Thursday 28 February 2019

Another Spratts Coach Acquired

A further arrival to report at Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches is Van Hool bodied Scania K114 HY04HXK. It was new to Eirebus of Dublin as 04-D-325348 in April 2004.

It has been acquired from Spratts of Wreningham and is now the fourth coach in the Jubilee fleet that has seen service with that operator.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the regular supply of news and photos from Jubilee Coaches.


Wednesday 27 February 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th February 2019

This morning's Notices and Proceedings Report contains a few entries concerning changes to local bus services and are repeated here for the sake of completeness.

First Eastern Counties has registered a new 99A/99H service between Southwold Kings Head and St Mary's Street in Bungay via Halesworth. The Monday to Saturday service is effective from 31st March 2019

There are a couple of variations in existing First Eastern Counties routes to report. They include timetable amendments for the 40/40A/X41/41A/41 group of services between Hillside Road West in Bungay and St Stephens Street in Norwich. It is also changing the timetables of its 99/99B Lowestoft Bus Station to Southwold Pier Avenue service. First is also to amend the route, stopping places and timetable of 28/29/X29 between Norwich, St Stephens Street and Fakenham, Oak Street. All changes are to take effect from 31st March 2019. The operator is also to cancel its 925 Bramfield Road, Halesworth to Bungay High School service from 31st March 2019.

Konectbus is to cancel its 87/88 Halesworth to Southwold service from 1st April 2019 with its 90 route between the two areas going from 21st April 2019. A third service cancelled by Konectbus is the BH272 between Wangford and Bungay High School from 1st April 2019.

The full East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


B7 Withdrawn Again

News has reached us from First's Caister Road Depot that Volvo B7 66334 MV02VBZ has been taken out of service again

It is seen here in company with Scania L94UB 65673 SN51UYG, also out of service, in the rear yard at the depot

My thanks to First for the information and photo.


Tuesday 26 February 2019

More BorderBus News

After tripping over SteveW near Morrison's in Lowestoft, and following our photo of the BorderBus demonstrator, we both headed over to their Beccles depot at Ellough.

The reason for the visit was to obtain a photo of the recent addition to the fleet, Scania OmniCity 212 YR61RUY. The staff are always very friendly and helpful and obliged by putting BorderBus on the destination screen

Whilst there I noted that a couple of Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs were out of use and were being robbed for spares - namely X647LLX and LK51XGH.

My thanks to the staff at BorderBus for their time and help.


New Enviro Demo for Borderbus

Borderbus of Beccles have taken delivery of Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC Demonstrator YX68UPY for use on their 146 service between Southwold and Norwich.

It entered service this morning after arriving at Ellough on Monday morning, It is being evaluated for Fuel Economy purposes during its time in Suffolk. I managed to get some sunny shots of it this morning in Carlton Colville as it headed to Southwold.

It has also recently seen use with Go Ahead North East and latterly with Transdev Yorkshire operations before heading to the East Coast.

Thanks to Borderbus for the info on timings.


First Latest

The latest news from First is that Lowestoft's Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30886 W741DWX has been withdrawn with engine failure. Its replacement from Norwich is none other than similar 30913 W768DWX. It looks as though the search for another training vehicle is on the cards!!

Operationally, some of you will probably be aware that First is to provide a new 99A service connecting Southwold, Halesworth and Bungay. This is mainly a commercial service although some funding is being contributed towards the former BH272 school run from Blythburgh to Bungay which will be numbered 99H. This is to make the general public aware that they could also use the service!

On arrival in Southwold the 99A buses will become the 99 to Lowestoft and, therefore, in most cases offer guaranteed connections to Lowestoft. Coastal day tickets are valid on all 99A journeys extending all the way to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth. Additionally Halesworth to Norwich passengers can change at Bungay using the new Explorer tickets which are still cheaper than current Konect tickets!

First has tried to provide as good connections as possible at Bungay for Norwich, but recognise it is not perfect. The operator says facts prove that an hourly service is not viable or sustainable.

My thanks to my contact at First for the information


Saturday 23 February 2019

BorderBus Latest

A BorderBus driver has posted on the Norwich Bus Enthusiasts Facebook Group that the Suffolk operator has taken delivery of Scania OmniCity YR61RUY. Delivered new to Centrewest in October 2011, it recently saw service with Metroline.

BorderBus are also expecting to have a demonstrator on the road from early next week. My thanks to Sam Larke and BorderBus for the information.


Date For The Diary

Friday 22 February 2019

Wandering Star

Great Yarmouth heritage liveried Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL W219XBD found itself working Lowestoft based services yesterday. Our Lowestoft correspondent Simon Bartram observed it on a 99 service to Kessingland during lunchtime.

He later photographed it on Waveney Road in Lowestoft about to leave on the 14:40 X22 service to Norwich. At Norwich Bus Station Omar Atiallah recorded its arrival prior to it returning to Lowestoft on the 16:20 X2 service.

My thanks to Simon and Omar for the information and photos.


Thursday 21 February 2019

High Street Interlude

A few errands to deal with in Gorleston High Street during yesterday afternoon in between which I managed to grab a couple of photos.

The first photo shows former First Manchester Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30948 YJ51RRV on the 8 to the James Paget Hospital. It was recently transferred from First Norwich.

The second is of BorderBus ADL Enviro200 104 BB62BUS on the 580 Waveney Line to Bungay service. It looks to have recently been cleaned and has branding for the Southwold - Beccles - Norwich route.


Wednesday 20 February 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th February 2019

There is nothing of relevance to our local area in this morning's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, of interest is the timetable amendment by David McMaster, trading as Awaydays, to the Norwich city centre route 1 from 1st April 2019.

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


Not Training Just Yet!

Former First Bradford Volvo B7TL 30913 is the latest arrival for First Norwich which we reported a few days ago, initial reports had it as a Driver Trainer replacement for the withdrawn 32809 which sadly suffered engine failure. However due to vehicle requirement in the city 30913 was quickly pressed into public service and was noted in use on service 21.

30913 seen in Theatre Street heading for the N+N Hospital.

Many Thanks to Chris Dugdell for use of his Photo.


Tuesday 19 February 2019

Wrights Acquisition

Wrights Coaches has another addition to its fleet. The operator tweeted earlier today that it had acquired Mercedes Benz Tourino BV57JYO from Spratts of Wreningham

The new arrival brings the fleet total up to eight coaches and minibuses.


Monday 18 February 2019

Latest Arrival at Our Bus

Following the post of 27th January (Our Bus News) regarding the impending arrival of Optare Solo W441CWX, Sam Larke has supplied a photo of it in the Our Bus yard.

It arrived by low loader last week and is to donate its engine to CN05JYP. W441CWX was last used as a parade float for a mosque and is to be stripped for spare parts. My thanks to Sam for the photo and information


Sunday 17 February 2019

Rail Replacement

With engineering work being carried out on the local rail network, replacement buses were in use at both Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft stations during the weekend.

Earlier this afternoon Smiths Coaches' Volvo B12M FP51EUN was ready to receive its passengers at Great Yarmouth Station whilst Wright Coaches' Scania K114 R25PTS was on standby.

Both are regulars on local rail replacement services


Saturday 16 February 2019

First Driver Trainer Replacement

It appears the oldest member of the current FEC fleet has finally expired, Trident 32809 T809LLC has given up after engine failure at Norwich. It was latterly being used as a Driver Trainer.

32809 pictured at Caister Road last year.
A Replacement for the driving school has been sourced from First Bradford in the shape of Volvo B7TL/ALX400 30913 W768CWX.

30913 Seen working in Bradford in July 2018 (Mark Doggett)

 Thanks to First for the info and to Mark Doggett for use of his photo.


Friday 15 February 2019

Friday Findings

A total of seven coaches were observed on the trip around Great Yarmouth earlier this morning.

Outside the Hotel Victoria on Kings Road was Majestic Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BN17JMX whilst on the hotel car park was Skills of Nottingham's VDL Futura YJ13HVB (pictured).

As usual, a group of Shearings/ National Holidays coaches were parked on Marine Parade close to the SeaLife Centre. Together were the latter's Kassbohrer Setra NH14JBH with the former's 849 BF16XOV bringing up the rear. On the opposite side of the road was a second Shearing's Tourismo in the shape of 133 BU18YSK

At Beach Coach Station was Belle Coaches' Scania K410EB4 BC17BEL, in Just Go livery, and National Holidays' Tourismo NH15GCH


Thursday 14 February 2019

Mid Week in Norwich

One of those rare mid week days when I was determined to get to Norwich to photograph activity in the Fine City. It initially meant a stroll to the city centre via Bishopgate and I was hopeful that I may see a Norwich School Olympian in the lay by. There wasn't, but there was a Dolphin Travel Bova in the form of FRZ2054.

On arrival in the city centre, it was noticeable that Konectbus were using vehicles of many colours as the attached photo shows. Here former Go Ahead London red Wight Eclipse Gemini LX05EAJ is passed by ex Thames Travel ADL Enviro200 SN10CCZ.

Lurking behind the twosome in the photo is Bluestar liveried Mercedes Benz Citaro 426 HF55JZD on 'the shining bus service for Southampton' - a little off route perhaps!

During my couple of periods of observation I noticed Simmonds were using a couple of deckers on their services including East Lancs OmniDekka bodied Scania WVE284 (pictured) and Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton President MSU917

At the Castle Mall entrance, on Castle Meadow, were two Sanders Coaches on a school trip. Former Lochs & Glens Volvo B13 920 BT14DLZ was parked in front of  ex Parks of Hamilton Volvo B9R 918 SD60DGO.

A former Sanders vehicle seen in its new guise was VDL/ Berkhof YJ12CHK now re-registered by its new owner Felixstowe Travel as M30FXO. It was one of two of the fleet seen on Theatre Street - the other was Volvo B9R M50FXO.

Of the National Express services I saw, all three were in the hands of Whippet's Caetano Levantes including the 490 London service.

Yes, I know I haven't posted a First photo, but I didn't notice anything that unusual to report!


Wednesday 13 February 2019

Bedford VAS5 Update

Last Thursday I reported on the abandonment of a long term plan to preserve ex OK Motor Services Bedford VAS5 LPY721W. (see Jubilee Coaches Update) Subsequent developments have now taken place.

Late yesterday afternoon the Bedford was being prepared for its long journey to Liddells of east Ayrshire. Apparently it will be joining three others there, hopefully for preservation and not as a source of spares.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and photo.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th February 2019

There are a couple of entries of interest in this morning's Notices and Proceedings Report concerning our local area.

BorderBus is to vary the timetable of both parts of its 146 route from the 25th February 2019. They operate separately as Southwold to Kessingland and Kessingland to Norwich services.

Also included in the publication is a notice of a public inquiry regarding David McMaster which is to be held at Cambridge on 25th February 2019

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website.


Tuesday 12 February 2019

First 32348 Returns

Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 32348 LK53LZL has returned to service at First's Caister Road depot.

32348 LK53LZL seen in Great Yarmouth on 1st February 2016
Meanwhile, Volvo B7 saloon 66344 MV02VCX has moved to Roundtree Way in Norwich and is expected to be converted for driver training purposes.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information.


Monday 11 February 2019

Jubilee Outing

Earlier this morning one of the Jubilee Coaches fleet was waiting for schoolchildren from Lynn Grove Academy to board for an outing.

The coach was former Peelings Caetano bodied Dennis Javelin S100DJD and is seen here on Beccles Road in Gorleston.


Friday 8 February 2019

Thursday Sightings

Six coaches were observed on my trawl around the usual haunts in Great Yarmouth early yesterday morning.

Three of them belonged to the Shearings' fleet and were parked in close proximity to their Carlton Hotel on Marine Parade. Two 18 registered Mercedes Tourismos were seen in the form of 149 BU18YTD and 133 BU18YSK (pictured). Also present in front of the SeaLife Centre was aROSA River Cruising liveried Kassbohrer Setra 637 BT63GCX.

Noted close to the Britannia Pier was Gee-Vee Travel's VDL GT16GVT with National Holidays' Kassbohrer Setra NH14EBH immediately behind.

With nothing observed at the Coach Station, I thought that was it until I returned home via Wellesley Road! Unusually next to the football ground I espied Courtney Travel's Unvi Touring GT bodied Mercedes Benz CS17CTS


Thursday 7 February 2019

Jubilee Coaches Update

The latest news from Rollesby-based Jubilee Coaches is that Plaxton Premiere bodied Dennis Javelin L333JCR is to revert to one of its previous registrations N43AHH. It is due for an MOT and will afterwards be available for sale.

Dennis Javelin L333JCR which will shortly be available for disposal

A long term project to preserve former OK Motor Services Duple bodied Bedford VAS5 LPY721W has been abandoned. This is primarily due to a lack of storage space and the amount of time required to devote to this project. It is currently available for sale on eBay.

Photo of  Duple boded Bedford VAS5 LPY721W - reproduced through Creative Commons License
My thanks to Kevan Portas for the update.


Wednesday 6 February 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th February 2019

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report includes couple of entries of note relating to our local area

National Express is to vary its Lowestoft Bus Station to London Victoria Coach Station 490/491 service from the 1st April 2019. The route, which also serves Great Yarmouth and Norwich, is to be altered together with a new timetable.

Granted under short notice is the timetable amendment to the Konectbus 87/88 service between Southwold and Halesworth from 2nd March 2019

The complete East of England Traffic Commissioner's Report will soon be available to view on the website


Tuesday 5 February 2019

Caister Road Depot Pictorial

Mainly a photo post this evening with the first two pictures showing two former Norwich saloons still residing at Caister Road

Finally a shot inside the depot showing all six of Great Yarmouth's First liveried Darts

My thanks to First for the photos


Friday 1 February 2019

Another Anglian Decker In Exile

On 21st July last year I published a post containing photos of three Hedingham & District double deckers still in their Anglianbus livery. (Ex Anglian Deckers In Exile). The photos were kindly supplied by Robert Appleton.

Robert has now provided another photo showing a former Anglianbus decker, still retaining its colours, but now in use with Go Ahead Chambers based in Sudbury, Suffolk. East Lancs Omnidekka bodied Scania N94UD YN55PZF is shown at Colchester Bus Station (Osborne Street) on 28th January 2019 waiting to depart on the 754 service to Sudbury.

My thanks to Robert for the photo.