Sunday 28 February 2021

First Great Yarmouth Update

With repairs continuing with President 32213 LT52 WTW over the pits, similar 32206 LT52 WTM has joined it too. Also receiving attention are ALX400 30961 YJ51 RDV and Volvo B7RLE 69022 SF55 UAP.

Work has been completed on Ipswich Red ALX400 32492 AU53 HKK which is expecting a return to Suffolk on Monday with Coastlink Enviro400 33819 YX63 LKJ making the opposite journey after a short stay in Ipswich.

Other workshop activity includes an MOT for 37025 YJ06 XKO and a new battery cage for Flying Banana 42943 WA56 OAS

With Great Yarmouth heritage liveried 32059 W219 XBD back in use, loanee 36187 BN12 JYK has moved back to Lowestoft

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the update


Saturday 27 February 2021

Our Bus Fleet Update

There have been some additional changes to the Our Bus fleet comprising an arrival and three departures reports Alex Claughton.

The newcomer is 2015 Mercedes Benz Trekka EK65 YZV and has been named George. It is similar to another already reported arrival EJ65 NZH which is now known as Roy.

Those leaving the fleet include S53 UBO, a 1998 Volvo B10M/ Plaxton Premiere, and similar EIG 9929 from 2000. The third is Optare M990 Solo CN54 HFD which has been sold to H.Semmence at Wymondham.

More coaches are also due join the fleet soon and we will endeavour to provide details and photos as soon as they arrive. My thanks to Alex for the information and photo.


Friday 26 February 2021

Friday Flashback ~ July 2009 (Part One)

This week's Friday Flashback looks back at sightings during the early part of the month of July 2009.

We begin with a photo of First Eastern Counties Leyland Olympian triaxle 30100 K484 EUX passing Beach Coach Station on a Bernard Matthews duty on 2nd July. New to China Motor Bus during 1993, it was one of ten delivered to Caister Road from Rotherham when they received Barbie 3 livery. It was previously with First Glasgow. Its demise came in July 2011 when it made a one way trip to Erith Commercials at Dartford in Kent for scrap.

Next up is a regular visitor to Beach Coach Station seen on the same day. West Row Coach Services of Bury St Edmunds sent along Scania/Irizar W914 BEC. New in March 2000, West Row purchased it from Kirkham/Rigbys of Altham, Lancashire in February 2007.

The following two pictures were taken at the Old Cattle Market Bus Station in Ipswich on the 4th of July. The first is of Carters' Dennis Dart SLF SN51 SXU acquired from London United in December 2008.

Our final photo is of Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz O814D HF54 NLE from the Galloway fleet. New in 2004 it was bought from Romdrive of Melton in Leicestershire during March 2008. It is still very much active and, along with its previous Galloway companion HF54 NLG, is now with Seaford & District and they both look very smart following a recent repaint into the Sussex operator's livery.


Thursday 25 February 2021

Dolphin Acquisition

Norwich-based Dolphin Autos has recently acquired a minibus in the shape of Iveco AO57 DFP. The 18 seater was new to Suffolk Norse in September 2007.

My thanks to Joe Wilson-Smith for the information and photo.


Wednesday 24 February 2021

Lowestoft Loanee

Lowestoft based Gemini 36187 is currently on loan to Great Yarmouth and was noted this afternoon in Ormesby working the 1 service to Lowestoft.

Pictured waiting outside the old Royal Oak Pub in the village or home as i like to call it!

Many Thanks to Aaron M for the photo.

Stay Safe Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th February 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, includes many entries relating to changes to services provided by First Eastern Counties

However only two alterations are relevant to our local area. These comprise timetable changes to the 14/15/15A/15B  between Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood plus the 911 route between Rackheath and Broadland High School, Hoveton. Changes took effect from 1st February 2021

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 23 February 2021

Dolphin At Gorleston

An unusual sighting earlier this afternoon was a coach parked on Gorleston's Marine Parade. It was Dolphin Autos' VDL Bova Futura YJ03 GYB

New to Henley in Arden, Warwickshire in March 2003 it is waiting time prior to fulfilling a contract transporting students to the University of East Anglia from the James Paget Hospital


Saturday 20 February 2021

First Great Yarmouth Update

30964 in Gorleston High Street in September last
The latest from First's Caister Road depot is that some of the older vehicles in the fleet are being worked on at the moment to bring them up to standard for service.

So far ALX400 30964 YJ51 RAU is back on the road with similar 30959 YJ51 RCO and President 32213 LT52 WTW currently over the pits having work done.

Norwich Blue Line 36177 BD11 CGF, currently on loan here, has been fitted with a new engine and some windows are being replaced. Another decker requiring a new engine is 37174 SF07FDE

Meanwhile Lowestoft's Wright Eclipse Gemini 36187 is on loan to Caister Road helping out for a few days.

My thanks to First for the information


Friday 19 February 2021

Lowestoft Diverts

Not only has First Eastern Counties' routes 1, 1A and X1 been diverted from Gorleston High Street all this week (along with other services) they have also been diverted in Lowestoft for three days too. The former was due to gas mains work in the High Street whilst the latter was because of a burst water main on the A47 Yarmouth Road in the Suffolk town.

The Lowestoft divert was along Bentley Drive, Millennium Way, Oulton Road, Rotterdam Road and St Peter's Street, re-joining the normal route at the roundabout at the northern end of Katwijk Way.

My thanks to Ray Stringer for the information and photos


Enviro200 MMC on the 5B

With Norwich's Postwick Park and Ride site becoming a Covid-19 Drive Through Testing centre, Konectbus is presently employing its three ADL Enviro200 MMCs on other routes

One such working today was YX69 NPF on the operator's 5B route between Stalham and Eaton via Norwich City Centre. Regular contributor Aaron Martin observed the Enviro200 outside the Roys of Wroxham store.

My thanks to Aaron for the photo.


Friday Flashback ~ June 2009

Welcome to this week's Friday Flashback and this time we return to June 2009 when the photos include one from a visit to the USA - just for something completely different!

We begin with an Olympian on Great Yarmouth's North Drive on the 8th of June and is thought to be operating the seafront service. Northern Counties Palatine bodied Volvo H132 FLX had been transferred in from Norwich to provide additional vehicles for the summer season. It originally came from First Pioneer (Greater Manchester in October 1990 and was new to London Buslines. It stayed with 'Counties' until January 2012 when it moved on to First Essex.

On the same day Anglianbus was employing AU06 BOV on A47 services between Great Yarmouth and Norwich. The Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE was one of a quartet purchased by Blackpool Transport in 2010. It was then acquired by South Lakes Travel of Barrow in Furness.

The summer vacation in 2006 was to Florida in the USA and a visit was made to the Epcot centre where Coach USA 65260 was observed in an otherwise empty coach park. The coach is an MCI J4500 operated by Butler Motor Transit (Erie Coach Lines) on a charter on 16th June

A fortnight later and we were back in the UK and the final photo is of a Belle Coaches Setra S315 at Beach Coach Station on the last day of the month. BU04 EZJ subsequently became LIL9456. It was new to Ross of Featherstone in June 2004.


Wednesday 17 February 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th February 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains many entries relating to changes to local timetables by Konectbus

The only one alteration relevant to our local area is the entry concerning a timetable change to the 5B Stalham to Norwich City Centre service which took effect from 16th January 2021

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 16 February 2021

Wrights' Addition

Wrights Coaches (also known as PTS Group) has another addition to its Wroxham based fleet in the form of VDL Bova R25 PTS. The VDL is a new type for the company which needed a 70 seater for a recently won schools contract,

The coach was new to Bluebird Coaches of Weymouth as their BC07 BBC and Wrights recently acquired it from Hammonds Coaches of Nottingham.

The previous holder of the R25 plate was the Berkhof Axial bodied Scania K114 which is currently available for sale. As YN06 NZV it was acquired from Craskes of Catfield


Monday 15 February 2021

Angies Latest Acquisition

Lowestoft based Angies Tours has recently acquired another Caetano Levante and it was being employed on Rail Replacement work at Ipswich yesterday

Scania K340EB6 FJ08 KLZ was new to Go Northern (later Go North East) as their 7098 in July 2008. It was only recently purchased from them by Panther Travel of Essex in December 2020 before moving on to Angies.

My thanks to Alex Claughton for the update and photo


Sunday 14 February 2021

Completely Citaros

Norwich based Completely Coaches has acquired two Mercedes Benz O530s from Konectbus. They are HF55 JZK and HF06 FTZ

The former was observed in Ipswich on Rail Replacement work today by Jordan Watson whilst the latter was seen in use by LiamS in Norwich on the operator's 36 Sunday route between the City Centre and Horsford. The Citaros were new to Go South Coast in early 2006

My thanks to Jordan and LiamS for the photos which are copyrighted


Saturday 13 February 2021

Friday Flashback ~ May 2009

Welcome to the much delayed Friday Flashback and this week we go back to May 2009 with all photos taken in the Great Yarmouth area

Our first is of Anglianbus Optare Versa 419 MX58 KYX pictured on North Drive on the 12th completely devoid of fleet names. Although new in October it was originally hired to Anglian but was later purchased by them. It later moved to Konectbus where it gained their livery and returned to the town when it was subsequently noted in those colours on a number of routes.

The second subject is Ambassador Travel's Optare Tempo YJ57 EHX outside the East Norfolk Sixth Form College in Gorleston on 18th May. It was new to them in September 2007 and later went to Norfolk Green and Stagecoach East as their 25126. Harrogate Coach Travel (Connexions Buses) later acquired it and was branded for their St James Retail Park to Harrogate service. Her latest owner is Lincolnshire operator Brylaine of Boston

Our next subject is an operator once very common in the town. This is Shearings MX05 AHY parked at the town's Beach Coach Station on 19th May. The Plaxton bodied Volvo B12M was new in March 2005

The final contribution is R W Chenery's Setra S250 SPV 555 at Beach Coach Station on the 28th May. It was new in May 1996 as N207 PUL. Chenery suddenly ceased trading in June 2016 having been placed into administration


Friday 12 February 2021

Ipswich Visitor to Caister Road

Ipswich based Volvo B7TL/ALX400 32492 AU53HKK has arrived at Caister Road today for an engine rebuild. Wearing the Ipswich Reds livery it is branded for the Stowmarket Swift services.

Thanks to Joe Thorpe for the info and Will Drake for the Photo.

Stay Safe Everyone, Grahame.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 10th February 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains many entries relating to changes to local timetables by Sanders Coaches

Effective from 18th January 2021 the routes concerned are
5/CH2 Holt Charles Road and North Walsham Post Office
5A Cromer and Norwich
6/X6 North Walsham Post Office and Great Yarmouth Market Gates
6A North Walsham Post Office and Cromer Bus Station
9 Sheringham and Fakenham
16/18/18A/19/20/79 Aylsham to Holt
25 Fakenham Oak Street and Tesco
27/28 Pudding Norton Green Lane to Morrisons Store
34 North Walsham Post Office and Stalham Former Rail Station
43/43A/43B Reepham Market Place and Norwich Bus Station
44 Holt to Sheringham Station
45/45A Norwich and Holt
210 North Walsham and Norwich Bus Station
CH1/CH3/CH4 Cromer and Wells Next the Sea
X44/X40/40A Reepham and Norwich High School
X55/55 North Walsham Post Office and Norwich City Centre

The full report can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 9 February 2021

Konectbus Repaint

The latest repaint at Konectbus is Enviro 400 603, SN10CFG which has gained the current Navy & Grey livery being used. Seen above at a snowy Dereham Depot today.

Recent repaints have seen 305-309 and 603 gain this livery, whilst 635/637-639 have been transformed into Straight8 livery.

Many Thanks to Kieran at Konectbus for the photo.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Friday 5 February 2021

Friday Flashback ~ April 2009

In this week's Friday Flashback we look back to April 2009 with all photos taken in the Great Yarmouth area

Our first is taken on 3rd of April underneath Market Gates Shopping Centre which is always a problem when trying to get a reasonable photo. This one shows Ambassador Travel's S350 SET having just arrived with the 731 service which was mainly to get students from the rural areas close to Great Yarmouth to the town's Sixth Form College at Gorleston. The Wright bodied Scania was previously with Irish Bus in the Irish Republic as 98-D-76402

Another local independent was Swift Taxis and this is Dennis Javelin P80 YNE on the 21st which was named Swift Albatross. Unusually it was blue liveried and was purchased from Woodside Motors of Southey Green in Surrey during July 2007. It subsequently reverted to its P109WJO registration before moving to 3D Travel of Cleator Moor in Cumbria.

The third local independent to feature is Anglianbus of Beccles and their former Chester Wright bodied Scania R84 EMB was seen outside the BHS store on Regent Road on the 28th. It was subsequently sold to Mulleys Motorways in 2011 where it was re-registered MUI 7919

Our final contribution is Van Hool bodied Volvo B10M-60 J689 LGA from the Whippet fleet. Previously registered J460 HDS and LSK 498, it is viewed at Beach Coach Station on the 28th of April on one of the operator's coastal services. In November 2013 it was reported as awaiting collection by M C Tractors of Ramsey for scrapping.


Thursday 4 February 2021

Another Brighter Orange

The Next Orange Line vehicle to be given a spruce up is 33169 LR02LYJ, pictured about to return to Norwich to be prepared for service once more.

Many Thanks to First for sending us the Photo.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Wednesday 3 February 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd February 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains many entries relating to changes to timetables to services provided locally by First Eastern Counties

Whilst many have been already reported they are repeated here for sake of completeness. The changes took effect from 24th of January 2021 and are as follows:-
1/1A/1B Lowestoft Bus Station and Martham
14/15/15A/15B Wymondham and Wroxham/ Blofield Heath/ Lingwood (from 21st January 2021)
64/65 Aldeburgh and Saxmundham
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
917 Sycamore Drive, Rendlesham and Farlingaye High School
921 Cobholm Tesco Store and Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Gorleston
931 High Road, Burgh Castle and Ormiston Venture Academy, Gorleston
X1 Market Gates, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Bus Station
X1/X11 Norwich Bus Station and Market Gates, Great Yarmouth
X2/X21/X22 Lowestoft Bus Station and All Saints Green, Norwich
X11/7 Market Gates, Great Yarmouth and Bracon Road, Belton

Nevertheless the full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 2 February 2021

Local First Update

I have previously reported that, due to reduced demand for local bus services with the current lockdown, First has made temporary changes to some of its timetables.

This has resulted in a total nineteen buses at First Great Yarmouth/ First Lowestoft being out of use. The former includes five Alexander bodied Volvo B7TLs 30959/60/1/4 plus 32059. Plaxton President's 32206/10/3 are also included as are Sheffield exiles B7RLE 69022/33 - although the latter has since returned to service.

First Lowestoft Gasworks Road depot was closed during the first lockdown
Unlike the first lockdown, Lowestoft depot remains open with their Dart SLF 42938 WX05 SVD and Gemini 37043 YJ06 XLT currently at Caister Road for repair. 

Two of Great Yarmouth's Geminis are currently out on loan - 37021 YJ06 XKK is at Lowestoft whilst 37025 YJ06 XKO is at Norwich

My thanks to First for the update


Monday 1 February 2021

The Future's Orange

The latest First Norwich repaint is Orange Line Dennis Trident 33150 LR02LXJ. This is the first of the seven Orange Tridents to receive a full repaint plus improved rear branding.

My thanks to Alex Key for the photos and information. He says 'the orange line tridents have a well deserved spruce up, being my favourites, certainly makes it worthwhile maintaining these girls, knowing they have a bit longer now'

Also thanks to LiamS for making me aware of the event