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


Monday, 10 August 2020

Sunday Evening Walk

After our meal out it was decided to exercise following our intake of calories and this involved an evening walk to Great Yarmouth's seafront via Regent Road.

On nearing Britannia Pier, I observed three Simonds Coaches parked up next to the Arc Cinema on North Drive. The trio were all Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B's with YVF 158 at the front and 98 TNO behind. Taking up the rear was 378 BNG.

Looking in at Beach Coach Station I found a brace of Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismos in the form of 111 BV19 YYF and 101 BN7 JCU.


Sunday, 9 August 2020

Bendy Bus On The 36

Costessey-based Completely Business ran its third Sunday of the 36 bus service earlier today in Norwich but not with its expected Plaxton President LK04 NLZ.

Instead it used its Mercedes-Benz Citaro O530G BX04 MXK to work the service. The first photo is taken at Norwich Bus Station whilst the second is in St Stephen Street about to start the service. The third location is at the Horsford end of the route.

My thanks to Joe Wilson-Smith for the photos


Friday, 7 August 2020

Norwich Decker for Repair

A First Norwich double decker arrived at Caister Road depot during yesterday for repairs.

Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 32107 LT02 ZCX recently suffered an engine failure whilst on the X13 Norwich Attleborough route.

It is seen here at the Great Yarmouth depot last night having work carried out.

My thanks to LiamS for bringing this to my attention and to First Great Yarmouth for the photo

Meanwhile ALX400 30960 YJ51 RDU underwent its MOT inspection yesterday.


Friday Flashback ~ October 2007 (Part Two)

In this week's Friday Flashback we return to October 2007 - Part One was published last Friday

We start with a photo of Neaves N374 JGS outside Roys of Wroxham department store on Stalham Road in Wroxham. The Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes-Benz 709D was new to The Shires (LDT) in April 1996 and subsequently acquired by Neaves in October 2006.

For our next picture we visit Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth on 16th where we view a National Holidays and a Shearings coach side by side. The former is Van Hool bodied Volvo B10M-62 T108 JBA which was new to Shearings in March 1999. It was still at work with MacLeans of Kyle, Scotland in September last year. The Shearings vehicle is Volvo B12M-62 MV02 UMJ which was new to them in March 2002. It is still in use with Southern Vectis on the Isle of Wight

Two days later (18th) I was on my way to look in at the Coach Station when I observed Ambassador Travel's G107 HNG a Plaxton Paramount bodied Volvo B10M-60 on Nelson Road North. Ambassador purchased it new in August 1989. It has subsequently been withdrawn and disposed of

I was back at Beach Coach Station on the 22nd where I found a Leger Holidays' coach in attendance. This was Bova B10 FWS which was on hire to Alfa Holidays


Where Are They Now ~ WX06 OMM

You may remember I reported the sale of this former First Eastern Counties Dart SLF to Seaford and District of Lewis in East Sussex in early July. (see Ensign In June - 4th July 2020).

Patrick Munford has a photo of the Dart in Seaford colours and how different it looks now. It is ready for service complete with reprogrammed destinations. The rest of the First remnants, eg the free WiFi advert on the window will be removed soon. It spent around 15 months in the Great Yarmouth/ Lowestoft area after being transferred from First Cymru in November 2018.

My thanks to Patrick for his consent to use the photo


Thursday, 6 August 2020

First Great Yarmouth Latest

The first to report from Caister Road is that Alexander Dennis Enviro400s 33803 YX63 LJF and 33823 YX63 LKN are away for refurbishment - thought to involve exterior paintwork. It will be interesting to see if they are to be re liveried.

33823 YX63 LKN in Excel blue on Hertford Way in Gorleston on 14th April 2020
In the workshops receiving attention are Volvo B7TLs 30964 YJ51 RAU and 37023 YJ06XKM. The former is having electrical work carried out whilst the latter is having its engine worked on.

Regarding movements StreetLite 47503 and Volvo B9TL 37570 AU58 ECT have both returned to Great Yarmouth following a loan spell at Lowestoft. 

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the update


Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Rare Visitor to City Bus Station

A rare visitor to Norwich Bus Station earlier this morning was First Great Yarmouth's 32210 LT52 WTR

The Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL is seen here preparing for the 10:25 X11 departure which worked only as far as Great Yarmouth's Market Gates.

My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the report and photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th August 2020

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

Konectbus has amended the timetable of its 40A / 41A, X41 routes between Halesworth and Norwich effective from 26 July 2020.

First Eastern Counties has changed the timetable of its 14 / 15 / 15A, 15B services between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood from 27th July 2020

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


Monday, 3 August 2020

Our Bus Addition

Alex Claughton tells me that Our Bus have an addition to their fleet. It is a Mercedes Mellor Crafter registered DK13 FFO and is to be employed on the 86 route between Beccles and Norwich via Loddon. It was new to East Riding Council in August 2013

My thanks to Alex for the photo and information


GEX 740F Saved

The Eastern Bus Enthusiast Group is extremely pleased to announce that it has agreed a deal with the owner of GEX 740F to recover, store and refurbish the bus in return for a 50% ownership.

On Saturday the bus was retrieved from the Hopton Timber site, but in order to make it 'towable' it needed a wheel change plus a few other jobs completed. GEX 740F now rests at M R Judd Commercials at Guyhirn awaiting restoration.

Number 40 was one of only three purpose built single deck Leyland Atlanteans that were new to Great Yarmouth Transport in 1968 along with sisters 41 & 42.

My thanks to the Eastern Bus Enthusiast Group for supplying the information and allowing me to use their photos. I am also grateful to Nathan Merryweather for alerting me to the news


Sunday, 2 August 2020

Norfolk Bus Run

The Second Norfolk Bus Run took place today starting at Norwich Bus station and finishing at Great Yarmouth’s Beach Coach Station with photo stops on the way

At the front of procession was former Eastern Counties RL 516 EPW 516K, a 1972 built Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol RELL6G ably driven by Mr 'Reg Vardy'

It was followed by former Dan's Coach Travel's L872 SGW a Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B10M. It was new to Park’s of Hamilton in August 1993 registered as HSK 649

Next in line was former Ipswich Buses Leyland AN68/Roe open-topper 9 MRT 9P sporting its recent repaint from the old battenburg livery

Another Ipswich vehicle was behind in the form of  AEC Regal IV/ Park Royal 8 BPV 8. The bus was new to Ipswich as fleet No 8 in August 1953 before passing to Bickers of Coddenham.

Next in line was Guy Vixen MMX 317 complete with '8 Gorleston Service Via High Street' destination displayed. London Transport hired six to Great Yarmouth Corporation in 1958 for one man operation trials. Immediately behind the Guy is former Shearings P306 VWR hoping to recreate its visit to Beach Coach Station all those years ago.

The final vehicle of the magnificent seven was Peelings JJZ 8022, a Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B formerly with Kenzie of Shepreth as YJ08 NSY. It was a last minute replacement for FAH 275Y which suffered a broken window due to the heat

My thanks to ‘Reg Vardy’ for details of the the run and also to Omar Atiallah and Sam Larke for providing location updates.

The final photo shows the Guy in Gorleston High Street accompanied by the Bristol RL Photo: Reg Vardy


Saturday, 1 August 2020

Norwich Activity

Former First Great Yarmouth Volvo B9 36184 BN12 JYG was employed on an Excel D service yesterday instead of the normal Scania. It is pictured at Norwich Bus Station by Ashley444

Another bus service to change hands is the Monday to Friday 37A from East Harling to Norwich's Castle Meadow. The Norfolk County Council contract has now been secured by Coach Services and was previously operated by Konectbus. Ashley444 captured Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 SN63 NBB on the route in St Stephen's Street

My thanks to Ashley444 for the photos


Wrights First Bus Service

Yesterday saw the first stage run of Wrights Coaches 80 service between Aylsham and Dereham. David Bell was there with his camera to record the event.

This is a Norfolk County Council contract previously held by Sanders Coaches and runs via Reepham, Bawdeswell, Foxley, Bintree, Foulsham, Guist and North Elmham. It departs Aylsham (Market Place) at 09:15 with a scheduled arrival time in Dereham at 10:55 returning to Aylsham at 13:15.

The inaugural run was by Scania decker R70 PTS formerly YN08 DEU and David reports that patronage was light and that the vehicle looked very impressive despite its overall white colour scheme.

The first photograph shows the decker arriving in Dereham; the second is of it parked up in the Cherry Tree car park on layover; the final one of it on the stand at Dereham Market Place.

My thanks to David for the detailed information and photos.