Monday 31 August 2020

Comings & Goings

DK57 SXG on Lowestoft town services in 2018
As you may have read on social media, a significant number of Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLEs were expected to arrive at Norwich from First South Yoirkshire during the weekend. 

One of the thirteen anticipated was Mainline liveried SF55 UAK which arrived in the city on Saturday (see below)

Leaving the area yesterday was First Lowestoft's Alexander Dennis Enviro 200s 44512/3 DK57 SXF/G which are on loan to Basildon. More moves are expected this weekend

My thanks to First and social media for the information. Also to Adam Barber for the Mainline photo


Saturday 29 August 2020

Rail Replacement ~ Downham Market

Today's post looks at the rail replacement services being provided over on the west side of the County and David Bell reports 

'There is rail replacement from Friday 28th August-Monday 31st August inclusive from Kings Lynn to Downham Market. This is to enable electrification work to take place on the new siding at Kings Lynn station beyond the level crossing. This has been constructed to accommodate the rolling stock for eight car trains which are due to be introduced in December 2020.

I had a run over to Downham Market on Friday morning and attach a selection of photographs. They include YY63 OEK a Volvo B9/Caetano Levante with Go Ahead London which was new to East Yorkshire

Also present was BD09 ZPY a Mercedes Benz Citaro also with Go Ahead London which was new to London General

Two Konect Bus Enviro 400s SN65 OAW/OAX were employed in addition to HF54 HGP a Volvo B7/Wright Eclipse ex-Wilts and Dorset now also with Go Ahead London;

Dews also got involved with AE12 FGN a Volvo B7/Wright one of two which were new to Kenzie of Shepreth for the Granta park shuttle service in Cambridge. 

Additionally there were two Lynx deckers and a Dews decker on stand by at Kings Lynn station.' 

My thanks to David Bell for the photos and the report


Friday 28 August 2020

Friday Flashback ~ December 2007

This week we return to December 2007 for this edition of Friday Flashback with most of the photos in Norwich

All the Norwich pictures were taken on 20th December and the first is of a Norfolk Green Optare Solo in Norwich Bus station. YN03 NCV was new to the company in April 2003 as their 606 and became 47886 upon the takeover by Stagecoach. It later moved to PC Coaches of Lincoln and B&M Travel of Waddington.

We now move to St Stephen's Street where First Eastern Counties 30636 B130 RWY is observed on the 26 service. The Roe bodied Leyland Olympian was new to West Yorkshire PTE in August 1984 and subsequently joined the First Eastern Counties fleet from First Bradford in late 2007.

Also on St Stephen's Street that morning was Anglian's 223 J223 FUF. The Wadham Stringer bodied Dennis Javelin was first with Eastbourne Buses in April 1992

The last photo is of a pair of Shearings coaches parked up at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth on the last day of the year. Both are Volvo B12Ms - YC02 CHK has Sunsundegui bodywork whilst MX03 ACY is a Van Hool. The former became 7876HP on its subsequent move to Hookways of Devon and the latter is currently with Norfolk independent Marrett's Chariots as AA 52MCC


Thursday 27 August 2020

Poringland - Bungay Shuttle

Today was expected to be the last day of a shuttle service between Poringland and Bungay whilst First Eastern Counties had its 41/41A/X41 Charcoal Line services on divert over the past month.

The free shuttle service has been provided Semmence on behalf of Norfolk County Council and the photo shows former Ambassador Travel Optare Solo MX54 KYB on the route at Ditchingham this morning.

The diversion was due to major resurfacing of the B1332 The Street in Poringland by the County Council

My thanks to Ashleybus444 for the information and photos.


Wednesday 26 August 2020

Another First Bus For Seaford

Another First Eastern Counties bus has joined East Sussex independent Seaford and District which is based in Lewis.

W768 DWX prior to entering the paint shop
Former First Lowestoft ALX bodied Volvo B7TL 30913 W768 DWX has been observed at Seaford & District’s premises and is currently in the paint shop where it will receive its new owner’s livery and  fleet number 768. It will be used primarily on schools services.

It joins ex First Great Yarmouth Dart 42955 WX06 OMM at Seaford with both vehicles having made the move via Purfleet dealer Ensign

My thanks to Wayne Bell for the heads up and to David Mulpeter for his consent to use the photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th August 2020

Some changes to local bus services are listed in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Border Bus is to vary the timetable of its 522 Peasenhall/Leiston and Leiston/Aldeburgh service from 1st September 2020. The operator has also received authorisation to use its Moor Business Park site in Beccles as an operating centre for 24 vehicles.

Ourhire Limited of Englands Lane in Acle has approval to increase the number of vehicles at its Norwich Road site in South Burlingham to 15

Paul Simon Whincop has had a variation granted for his site at The Street in Peasenhall near Saxmundham.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 25 August 2020

First Great Yarmouth Update

The main news from First's Caister Road depot concerns former Excel ADL Enviro400s and it doesn't mean repaints! Recent Coastlink liveried 33803 YX63 LJF needs work on its engine whilst 33818 YX63 LKG (pictured) is having a new gearbox fitted.

Volvo 30964 YJ51 RAU is still off the road with electrical issues. 37023 YJ06 XKM is continuing to have a new engine fitted offsite.

My thanks to First for the update


Monday 24 August 2020

Third Coastlink Repaint

Another ADL Enviro400 returned to First's Caister Road depot today following its repaint into Coastlink colours

33824 YX63 LKO is the third in the fleet to be so treated and its place in the paint-shops has been taken by 33809 YX63 LJU.

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Sunday 23 August 2020

Sanders Repaint

Former Transdev Lancashire United liveried Volvo B7RLE FJ57 CZM has recently been repainted by Sanders

It was one of three acquired by the North Norfolk based operator earlier this year and had operated them in their previous owners colours (see Sanders Activity - 6th March 2020)

My thanks to Nick on twitter for the information and photo


Saturday 22 August 2020

Former Anglians in Essex

Regular Contributor Mark Doggett has kindly sent us some photographs from a recent visit to Clacton where he caught up with a few old Anglianbus Scanias now in use with  Go Ahead Hedingham.

First up is YN05HFH seen wearing the new corporate Hedingham colours and carries fleet number 458.

Next up is YN05HFF, numbered 460. This wears an allover advert for local radio station Dream100 FM.

Finally we see AN61BUS, numbered 456 reataining its special plate from its time with Anglian. It also wears the newer Hedingham livery.

Many Thanks to Mark for his Photos.

Drawn To Buses

 The Coastlink livery repaints are now in full swing with 33803 & 33823 already wearing their new colours. This has got one of our younger blog readers already designing the look of a Volvo/ Wright Gemini should one be given the coastlink treatment.

13 year old Toby Cullum has sent me some of his drawings inclding one of AU58ECX in the new livery, maybe his wish will come true!

He also sent me his take on 33823 in the new colours, excellent work Toby and good to see the youngsters enjoying the Transport scene aswell.

Finally i did manage to catch 33823 out on its first day during the past week in Lowestoft, seen above crossing London Road South heading for Carlton Colville on the X22 to Norwich.

Many Thanks to Toby for sharing his drawings with us.


Friday 21 August 2020

Friday Flashback ~ August 2010

For this week's Friday Flashback we look back to August 2010 when all the photos were taken in the Great Yarmouth area.

The initial photo is of R W Chenery's Setra S250 N999 RWC at the town's Beach Coach Station on the 11th of the month. The 48 seater was new to the operator in December 1995

Further along the rank that day were two representatives of the Whincop of Peasenhall fleet. Pictured is Plaxton bodied Volvo B10M-60 OPW 971 acquired from Heather of Ruckings in Kent in May 2006. Accompanying it (to the left of the photo) was Mercedes Benz O814D OJI 742

On the last day of the month we are on the seafront with Bath Bus Company's open top E767 LBT on Marine Parade with a sightseeing service - though not in Windsor as the bus indicates! The service was operated by Awayadays of Wood Dalling with the vehicle deputising for regular MCW Metrobus KYV670X. The summer of 2010 was the last year of open top operation by Awayadays. As for E767 LBT it was exported to Cyprus in the following January.

That day First were also operating their own seafront seasonal service between the resort and Hemsby Beach. Captured on the working is one of the former Yorkshire Coastliner Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympians 34108 W435 CWX


Thursday 20 August 2020

Early Start

Andy Swan was out and about early this morning and observed a different vehicle available on standby for rail replacement duty at Lowestoft Station Car Park

It was Irizar bodied Scania 410EB6 YN14 FVR from the Freestone Coaches fleet complete with livery.

My thanks to Andy for the information and photo


Wednesday 19 August 2020

First Great Yarmouth Update

Firstly regarding Coastliner repaints, ADL Enviro400 33803 YX63 LJF returned yesterday whilst 33810 YX 63LJV and 33824 YX63 LKN are next in line for similar treatment.

The workshop continues to be busy with Gemini 37023 YJ06 XKM (pictured) having a new engine and Enviro400 33809 YX63 LJU being fitted with a new gearbox. 

Meanwhile ALX400 30964 YJ51 RAU and Gemini 37567 AU58 ECF have electrical faults.

My thanks to First for the information


Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th August 2020

Some changes to local bus services are listed in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

The PTS Group has commenced a new Friday only (except Bank Holidays) service 80 between Aylsham Market Place and Dereham Market Place from 26th July 2020

Kessingland Kabs Limited of London Road in Kessingland has had its licence suspended with immediate effect following a Public Inquiry on 15th July 2020. Removal of the suspension can be overcome when the operator satisfies a number of conditions.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 18 August 2020

Celebrity In The City

Earlier this morning (around 8am) former X1 ADL Enviro400 33823 YX63LKN arrived in Norwich Bus Station in its new X1/X2 Coastlink livery. It had arrived on an X22 service from Lowestoft.

It has also been noted on the later return X22 service leaving Lowestoft Bus Station for Norwich by Andy Swan

My thanks to both Omar Atiallah and Andy respectively for the photos.


Monday 17 August 2020

Lowestoft This Morning

With an early start at Lowestoft this morning I visited the bus station but there was not much of note going on. Volvo B7 32206 LT52WTM was laying over on Gordon Road whilst Great Yarmouth Streetlites 47501 SN64 CPU and 47502 SN64 CPV were both employed on Lowestoft town services.

First Great Yarmouth Dart 42929 SN05 EAJ was observed in use on a 122 Rock Estate service and it was notable that its fleet number was unusually applied to the front windscreen.

With track renewal work underway between Brundall and Reedham, buses were replacing trains between Norwich and Lowestoft via Oulton Broad North today

On Lowestoft station forecourt awaiting passengers for the 9:50 departure was Sanders Coaches Caetano Levante 538 FN and named Ruby. Immediately behind was Angies Tours' similar P28 PJO

Meanwhile at the far end of the adjoining car park was a trio of coaches on standby. On the left is Felixstowe Travel's MCV bodied Volvo B8RLE M20 FXO whilst in the centre is Freestone's Coaches Beulas Cygnus bodied R25 DDA. Making up the threesome on the right was Sanders Coaches Caetano Levante 537 FN 'Amelia'

My thanks to Andy Swan for the chat.

Friday 14 August 2020

Lowestoft Heritage Bus Moves On

The latest news on First’s former Lowestoft Corporation heritage liveried Volvo B7TL 30888 W743DWX is that it has a new owner and a repaint.

The information was provided on First Bus Enthusiasts Facebook Group earlier today. The decker is now owned by SJH Travel of Billericay in Essex - despite the rumours that it was ‘going up north’! The colour has now changed to a shade of red and what a difference it makes.

My thanks to Karl Griffin for the information and to Lee Smith who took the photo.


Friday Flashback ~ November 2007

We go back to November 2007 for this week's Friday Flashback and we start with a visit to Ipswich on Guy Fawkes Day.

It was more like a damp squib for me as the camera wasn't behaving itself with many pictures out of focus for some reason. However, this picture of Far East Travel's SN03 WKV was the best of the bunch. It was new in August 2003 as a TransBus demonstrator and had been acquired from Southdown PSV. It was subsequently written off after a collision with an Ipswich buses Olympian in April 2008.

Our second photo is of First Eastern Counties Plaxton Pointer bodied Dennis Dart 46042 K742 JAH on 6th November. It is seen at the rear of Caister Road depot and has clearly seen better days. At one time it had received a special Norwich park and ride livery. New in January 1993 it passed to Wigley (dealer) of Carlton in December 2007.

We now move our focus to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station where on the 19th we view Nottingham City Coaches YN55 KWX. The Irisbus Eurorider/ Buelas was new in January 2006 and later operated by G H Watts of Leicester as 405 MDV. It was more recently purchased by Carolans of Nobbler in Ireland becoming 06-MH-1584.

Three days later at the same location was Veolia Cymru's FJ04 ESY. New in March 2004 to Shamrock of Pontypridd the Volvo B12B was on charter to Leisuretime based at the town's Royal Hotel.

On the 28th Sanders Coaches DAF SB250 /Optare Delta K640 FAU is viewed on King Street in Great Yarmouth destined for Cromer. The bus stop is no longer there and the one way street direction of flow has been reversed. The former Trent Barton bus earlier saw use with Konectbus


Thursday 13 August 2020

Bedford in Essex

An occasional visitor to our local area was Bedford SB3 Duple Super Vega 675 OCV which has now returned to East Anglia after two years in Somerset. John Wakefield tells me it has recently joined the Lodge's of High Easter heritage collection in Essex.

675 OCV when with Birds of Hunstanton - Photo: John Wakefield Collection

John continues - '675 OCV was new to Crimson Tours of St Ives Cornwall in August 1962, and came to Norfolk in April 1965 where it joined the fleet of Birds of Hunstanton. It stayed with Birds for 30 years until April 1995 when it was acquired by Len & Maura Wright of New Costessey for preservation. The Wright's decided to restore the coach to its original Crimson Tours livery, and in their ownership it attended numerous rally's and events in East Anglia and further afield, including two return trips to Cornwall. 

675 OCV at an East Anglia Transport Museum event in July 2015 

'After the death of Maura in 2017, and Len in advanced years, he decided to sell 675 OCV to Mark Withers (Lewis Coaches) of Henstridge, Somerset. There it joined his other SBG SFJ 904 & OB's JDV 754 & KPW 986, although not having a tachograph fitted it did not see revenue earning service. Reluctantly owning to health reasons and the Covid pandemic Mark decided he needed to reduce the size of his heritage fleet, and in August 2020 675 OCV was sold to Lodges, where it will represent the 297 WPU that Lodges had new in 1961.'

My grateful thanks to John for the report and photo


Wednesday 12 August 2020

Simonds New Saloon

Norfolk independent Simonds has acquired an ADL Enviro200 from Ensignbus of Purfleet. SN11 FFM was observed in Castle Meadow in Norwich earlier today still in Ensign colours. It was new to Hillier of Foxham in June 2011 for Salisbury Park & Ride Services.

My thanks to Joe Wilson-Smith for the photo


New First Coastlink Livery Revealed

Today see's the intoduction of a new livery for the rebranded X1/X2 services for First which has been named Coastlink. The new livery will be worn by the former X1 fleet of ADL Enviro 400's which are now split between Yarmouth and Lowestoft Depot's.

The First to receive the new look is 33823 YX63LKN.

We are told 33803/33824 are next in line for repaint. 33823 is pictured above at R&H Bodyworks and is due back at Caister Road later today.

Many Thanks to First for the info and Photographs.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th August 2020

There were no entries in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner concerning changes to any local bus services. The full report will be available to view here soon.


Tuesday 11 August 2020

Ten Year Time Tunnel ~ August 2010

It's time again to delve into the archives of ten years ago when we revisit August 2010 in the Ten Year Time Tunnel

Our first offering is Soames' WJ02 VRT at Beach Coach Station on the 3rd August; a Van Hool bodied Volvo B12M new to Lawrence & Harding of St Ann's Chapel of Cornwall in July 2002. Soames traded as Forget Me Not Travel at Otley near Woodbridge in Suffolk and was acquired by Suffolk Norse in September 2016. As for WJ02 VRT it moved on to Thompsons of Framlingham.

The next photo is of North Quay Services' Neoplan Cityliner NUI 5125 at Beach Coach Station on the same day. Trading as Eurosun Coaches, the Lowestoft operator purchased the coach from Beavis and Baxter of Bussage, Gloucestershire in October 1998. It had received many registrations during its existence only to see its NUI plate later transferred to a Plaxton bodied Dennis Javelin also owned by Eurosun.

The third picture features three Alexander RH bodied Leyland Olympian triaxles in the rear yard of First's Caister Road depot on the 3rd of the month. 30097 K481 EUX is the one nearest the camera and it's the only one of the batch of ten to survive in preservation complete with its original colours of blue and white and delivered registration of FW3858. They were new to China Motor Bus during 1993.

The final photo is of Suffolk County Council's P11 BSL and is another Plaxton bodied Dennis Javelin. It was new to Bennetts Coaches of Chievely, Gloucestershire in February 1997

More from August 2010 next week