 service during May this year


Under Cover!

Borderbus Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL LJ03MJU paid another visit to Great Yarmouth today on the first 580 service of the morning from Bungay and Beccles

However, it has subsequently been re registered BB03BUS and was duly photographed with its special plate on Southtown Road during todays rather 'damp' weather conditions. (It was raining!!😀)


Coach Firm Owner Dies

The Fullers Hill premises was badly affected by fire in August 1984 and
the above shows NMS continuing from the site in November of that year
A second world war veteran, who later operated a local coach business, passed away at his Gorleston home last week at the age of 96

Alfred Blackbourn, was born in Cleethorpes but spent the major part of his life living in the Great Yarmouth area. He was best known locally for his role in the family business Norfolk Motor Services which operated across the county.

Whilst he began his early working life as an apprentice in a pharmacy, he joined the RAF at the age of 18. His time in the forces took him to Canada, the Mediterranean and the Far East until he was subsequently demobbed in 1948

A Norfolk Motor Services Plaxton bodied Ford R1014 at Britannia Pier awaiting holidaymakers for a summer tour sometime during the early 1980s. The coach,VEX 190L, was new to Norfolk Motor Services in May 1973
At that time his father convinced him to work for Granville Coaches, a company operating in the Grimsby area. Together they moved to Great Yarmouth bringing four coaches with them and began trading under the name of Norfolk Motor Services from premises at Fullers Hill (The site is now occupied by Staples). The company continued to grow and at one time there were more than thirty coaches in the fleet

A pair of Norfolk Motor Services Ford R1014s at the temporary South Denes site in late 1984

The company's Fullers Hill building sustained fire damage in August 1984 when four coaches were affected. However,the business continued to trade with some of the garage operations temporarily transferring to Southgates Road in South Denes. The company then ceased all operations from March of the following year

A private funeral for Alfred Blackbourn is being held at St Andrews Church in Gorleston later this month


Sunday 13 November 2016

Routemaster Alive & Kicking

A recent post on Facebook by George Holland has revealed that a certain member of Yarmouth's Transport history is still going strong in Asia and still wearing a certain "questionable" livery from its time in Norfolk. Former London Transport RML SMK717F was transferred to First Eastern Counties in 2006 along with two others, JJD480D & NML623E. All three were repainted into special liveries showing past operators in the area. SMK717F was treated to a suspect version of Great Yarmouth Blue & Cream colours at Roundtree Way Depot in Norwich.
Pictured after repaint at Roundtree Way in May 2006

All three saw service on FEC's Coastmaster 5 service linking Yarmouth with Cromer & Sheringham in 2006 and working the summer 3 service between the town and Hemsby after that. SMK717F was withdrawn after the 2011 summer season and i believe was then purchased by a museum in Glasgow initially before ending up in rather an unusual location.

Pictured leaving Caister Road on 17th September 2011 (Photo Des Speed)

This is where the story continues today and safe to say SMK is alive and well and still carrying passengers on the other side of the world in Bangkok, Thailand. George has kindly allowed us to share some of his photos of the Routemaster whilst in Bangkok last week.

It now lives at the Jetsada Museum in Nakon Pathom, it was being used to ferry people to the Royal Palace in Bangkok due to the passing of the King of Thailand, the photo above shows the wooden paddles tied to the seats to act as fans for passengers, no aircon on a Routemaster!

Many Thanks to George for allowing us to use the photographs and to regular contributor Des Speed for his also.


Wednesday 9 November 2016

End of the Rainbow

The final route for Norwich to gain its new liveried vehicles is the Red Line for services 23 & 24. Former First Leeds Volvo B9 36193 BN12JYT has gained the new colours at Simon Morris in Ipswich and was delivered back to Norwich today.

36193 at Simon Morris about to Leave for Norwich.  

Two more vehicles are currently at Simon Morris also for Red Line colours, 36189 (BN12JYO) and 36192 (BN12JYS).

Other News from today sees Driver Training Coach 20122 (P732NVG) withdrawn from use and has been moved to Yarmouth for storage. This of course was one of the original Coaches purchased for use on the Excel services when first introduced. It joins the rest of the current FEC Coach fleet with 20500/20501/20514 & 20515 all currently residing at Caister Road.

Thanks to David Warren for the photo and Danny Beales for the updates.


Caister Road Loan

With activity being a little slow of late I am pleased to report some transfer news. Grahame tells me that Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L 66340 (MV02VCP) has moved on loan to Great Yarmouth for a short period
MV02VCP at Roundtree Way depot in Norwich during March 2013
It joins three similar saloons 66334/41/4 (MV02VBZ/VCT/X) which transferred to Caister Road in January last year

On another subject, today's Notices & Proceedings Report contains no changes affecting our local bus services


Monday 7 November 2016

Monday Independents

A half an hour in the town centre early this morning with a few errands to attend to: so I thought I would also seek out which decker Borderbus were using on the first 580 run of the day, the 08:15 from Bungay

It arrived with Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL LF52ZPB in charge and after disappearing for 15 minutes was back again to work the 09:35 return journey to Bungay

Previously, Our Bus Optare Solo MX58AAY arrived off a schools duty to work the Mondays only 293 route to Wroxham. The 27 seater was new to A1A Travel of Birkenhead in September 2008. It passed to M&H Coaches of Trefant in June 2011 before being acquired by Our Bus.


Wednesday 2 November 2016

Last P&R Trident Finds New Owner

The final Norse Park & Ride Trident at dealers Ensign has found a new owner; PN03UMC has passed to Nu-Venture of Maidstone

Trident PN03UMC at Postwick Park & Ride site during October 2010
Ensign's monthly report records its disposal during October, having been one of ten moving to the Essex site during November last year

Fourteen ex London General Tridents arrived in Norwich during March/April 2010 to work the Park and Ride services and a summary of their subsequent disposal was posted on the blog on 5th June this year

My thanks to Ross Newman at Ensign for the regular reports


Tuesday 1 November 2016

W437CWX Arrives

Following up on the previous post, I can report that Volvo Olympian W437CWX safely arrived in Yorkshire yesterday following its tow from Essex

Its new home is the South Yorkshire Transport Museum and the museum is not the owner of the Volvo but a private individual who is using the services provided there. It will kept under cover for the first time in some years; it had languished in the rear yard of Caister Road depot for some time

My thanks to Colin Thorne for the information and to the new owner for the photo