Monday 31 May 2021

Today At The Beach

There was a couple of visitors to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station earlier today.

The first was YN67 CFE, an Iveco T600S Noone Touras representing Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent. It was new to the Nottinghamshire operator in October 2017.

A welcome appearance from Alfa Travel was their Mercedes Benz Tourismo 121 BV20 HNE on a short break tour. Its presence was possibly an indication that things are starting to get back to some form of normality.


Sunday 30 May 2021

First Latest

A former South Yorkshire Volvo B7RLE at Caister Road is to have an engine rebuild. The bus concerned is 69031 SF55 UAZ and is seen inside the depot earlier today.

All five of First Great Yarmouth's StreetLites are now in the Coastal Reds livery and, with work starting on applying the colours to Lowestoft vehicles, Volvo B7RLE 69046 SF55 UBG and Dart 42921 EU05 AUN are on loan there covering as paint spares.

Previously not mentioned is the move of Volvo B9 37141 SN57 HDA to Thornton's for interior refurbishment and the loan of 37579 AU58 EDK from Norwich

My thanks to First for the information


Friday 28 May 2021

Friday Flashback ~ January 2010

Friday Flashback returns after another hospital visit. We move on to January 2010 and our first photo is of Swift Taxis' S511 XCR on Regent Road after working a schools duty on the 5th. The Caetano Compass bodied Dart was obtained from Amza in December 2009 along with the acquisition of the business. I reported in January 2012 that had been acquired and placed in service by Shaws of Maxey, having received their blue and white livery.

Our second picture, taken on the 16th, features a First Eastern Counties Optare M920 Solo in a wet Norwich. EO02 NFA is shown on St Stephens Street heading for St Ives Road on service 9. It was new to First Essex in May 2002 and returned there after its stint with First Eastern Counties.

Norse 7133 OY53 RDV was working the Norwich Airport Park and Ride service on the same day. Observed at Norwich Bus Station, the operator had a number of these Irisbus Agoralines. It subsequently moved on to Norfolk Green

Finally, on 21st January, Shearings Holidays Setra S416GT-HD 118 BN09 FXH was seen lying over at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth. It later became part of the Mayfields Travel fleet of Doncaster.


Thursday 27 May 2021

Angies Acquisition

Lowestoft based Angies Tours has another addition to its fleet in the shape of Higer Touring bodied Scania K410EB6 Y6 PJO

Its special registration plate belies the fact that it was originally YN66 WSK, ex Majestic Coaches, with a photo of it featuring on the blog in my Friday Round Up post of 24th May 2019

My thanks to Robbie Collins for the information and photos and apologies for the delay for the appearance of the picture which was out of our control.


Wednesday 26 May 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th May 2021

There's just a few items of interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

The first two are contained in the operator licensing part of the Report with the first comprising an application from City to Coast Day Tours from Stanwell in Staines-Upon-Thames. The applicant is registering a site at the East Point Centre at Pinbush Close in Lowestoft for the use of one vehicle.

The second entry is the conditional approval of a site at Monewden Airfield in Woodbridge for the use of four vehicles by Road & Air Vehicles Sales

B R Shreeve & Sons has registered a new Monday to Friday MILLS 1 schools service operating between Leiston Road in Aldeburgh and Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham commencing on 7th June 2021

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


Tuesday 25 May 2021

First Great Yarmouth Latest

This brief report on activity at First Great Yarmouth includes news that Enviro400 33812 YX63 LJZ is being fitted with a new rear axle

News on the Coastal Red repaints is that four of the five Great Yarmouth StreetLites now have the new livery. 47501/2/4/12 SN64 CPU/V/Y/CRZ have been completed with 47503 SN64 CPX outstanding. Next in line appears to be Lowestoft's 44531 SN62 AZW

Also at Caister Road, Lowestoft's Alexander Dennis Enviro200 44532 SN62 DBO was receiving its MOT whilst Volvo B7 32105 LT02 ZCU has returned to Norwich

My thanks to First for the information


Ryan sent 24 May at 12:

Monday 24 May 2021

Jubilee Arrivals

There are two arrivals at Rollesby-based Jubilee Coaches and both of them are former Norse vehicles

YO54 DRX is a Dennis Javelin previously with a Ministry of Defence contractor whilst PN06 TVP is a Marcopolo bodied Transbus new to Holmeswood of Ormskirk in April 2006

Dennis Javelin L333 JCR has resumed its previous identity of S100 DJD and has left the company having being exported to Africa.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and photos


Sunday 23 May 2021

Rail Replacement ~ Norwich Yesterday

With buses replacing trains between Norwich and Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft for another weekend, Will Mason has provided some photos of vehicles involved..

Operators on display during his visit to Norwich Station yesterday, included Ambassador Travel, Freestones Coaches and Galloway of Mendlesham. The latter was represented by Plaxton Centro bodied VDL SB220 AY09 BYC.

Great Yarmouth based Ambassador Travel sent along Caetano bodied Scania K340EB4 FJ09 DXE

An impressive vehicle there was Stagecoach Megabus liveried Van Hool 50307 SF13 FML branded for the Cardiff - Bristol - Heathrow Airport - Gatwick Airport service. It was carrying legals for Freestone Coaches

My thanks to Will for the photos


Saturday 22 May 2021

Rail Replacement ~ Lowestoft Today

With thanks to our Lowestoft correspondent I am pleased to bring you photos of three of today's participants in the town's rail replacement.

The first shows Ipswich Buses Mercedes Benz Citaro 154 BF65HVU on its way to Halesworth

Second up is Angies Travel's Scania K340EB6 P24 PJO, previously FJ08 KLZ. The registration was earlier held by the Lowestoft company's Neoplan Y137 HWE which has recently been scrapped.

Finally, Sanders Coaches Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B9R 918 354 TRT is seen awaiting its trip to Norwich


XL Substitution

A Norwich Blue Line branded Volvo B9 was unusually working the XL service to Dereham earlier today in place of the normal Scania. 36174 BD11CFY is seen here at Norwich Bus Station ready for departure.

My thanks to Dan High for the report and photo


Friday 21 May 2021

Friday Flashback

Due to another hospital stay, this weeks’s Friday Flashback has been held over until next week. My apologies for this


Thursday 20 May 2021

Great Yarmouth Update

A former South Yorkshire Volvo B7RLE has been withdrawn from the First Great Yarmouth fleet. Wright Eclipse Urban bodied 69043 SF55 UBC was only transferred to Caister Road at the beginning of last month

69043 pictured in Gorleston High Street on 28th April heading for the James Paget Hospital
Similar 66870 MX05CKA has returned to Norwich off loan and is pictured back in the city. Photo courtesy of LiamS

My thanks to First for the update and to Liam for the pic


Wednesday 19 May 2021

A Second Coastal Red

Another First Great Yarmouth StreetLite has received the new Coastal Reds livery - 47502 SN64 CPV being the latest recipient. The next in line to receive the same treatment is 47512 SN64 CRZ

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th May 2021

They are many alterations to local services in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Our Bus is to introduce a new Monday to Friday 100 service between Vauxhall Holiday Park and the Pleasure Beach in Great Yarmouth commencing on 25th July 2021

First Eastern Counties has retrospectively amended timetables of the following services from 28th March 2021:-
X1 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Lowestoft Bus Station
X1/X11 Norwich Bus Station to Great Yarmouth Market Gates
X2/X21/X22 Lowestoft Bus Station to All Saints Green in Norwich
X11/7 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Bracon Road, Belton
Timetable changes on the following routes additionally took effect from 16th May 2021:-
1/1A/1B Lowestoft Bus Station to Martham
5 Great Yarmouth Market Gates to Burgh Castle

Sanders Coaches has also retrospectively altered the timings of the following services from 3rd May 2021:-
5/CH2 Charles Road, Holt to North Walsham Post Office
5A Cromer to Norwich
9 Sheringham to Fakenham
16/18A/19/20/79 Aylsham to Holt
43/43A/43B Reepham Market Place to Norwich Bus Station
44 Holt to Sheringham Station
45/45A Norwich to Holt
88 North Walsham to Aylsham High School
210 North Walsham to Norwich Bus Station
CH1/CH3/CH4 Cromer to Wells-next-the-Sea
X40/X44/44A Reepham to Norwich

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


Tuesday 18 May 2021

Completely New Arrival

The latest arrival to join the Norwich based Completely Coach fleet is this Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B11RT

Formerly with Go North East, BX16 CLO features 56 seats complete with USB ports, a toilet and is disabled access friendly

My thanks to Mick Amey for the information and photo which was taken at the University of East Anglia


Monday 17 May 2021

Rail Replacement ~ Wherry Lines

Whilst yesterday's rail replacement photos concentrated on the Norwich area, I am pleased to provide photos of yesterday's activity at the seaside end of the Wherry Lines.

We begin at Lowestoft where two of the deckers involved were First Lowestoft's Volvo B9 BJ12 VWX and ex Konectbus DAF YJ05 PXD now owned by Eagles of Castle Acre. It was on hire to Angies Coaches who were also utilising their own Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown Y169 HRN

Another decker making an appearance was Ipswich Buses Scania N230UD SGZ 3347, previously with London United as their YN08 MRX

Ipswich Buses also had a presence at Great Yarmouth's Station yesterday where Roger Bellward got of photo of these two Mercedes Benz Citaros BF65 HVU and BF65 HVV

Sneaking off without (hopefully!) being noticed was Ambassador Travel's Volvo B9R/Caetano Levante BF63 ZSK

My thanks to our Lowestoft contributor and to Roger for the photos


Sunday 16 May 2021

Rail Replacement ~ Norwich Station Today

With track renewal work underway today, buses are replacing trains between Norwich and Stowmarket via Diss, and between Norwich and Ipswich via Diss. Added to this is improvement work between Norwich and Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft

This is resulting in the appearance of vehicles not usually seen at Norwich Railway Station. Our man on the spot, LiamS, has sent in some photos and these are a selection of them

Saturday 15 May 2021

Clipper Cabriolets Launched

Today saw the launch event for First Eastern Counties new Coastal Clipper Cabriolet fleet that will operate during the spring /summer period beginning tomorrow (Sunday 16th May).

I was kindly invited along by Chris Speed to have a ride along the seafront and take a few photos of course!

All three of the open top vehicles were in attendance with 32348 CRZ266 & 37000 CRZ366 operating the free rides between Brittania Pier and the Pleasure Beach.

32905 CRZ166 was on static display with Timetables available for the public to collect and have a look around also.

The weather was a little unkind for open top travel but many members of the public enjoyed a brisk drive up and down the front despite the conditions.

Full services begin tomorrow with trips to and from Hemsby also included on the timetable.


Friday 14 May 2021

Friday Flashback ~ December 2009

Today sees the return of Friday Flashback following last week's absence and this time we look back to December 2009. We begin in Great Yarmouth and then move on to Lincoln before ending up at Sheringham.

We begin on Regent Road in Great Yarmouth with First Eastern Counties Leyland Olympian 34872 F172 LBL pictured outside the former BHS store. New to Berks & Bucks (Bee Line) in October 1998, it is about to leave on the service 1 to Lowestoft on the 4th December

The next day we decided to visit Lincoln Christmas Market and looking in at the bus station we noted Kimes of Folkingham's Dennis Trident T648 KPU laying over prior to its next duty. It was new to Stagecoach London in March 1999. The business together with the Trident was sold to Centrebus in 2011

Passing the Lincoln Rail Station PC Coaches Optare Solo PC06 PCC was in use on a service to Saxilby and is still in use with the operator. The trip to Lincoln was quite memorable in that the return trip was much delayed due to our vehicle braking down prior to arriving to take us home!

On the 6th we were at at Sheringham with Norfolk Green's 501 MX09 HJJ outside the station ready to work the X5 to Norwich. New to the company in August 2009 the Optare Versa was included in the sale of Norfolk Green to Stagecoach in December 2013. Becoming 25269 in the Stagecoach fleet it has been much travelled turning up in South Wales and East Scotland.


Open Top Shuttle

Prior to their official launch tomorrow, one of the three Coastal Clipper Cabriolet open toppers was in use as a shuttle bus yesterday ferrying drivers between Market Gates and Caister Road depot.

Chris Baines, who caught CRZ 266 on such a working, tells me that all three were on display outside the depot during yesterday morning.

My thanks to Chris for the photo.


Thursday 13 May 2021

National Express Visitor

Observed parked up on Great Yarmouth seafront this afternoon was National Express Scania K410EB6/ Caetano Levante BV69 KTC

It was laying over on a short break for drivers who were route learning the 491 London Victoria to Great Yarmouth service due to recommence on the 17th May 2021

My thanks to Alex Andru for the information and consent to use his photo


First 'Coastal Reds' Revealed

A New look for Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft's fleets was revealed today with Wright Streetlite 47504 SN64CPY appearing in the new 'Coastal Reds' livery being introduced for the towns. It mirrors the current Ipswich Reds livery and will be introduced to all non branded vehicles over the coming months.

The finished vehicle prior to being returned to Caister Road

Many Thanks to First for the Photographs and Information.


Wednesday 12 May 2021

Final Clipper Complete

The last of the newly branded Coastal Clippers has entered service this week with 37576 AU58EDC being the final vehicle to gain the allover Blue livery. It is one of two based at Lowestoft for use on the 99 services between Lowestoft, Kessingland and Southwold. 37575 AU58ECZ being the other.

It is pictured this morning in Lowestoft heading out to Kessingland complete with Giraffe on the rear!


Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th May 2021

There are many items of interest in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

Our Hire, trading as Our Bus, has registered three 'new' services and cancelled another. The former includes the 100 service between Newport, Hemsby and Great Yarmouth's Market Gates and the 200 Vauxhall Holiday Park to Market Gates with both running Mondays to Fridays. The third, a Monday to Saturday service, is the 300 operating along Great Yarmouth Seafront from Seashore Holiday Park. All commencing from 25th July 2021. The cancellation relates to an older 300 service between Vauxhall Holiday Park and Seashore Holiday Park

First Eastern Counties has retrospectively amended the timetable of its 11/11A/12/12A services between the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital and Sprowston/Wroxham from the 12th April 2021. It has also registered the cancellation of two Great Yarmouth urban services (already reported here) - the 4 Barrack Estate to Caister Circular and the 9 Market Gates to the James Paget Hospital. Both effective from 13th June 2021. In addition the 911 from Rackheath to Broadland High School in Hoveton will cease from the same date.

Of particular interest is the application made by Completely Business to increase the number of vehicles to five at its High House Lane, Colton premises and a new authorisation for the same number of vehicles at a site at Hall Road in Norwich

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 11 May 2021

Coach Services Evora

An update from Coach Services of Thetford who received a brand new addition to the fleet earlier today

The vehicle is a Volvo B8RLE MCV Evora carrying the the special registration CS21 BUS. It features smart wooden style flooring and high back moquette seating plus USB charging points at every seat.

My thanks to Cameron Robinson for the information and photos


Saturday 8 May 2021

Coastal Clipper 99

Many thanks for all your kind words regarding my recent hospital visit and I am pleased to say I am back home now and on the road to recovery

Back to the hobby and @Ashleybus444 contacted me yesterday to say that Gemini 37575 AU58 ECZ made its debut in service during the morning with the 99 version of the Coastal Clipper complete with the relevant stopping points

My thanks to Ashley for the photo


Friday 7 May 2021

Friday Flashback

Due to my current stay in hospital, this week's Friday Flashback will not be published. My apologies for this - normal service will resume as soon as possible


Thursday 6 May 2021

Ipswich Arrival in Service

We reported the recent 'swap' deal involving Ipswich and Colchester Depots a couple of weeks ago which saw ex Potteries ALX400 31785 YN53EOK move to Essex as it was slightly taller than the native Ipswich vehicles of the same type meaning it was unable to use the Fuel road at the depot. It was replaced by former FEC vehicle 32476 AU53HJK which had passed to Essex.

Mark Doggett caught 32476 out and about in Ipswich yesterday now wearing Ipswich Reds fleetnames en route to Stowmarket.

Many Thanks to Mark for the Photo.


Wednesday 5 May 2021

Clipper Cabriolet Launch Date Confirmed

First Eastern Counties have announced the details of their Coastal Clipper Cabriolet operations this week with services beginning on Sunday May 16th, A preview day is booked for Saturday 15th on Great Yarmouth Seafront.

History is in the making with not one but three open top buses being introduced to operate the new ‘Clipper Cabriolet’ service from Hemsby to Scratby & California onto Caister and the Seashore Holiday Park and into Great Yarmouth along the seafront terminating at the Pleasure Beach.

Locals and holidaymakers are in for a real treat as they can take in all the sights along the way as the service snakes its way along the coastline visiting key attractions and resorts on the east coast. With buses running daily up to every 20 mins along Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile and a contactless payment facility to pay for your journey, it couldn’t be easier for people to experience a fun ride on an open top bus.       

The ‘Clipper Cabriolet’ is easily identified with its sleek and modern livery with open air seating on the top deck. This is also the first time that both the town and the wider east coast tourist area will have a regular service that uses more than one open topper bus.

There are some great value fares available too, with unlimited all day travel for a group of up to 5 people (maximum 2 adults aged 20+) costing as little as £5 between Seashore Holiday Park and the Pleasure Beach and just £10.50 for travel on the ‘Clipper Cabriolet’ as well as all other First Eastern Counties buses anywhere along the east coast.

Chris Speed, Head of Operations at First Eastern Counties said: “We are very excited and really looking forward to our ‘Clipper Cabriolet’ service starting on 16th May. With both Great Yarmouth town and other local resorts along the coast booking up with holidaymakers the service is expected to be a real attraction and a fantastic, fun addition to the holiday experience for many.

“For our local communities it will also provide a fun experience and convenient link to other locations along the coast where many people visit throughout the summer season”

Come and ride for free - on Saturday 15th May

To introduce our new buses, with favourable weather, we'll have all three buses will be on show on Great Yarmouth Sea Front on Saturday 15th May 1000 – 1500.

One bus will be parked on the paved area outside the front of the Britannia Pier – this will form the ‘hub’ of the event and will be equipped with information to promote the service.

Our other two buses will be providing complimentary round trips along the seafront, picking up at the bus stop outside Britannia Pier and travelling along the seafront as far as the Pleasure Beach before returning to the Britannia Pier.  A collection for local charities will be undertaken by the Great Yarmouth Lions on board the buses.

Many Thanks to First and Good Luck!