Saturday 31 July 2021

President Parked Update

Parked up in the rear yard of First’s Caister Road depot yesterday was First Norwich’s Volvo B7TL 32101 LT02 ZCK. The Plaxton President bodied decker, which had a spell allocated to Great Yarmouth, is here for an engine rebuild.

In other news, Lowestoft's Enviro 200 44533 SN62 DBV is having an MOT following repair and Enviro 400 33811 YX63 LJY is receiving a new rear axle. Volvo B7RLE  SF55 UAY is back on the road for a few days whilst similar 69045 SF55 UBE is repaired

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the photo and information and also LiamS.


Thursday 29 July 2021

Sanders Coaches Disposal List

This week's Bus & Coach Buyer (dated 29th July 2021) has an advert placed by Sanders Coaches in the Showroom section of the publication.

The insertion provides details of eighteen vehicles which are now surplus to requirements. They include three Scania OmniCity single deckers, five DAF DB250 double deckers and ten coaches. Details are shown in the appended table

My thanks to Nick on twitter (@sji1616) for making me aware of the information.


Friday Flashback ~ September 2010 (Part Four)

I know its Thursday but Friday Flashback is a day earlier this week as I will be driving for most of the day. We continue with the fourth and last part part of our look back to September 2010 with a visit to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station on the 29th of the month.

The first photo reflects the times when Shearings were regular short stay visitors at the resort with their vehicles laying over at the coach station. This is Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B12M MV02 UMW still wearing its Wallace Arnold Shearings branding. New in March 2002 it moved on to the Isle of Wight during 2011 eventually becoming 7043 in the Go-South Coast (Southern Vectis) fleet.

Next up is Smiths Coaches' L88 SLT, a Berkhof bodied Dennis Javelin acquired from Amos of Daventry in February 2008. It was new to them as W2 GAC in March 2000.

Our last picture is of TIL 7718 owned by David James and Carol Ann Penny of Lingwood in Norfolk, trading as DCP Travel. The Van Hool bodied Scania K113TRB was purchased from Lawton of Stickney, Lincolnshire during 2008. It was new to Shaw of Coventry in April 1997 and has also been previously registered MIL 8028 and HST 11.


Unusual Workings in the City

Dan High has provided a couple of photos of unusual workings in Norwich City Centre yesterday The first is of First Lowestoft's Coastal Reds 44533 SN62 DBV. The Alexander Dennis Enviro 200 is thought to have been employed on s Coastlink working.

Next up is Norwich Blue Line BD11 CFK working a Pink Line 11 service to Sprowston. Gemini 36166 is seen at Castle Meadow in the city centre passing a Sanders double decker.

My thanks to Dan for the information and photos.


Wednesday 28 July 2021

Ipswich Bus MOT

Present at First Great Yarmouth's Bus Depot this evening is Ipswich Reds 32481 AU53 HJY. The TransBus ALX 400 bodied Volvo B7TL is here for its MOT, believe it or not!

My thanks to First for the information and photo.


Another Coastal Reds B9

Another First Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini to receive the Coastal Reds colour scheme is 36188 BN12 JYL. It was observed in Norwich earlier this afternoon leaving the bus station on a Coastlink (!) service to Lowestoft.

My thanks to Dan High for the information and photo.


Tuesday Catch Up

After many attempts to get out with the camera to capture the many repaints taking place since my last outing, I managed to get some time to catch up during yesterday afternoon before the rain came.

My first priority was, hopefully, to get a picture of the loaned DAF/Plaxton open topper in use on the seafront service. Suitably rewarded with nearside and offside photos, I looked in at Beach Coach Station to observe three coaches on site.

At the southern end of the site it was good to see a Gee-Vee Travel vehicle there once more with the appearance of Yutong GT17 GVT.

Also present was Dunwood's blue Scania Touring YN66 WSD and Mil-Ken Travel's JAZ 8291. The latter, a Jonckheere SHV bodied Volvo B13R, was new to Lochs & Glens as BJ13 TXN.

As I was leaving Simonds of Botesdale's 7236 PW arrived, turned round and left again! The Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B was new to Maynes of Buckie as MM06 GSM in June 2006

Its south bound progress on to Nelson Road Central was hampered by northbound Caledonian Travel's KSK 950 which politely stopped to allow the former to continue. The Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B11R was formerly with Parks of Hamilton .Fortunately it stopped close to me allowing a photo opportunity - how lucky is that?

Next a visit to Market Gates to catch up on the repaints with a couple of pictures being shown here

I then returned to Beach Coach Station where two newcomers arrived since my earlier visit which were both on Alfa Travel duties. The first was Grayway Coaches' Mercedes Benz Tourismo BV19 YHU, whilst the other was Alfa's similar BX16 OEB.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th July 2021

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

Sanders Coaches is introducing a Monday - Friday Holt Hopper service commencing on 6th September 2021. It will run every 40 minutes between Kelling Hospital and Nightjar Road on the Heath Farm Estate. The operator is also amending timetables from 5th September 2021 on the following routes:-
43/43A/43B Reepham Market Place to Norwich Bus Station
88 North Walsham to Aylsham High School
X44,/X40/44A Reepham to Norwich High School
X55/55 North Walsham Post Office to Norwich City Centre

Konectbus is amending the timetables of the 5B Stalham to Norwich City Centre and the 84 Harleston to Norwich services from 6th September 2021

Borderbus has retrospectively altered the timetables of its Latitude services
LAT1 Diss Railway Station to Latitude Site at Henham from 22nd July 2021,
LAT2 Halesworth Railway Station to Latitude Site at Henham from 21st July 2021
LAT3 Southwold to Latitude Site at Henham from 23rd July 2021
LAT4 Kessingland to Latitude Site at Henham from 23rd July 2021

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed HERE


Tuesday 27 July 2021

Second Coastal Reds B9

A second Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini to receive the Coastal Reds colour scheme is 36187 BN12 JYK.

Next in line are similar 36188 BN12 JYL and 36215 BJ12 VWX and Zak Nelson tells me that all former Yorkshire 370XX deckers based on the coast have now been repainted in Coastal Reds livery (eg 37021-25, 37043/4/60/1)

My thanks to Zak for the information and photos


Friday 23 July 2021

First Coastal Reds B9

The area's first Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini to receive the Coastal Reds colour scheme is 36186 BN12 JYJ which was spotted in Lowestoft this morning by AaronM. He said it was parked up on Gordon Road next to the bus station during most of the morning.

I can only speculate that it may be used for target practice by the gulls resting on the roof of the nearby Roman Catholic Church!

My thanks to Aaron for the photos.


Friday Flashback ~ September 2010 (Part Three)

We continue with the third part of our look back to September 2010 with a visit to Ipswich on the 25th of the month

With almost all of the photos centred on activity at the Old Cattle Market Bus Station, the first is of Simonds Countrylink liveried YN57 BXM on Falcon Street. The Plaxton Prima bodied Enterprise Bus Plasma was new to Dawson Rentals in October 2007 and, after spending time with Romdrive of Melton Mowbray and Central Connect, it joined the Simmonds fleet in December 2009.

Heading over to the bus station we see Telling's Golden Miller VDL SB4000/ Van Hool Alizée T9 YJ57 BOU arriving on the X5 service (apologies for the picture quality). New to TGM in July 2008, it operated an 'Airport By Coach' service connecting areas of Essex to Stanstead Airport. It subsequently moved to New Adventure Travel of South Wales.

Also observed was Scania N94UD YN03 DDA from the Constable Coaches fleet working a Sudbury service. The East Lancs bodied decker was new to the operator in May 2003 and is still with Beestons today.

Seen exiting the bus station is Carters Coach Services BU08 ACV, another Plaxton Prima bodied Enterprise Bus Plasma, heading off to Woodbridge on the 70 route. It subsequently moved on to East London operator EOS London / Swallow Coaches where it gained a predominantly orange livery.

Also at the same location we note the departure of Far East Travel's Optare Solo YJ55 YGK on its way to Framlingham. New to Blenkinsop of West Carnforth in November 2005, it was also employed on Durham Park and Ride Services. The Solo later passed from Far East to Galloway European Coach Services and could still be seen in Ipswich


Thursday 22 July 2021

Caister Road Latest

First's Caister Road depot looking very
colourful these days
Surprising news from First Great Yarmouth this evening is the withdrawal of three Volvo B7RLE's with Wright Eclipse bodywork. They are 69030 (SF55 UAY), 69033 (SF55 UBT) and 69046 (SF55 UBG) with all three last seeing active service on the 8 during Wednesday afternoon. The threesome has also been placed on the reserve list.

After only spending a short time at Caister Road, Gemini 36188 BN12 JYL has left for a repaint.

My thanks to First for the information


Date For The Diary ~ Mid Norfolk Bus and Coach Day


Wednesday 21 July 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st July 2021

Just the one item of interest in the East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notice and Proceedings Report published earlier today.

Buckland Omnibus Company Limited is introducing a 250 service between Base Business Park in Rendlesham and the Dolphin Public House in Thorpeness, Leiston. Commencing on 21st July 2021, the service will operate via Rendlesham Village, Tunstall, Snape Maltings and Aldburgh and will run on Wednesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. The timetable is shown on the Suffolk on Board Website

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 20 July 2021

First Great Yarmouth Update

The latest news from First is that First Lowestoft's Dennis Dart SLF 42929 SN05 EAJ has been placed on the reserve list and was parked in the rear yard at Caister Road this afternoon enjoying the sunshine.

Following its journey from Northumbria, Gemini 37142 SN57 HDC has moved back to Lowestoft with similar 36188 BN12JYL transferring from Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth.

My thanks to First for the information and photo.


37142 Returns After Refurb

Early this morning First's Caister Road depot saw the return of Gemini 37142 SN57 HDC following refurbishment at Thorntons in Northumbria.

The Volvo B9, which has gained the yellow and blue Coastlink livery along with a new interior, is pictured at the depot on a long loader following its lengthy journey south.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo.


Monday 19 July 2021

Open Top Latest

As you will have seen previously, (Open Top Update - 15th July 2021) the loaned DAF/Plaxton open topper has been prepared to enter service based at First's Caister Road depot.

It is seen here complete with its new branding this morning ready for its first day in service on the Coastal Clipper 1C service.

Whilst LJ51 DKN has been receiving all the attention, Dennis Trident 32905 CRZ166 has received a rear advert for the Summer Circus & Water Spectacular at the Hippodrome.

My thanks to Will Drake for the picture of the debutant and to AaronM for the photo of the rear advertisement.


Sunday 18 July 2021

Alfa Foursome

During my wanderings around Great Yarmouth this afternoon, I observed no less than four members of the Alfa Travel fleet at the town's Beach Coach Station.

Pictured are, left to right, BV19 YFC, BX15 OEC, BV20 HNB and BV20 HNC and all four are Mercedes Benz Tourismos.

No other coaches were parked there, although Whittles' Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B8R YX19 MLU had taken up residence in the Palm Court Hotel's Car Park on North Drive.


Friday 16 July 2021

Friday Flashback ~ September 2010 (Part Two)

We continue our look back to September 2010 with a visit to Dereham on the 24th of the month.

We begin by looking in at the parking area on Rashes Green where we see celebrity Leyland National 152 UFX 852S. It was new to Hants & Dorset in November 1977 with Konectbus acquiring it from Trent in January 2001. The National is still with us today as part of the Coastal Red (Lynx) fleet at Kings Lynn

Almost opposite the site are the premises of independent Dereham Coachways where Van Hool Alizee bodied Volvo B10M-61 FAZ 3942 was viewed. The cherished plate disguises the fact that it was originally E264 OMT, first registered in April 1988 by Travellers of Hounslow.

Leaving the site and turning left we come to John Goshawk Road, the home of Konectbus. A few interesting buses were on site that day including Optare Excel L1150 X229 WRA, another former Trent vehicle which was new to them in September 2000. Konect acquired it from Loughborough based Kinchbus in August 2007 becoming 229 in the fleet

Our final photo is of R836 FNG and decker J853 TSC at the Konectbus Depot. The former is also an Excel L1150 and the Norfolk registration hides the fact that it was previously R500 BEN, then owned from new in 1998 by Bennet & Lane of Gloucester. It was subsequently cannibalised by Konect to keep others running in service. The latter is an Alexander RH bodied Leyland Olympian ON2R of 1991 vintage. Numbered 100 in the fleet, it was new to Lothian in October 1991. In 2016 it appeared its future was as a community youth project bus with its lady owner a vehicle preservationist. It would be interesting to know if this venture was successful


Thursday 15 July 2021

Alfa Solo

Passing Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station during mid afternoon today, only one coach was viewed. It was Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo 119 BV20 HNC


Open Top Update

Following the previous post on the loaned DAF/Plaxton open topper, First Great Yarmouth has been busy getting it ready to enter service.

Initially the London Sightseeing Tours vinyls have been removed and the vehicle has received its First Eastern Counties fleet number of 35014

A picture showing the seating on the top deck looking towards the rear of the bus is attached

It has also subsequently received temporary Clipper Cabriolet branding as in the picture featuring the rear of the vehicle

My thanks to Will Drake for supplying the photos


Open Top Loan

First Great Yarmouth has taken delivery of an ex Arriva London open top bus in the shape of London Sightseeing Tours LJ51 DKN. The Plaxton bodied DAF arrived at Caister Road during yesterday evening and was new to Arriva London North in September 2001 as their DLP61.

The bus now forms part of the Original London Sightseeing tour fleet as their DLP261 and is usually based at Wandsworth in south west London. It has been loaned to First to provide additional cover during peak demands for their open top 1C service. I understand it is to become 35014 in the fleet and receive temporary cabriolet branding in the near future

My thanks to Simon Taylor for the information and the header photo with Will Drake providing the front image


Saloon Returns

Another Lowestoft based single decker returned to its home depot last night after repairs were effected at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road Depot. The vehicle concerned was Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLE 69020 SF55 UAN

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photo


Wednesday 14 July 2021

Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th July 2021

There are some 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 a number of entries this week including timetable alterations to four of its services from 6th September 2021 and the cessation of two seasonal services from the 5th September 2021. The timetable alterations affect the following routes:-
33 North Walsham to Cromer
33A North Walsham Town Service
71A/ 72A/ 73A Acle Area Flexibus
271 Hemsby Beach to Bradwell
The two cancellations are the 100 Vauxhall Holiday Park to Seashore Holiday Park and the 200 Hemsby Beach services.

Stephens Coach Hire has applied to use Unit 2 Jones (GC) Way in Great Yarmouth as an operating centre for one vehicle. The location is in close proximity to the site used by Caroline Coaches to park and repair their vehicles.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 13 July 2021

Dart Returns Home After Repair

After its tow from Lowestoft to Great Yarmouth yesterday for repair, the work on Dennis Dart 42914 WX05 RVZ was completed at First's Caister Road Depot this morning.

It was was parked on the forecourt earlier this evening awaiting the drive back to its home depot at Gas Works Road

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photos.


Lowestoft Deckers Turning Red

The repaint programme of Coastal Reds is heading back to Lowestoft and the fleet of Wright bodied Geminis. One of the first to gain the new colours is 37043 YJ06XLT.

Its pictured at Lowestoft Bus Station about to head back to Gasworks Road after doing a Bernard Matthews contract run.

37025 & 37060 are also due soon in the new colours