Sunday 31 March 2019

Sunday Spots

Captured some Sunday Coaches whilst out and about today in the Sunshine.

First up is OU65RLO a Neoplan Tourliner belonging to Carsville Coaches of Stockport.

Next up is Shearings MB Tourismo 841 BJ16KXR, which according to the entrance door is called 'Wendy'.

Finally noted at the Coach Park was former Spratts Van Hool W27GES now under the ownership of Jubilee Coaches of Rollesby.


Saturday 30 March 2019

Caister Road Arrivals

Friday saw the appearance of two Scania Omnicity Single Decks at Caister Road from First Essex. 65028 YN06TDO & 65030 YN06TDV. It appears they are just passing!

Both are destined for further use with First Potteries after being withdrawn from the Essex fleet recently. They were allocated to Clacton Depot prior to its closure, they moved briefly to Colchester before they were marked for transfer. We are told they may see use at Yarmouth for a week or two as more vehicles are required for Bernard Matthews Contract work due to changes in the factory shift patterns.

Both were new to First Essex for use on Chelmsford Park & Ride services in 2006 as you can see in the photo above.

Thanks to First for the info and to Tom Green and Colin Humphrey for the photos.


Rail Replacement Day 8

Whilst I had a lazy day and just couldn't be bothered to get out and see what was happening at Great Yarmouth Station today, Simon Bartram was on the ball again at Oulton Broad North Station with photos of some of the rail replacement workings.

His first sighting was of BMC 220 type YK55AUA, which was originally delivered new to First West Yorkshire in December 2005. It has recently been acquired by Aylmerton based AFSC t/a Marett’s Chariots and carries fleet number 509. The bus is seen passing Oulton Broad North signal box whilst employed on the 08:56 Lowestoft to Norwich service.

Seen travelling in the opposite direction, and thought to be on the 08:55 from Norwich, was M&M Staffing's Neoplan Tourliner tri-axle MM68BUS. It was new to the Essex operator in December 2018 and was also exhibited at the November Bus & Coach Show.

Ambassador Travel's Sunsundegui Sideral bodied Volvo B12M 251 KIG8458 was also being used on rail replacement and departed on the 09:57 Lowestoft service to Norwich.

My thanks to Simon for the photos and information


Friday 29 March 2019

Rail Replacement Day 7

The seventh consecutive day of rail replacement brought the usual operators out to play, although a couple of different coaches made an appearance.

Looking in at Lowestoft Railway Station I found Maretts Chariots Volvo M24AAM in the car park on standby with a couple of Angies Coaches available for company. Also in use was Belle Coaches  Kassbohrer Setra S315FT-HD 25 LIL9456.

I was about to leave and saw Ambassador Travel’s Sunsundegui Sideral bodied Volvo B12M 250 KIG8457 heading back from Beccles along Denmark Road. It later returned to Beccles on the 11:50 departure.

Meanwhile at Great Yarmouth Wrights Coaches was employing Kassbohrer Setra S250 K400PTS


Thursday 28 March 2019

Rail Replacement Chariots

Today is the sixth day of rail replacements and the regular suspects were hanging around the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Stations as usual.

However, this morning Maretts Chariots vehicles were engaged in rail replacement duties at both locations. Mercedes Benz Tourismo BG65VXU was waiting time at Great Yarmouth to work the 11:17 to Norwich. It was new in January 2016.

Whilst earlier at Lowestoft, another member of the fleet, Volvo B12BT GDZ435, was getting ready to leave on the 08:57 to Norwich. The coach still retains its previous owner's livery having been purchased from Richards Coaches of Guist. It was new to Whitelaws of Stonehouse in June 2008.

My thanks to Simon Bartram for the Lowestoft photo and information on GDZ435


Wednesday 27 March 2019

Another Day of Rail Replacements

Yet another day of rail replacements and at Great Yarmouth Station the same four coaches as yesterday were available for use. They were Peter Godward's CC17PGC and CC18PGC, PTS Group's V25PTS and Tendring Travel's AM52MXW.

It looked as though the usual suspects were in use at Lowestoft again when I received Tim Miller's contribution of earlier today which revealed the use of Galleon of Roydon's DK65GAL

However, Simon Bartram was on the spot when Belle Coaches supplied their 'Just go! Holidays' liveried Lahden OmniExpress bodied Scania K400EB4 YR61RVO for Rail Replacement use.

My thanks to Tim and Simon for the photos


Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th March 2019

A couple of points of interest appear in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Halesworth Area Community Transport is to amend the timetable of its 511 service to Halesworth Railway Station from 4th May 2019. Saturday morning services will also be added

David McMaster, trading as Awaydays, is to cancel the registration of his Great Yarmouth seafront service running from the Britannia Pier from 26th April 2019. This open top service hasn't operated since the end of the summer in 2010. So far unreported is this operator's immediate two month licence suspension following a public inquiry held on 25th February 2019.

The full details of today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's report can be viewed on the website


Tuesday 26 March 2019

Today's Rail Replacements

The fourth day of rail replacements at Great Yarmouth Station yielded another two coaches in addition to Peter Godward's CC17PGC and CC18PGC used yesterday

Wright's Coaches V25PTS ahead of Godward Coaches CC18PGC
In addition to Wrights Coaches V25PTS, another member of the Tendring Coaches fleet was available for use. This was Plaxton bodied Dennis R AM52MXW which was new to the Ministry of Defence and latterly with Cooke of South Witham.

Meanwhile over in Lowestoft, Simon Bartram tells me that Ambassador Travel's Volvo B12M KIG8457 made an appearance on the 12:57 Lowestoft to Norwich service.

The only other vehicle of note here today was the use Galleon of Roydon's tri-axle VDL Futura HD DK65GAL. It was also used in service on the Norwich to Lowestoft route on Monday which is when the picture was taken.

My thanks to Simon for the information and photos.


Monday 25 March 2019

Godward Coaches At The Double

A different operator for the third day of rail replacement at Great Yarmouth's Railway Station this morning appeared in the form of Basildon-based Peter Godward Coaches.

The first photo is of CC17PGC, an Irizar i6 Integral C49Ft coach, new in July 2017. Also present was their Mercedes Benz Tourismo CC18PGC.

The third coach on duty was PTS Group's Scania/Berkhof R25PTS which doesn't appear to have moved since yesterday - although I am sure it has!


Sunday 24 March 2019

Rail Replacement Sunday

Today is the second day of the nine day closure of the Norwich to Great Yarmouth and the Norwich to Lowestoft rail lines to train services. This is due to major signalling and track renewal work.

I looked in at Great Yarmouth station twice this afternoon and observed a couple of different coaches in use (for a change!) The first was Neoplan MM10BUS, operated by M&M Staffing Services Limited of Cooksmill Green near Chelmsford. I had previously reported its appearance on a similar service from Lowestoft station in October 2018 (see More Lowestoft Rail Replacements).

The second visit saw the use of Tendering Travel's RY57ZKK, a Berkhof Axial bodied Scania K340EB4. On both occasions Wright Coaches' Scania K114EB4 R25PTS was on standby.

Meanwhile at Lowestoft, Simon Bartram reported the earlier use of Angies Coaches' Neoplan T777GSM and King Long WJI5242 with Belle Coaches employing Setra LIL9454 and MIL3503. 


Friday 22 March 2019

BorderBus Latest Fleet List

Following a number of requests about an up to date fleet list for Beccles based BorderBus, I am pleased to advise that an up to date version can now be found in our Fleet List section.

This includes the new registration for the latest addition to the fleet, Scania OmniCity YR61RUY. This becomes BB61BUS

My thanks to Andrew Pursey for his much valued help in allowing me to provide the latest listing which can be found HERE


Thursday 21 March 2019

Belle Coaches Latest Arrival

Belle Coaches announced on social media earlier today that they had taken delivery of a brand new 29 seater coach

The arrival of Iveco Indcar BC19BEL was reported on both the operator's Twitter and Facebook accounts. My thanks to Belle Coaches for the information and photo.

The company has also supplied an up to date fleet list which now appears on our site.


Wednesday 20 March 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th March 2019

There's quite a few changes in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

As already mentioned BorderBus has registered two new Monday to Saturday services commencing on 23rd April 2019. They are the 522 Halesworth to Beccles via Westhall and the 524 Southwold to Beccles via Brampton. The operator has also increased the authorisation of the number of vehicles able to use its Moor Business Park site to 18 subject to numerous conditions.

Sanders Coaches is amending the timetables of the following services from 21st April 2019:-
CH1/CH3/CH4 Coasthopper service between Cromer Cadogan Road and Wells-next-the-Sea Quay
5/CH2 Holt Charles Road to North Walsham Post Office
5A North Walsham Post Office to Stalham former railway station site
6/X6 North Walsham Post Office to Great Yarmouth Market Gates
6A North Walsham Post Office and Cromer Bus Station
9 Sheringham to Fakenham Oak Street (route change also)
34 North Walsham Post Office to Stalham former railway station site
43/43A/43B Reepham Market Place and Norwich Bus Station
44 Holt Hempstead Road to Sheringham Station Approach
X40/X44/44A Reepham to Norwich High School
X55/55 North Walsham Post Office to Norwich city centre

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


Tuesday 19 March 2019

SPW999 Update

Following our article last week on a possible restoration attempt on Bedford SBG SPW999 (Plea For Help To Restore Bedford SBG) David Bell sent a photograph of it when owned by Reynolds Coaches.

He tells me it was 'taken way back in July 1976 when SPW 999 was parked outside the depot at Caister. In the window is a board advertising the once familiar summer shuttles to holiday camps that used to operate from outside Vauxhall station.'

I forwarded it on to Gary Palmer who said 'she looks stunning and was planning to go to see it last weekend to view.' However, he says, 'it looks like someone has beat me to it and has bought it' He is currently trying to contact the new owner.

My thanks to David for the photo and to Gary for the update


Monday 18 March 2019

Shearings Sale?

Shearings Holidays' vehicles at Corley Services in May 2017
As most of you will be aware Shearings Holidays regularly visit the Great Yarmouth area on short stay breaks. It is therefore of interest that its owner, US private equity company Star Funds, is in talks to sell the company according to a recent report in a national newspaper.

Apparently Lone Star has had talks with bankers about selling off the holiday operator either later this or the following year. Originally a minor investment partner in Shearings, the US company bought out the remaining share holding in the Wigan-based group in April 2016 for an undisclosed sum.

We will be watching developments with interest.


Saturday 16 March 2019

Jubilee Disposal

Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches has sold Plaxton Premiere bodied Dennis Javelin N43AHH to Semmence Coaches of Wymondham. The coach, which also operated as L333JCR when with Jubilee, has reverted to its previous registration.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and to Will Drake for the photo.


Friday 15 March 2019

First Lowestoft Arrival

Not to be outdone by its near neighbour, First Lowestoft has also received an addition to its allocation in the form of  ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30913 W768DWX

It arrived at the Suffolk depot from Norwich on Sunday and the following day was employed on the 106 Lowestoft town route and also appeared on the 14:40 X22 Lowestoft to Norwich and return. The following day it was on the 99 route and it must have enjoyed the Southwold sea air as Simon Bartram caught it returning to Lowestoft on the 13:15 ex Southwold yesterday.

Simon also reported the unusual working of the 101 service from Lowestoft Bus Station for the Gunton Estate during yesterday lunchtime. It was in the hands of the newest decker in the Lowestoft fleet (X1 deckers excepted of course!) Volvo B9 36215 BJ12VWX.

My thanks to Simon for the reports and photos


First Great Yarmouth Arrival

Yesterday afternoon I was told of the arrival from Sheffield of 37154 YN06URH at First's Caister Road depot. The Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL was new to First South Yorkshire in June 2006 and spent some time in Scotland having been transferred north during November 2009. It had subsequently returned to its native county.

On the repairs front, Lowestoft's Volvo B9TL 37576 AU58EDC is in the workshops awaiting gearbox attention. Others in attendance include 37275 LK58EDJ (differential) and 30954 YJ51RDO.

My thanks to First for the information and Will Drake for the photo


Thursday 14 March 2019

Plea For Help To Restore Bedford SBG

Way back in June 2016 John Wakefield made me aware of the availability of long lost Bedford SBG / Duple Vega SPW999 on ebay. (See  Long Lost Bedford SBG Now On Ebay). I have subsequently been contacted by Gary Palmer of Cromer Classic Cars who is currently considering its purchase.

See the original post for more photos
Gary says 'I have a unit and a commercial pit that would take the coach however we restore cars. So this is a an appeal from myself to ask if there is any volunteers out there that would love to help me restore this lovely bus or coach (unsure what to call it it at present) I can supply all the materials and endless cups of tea.

I do have a full time mechanic but he can lend a hand when can, but he is book up restoring other people cars ( this of course helps to pay for the unit etc). I would love to see this Bedford grace the roads of Cromer and Norfolk again.' 

If you are willing to assist Gary to take on this project would you please contact him direct via email at or by calling him on 01263 510978. The Cromer Classic Cars website can be found at

SPW999 was new to Babbage trading as Green Grey of Cromer in 1955. It has a further local connection in that it went to Reynolds of Caister in April 1962 and in circa 1991 was sold to a private owner near North Walsham.

My thanks to Gary for contacting us and I hope that he will be successful. My thanks also to John Wakefield for the original photo and information.


East Suffolk Bus Changes

Since the announcement by Konectbus to cease some services in the Halesworth / Southwold area there has been subsequent developments to continue to provide services by other operators.

The X88 service in Southwold when operated by Anglianbus in November 2017
We have already mentioned changes being made by First in our post of 26th February (see First Latest). Borderbus are also planning to introduce two new services to replace the Suffolk County Council funded Konectbus 90 route. The new timetables for replacement 522/524 services can be found on the BorderBus website. The former runs from Halesworth to Beccles whilst the latter operates from Southwold to Beccles, via Brampton, from 23rd April 2019.

The Konectbus 90 ceases to run after 20th April 2019.


Wednesday 13 March 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th March 2019

Having returned from the south coast of England, I am pleased to bring you details of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Whilst there are no entries affecting local services, it is interesting to note that Thetford based Coach Services are to run an open top bus tour of Norwich from 1st April 2019 to 10th May 2019. The daily OT1 route will be a limited stop daily service commencing at Castle Meadow. Meanwhile David McMaster of Awaydays is to amend the timetable of his city circular tour.

PF Travel of Woodbridge has gained approval to use premises at Grove Road in the town for five vehicles subject to certain conditions.

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


Saturday 9 March 2019

Worthing Observations

I wondered into Worthing town centre this afternoon, via the sea front, with many sightings recorded in the latter area. On the way, whilst heading to Brighton Road, I glimpsed an unidentied Stagecoach London decker which I subsequently saw going through the bus wash at Worthing depot.

Almost immediately I saw another heading my way in the shape of Alexander Dennis Enviro400 19879 LX12DAA displaying Rail Replacement on its destination screen. This time the camera was at the ready and it also disappeared to the depot and went through the washer. Southern Rail are undertaking improvements in the Lewis area and hence the need for replacement services.

Parked up in the depot yard was a Stagecoach South Alexander Dennis Enviro400MMC due for Rail Replacement duties. It was 10955 SN18KNW normally in use on the 700 Coastliner and is pictured later leaving the depot to take up its next working.

Compass Bus Alexander Dennis Enviro200 YX67UYF was being employed on the 16 route to Lancing Broadway which runs at hourly intervals from West Tarring.

Also operating every hour is the Metrobus service to Crawley Bus Station and Scania OmniCity 6559 YN07LKF was working the 16:30 departure from Worthing Pier.


Thursday 7 March 2019

Brighton Visit

As you will have seen from the previous post, I am currently in the south of England and it would be rude not to take in bus activity in Brighton! So a visit beckoned on Tuesday.

The above picture shows intense activity on North Street with buses from the Brighton & Hove fleet dominating the street scene.

Continuing along North Street, one of Compass Bus new Dennis Enviro200MMCs was observed on the tendered 37 route to Meadow View in the shape of YX68UJY.

Proceeding to Steine Gardens I found Go Ahead London Alexander Dennis Enviro400 E12 SN06BNX. It was laying over after working the Monday to Friday shoppers 773 service from Banstead which would return during the afternoon.

The Brighton & Hove/Metrobus driver trainers were out in force with ex Metrobus Scania OmniCity YN05HCE taking a break at Steine Gardens and ex Southern Vectis President bodied Volvo B7TL PL51LDK passing through Churchill Square.

Around midday a French registered Mercedes Benz Tourismo turned up with an isi lines service. Only one person alighted from the Courriers Automobiles Picards owned CT-231-BC

Meanwhile at the Pool Valley National Express bus station Edwards Coaches Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9R FJ11GKY was seen on a London bound service

Returning to Steine Gardens my attention was drawn to the presence of two of The Big Lemon’s Optare Solo M9250SR waiting time. They were YJ68FZL and YJ68FZN both with destinations set for the 56 to Knoll Estate. They were only just delivered in February.


Wednesday 6 March 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th March 2019

Hello from the south coast of England and apologies for the reduction in the number of posts this week. However, I can bring you details of today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Konectbus is to amend the timetable of two of it’s services in early April. They include the 21 service between Dereham Market Place and Fakenham Oak Street from 2nd April 2019. The other is the 40A/41A/X41 linking Halesworth with Norwich from 2nd April 2019.

Sanders Coaches is cancelling the 608 Lyng to Reepham and X11 Happisburgh Post Office to Norwich High School services from 21st April 2019.

Lowestoft based Britannia Bus is amending two of its services operating in the Milton Keynes and Northampton areas on 8th April 2019.

Finally, Setina Limited has applied for consent to use premises at Salisbury Road in Great Yarmouth as an operating centre for one vehicle. The application was subsequently withdrawn prior to determination.

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


Saturday 2 March 2019

Brand New Visitor

March sees the start of 19 plate registrations and only two days in i managed to spot a brand new visitor to the town this afternoon.

YD19HHM is a DAF Powered Yutong TC12 E6 of KM Travel, Barnsley. It was parked on Great Yarmouth Seafront.

Another Coach was noted further along the Seafront with National Holidays MB Turismo NH16KEH noted outside the Sealife Centre.