Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Lowestoft Flying Visit

Around an hour was spent observing bus activity in the vicinity of Lowestoft Bus Station this lunch time

The first photo is one of Ambassador Travel's new Caetano Laevante coaches for National Express work. BV19XPU is about to leave on the 11:55 491 service to London Victoria via Great Yarmouth and Norwich

Drawing up behind was Suffolk Norse Alexander Dennis Enviro300 SN56AYL whose next working is the 12:06 to Gorleston's James Paget Hospital via some north Suffolk villages

The final photo is of First Great Yarmouth's Wright Eclipse Gemini 37043 YJ06XLT which, up until then, had evaded the attention of my camera.


Last Of Ex Manchester B7RLE's In Use

The last of the three ex First Manchester Volvo B7RLE's has been observed in use by Richard Woods with 66870 MX05CKA passing his office window on the 1519 service 15 from Acle to Wymondham, running about 10 minutes late.

Dan High also saw it in Castle Meadow awaiting time. My thanks to Dan for the photo and to Richard for the report


Sunday, 18 August 2019

Busy Beach Coach Station

Yesterday afternoon at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station reminded me of the Saturdays there in the old days as there was in excess of twenty coaches on the site (twenty three to be precise!)

Three Star Coaches of Luton regularly visits the town and sometimes provides double deck coaches like SF07OSE. It is a Berkhof Axial 100DD bodied Volvo B12B, formerly with Parks of Hamilton. Accompanying it was Volvo B12B /Berkhof Axial 50 in the form of FJ07VWY,

A second double deck coach visitor was Van Hool CO09ZYO of Letchworth based family run Cozys Executive Coach Hire.

A further interesting coach was Redline of Preston's Jonckheere bodied Volvo carrying the special plate 444NN

Finally, just as I was leaving, my attention was drawn to Iveco Minibus YN15DZX - nothing special about it but just that it was owned by Roy's Minbuses of Finedon near Wellingborough.


Friday, 16 August 2019

Second In Service

A second of the three ex First Manchester Volvo B7RLE's has been observed in service in Norwich by Simon Austin.

66865 MX05CJO was captured at Castle Meadow on its way to Thorpe St Andrew on the 24 service. My thanks to Dan High for the information and to Simon for the photo.


Thursday, 15 August 2019

Ex Manchester B7RLE In Service

One of the three recently transferred former Manchester Volvo B7RLE's was noted in service in Norwich yesterday by Liam Shubrook.

Dodging the rain, Liam got a photo of 66864 MX05CJJ working the Purple Line 36 to Horsford in the city centre during yesterday afternoon.

My thanks to Liam for the photo.


Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Preserved Peelings

'Reg Vardy' contacted me during yesterday evening to say that Peelings YXI 6327 was now in the safe hands of the Happisburgh Touring Society Preservation Group.

YXI 6327 is a Volvo B10M fitted with a Van Hool Alizee coach body. It was originally registered F741ENE when new to Smith Shearings in December 1988 as their 741

It is due to visit this year's Showbus next month where it is to be officially named. My thanks to Reg for the information and photo.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th August 2019

First Eastern Counties is the only operator registering local changes in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

The services effected are those in the Great Yarmouth area which have previously been reported in detail in our post of 9th August 2019 (First Great Yarmouth Winter Services). For the sake of completeness they are reported here
* 1/1A/1B Lowestoft to Martham - amendment to route, timetable and stopping places
* 2 Market Gates to Pleasure Beach - timetable changes
* 5 Market Gates to Burgh Castle - timetable amendment
* 6/6B/7 Market Gates to Bradwell and Belton - alteration to route, stopping places and timetable
* 8 Caister to James Paget Hospital - amendment to route, stopping places and timetable
* 9 Market Gates to James Paget Hospital - timetable changes
* X11/7 Market Gates to Belton - amendment to route, timetable and stopping places
All changes to take effect from 22nd September 2019

The full report will soon be available to view on the government website


Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Angies' Re registration

As you may have seen from our post dated 2nd June 2019 (Angies' Four), Lowestoft operator Angies Travel has recently acquired Neoplan Y137HWE. It was new to Stolzenburg (Llynfi Coaches) in July 2001.

Later in the month it was re registered P24PJO and Simon Bartram saw it on Sunday at Lowestoft Railway Station with its new plate. My thanks to Simon for the photo. 


Sunday, 11 August 2019

FEC Norwich Arrivals

Latest arrivals for First Norwich are 3 ex Manchester based Volvo B7RLE's. These are expected to replace 3 of the 02 plate Volvo B7L in the fleet. We are told one of the three new arrivals will become a Driver Trainer at some point. All three arrived in Norfolk on Saturday evening.

66864 Pictured at work in the North West. (David Burrell)

Details of the three as follows,

66864 MX05CJJ
66865 MX05CJO
66870 MX05CKA

Many Thanks to First for the info and to David Burrell for use of his Photo.


Friday, 9 August 2019

First Great Yarmouth Winter Services

I can exclusively reveal the local winter bus services scheduled to commence on Sunday 22nd September 2019. One area in particular is adversely affected and that is Gorleston's Shrublands Estate - the service is being reduced to hourly on weekdays with evening and Sunday services being withdrawn! It wasn't that long ago when the service was every twenty minutes.

The details are as follows

Service 1 (Lowestoft - Great Yarmouth - Martham) – route in Gorleston between Marine Parade and James Paget Hospital altered to be via Bridge Road rather than Park Road. 2300 journey to Martham replaced by extension of 2245 (from Market Gates) Service 8 beyond Scratby

Service 2 (Town Centre – Barrack Estate) – daytime off-peak frequency reduced from 10 to 12 minutes on Mondays to Saturdays. Evening journey at 2200 replaces 2130 and 2230

Service 5 (Great Yarmouth – Burgh Castle) – ‘peak’ inbound journey replaced by service 6B journey; off-peak frequency reduced to every two hours. 1715 outbound journey replaced by extension of 1735 Service 6 (now 6A)

Service 6/6B (Great Yarmouth - Bradwell) – certain journeys extended to/from Burgh Castle as above; evening timetable revised, replacing Service 7 journeys; evening and Sunday journeys no longer serve Shrublands

Service 7 (Great Yarmouth - Belton) – service withdrawn and replaced by Service 6B and X11 journeys

Service 8 (Caister – Town Centre - James Paget Hospital) – 2217 journey from James Paget Hospital extended from Scratby to Martham, replacing 2300 Service 1

Flying Banana Buses introduced a twenty minute frequency on Shrublands Estate some 30 years ago - this winter's First timetable sees the frequency reduced to hourly. Photo shows First Dart 42943 WA06OAS in the Flying Banana Bus livery
Service 9 (Town Centre – James Paget Hospital) – frequency reduced from every 30 minutes to hourly

Service X11 (Belton – Great Yarmouth – Norwich) – new journeys at 0735 Great Yarmouth to Belton, 1930 Belton to Great Yarmouth replacing Service 7 journeys.

The start of the new timetable is also expected to coincide with a range roadwork disruptions on Southtown Road. There will have to be some temporary timetable arrangements to cope with the resulting delays with further information being made available in due course.

My thanks to my contact at First Eastern Counties for the information


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 7th August 2019

There are a few entries of interest to report in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

The first involves changes to some of First’s Suffolk coastal routes, namely the 63/64/65 services between Aldeburgh and Ipswich Rail Station which will see the amendment to route, timetables and stopping places from 1st September 2019.

First is also to retrospectively amend the route of its XL service between Norwich Bus Station and Dereham Market Place from 24th July 2019.

Ambassador Travel is to cancel three of its Easton College services from 1st September 2019. They are the 51 from Stalham, the 53 from Bungay and the 58 from Harleston.

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Sunday, 4 August 2019

Ex Reynolds Returns

Earlier this afternoon Will Drake took a photo of a former Reynolds Coaches Plaxton Premier 350 bodied Volvo B10M-62 BIG9842 on its return visit to Great Yarmouth.

Formerly registered as N966DWJ, it was new to Brent’s Luxury Coaches and after leaving Reynolds found its way to Shy Coaches of Southend. It is currently operated by M Cunningham trading as Purley Coaches from London Road in Westerham.

My thanks to Will for the photo which was taken at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station.


Thursday, 1 August 2019

First Great Yarmouth Update

Following a short period of not including any updates on activity at First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot, I thought it was about time I provided one!

The first concerns the reason why Excel liveried Enviro400 33815 YX63LKD paid a visit to the coast and that was for the fitting of a new axle. Other news, big bus wise, is that both heritage liveried ALX400 30888 W743DWX and Gemini 37577 AU58EDF are both on loan from nearby Lowestoft.

Saloon wise, Darts 42919 EU05AUL and Flying Banana 42943 WA06OAS are both awaiting attention; the former requires a gearbox whilst the latter is having a new rear axle fitted.

My thanks to First for the information.


Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 31st July 2019

There are no local changes to report in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner. However, the full report will be available to view here soon.


Heritage Loan

Lowestoft Corporation liveried ALX400 30888 is currently on loan at Caister Road and was noted working the 1B Coastal Clipper Service between Great Yarmouth and Hemsby Beach.

Here she is pictured at Market Gates about to head out to Hemsby.

Later heading along Caister Road towards the villages.

Thanks to Will Drake for the Photos.


Semmence Versas

Konectbus recently finished operating the 9 Service between the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and Wymondham. It has been taken over by Semmence of Wymondham and a pair of Optare Versas have passed from Konectbus to run the service.

AU08DKL & AU08DKN were new to Anglianbus before moving to Konect, both have been repainted into an allover Dark Blue livery for the service.

Many Thanks to Joe Russell Wilson Smith for the Photos of AU08DKL.


Saturday, 27 July 2019

Visitor from Kings Lynn

Noted at Caister Road this morning was Kings Lynn based Enviro 400 33815 YK63LKD.

We are told it is here for some mechanical work along with Lowestoft based Dart 42908.

Thanks to First for the information.


Thursday, 25 July 2019

Sandringham Flower Show

This year's Sandringham Flower Show, held yesterday, usually attracts a large number of vehicles with many from the East Anglian area. David Bell was observing activity of the 80 or so coaches attending and here's a selection of the number of photos he sent for publication

The first shows Norfolk Coachway's WJZ2896, a Plaxton bodied Dennis R  new to Dickinson's of  Wrangle, near Boston as JD04DJD

The next is of a Mercedes Benz Tourismo with a new Norfolk operator. BF68ZFT is owned by I C Travel of Ringland, near Norwich.

Ipswich Buses often runs an excursion to the Flower Show and this year they employed Optare bodied Scania YJ60KGY

The penultimate picture shows AIG9916, a Beaulas bodied Iveco from the Salec Travel Fleet in Carbrooke near Watton

Finally a candidate for the longest travelled coach was BVC19YKN, another Tourismo with G-Line Holidays of Lytham St Annes. Although it may have been there as part of a tour.

My thanks to David Bell for his excellent photos and supporting information


Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th July 2019

BorderBus is the only operator registering local changes in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

The company is amending the following routes and timetables of some of its school bus services from 4th September 2019:-
*  SJL2 Oulton Broad/ Lowestoft to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles
*  SJL3 Carlton Colville to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles
*  SJL4 Carlton Colville to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles
*  SJL5 Carlton Colville to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles
*  SJL6 Southwold to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles
*  SJL9 Wangford to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles

The full report is now available to view on the government website


Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ipswich Transport Museum's Big Red Bus Day

Sunday saw the Ipswich Transport Museum hold their Big Red Bus Day marking the the centenary of Eastern Counties buses. Appropriately former Eastern Counties buses were present at the event on display or offering rides.

First up is photo DVF519 a Dennis Ace 4LK which entered the Counties fleet in December 1941 having received its third body. Alongside is Pat Burnside's ECW bodied Bristol SC4LK 3003AH which began its service with Eastern Counties Omnibus Company in January 1959.

Pat later took it out for a run and is pictured here with him at the wheel posing for the photographer.

Another saloon taking part was Bristol RELL6G EPW516K on the 'Misery Tour'. Built in 1972, it moved to Cambus and subsequently Viscount during the the break up of the old Eastern Counties Omnibus Company. Behind is Bristol VR294, VEX294X - the last VR style body to leave to Eastern Coach Works and immediately allocated to Eastern Counties' Lowestoft depot.

Another VR to make an appearance was VR190 VPW85S which was originally ordered by Waveney District Council prior to takeover by Eastern Counties. New in November 1976 it is currently owned by the VR190 Preservation Group in Norwich

Our final photo is of the museum's Bristol Lodekka FS5G / ECW GNG125C, new in November 1965 as LFS125.

My thanks to Reg Vardy for the photos


Sunday, 21 July 2019

Beach Coach Station Sunday

Seven coaches were parked up at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station earlier today.

One of the septet which attracted my attention was Suffolk Norse BN17JJY. The Mercedes Benz Tourismo was new to the operator in May 2017


Friday, 19 July 2019

Ex Anglian Volvos Withdrawn

It has been reported elsewhere that the five former Anglian Buses Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLEs have recently been withdrawn from the Blackpool Transport fleet.

AU06BOV,  BPE/F/K/O were new to Anglian in March 2006 receiving fleet numbers 401-5. They moved on to Blackpool during late summer 2010 and I was fortunate in being able to see one of them being prepared for its new owner on a visit to Anglian's Ellough site in July 2010.


Thursday, 18 July 2019

Semmence Konects!

Wymondham operator Semmence Coaches is to provide a new number 9 service between the market town and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital commencing on 29th of July.

Optare Versa AU08DKN pictured at Market Gates on a Great Yarmouth to Wroxham service in October 2015
The company is acquiring two Optare Versas from Konectbus to provide the new service and they are AU08DKL and AU08DKN. It is also acquiring Optare Solo AU07KMK from Konect to replace another, YK04KVU, which is transferring to Ambassador Travel.

Locally based Ambassador Travel has recently secured a contract requiring the use of a 33 seater with seat belts and their current two Solos do not have seat belts fitted.

My thanks to my regular contributor for the information.


Where are they now AO02RCU

Regular Contributor Mark Doggett has contacted us after spotting a former local vehicle now in use with a new owner.

Volvo B12M/Plaxton Paragon AO02RCU was new to First Eastern Counties in 2002 as their 204 for use on the X94 Excel service between Lowestoft and Peterborough. It was renumbered into First's National Fleet as 20504. The Coach fleet was replaced in 2013 and 20504 moved North for further use with First Glasgow.

It was repainted into the new First 'Olympia' whilst in Scotland. It has recently been sold on and was noted on the outskirts of Peterborough with new owners Decker Bus of Yaxley, still wearing its previous owners colours.

Thanks to Mark for his excellent Photos as always.


Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th July 2019

Sanders Coaches has registered a new service in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

The operator is to introduce a new school bus service 206 between Lynn Road, Dersingham and Burnt Street, Wells-next-the-Sea from 4th September 2019. It runs when the Alderman Peel School is open.

The full report is now available to view on the government website


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Owner ID Required

Contributor Will Drake saw this Plaxton Panther parked on Great Yarmouth's seafront  earlier today,

YK13WTX has no legal lettering on the side but was displaying an L plate. An internet search revealed next to nothing apart from a photo of it on a lorry park at Bury St Edmunds, which suggested it was a driver trainer. Is there anyone with any knowledge of its current owner and if so could you provide details to our email address shown in the left hand column of the web page?

My thanks to Will for the photo.

Many thanks to all those who contacted us via Facebook and email and it appears that YK13WTX is operated by a Ministry of Defence contractor and Simon from Llantwit Fardre goes further to suggest 'this is one from Babcocks.'


Friday, 12 July 2019

Glastonbury Buses

Whilst the 2019 Glastonbury Festival finished at the end of last month you may not have been aware that there were many ‘park and ride’, ‘rail and ride’ and ‘drop and collect’ services to the event involving bus and coaches. It, therefore, also attracts a number of bus enthusiasts to the festival with one having travelled down from Scotland to get his photos!

My daughter was working at the festival and she managed to get quite a number of photos for me to use. The first montage contains photos of, appropriately, three First Group Enviro400s. On the left is First Bristol's 33791 YX66WKU, with the others from First Somerset and Avon - 33950 YX66WFC and 33947 YX66WEW.

Next up is Bristol Bath Company's ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL SK52USH on the left. In the centre is First's Metrobus liveried Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC 36804 YT67XJX whilst on the right is Bournemouth based Yellow Buses Gemini 125 BX12CVO.

By far the most interesting buses there were the ECW bodied Bistol VRs operated by Chepstow Classic Buses. Three of the four pictured (XJJ655V, XJJ653V, XJJ658V) were new to East Kent in early 1980 whilst the other (UFX856S) was first with Hants & Dorset in 1977.

The drivers of the first two Chepstow Classic deckers were also keen to pose with their vehicles, as seen in the photo.

Other operators seen included Centurion Travel who was operating both Volvo B10M-62/ Berkhof W555GSM (pictured) and their Bova YK04FWA.


Thursday, 11 July 2019

Beach Coach Station Today

A visit to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station yielded eight coaches just before noon today.

Two from the Thetford based Coach Services fleet were present in the form of two ex Alfa Coaches' Volvo B12Bs PN06KKA and PN06KZJ. Both joined the Norfolk fleet in September 2012

On the subject of Alfa Coaches, two of their Mercedes Benz Tourismos BX15OED and BU16HBF made an appearance. The latter was sighted beside similar Caledonian Travel BN17JJX.


Coasthopper in Town

One of Sanders Coaches' Coasthopper saloons made it to Great Yarmouth today on the 09:55 X6 from North Walsham. Wright Eclipse Urban bodied VolvoB7RLE 503 HF54HFO was the vehicle involved.

It later returned with the 11:35 from Great Yarmouth


Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Come On You Reds

With the rebranding of the First Ipswich Fleet now well underway, regular contributor Mark Doggett has been out and about in the Suffolk Town to catch up on the latest events and repaints.

First up is Enviro 200 44519 YX09ADO which carries "Shuttle 60" branding on its new Red livery.

Another with "Shuttle 60" Branding is 44516 YX09ACV seen above here at the Buttermarket.

44517 YX09ACY is pictured above at The Old Cattle Market Bus Station about to head out to the suffolk coastal village of Aldeburgh on the 64 service.

69422 AU58FFJ is the first Volvo B7RLE to gain the Red colours and is branded for "Felixstowe Flyers" services.

Norwich based B7RLE 66824 MX05CEV has been loaned to cover the ongoing repaint programme and is seen here on a return journey from Aldeburgh on the 64 which goes via the town of Saxmundham also.

Finally Ipswich Reds fleetnames are being added to the vehicles awaiting repaint in the fleet and ALX400 32490 AU53HKH is seen at the Old Cattlemarket heading out to Martlesham on the 66 with its new names applied.

Many Thanks as always to Mark for use of his excellent Photos.