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.


Wednesday 10 March 2021

Grey Day

Yarmouth has welcomed two Volvo B7RLE to the fleet on loan. One from Norwich and another from Ipswich although both wear the older Grey fronted Ipswich livery now replaced by the Ipswich Reds colours.

 66986 KX05MHU arrived this afternoon from Ipswich as additional vehicles are being placed on X1/X2 services in the afternoons due to demand on the routes.

66987 KX05MHV has returned from Norwich after a previous loan spell in November/December last year, it was noted working the 8 service today.

Many Thanks to Chris Speed and Joe Thorpe for the info.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 10th March 2021

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, includes entries relating to changes to some local services.

Sanders Coaches has registered two new schoolday services to serve Reepham High School. The 601 begins at Hillside Bus Stop in Melton Constable where as the 611 commences at Old Fakenham Road in West Foxley. Both services start on 12th April 2021.

Coastal Red has amended the timetable of its 36 service between Kings Lynn Bus Station and Station Road, Wells-next-the Sea from 8th March 2021.

Wheel McCoy Limited has submitted an application to use premises at Cornish Way Business Park in North Walsham for a one vehicle operating centre.

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Monday 8 March 2021

Off For The Chop

This afternoon saw Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 32348 LK53LZL collected by low loader for a trip North to be converted into another Open Topper for Great Yarmouth.

The conversion is being carried out by Thorntons Bus Refurbishment in Ashington, Northumberland.

Thanks to Roger Bellward for getting use of the photograph.

Thanks to Chris Speed for the information also.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

First Norwich News

A mini update from LiamS regarding First Norwich activity which includes a photo of the latest Purple Line repaint 33003 LK51 UZS on the 37

Also observed in the city this morning was the other Pink Line Enviro200 44928 EU08FHB which has now received its pink livery

First have also reinstated all five Barbie liveried Presidents, 33245-8 LT52 WUW/X/V/A and 32204 LT52 WTK (the latter previously based at Great Yarmouth). Another former Great Yarmouth Plaxton President 32203 LT52 WTL (pictured) has also been reinstated.

My thanks to Liam for the information and photos.


Three Arrivals At Our Bus

In the Our Bus Fleet Update, published on 27th February 2021, I stated that the operator was expecting more coach arrivals soon. Courtesy of Alex Claughton I am now pleased to provide details of these newcomers.

The first is Optare Solo M950SL YJ59 GHX which has been acquired from Felix (Golynia) of Long Melford in Suffolk. It was new to Bodman of Warton in Wiltshire in October 2009.

Next up is Plaxton Panther bodied Irisbus Eurorider KV05 YRO. The 57 seater has air conditioning with television installed and has been named Betty. It was new to Country Lion of Northamptonshire as A10 CLC

The final addition is that of Volvo B10M PUI 6679. The Plaxton Paragon 70 seater, which has air conditioning, is known as Richard. It has also seen use with Wallace Arnold as W603 FUM

My thanks to Alex for the update and photos and to Benjamin Fosker for the corrections. My apologies for the previously incorrect details

The latest Our Bus fleet list can be viewed by clicking HERE


Sunday 7 March 2021

Lockdown Look Back Kings Lynn 2002

Been a while since we had a look back through my Photo Collection, Roy's Friday Flashbacks continue to bring back some memories of vehicles gone by so i thought i would journey back to a Saturday in November 2002 and a drive up to Kings Lynn. I always enjoy Lynn for Photos as it has a few good spots and plenty of variety.

Eastern Counties gained a batch of Leyland Olympians from Strathclyde in 1998 and 99 KGG159Y is seen above in the Bus Station working the local 410 service. These ventured to a few FEC depots in their time including Norwich, Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds.

Fowlers of Holbeach operated the 505 between Kings Lynn and Spalding in 2002, a route that has continued to this day through various operators, Stagecoach East Midlands now have vehicles allocated to the route run from their Long Sutton Outstation, the vehicles are maintained at Skegness. 

F259CEW, A Scania N113DRB with Alexander bodywork and was new to Fowlers in November 1989.

Norfolk Green ran a lot of routes around Kings Lynn as a private company before being taken over by Stagecoach. Sadly the name no longer exists but a fleet of varied vehicles was operated over the years beginning with Coaches. The stalwart of the fleet for a number of years was the Optare Solo, AP02XOD was new in 2002 and seen here at the Bus Station. There is a twist to this photo as the registration was incorrect, it should have been AP02XOO. Below it is seen in 2014 under Stagecoach ownership wearing the correct plate.

First continued to operate local services in Kings Lynn until June 2016 before passing routes to Norfolk Green. First's Excel service between Norwich and Peterborough continues to serve the town.

2002 saw the introduction of the Volvo B12/Plaxton Paragon fleet of coaches for use on the X94 service (Now Excel) Numbered 200-209. 204 AO02RCU is pictured above on an unusual working, local service 411.

Finally a photo which is not one of mine but taken by Graham Smith, Norfolk Green had this ex Arriva Meterobus GYE372W on hire from Ensignbus, New to London Transport in 1980. 3 others were also noted in use, KYO622/625X and KYV805X. It was later purchased and did receive Norfolk Green livery.

Hope you enjoyed this brief piece of Nostalgia, hopefully i can produce a few more for you.

Thanks to John for the current Route 505 information .

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Saturday 6 March 2021

Border Bus Demo

Beccles based independent Border Bus currently has a 21 plate ADL Enviro200 MMC on trial.

Today YX21 RPO was in use on the operator's 146 route between Southwold and Norwich via Beccles

Harry Holmes was in the right place at the right time earlier today

Not only did he get the external photos but an interior shot too

My thanks to Harry for his photos


Northgate Street Divert

With major gas works under way in Northgate Street,  bus services have been diverted since the 1st March. Routes 1/1A and 8 are using North Denes Road and Nelson Road Central to return to their usual routes. The diversion is expected to be in place until Friday 12th March

Regular contributor Aaron M sent this photo of Gemini 37021 YJ06 XKK turning from Nelson Road North into St Nicholas Road to gain access to Market Gates earlier this morning

My thanks to Aaron for the photo


A Tale of Two B7RLEs

The latest from First's Caister Road depot concerns a news update on two former South Yorkshire Volvo B7RLE's - some good and some bad!

The good news relates to 69022 SF55 UAP. which has recently returned to active duties following attention in the workshops.

The bad news refers to the Mainline liveried 69017 SF55 UAK which arrived in Great Yarmouth from Norwich in October. It retained its red and yellow colour scheme when noted in service later in the month with Great Yarmouth fleet names applied to its sides.

However, it has only seen limited use with its reliability issues and has not turned a wheel in anger since 25th November 2020 according to Bus Times. It is now down for scrapping and awaits collection in the rear yard with its fleet names painted over.

Also accompanying it in the yard is ALX400 30960 YJ51 RDU plus Geminis 37025 YJ06 XKO and 37174 SF07 FDE

My thanks to First for the information


Friday 5 March 2021

Friday Flashback ~ July 2009 (Part Two)

We continue our look back to sightings in July 2009 for this week's Friday Flashback with Part Three following next week

Returning to our visit to Ipswich on 4th July, also observed in the 'independents' corner' of the Old Cattle Market Bus Station was this Plaxton Beaver bodied Mercedes Benz Vario O814D from Anglianbus. AO52 LJF was 221 in the fleet as was new to them in September 1992.

Fowlers of Holbeach DAF SB3000/Plaxton FUO197 was present at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on the 7th of the month.

On the same day Shearings MX03 AEM, a Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B12M new in March 2003, was also seen at the Coach Station. At that time it still sported the WA logo.

The final picture is of a member of the local Swift Taxis fleet in the town centre on the 21st. It was AE07 NZC a Eurocoach (Bunbeg) bodied Mercedes Benz Vario O815DT. New to the local independent in July 2007, it ran for short while with a MW51 WFT plate. Swift surrendered its licence on 6th February 2017 ending a sixteen year operating period in the area.