Monday, 12 April 2021

Our Bus 271 Covers Gorleston and Caister

Beginning today Our Bus is extending its 271 route to cover parts of Gorleston and Casiter which haven't been served by a bus service since lockdown. The operator's leaflet says that 'together with the local council we have looked to cover routes that have been withdrawn by First Eastern Counties'.

Optare Solo YJ62 FZV returning to Bradwell on the 271 via Shrublands this morning
In Caister Our Bus will serve both Braddock Road and Eastern Avenue to cover First service 4. Whilst in Gorleston it will operate along Long Lane, Kings Road, Crab Lane, Forsythia Road, Almond Road and Oak Road in place of parts of the currently withdrawn service 9

The revised 271 service timings can be viewed HERE


Saturday, 10 April 2021

Newcomer On The Clipper

Following Grahame's post of earlier today, concerning the Norwich loaned vehicles, AaronM managed to get a photo of 32105 LT02 ZCU in Ormesby St Margaret earlier this evening. The Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL was employed on the Coastal Clipper 1 route

My thanks to Aaron for the report and photo


Lots Of Loans

Yarmouth has seen the arrival of Five vehicles from Norwich on loan this weekend to assist with Vehicle Requirements and Maintenance cover.

First vehicle noted this morning at Caister Road was 32214 LT52WTX which was once a Yarmouth vehicle in its Barbie liveried days.

Another Lilac fronted vehicle here is 32105 LT02ZCU which has had previous spells in Yarmouth also

Former Manchester Volvo B7RLE 66870 MX05CKA was noted working the 8 service this morning seen above in Beatty Road heading for the Town Centre.

Two other vehicles here are former Sheffield Volvo B7RLE'S 69029 SF55UAX and 69031 SF55UAZ.

Ipswich Volvo 66986 KX05MHU also remains here on loan.

Volvo Gemini 37566 AU58ECE is now in service in full Coastal Clipper livery with 37565/567 away for repaint.

Gemini 37563 AU58ECA will return to normal duties from Contract work this monday.

As always many thanks to First for the information.

Stay Safe Grahame.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Friday Flashback ~ August 2009 (Part Three)

This week we conclude our trilogy of looking back to August 2009 with our visit to Bury St Edmunds on the 22nd of the month

Our first picture features Chambers' Marshall bodied Mercedes Benz 811D P236 EJW laying over between duties at the bus station. It was one of a batch new to Travel West Midlands in early 1997. Withdrawn in November 2005 it moved to Chambers via Fleetlink of Mossley Hill a month later. The Suffolk operator disposed of it in March 2010.

Next up is Leyland Olympian H155 PVW having just left the bus station with the 345 service to Haverhill. The Alexander Belfast bodied decker was new to Dublin Bus in May 1991 as 91-D-1094 and acquired by Wiltax, the Surrey rail replacement specialist, in March 2007. It subsequently transferred to Burtons in April of the following year.

Our third subject is Optare Solo MW52 PYU from the Coach Services fleet. Adorned with Thetford Nipper branding, it was new in December 2002 and stayed with operator until sold in mid 2015

The final contribution is Stagecoach East's S587 BCE appearance on St Andrews Street North waiting to turn into the bus station. New to Stagecoach Viscount in November 1998, the Alexander bodied Volvo Olympian later saw use with Judds Travel

Bury St Edmunds always provides a wide cross section of operators and I can't wait to visit again once  lockdown eases.


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

New Look For Open Topper

The first of three Open Toppers to be used this summer at Great Yarmouth is due to return today after repaint. Dennis Trident 32905 W905VLN has been at Yarmouth a few summers now and will again be in use but in a new look livery.

It began life as the 'Seasider' in 2016, pictured above on North Drive in that summer.

Here she is pictured in her new livery ready to head back to Caister Road.

The new services will once again see open top vehicles run from Hemsby to Great Yarmouth with some trips taking a journey along the seafront in the town.

Thanks to First for use of the photos today.

Take Care, Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 7th April 2021

The latest Notices and Proceedings Report, issued today by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains nothing of relevance regarding the operation of local area services.

However, of particular interest is the timetable amendment by David McMaster to circular service 1 beginning and ending at Norwich's Castle Meadow from 18th May 2021

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Bernie's Buses

LiamS provides a quick look at the Bernard Matthews contract workings taking place earlier today

He says that the Great Witchingham run was primarily in the hands of 37567 AU58 ECF and 37570 AU58 ECT but today witnessed the use of former Edinburgh based Barbie liveried Volvo B9 37142 SN57 HDC. The other decker was one of the two surviving blue Excel liveried B9s 37578 AU58 EDJ

The Holton contract has also seen changes with the Presidents and ALX400s now in use with the Volvo B9s returning to Coastal Clipper 1 duties.

My thanks Liam for the information and photos


Sunday, 4 April 2021

First Great Yarmouth Update

The latest news from First's Caister Road depot includes some changes regarding the former South Yorkshire Volvo B7RLE's. 69022 SF55 UAP has been withdrawn from service and currently resides in Norwich with its place taken here by 69043 SF55 UBC. 69033 SF55 UBT is still on loan at Lowestoft whilst 69020 SF55 UAN currently requires new ring gear

Former First Ipswich 66986 KX05 MHU is on loan again from Norwich and StreetLite 47504 SN64 CPY requires a window replacement

A few of the double deck fleet are in for attention to their engines. Enviro400 33805 YX63 LJK has received a brand new one whilst ALX400 30960 YJ51 RDU has a reconditioned one with its gearbox currently needing refitting. 37174 SF07 FDE also requires a new engine and possibly a gearbox too.

My thanks to First for the update.


Saturday, 3 April 2021

Clipper Interior

Following the arrival of 'Clipper 2' (AU58ECW) Aaron Martin was able to get a quick peek inside and found the routes displayed on the upper walls. They include the 1C seafront service between Hemsby Beach and the Pleasure Beach.

My thanks to Aaron for the photo


Friday, 2 April 2021

Clipper 2 Arrives

The second Volvo B9TL Gemini 37572 AU58ECW has returned from repaint into the new Blue Coastal Clipper livery.

The rear has a Crazy Golf theme to encourage passengers to the seaside.

37565 & 37566 are currently away at R&H Bodyworks being painted also.

Thanks to First for moving the Bus out for us to Photograph.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Friday Flashback ~ August 1991

A little different Friday Flashback this week when we revisit August 1991 - is it really almost thirty years ago?
Flying Banana Ford Transit B204 GNL approaching Market Gates - ex Northern General 1991
The photos have been provided by Michael Roach of the Cornwall Railway Society who sent them and others to the Norfolk Railway Society. John Hutchinson of the local group thought they may be of interest to us and therefore are reproduced here

Great Yarmouth's ECW bodied Bristol VR RVF35R new in February 1977 leaving Market Gates
Similar Eastern Counties Bristol VR VEX 292X at the same spot and note no Troll Cart Public House yet!
Peering out of the bus station is Great Yarmouth Volvo B10M-50/East Lancs E41 OAH
Eastern Counties Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Derwent H613 RAH on The Street in Acle
Many thanks to John for passing the pictures on and to Michael Roach for supplying them. The Great Yarmouth photos were taken on the 5th and the Acle one the day after.


Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 31st March 2021

With the second lockdown coming to an end, many operators are rescheduling their timetables and this is reflected in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Simonds of Botesdale has amended the timetable of its 522 route between Denham Post Office and Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham from 8th March 2021.

Borderbus has changed the timings of both sections of its 146 service (Southwold to Kessingland and Kessingland to Norwich) from 29th March 2021. There are also new timetables in use on its 521 Halesworth to Aldeburgh and 522 Peasenhall/Leiston and Leiston/Aldeburgh routes from the same date.

Konectbus has also altered the timetables of  the84 Harleston to Norwich and 53C Norwich Old Catton to Broadland High School, Martham services from 8th March 2021.

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Charcoal To Lilac

Former Ipswich Volvo B7RLE 66987 KX05MHV has received a new Lilac front this week as part of its transfer to Norwich, up until a few days ago it had been on loan at Great Yarmouth.

Thanks to First for the Photo.


Thoughts of A Local in Exile

A former native of Great Yarmouth has contacted us following the report of the appearance of the new Coastal Clipper livery

David Clarke comments 'We live in a colourful world of buses with the launch if the 1/1A blue livery - memories of Great Yarmouth Corporation from my youth.

Gemini 37571 AU58 ECV in Ormesby on its first day in service on the 1 to Martham on Sunday

Living in North Yorkshire, I have a lovely view of the Aire Valley from my window. Last Sunday,(21st) refurbished double decks were introduced on the Keighley to Skipton service 66 by Transdev Keighley, having spent seven years on the Witchway service X43 for Transdev Burnley (Burnley-Manchester).

The new Dalesway livery is green and yellow. As I look across the one mile of meadows to the main road, I am reminded of Norwich City FC and "home" every half hour!'

Many thanks to AaronM for the Ormesby photo, to Alex Hornby for the Dalesway picture and finally to David for his reminiscences.


Monday, 29 March 2021

Felixstowe Flyer on the X2

First Ipswich Volvo B7RLE 69428 AU58 FFP was allocated to Lowestoft duties today and appears to be working X2/X22 services . It was observed by Kieran Smith in Norwich Bus Station earlier on the X2 FAST to Lowestoft complete with Felixstowe Flyers branding

Here's Grahame's later picture of it when passing through a sunny Carlton Colville on the return journey.

My thanks to Kieran and Grahame for the use of both of their photos


Friday, 26 March 2021

Coastal Clipper marks the return of the Blue Bus (Sort Of)

With many thanks to First we can reveal the new Coastal Clipper livery to be used for the 1/1A/1B/1C routes around Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft.

The first vehicle to gain the livery is Volvo/Wright 37571 AU58ECV.  We are told that 37565 - 37572 are to gain the new livery.

Many Thanks to First for sending us the Photos

Stay Safe Everyone, Grahame.

Friday Flashback ~ August 2009 (Part Two)

This week's Flashback Friday continues our look back to August 2009 and has a double decker theme.

We begin with a visit to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on the 11th August when it hosted Luton based A to B Travels' NUI 8635. The operator had acquired New City Coaches during 2008 and the Jonckheere Monaco bodied Volvo B12T was one of the assets included. New to Impact of Carlisle as 243 ELU in May1996 it later moved to County Coaches of Leicester.

The 15th found me outside Lowestoft Railway Station when preserved former Eastern Counties VR385 OCK 985K turned up from the East Anglia Transport Museum. The Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol VRT began life with Ribble Motor Services in February 1972 prior to moving to Eastern Counties in December 1985. Withdrawal came in April 1996 prior to entering preservation with the Museum later that year.

The third photo features the unusual view of, not one but, two Ipswich Buses at Beach Coach Station on the 18th. East Lancs bodied Scania OmniDekkas PJ54 YZV and PJ54 YZU are still part of the Ipswich fleet and are due a visit to Hants & Dorset Trim for refurbishment.

On the 22nd I visited Bury St Edmunds and leaving the bus station that day was Chambers' R978 KAR on the 753 to Sudbury. The Alexander (Belfast) bodied Volvo Olympian was new to Dublin Bus, Eire as 98-D-20393 and was purchased from dealers Ensign during May 2009


Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th March 2021

First Eastern Counties dominate the local alterations in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Among the many services affected by timetable changes taking effect retrospectively from 8th March 2021 are:
1/1A/1B Martham and Lowestoft Bus Station
8 Caister and James Paget Hospital, Gorleston
14/15/15A/15B Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood
40/40A /X41/41A /41 St Stephens Street, Norwich and Hillside Road West, Bungay,
63/64 Forte Green, Aldeburgh to Ipswich Rail Station
73/74 Woodbridge to Felixstowe
99/99B Lowestoft Bus Station and Pier Avenue, Southwold
99A/99H Kings Head, Southwold and St Mary's Street, Bungay
881 Worlingham and East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston
882 North Cove and East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Gorleston
911 Sole & Heal Rackheath and Broadland High School, Hoveton,
921 Tesco, Cobholm and Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Gorleston
922 Market Gates, Great Yarmouth and Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Gorleston
931 High Road, Burgh Castle and Ormiston Venture Academy, Gorleston
972 Turban Centre, Woodbridge to Farlingaye School, Woodbridge
978 Grange Farm, Felixstowe to Northgate School, Ipswich
X1/X11 Market Gates, Great Yarmouth and Norwich Bus Station
X2,X21,X22 Lowestoft Bus Station and All Saints Green, Norwich

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Bus & Us Sales

Melton Constable based Bus & Us are selling their former Richards Coaches Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B12Ms.

Both GDZ 8561 and GDZ 9097 were purchased from the Guist business in November 2018 and mainly operate on Reepham High School and College runs. Both were new to Shearings Holidays as MV02 ULU and MV02 ULS respectively. The reason given for the sale is that the company is closing.

The photo is taken in the yard of the Whitwell & Reepham Railway Station in December 2018 and shows GDZ 9097 still in Richards livery whilst GDZ 8561 is painted in the colours of Elcock Reisen of Telford, a previous operator.

My thanks to Jṏs for consent to use his photo.


Completely’s Arrival

Norwich based Completely Coach has a new addition to the fleet - Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B10M W173 VEL. 

Together with the operator’s other 70 seater, Volvo B12B GRZ 5753, it was yesterday employed at the University of East Anglia. W173 VEL was previously with Suffolk Norse.

My thanks to Mickey Amey for the use of the photo


Monday, 22 March 2021

Ipswich Refurbishment

Over the weekend I received a photo from one of the workshop managers at Hants & Dorset Trim regarding progress on the refurbishment of one of Ipswich Buses double deckers.

With the completion of the repainting of the remaining 'Battenburg' attired Enviro200's, the Hants & Dorset team have turned their attention to work on the East Lancs bodied Omnidekkers Nos 60-62 PJ54 YZT/U/V.

With no details released of the recipient the vehicle remains unidentified.

My thanks to the member of the workshop management team for the information and photo.


Sunday, 21 March 2021

eBay Jubilee

Recently appearing on eBay are two Dennis Javelins owned by Rollesby based Jubilee Coaches.

The first is Caetano Enigma bodied L333 JCR which carried the RIB 5086 registration when with its previous owner Peelings. It was new to Dickinson of Wrangle, Boston as S100 DJD in October 1998 with Peelings acquiring it in December 2012.

The second is Plaxton Premier bodied L555 JCR, a 70 seater purchased from Medway Executive Coaches of Birmingham. The Javelin was new to Happy Days (Woodseaves) of Stafford as N899 KFA in May 1996.

My thanks to Nick on twitter (@sji1616)


Friday, 19 March 2021

Friday Flashback ~ August 2009 (Part One)

For this week's Friday Flashback we turn the clock back to August 2009 and view visitors to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station.

Our first contribution is Suffolk County Council's AY56 BJU pictured at the coach station on the 4th of August. The Marcopolo Viaggio bodied MAN 18.310 was new to them in September 2006 and received fleet number 292. Used primarily for school services, public services, private hire charter etc it was exhibited at Showbus event in 2006.

Also there on the same day was Burton's Coaches Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12B UK05 BCL. New to Burton in April 2005, it later found use with Go Ahead London. It was then reported by dealers Ensign as being sold to Candy Coaches of Selbourne in Hampshire during March last year.

Our third photo, also from the 4th, was TSU 238 from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The Dennis Javelin/ Caetano Algarve II was new to Horsham Buses as N588 GBW. It also spent time with Kent County Council.

Our final offering is Thandi Group's double deck coach N930 RGD seen on 11th of August. Later re-registered by Thandi as AJI 979, the Van Hool Astrobel bodied Volvo B12BT was new to Parks of Hamilton as LSK 832 in 1995. It subsequently moved on to Cranberry Coaches of Great Harwood who re-registered it again as B12 CBY


Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th March 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, includes just the one entry of local relevance.

The restricted licence held by Steven John Atkinson and Gillian Atkinson of Mill Road, Cobholm in Great Yarmouth was surrendered with effect from 10th March 2021.

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Citaro Moves

Another Konectbus' Mercedes Benz O530 has found a new home. Citaro HX08 EZB is one of three former Solent Blue Line buses acquired from Konectbus by Norfolk Coachways of Attleborough in October last year

HX06 EZB in St Stephens Street Norwich in February 2019 with its previous owners branding

Joe Wilson-Smith observed the former 443 yesterday which has now gained the registration SIG 5084. The others are HX06 EZG/H - the latter now registered as GDZ 1528

My thanks to Joe for the report


Sunday, 14 March 2021

Semmence Shuttles

With roadworks all weekend at Colney Lane in Norwich, First Pink Line services to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital terminate at Cringleford Interchange.

A shuttle service from the Interchange to the hospital, via the A47 road, is being provided by Ambassador Travel's sister company, H Semmence. Our correspondent, Will Mason is able provide details of the three Semmence vehicles involved

They are former Konectbus Citaro HX06 EZE, former Ambassador Travel Solo MX54 KYB, and the latest arrival CN54 HFD from OurBus, which was seen in service with Semmence for the first time.

My thanks to Will for the report and photos which were taken on Saturday morning


Friday, 12 March 2021

Friday Flashback ~ July 2009 (Part Three)

As we edge closer to the weekend, its time for our Friday Flashback and this week we publish part three of our lookback at July 2009.

We begin at Market Gates in Great Yarmouth with Sanders Coaches W266 CDN leaving the terminus on the 25th on its way to North Walsham. The East Lancs bodied DAF SB220 was acquired from National Car Parks of Marble Arch in London in May 2008.

Our second photo shows another SB220 this time operated by Eastons Coaches in Norwich with the 25 service to Reepham on the 28th. H843 UUA, an Optare Delta bodied coach, was new in November 1990 to KF Cars of Gatwick

On the same day First Eastern Counties 32849 T849 LLC is on St Stephens Street in Norwich with the 25 service to the rail station. It began life with First London before being converted to single door and gaining Barbie livery passing to 'Counties' in early 2009. 32849 worked in the fine city before moving over to First Essex and then down South to Weymouth & Southampton. It also had a stint in Great Yarmouth in late 2017 providing additional support for Bernard Matthews contract work. It was subsequently acquired by Black Cat Travel of Lincoln.

Our final photo is of Lamberts Coaches' A16 LKR. The Van Hool Alizee bodied DAF SB3000 is also observed in Norwich's St Stephens Street on the same day.