Friday, 6 December 2019

First Inspection Failure

Former First Essex Transbus Dart 42483 SN03WLK has been admitted to the Caister Road workshops  after failing some tests during its inspection. Note that it has received First Great Yarmouth branding.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information

Roy

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

New Excel Buses ~ Arriving Spring 2020

Yes the word is out, at last, as to what will be replacing the ADL Enviro 400s on First Eastern Counties' XL service between Peterborough and Norwich.

At around lunchtime today it was announced on the operator's website that the replacements would be Alexander Dennis E400 Cities on a Scania chassis - a first time for this combination. Up until now the information was contained in a cloak of secrecy.

Some features of the new product include comfy coach seating on both decks complete with USB charging points plus seat back phone docks with wireless charging. As currently, there will also be free WiFi and additionally bus stopping buttons at all seats. More information is to be announced shortly.

The high specification buses are expected to be on the road in 'early Spring 2020'

Roy

Sanders Magnificent Seven!

Today's edition of the Route One magazine features an article on John Hill Coach Sales of  Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire.

One of the newcomers in Sanders colours - Pic Jack Farrow
The article says that the dealer has recently purchased twenty Caetano Levantes from National Express which have quickly been sold - seven of them to Sanders Coaches of Holt.

The coach sales business is also advertising seven Sanders' vehicles as being available for sale on their own website.

The coaches have been identified as three Van Hool bodied DAF SB4000s (536-8FN), two Plaxton Paragon bodied Volvo B12Ms (3990ME and WOA521), a Volvo B12BT/ Jonckhere SHV (RDV903) and a Plaxton Profile bodied Volvo B7R (DA04GHA)

Roy

Service Alterations Registered ~ 4th December 2019

Some changes changes to local bus services are revealed in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Konectbus is to amend the timetable of its 5B Stalham to Norwich and 84 Harleston to Norwich services from 5th January 2020. Also from the same date, the operator is to alter the route and timetable of the X11 Wroxham to Norwich Bus Station service.

BR Shreeve & Sons, trading as Belle Coaches, ceased its 558A Lowestoft to Norwich shopper service from 1st December 2019. (Subsequently revised to 1st January 2020).

The full report will be available to view here soon.

Roy

Monday, 2 December 2019

Unusual Lowestoft Workings

Suffolk Norse was employing a different bus on its 107 Lowestoft Bus Station to Gunton St Peter service earlier today.

It was Optare M920 Solo YJ62FZF which was new to Britannia Parking of Bournemouth in September 2012. It had previously been operated by the Big Green Bus Company of Newmarket, Cambridgeshire.

Also noted in Lowestoft today on the 101's was First Great Yarmouth Dart SLF 42486 SN03WMX

My thanks to Andy Swan for the photo and to Simon Bartram for the First news.

Roy

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Wet Wednesday

A quick look around Great Yarmouth this afternoon to see what was lurking about despite the damp weather.

At Beach Coach Station there were two Mercedes Benz Tourismos from the Alfa Travel fleet present in BU13ZTZ and BX15OEC.

Continuing to Marine Parade I found five coaches parked up. On the east side were two Smith's Coaches Volvo B12Ms FP51EUN and L8SLT - probably on a school trip to the nearby Sealife Centre.

On the opposite side of the road was National Holidays' Tourismo NH18FGH and similar coaches from Shearings Holidays' in the form of BU18YSL and BU18YSH. The latter shot off and wouldn't wait for its photo to be taken!

Roy

Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th November 2019

Following the publication of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, there are no changes to report on bus services in our local area for the second consecutive week. Today's full Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.

Roy

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Heritage Liveries At The Double

For some time now Andy Swan has been trying to catch the two First Lowestoft based heritage liveried buses in one photo

He successfully achieved that aim earlier this morning as Lowestoft Corporation branded ALX400 30888 W743DWX exited Lowestoft Bus Station passing Dart 42926 SN05EAE in Eastern Counties colours

My thanks to Andy for the photo.

Roy

Monday, 25 November 2019

Top Deck View

Regular blog readers may remember the post of the 29th October last regarding a former BorderBus Plaxton President in the grounds of Beccles Primary Academy in Worlingham (BorderBus Decker Passes to Academy).

In that post Laine Tisdall said that on his daily commute to Norwich he noticed the bus from the upper deck of a double decker. 'Reg Vardy' had the same view when the bus he was travelling on passed the site. Fortunately preserved former Eastern Counties Bristol VR190 VPW85S stopped opposite the site at Worlingham to enable these photos to be taken of X647LLX.

My thanks to Reg for the photos.

Roy

Friday, 22 November 2019

Friday Round Up

It has been some time since I used this heading (late May in fact) where I usually look around the holiday area of Great Yarmouth to see what coaches are about on their short breaks. A three week holiday, hospital stays and the notorious Southtown Road roadworks have all conspired to temporarily put a brief stop to this activity!

Anyway we are now back in the saddle, although there is little to report this time as my departure was a little later than normal but still National Holidays and Shearings vehicles feature. Whilst the former's Kassbohrer Setra NH63GYH was parked up on Marine Parade, the stayers were in accommodation at Princes Road nearer to the Coach Station! Not sure why it was there - perhaps a more secure location.

Also on Marine Parade was Shearings' Mercedes Benz Tourismo 131 BU18YSH, now a regular visitor to these parts.

The only other visitor to report was Caradoc Coaches Neoplan Tourliner OU18ZSF which was sited close to Britannia Pier on North Drive.

Roy

Konecting Enviros

Regular contributor Mark Doggett has been out and about with the camera in Norwich recently and sends us a variety of  ADL Enviro vehicles currently operating with Konectbus, part of the Go Ahead group.


First up is recent arrival YX69NPG a brand new ADL Enviro 200 for use on the Park & Ride services around the city, seen above working the 5 service to Postwick and heading through Castle Meadow.


Next up is former Hedingham Enviro 200 SN10CCY, pictured in St. Stephens about to head out to Eaton on the 5B service. It was new to Thames Travel which is also part of the Go Ahead group.


Finally another Enviro to finish, OU57FGZ carries an advert of sorts for buying tickets via your smartphones, seen here in St. Stephens working the 50A to Cringleford. This vehicle also began with Thames Travel before a spell with Hedingham.

Many Thanks to Mark for the excellent photos.

Grahame.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

PSV Circle ~ New Norfolk Fleet Lists

Most of you will know that the PSV Circle publishes G Lists containing details of the current fleets of bus and coach operators. The publications are normally a booklet in A5 format for each county.

The last edition for Norfolk was published way back in July 2014 so news on the publication of the new version is very much welcome.

The new edition, reference G754, has now been published with the information correct to November 2019 (PSV Circle News Sheet 958).

You are now able to order the publication through the PSV Circle website at a cost of £6.75 for members and £9.00 for non members.

Roy

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Sanders Coaches ~ Recent Activity

Appearing on the Sanders Bus Enthusiasts Facebook Group earlier today was news of their latest arrival.

The operator has acquired Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R FJ11GKV and it looks smart its new Sanders colours. The coach, which has fleet number 921, was new to Flights Hallmark in June 2011 and carried the usual National Express livery.

A subsequent photo has been supplied by Jack Farrow which also provides a side view of the vehicle.

Recently repainted, from the company's mainly blue Coasthopper livery, is Volvo B7RLE/ Wright Eclipse 510 HF54HGE. It was latterly with Go South Coast and delivered new to Wilts and Dorset in November 2004.

My thanks to Sanders Coaches and Jack Farrow for allowing me to use their photos

Roy

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th November 2019

Following the publication of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.there are no changes to report on bus services in our local area.

However, one thing I missed in last week's report was notice of a Public Inquiry in Cambridge on 5th December 2019 concerning Suffolk Norse Limited of Goddard Road Ipswich. The hearing will consider possible disciplinary action under Section 17 of the 1981 Public Passenger Vehicles Act and Section 28 of the 1985 Transport Act. Consideration is also being given to the Transport Managers Repute under Schedule 3 of the Public Passenger Vehicles Act of 1981.

My thanks to Tim Miller for bringing the Public Inquiry information to my attention. Today's full Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.

Roy

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Lowestoft Lunchtime

A couple of unusual workings in Lowestoft at lunchtime today were observed by our regular correspondent Simon Bartram.

The 12:38 101 service from the bus station to Hollow Grove was worked by Volvo B7TL/ALX400 30961 YJ51RDV. This follows a similar working by a 309XX on the route the previous afternoon.

The subsequent 12:58 service was operated by Great Yarmouth's Dennis Dart SLF 42921 EU05AUN, probably on loan.

My thanks to Simon for the photos

Roy

Monday, 18 November 2019

Ipswich Transport Museum ~ Bus Day

Ipswich Transport Museum held their Bus Day yesterday and regular contributor Reg Vardy has sent along some photos of the day. The event attracted both modern and classic vehicles and was well attended.

There can be no doubt that he travelled along to the event via the Happisburgh Touring Society Preservation Group's Volvo B10M/Van Hool YXI 6327 which is seen here at the Tower Ramparts Bus Station in the Suffolk town.

One of the stars of the event was the Museum's Dennis Ace DVF519 dating from the early 1940s. Whilst there was an issue with it first thing the Ace managed some runs in the afternoon which were well received. Understandably there were a few comments about driver Owen Phillip's right arm!

Another interesting vehicle was former Mulleys Motorways Bedford OB coach PV9371, new in 1941. Following closely behind is ex Eastern Counties Bristol MW LS829 APW829B.

As expected a number former ex Ipswich Buses took part and Reg snapped AEC Swift/ Willowbook 82 outside the Brooke Hall shops in Ipswich


Eastern Counties were also represented at the event by ECW bodied Bristol VR VPW85S - now owned by the VR190 Preservation Group.

It was good to see local operators supporting the event with Dan's Coach Travel, Beestons and Konectbus having a presence with the latter providing one of the new Norwich Park & Ride Enviro 200MMCs in the shape of  202 YX69NPG

My thanks to Reg for the photos

Roy

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Transfer Time

No its nothing to do with football! It's a report on Joe Thorpe's trip around Norfolk and Suffolk on Saturday to effect some of First's bus transfers within the two counties - which apparently went very well.



Joe's first leg involved the return of Volvo B7TL/ALX400 32064 W224XBD from Ipswich to Great Yarmouth following a brief spell with First Essex. Whilst in Ipswich it underwent some refurbishment including some nice shiny wheels!

The second part involved the transfer of First Great Yarmouth's only active Volvo B7L/Wright Eclipse 66334 MV02VBZ to Norwich. The saloon is well known for its many withdrawls and returns to service whilst allocated to Caister Road

The final journey was the return of ex First Ipswich Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 66957 WX55TZU to the Suffolk town. It had only spent just the week in Norwich.

My thanks to Joe for the information and photos



Roy

Friday, 15 November 2019

Rail Replacement

Following a points failure on the railway at Brundall, Greater Anglia were employing rail replacement this morning with the usual suspects providing the vehicles.

When our regular contributor Tim Miller passed Lowestoft Station earlier this morning, Freestone Coaches' Kassbohrer Setra LIB3768 was in position awaiting its next working.

Two of Belle Coaches vehicles were on standby in the nearby car park. They were Kassbohrer Setra LIL9454 and Mercedes Benz Tourismo BC10BEL.

Also available, if needed, was Angie's Tours' King Long TIG3393, formerly registered as BX59KWR. Note the signals at the end of the platform which are due to disappear soon when the new signalling scheme comes into use.

My thanks to Tim for the photos

Roy

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Wanderer to Return

Reported a couple of months ago was the movement of Great Yarmouth based Volvo B7TL/ALX400 32064 W224XBD to First Essex. After a brief spell in use at Colchester it was withdrawn and had various parts removed. It has now appeared back with FEC at Ipswich where it is undergoing a refurbishment and be readied for a return to Caister Road for further use.


Pictured at a sunny Foundation Street Depot in Ipswich complete with a set of Shiny Wheels!

Many Thanks to Mark Doggett for the Photo and to Joe Thorpe for his parking skills!

Grahame.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th November 2019

A few changes changes to local bus services to relate from today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

First Eastern Counties have registered a new 71 service (under short notice) between Orford and Woodbridge via Sutton Heath commencing on 18th November 2019. Also in the Woodbridge area the operator is to amend the route and timetable of its 972 Woodbridge to Farlingaye school service from 17th November 2019. It is also altering the timetable of its 70/70A Ipswich to Woodbridge service from the same date.

Konectbus is to amend the timetable of its 5A Blofield Heath to Eaton Village service from 9th December 2019.

From 1st January 2020 Sanders Coaches is to amend the route start and finish points plus the timetable of its 56 Sheringham Station Approach to Easton/ Otley College route.

Under operator licensing, Victor Manuel Serrano Carvalho of Anson Road in Great Yarmouth has applied for a licence for an operating centre for one vehicle at Units 9 & 10 Suffolk Road in the town. He had previously submitted an application to use Beach Coach Station as an operating centre.

The full report will be available to view here soon.

Roy

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

City Centre Sightings

Saturday meant a trip to Norwich with some time for sightings and photos; whilst the better half indulged in some retail therapy. It has been some nine months since my last visit so I hoped to get some good photos starting in Castle Meadow.

Unfortunately the sun was quite low in the sky and played havoc with the photography. The first reflects that in the photo of former First Ipswich Volvo B7RLE 66985 KX05MHO which is now in Eastern Counties colours (Incidentally two similar Ipswich B7RLEs have made the journey here in the past few days - 66957 and 66986).

Next up was shabby looking Konectbus Wright Eclipse 519 LX05EZZ on the Park and Ride service from Postwick. It was new to London General (Go-Ahead London) in July 2005

Another B7RLE turned up next in the form of 66822 MX05CEO heading for Wymondham Cross on the 15. Another bus advertising the First M Ticket App.

Almost a minute or so later a former First Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President arrived from the opposite direction. These days 32201 LT52WTF is adorned in Purple Line colours and was destined for Horsford.

I then decided to change my location to St Stephens Street where I found another old friend in Konectbus Optare Versa 307 AU11ESG - still in its Anglanbus yellow and blue.

Returning to Castle Meadow I observed Kardan Holidays Kassbohrer Setra W222KAR on an outing to the city from Great Yarmouth (It was noted as being the sole occupant at Beach Coach Station the following day)

Another former First Great Yarmouth vehicle was noted there with Volvo B7 66344 MV02VCX gracing me with its presence. Since its return to Roundtree Way the First Great Yarmouth branding has been removed.

My final photo was selected because of the unusual destination display due to the weekend road improvement works at Earlham Road. First's 26/26A services were being diverted via Unthank Road and hence the reason for it.

Roy

Monday, 11 November 2019

Konect MMCs Enter Service

As suggested in Friday's post (More MMC Sightings) Konects' new Enviro 200MMCs began entering service today operating on Service 5 which runs between the City Centre and Postwick Park & Ride site.


Regular contributor Dan High managed to secure some interiors photos of 202 YX69NPG in addition to the usual exterior shot

The photos show the pristine entrance and seating areas. Also shown is the next stop display screen which also provides information on subsequent stops along the route.

My thanks to Dan for the photos

Roy

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Another Essex Arrival

Earlier today another First Essex Dart arrived at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot. This is the fourth to arrive from the county in the last four weeks.

Number 42483 SN03WLK joins similar 42484-86 SN03WLW/M/X after being towed in from Ipswich earlier this afternoon

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photos.

Roy

Friday, 8 November 2019

Farming Diary

Local Farms require extra workforce at this time of year and a local farm in my home village of Ormesby St. Margaret is one of them. Workers are transported by vehicles from G's Growers Ltd of Soham in Cambridgeshire.


Current vehicles noted on the farm are former Dublin Bus Volvo Olympian GOX78V, New in 1999 as 99-D-605 (RV-605) and Ex. Stagecoach Cambridgeshire Olympian R564DRP (16214). It was latterly with Shoreys Travel, Maulden in Bedfordshire.


Also parked up was MB 0814D Vario YX03BJV which was new to Kingston Upon Hull Council and latterly with Access Travel, Newarthill in Scotland.

Grahame.