Saturday 31 August 2019

Two Arrivals at Caister Road

Two more Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L saloons have moved to First Great Yarmouth joining the two others already here.

Both 66333 MV02VBY and 66344 MV02VCX transferred from Norwich to Caister Road during late yesterday afternoon with the latter still retaining its First Great Yarmouth branding from its previous stint here.

My thanks to First for the information and photo.


Friday 30 August 2019

Bradwell Misery Tour

Imagine my surprise when I saw a former Eastern Counties Bristol RE heading towards me on Long Lane in Bradwell whilst I was taking my daughter to a doctor's appointment!

It was none other than Mr Reg Vardy driving his Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol EPW516K and luckily my daughter was quick with her phone to get some pics for me.

As he passed me he said he had 'just seen my old mate Tim Miller around the corner' and then drove on towards Gorleston.

My thanks to Mr Miller for his photo and to Reg for driving slowly so my daughter could get a reasonable one too!


Wednesday 28 August 2019

Excel Update

The latest news from First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot is the arrival of an Excel liveried Enviro400 from Kings Lynn. The appearance of 33805 YX63LJK on the coast is so that it can be fitted with a new rear axle.

Enviro400 YX63LJK is seen on Church Lane in Gorleston in October 2013 when the bus used to work the whole X1 route
Flying Banana Dart SLF has returned to active duties having been seen in use on routes serving the Gorleston area during yesterday.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th August 2019

National Express has registered some changes in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

The services effected are those operated by Great Yarmouth-based Ambassador Travel and will take effect from 30th September 2019 which are
*  375 Birmingham Coach Station to Great Yarmouth Market Gates - changes to route, timetable and stopping places.
*  490/491 Lowestoft Bus Station to London Victoria Coach Station - route and stopping places amended.

Finally, the licence held by Anthony Charles Vine of Gorleston High Street has been revoked with immediate effect.

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


Monday 26 August 2019

Sunday At Beach Coach Station

Seventeen coaches were present at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on early Sunday afternoon.

A comparatively 'local' arrival was that of Mulleys UNVI bodied Mercedes Benz PO15AZV which was acquired from Watts Coaches of Bonvilston in March this year.

A couple of double deck coaches were in attendance including Ausden Clarke's BIG9829, a Scania K114EB6X2 /Berkhof Axial 100. It was new with Thomas of Clydach Vale in 1993 as their K330YDW

The second one was similar BIG9827 now owned by Belgrave Car and Commercial which was another Scania K114EB6/ Berkof new to The Kings Ferry and formerly with Ausden Clark.

Three Star Coaches provided two Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12Bs in the form of  FJ56YWB and FJ56YWF

Hiding was National Holidays Kassborer Setra NH13VWH


Friday 23 August 2019

First Volvo B7 Transfer

A Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7 has joined the Great Yarmouth fleet from Norwich

66328 MV02VBC arrived at Caister Road earlier today and joins similar 66334 MV02VBZ which continues to be active here.

It is thought to be a permanent move.

My thanks to First for the information and the photo.


Thursday 22 August 2019

First Great Yarmouth Latest

The latest from First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot includes the news that Excel liveried Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse-Gemini 37573 AU58ECX is receiving a new rear axle.

Another bus receiving a new rear axle is Flying Banana Dart SLF 42943 WA06OAS but it is still off the road whilst its engine is being overhauled.

Former Lowestoft ALX400 30886 W741DWX is withdrawn and has been placed in reserve. The photo shows it in the rear yard at the depot

Finally similar Lowestoft 30913 W768DWX is currently on loan at Great Yarmouth

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photos


Wednesday 21 August 2019

Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st August 2019

Both BorderBus and BACT Community Transport are registering local changes in this week’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Transport Commissioner.

BorderBus is to amend the route of its 521 service between Halesworth and Aldeburgh from 2nd September 2019. From the same date the route and timetable of its 524 between Beccles and Southwold will also be changed.

BACT Community Transport is to cease operating its Laxfield service from 26th September 2019

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


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 about to work 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.