Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th November 2020

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


Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Trio Moves

Three double deckers have moved to First's Lowestoft's Gasworks Road depot after repairs and repaint.

Enviro400 33814 YX63 LKC is now at the Suffolk site after the fitting of a new rear axle at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot. Wright Eclipse Gemini 37025 YJ06XKO has made the same trip over the border too

From our previous post, the third bus now based at Lowestoft is newly painted 37274 LK58 EDF. (see photo provided by Grahame) Similar 37275 LK58 EDJ should be receiving a Coastlink repaint by the time you have read this

My thanks to First for the information


Monday, 23 November 2020

First B9 in Coastlink Colours

The first of the former First Eastern Counties Excel blue Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9s has broken cover in its new Coastlink livery

LK58 EDF was observed by Omar Atiallah at Norwich Bus Station this evening before it headed off to Lowestoft on the 17:05 X22 service.

My thanks to Omar for the report and photo


Friday, 20 November 2020

Friday Flashback ~ August 2008

Friday Flashback this week looks back to a warm August 2008 with some local views plus visits to Norwich and York.

Our first is of a quartet of Norse Commercial Services vehicles at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on the 5th of August. Three of them are SC Coachworks bodied Dennis Javelins in the form of T704 APX, V667 FPO and Y326 FPO new to them in August 1999, September 1999 and July 2001 respectively. The odd one out is Marcopolo bodied Irisbus PN06 TVP which was new to Holmeswood in May 2006 and acquired by Norse in August 2007

On the same day the Coach Station also saw the visit of double deck coach YIL 7758 from the Cedric Coaches fleet of Wivenhoe near Colchester. The Van Hool bodied Volvo B12T was acquired from Trathens Travel of Plymouth in 2001 but was new in August 1995 as N316 BYA. It met its end in April 2009 being destroyed by fire whilst on rail replacement work.

Our next location is St Stephen's Street in Norwich on the 18th of the month. Leyland Olympian 34902 H102 KVX was new to Thamesway in October 1990 and transferred to Eastern National in January 1996 and Eastern Counties two months later. It was withdrawn and placed into store in June 2009 and ended up being scrapped at Erith Commercials soon after

Back at Beach Coach Station on the 28th we see Whippet's Setra BD02 HDJ which was new to Anderson of Bermondsey in April 2002.

Our final photo is of York Pullman's Eastern Coach Works bodied Leyland Olympian MTU 119Y in York on a city tour on the last day of the month. It was new to Crossville as their DOG119 in February 1983 and was last used by York Pullman in late 2011. It was still owned by them in 2014 when observed VOR at their depot in Rufforth and later being robbed of parts.


Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th November 2020

Just the one entry in today’s Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner concerning local service alterations.

National Express has amended the timetable of its 490/491 service between Lowestoft Bus Station and London Victoria Coach Station from 9th November 2020.

The full report will be available to view here soon.


Saturday, 14 November 2020

It’s Back!

After some time on loan to First Ipswich, Dennis Dart SLF 42921 EU05 AUN returned to First’s Caister Road this afternoon. This probably signals the completion of the painting of the Enviro200s into Ipswich Reds livery at the Suffolk town.

Its loan replacement at Great Yarmouth in early October was Volvo B7RLE 66987 KX05 MHV which has now seen its move to the seaside made permanent.

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Friday, 13 November 2020

New Look for an Old Favourite

The latest repaint to emerge in Coastlink colours is the only Enviro 400 that did not wear Excel livery with FEC, that being none other that Great Yarmouth based 33423 SN60CAA.

Having arrived in July 2013 from Jersey via Ensignbus it was outshopped in an allover White Livery, pictured below working the X1 at Norwich Bus Station in August 2013.

It was repainted early in 2014 and given the new Olympia livery, the only one of its type to do so with FEC, all the others in the Blue based Excel colours.

Today we can reveal her new look courtesy of Zak Nelson, pictured below freshly adorned with the Coastlink colours as per all the Enviro 400 Fleet with FEC.

Will now be a bit more difficult to spot when its out and about!

Many Thanks to First and Zak for the Photo.

Stay safe, Grahame

Friday Flashback ~ July 2008 (Part Two)

This week's Friday Flashback looks back to the second half of July 2008 and includes visits to Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

However, we start on home ground with an opportunist photo of Swift Taxis BMC Falcon BX55 OFN on Sandown Road on the 16th. Purchased new in February 2006, it gained the distinction of operating the last 206 service between Great Yarmouth and Blofield in December 2012

A change of scenery sees us at Ipswich's Old Cattle Market Bus Station on the 18th with a photo of Far East Travel's L169 ADX parked up in the 'independents' corner'! Arriving 'via Chelmondiston' the Optare Sigma bodied Dennis Lance was new to Ipswich Buses in June 1994.

Also present that day was Carters' Marshall bodied Dart N117 WBR which was new to Sunderland & District in January 1996. The Go North East website later posted it had left their fleet in the late summer of 2007 and the Dart was still showing its previous owner's livery and fleet number 8117 when photographed.

We now move on to Bury St Edmunds' Bus Station where the next day we see Burtons of Haverhill's Alexander RH bodied Volvo B10M-50 Citybus G619 OTV. It was new to Trent of Derby in December 1989 and is seen laying over between duties

Later that day seen in almost the same position was H C Chambers & Son Mercedes Benz O814D/ Alexander ALX100. R112 NTA. Devon General purchased it new in July 1998 which then became part of Stagecoach Devon fleet. Chambers acquired the Vario from Ensign in early 2008.


Another Ex South Yorkshire Volvo On The 8s

First's 69030 SF55 UAY at Market Gates - Photo: Aaron Martin

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Where Are They Now? ~ T128 OAH

The photo shows Volvo B10BLE G19 REL with York operator Reliance Motor Services, It is pictured during Lockdown 2 in York. Contributor Paul Copley tells me that on any other day this bridge would be busy with people and traffic.

G19 REL was previously registered T128 OAH, a much travelled bus, which locals will recall as being a member of the Ambassador Travel fleet of Great Yarmouth where it was new in March 1999. Paul says it 'has seen service with Blackburn Transport, Lancashire United and York Pullman. Reliance acquired it this summer and had it repainted and given this new reg. It see's all day service and seems to be a regular on the 30 York to Thirsk service, Mon to Fri, not bad for a 20 odd year bus.'

He adds 'T126 OAH and T129 OAH are still in use with Harrogate and District as 57 seat school buses'

My thanks to Paul Copley for the photo and information


Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Dart Scrapped

Accident victim Dennis Dart SLF 42920 EU05 AUM was towed away from First's Great Yarmouth depot yesterday for scrapping.

EU05 AUM in service in November 2015 approaching Market Gates
The saloon sustained front offside damage in an accident in early August and had resided in the rear yard for a few weeks whilst a decision was made on its future.

EU05 AUM in the rear year at Caister Road in September last
My thanks to First for the information


Service Alterations Registered ~ 11th November 2020

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


Tuesday, 10 November 2020

More On SV56 BWT

Our previous post regarding the use of former Stagecoach Scotland Volvo B12B SV56 BWF on rail replacement at Norwich last weekend promoted a response from John Hutchinson

John says 'Re your picture of former Megabus 54012 (SV56 BWF), I travelled on that from Inverness to Glasgow in April 2008. I have attached a couple of pics from the occasion. The first shows loading at Inverness and an en route stop at, I think, Perth, with obliging driver posing.'

My thanks to John for sharing his photos with us

Tim Johnson on Facebook tells me its now owned by Donald's Tours of Dereham


Sunday, 8 November 2020

Rail Replacement ~ SV56 BWF

With level crossing and structural work underway on the railway line between Norwich and Thetford buses have been replacing trains this weekend.

Apart from the usual suspects, this Plaxton bodied triaxle Volvo made an appearance at Norwich Station yesterday. The Volvo B12B was new to Stagecoach Scotland as its 54012 for Megabus work and SV56 BWF has since seen use by various operators since 2013.

After some detective work it was found to be on hire to Angies Coaches (Overy) of Lowestoft for rail replacement work

My thanks to LiamS for the photo and report


Saturday, 7 November 2020

Lockdown Lookback Norwich 2005

Hard to believe its 15 years ago now but i thought i would share some images of the vehicles operating in the city back in August of 2005.

First up we have Norfolk County Council Irisbus Agoraline OY53RDX working the Airport Park & Ride service.

Brand New Agoralines were purchased for the Postwick service which was inherited from First.

Common sights around the city working for Sanders were the DAF/Optare singles decks, S156JUA seen in Castle Meadow on the 5 service.

Eastern Counties had First London Trident 32850 T850LLC on loan for use on the 25 service, it is pictured above having failed opposite the Rail Station and was being recovered when i got the photograph.

Former Thamesway Leyland Olympian 34901 H101KVX was an older member of the First fleet treated to the Barbie 2 livery as it was known, seen here in Castle Meadow on the 14 service.

Finally we see Anglianbus Mercedes Benz Vario AU04BZV entering Castle Meadow on the 23A service this being one of many of the type at the height of Anglian's operations back in 2005.

Stay Safe Everyone, look out for some Lockdown vintage soon!


Friday, 6 November 2020

Friday Flashback ~ July 2008 (Part One)

With the clocks going back and the cooler nights returning, Friday Flashback looks back to the summer of 2008. With many pictures in the library for July the second part will appear next week

We begin on the 1st with the appearance of Awayadays partial open topper MCW Metrobus KYV 670X awaiting passengers at Market Gates for its next trip along the town's seafront.

Also in use during that summer season was First's three Routemasters in different liveries and this was 39623 NML 623E, the Flying Banana version, on its way to Hemsby Beach on the 8th

At Beach Coach Station that day was Crusader Holidays Kassbohrer Setra S315GT-HD EU05 AVT. New to them in March 2005, it later saw service with Hammonds of Nottingham and Scarlet Band Motor Services of Ferry Hill, County Durham where it was reregistered BU51 GHT

Returning to Market Gates on the 16th, we observe Belle Coaches (Shreeve & Sons) similar UF03 HOF. It was new to Hellyers of Fareham in Hampshire in June 2003. It passed to Shreeve in December 2006 and was given its later mark of OJI 4758 in December 2010.

Our final photo is of another Hedingham visitor to Beach Coach Station on the same day and this time it was W649 FUM. The Plaxton Premiere bodied Volvo B10M-62 was new to Wallace Arnold in March 2000 and is now privately preserved

Part Two appears next week


Thursday, 5 November 2020

Ex South Yorks Volvos

A further two former South Yorkshire Volvo BR7LEs have just joined the First Great Yarmouth fleet. They are 69022 SF55 UAP and 69030 SF55 UAY with the former being observed this afternoon on a Coastal Clipper run to Lowestoft

This now brings the local total to six of the original thirteen recently transferred to First Eastern Counties. My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and the photos which were taken earlier this evening in the depot. 

69017 SF55 UAK approaching Market Gates yesterday
Meanwhile, regular contributor Mark Doggett was in the area yesterday and provides these photos of the earlier arrivals

69017 on Laurel Drive in Bradwell returning to Great Yarmouth on the 6
My thanks to Mark for the photos and their captions

69033 also seen on Laurel Drive in Bradwell on service 6 

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Rail Service Disruption

Signalling problems are being experienced between Lingwood and Acle this morning with rail services being disrupted and replacement bus services being provided.  

Among the operators providing emergency replacement services are Sanders Coaches, Completely Coach Travel and Wrights Coaches with the last mentioned posting a photo on their twitter feed this morning

The Greater Anglia website states that disruption is expected until 13:30


Tyring Job

Last weekend Angies Coaches' Volvo B10BLE / Wright Renown Y169 HRN was employed on Saxmundham to Lowestoft rail replacement services

However, on the Saturday, before working the 1330 return from Lowestoft, the bus had to be fitted with a new tyre. This was not a pleasant job to carry out in the car park but it was achieved before the rain came!


Service Alterations Registered ~ 4th November 2020

There are a few entries affecting local bus services contained in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

National Express has amended the timetable if its 490/491 service between Lowestoft Bus Station and London Victoria Coach Station from 30th October 2020.

Border Bus has revised all the timetables of its nine services to the Sir John Leman School in Beccles from 1st November 2020.

First Eastern Counties has also retrospectively amended many of its timetables from 25th October  2020 including
14/15/15A/15B Wymondham to Wroxham/Blofield Heath/Lingwood
101 Gunton Estate to Hollow Grove, Lowestoft
102 Lowestoft Bus Station to Lowestoft Bus Station circular via Oulton Village
105 Oulton Rock Estate to Lowestoft Bus Station circular
106 Burnt Hill to Lowestoft Bus Station circular
122 Lowestoft Bus Station to Oulton Rock Estate circular

The latest Notices and Proceedings Report is available to view here.


Tuesday, 3 November 2020

Ensign in October

October's report on happenings at Purfleet dealers Ensign makes for some interesting reading this month.

YJ 60 KGX pictured at Ensign in late September by Mark Doggett
On the positive side former Ipswich Scania N230UD YJ60 KGX has found new owners in the shape of Wealden PSV of Tunbridge in Kent

MV02 VCX in better times passing Gorleston Parish Church in March 2015
Not faring so well are two former First Great Yarmouth buses which have made their last journey to Shelton Motors for scrapping. They were Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7L 66344 MV02 VCX and Volvo B7TL 30948 YJ51 RRV. 

My thanks to Ross Newman for his monthly reports