Saturday, 16 October 2021

Citaros Leave Completely

Two Mercedes Benz Citaro O530s have left the Norwich-based Completely Coach fleet. They were both new to Go South Coast in early 2006 with Completely acquiring them from Konectbus in February this year.

HF55 JZK was formerly Konectbus 430 and is pictured near Completely’s base in South Norwich. It is now with Select Bus Services of Penkridge in Staffordshire.

HF06 FTZ was previously Konectbus 438 and has recently joined CJJ Coaches of Bracknell in Berkshire. The vehicle is seen in St Stephen's Street in Norwich preparing for the service 4 to Shipdham.

My thanks to LiamS for the details and photos


Historic Commissioners' Visit

The Historic England Commissioners visited the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area last week to view the improvement and investment in local heritage restorations worth millions of pounds.

As part of their tour, former Lowestoft Corporation Transport no.21 GBJ 192 paid a visit to both towns on Thursday.

The East Anglia Transport Museum's AEC Regent is first pictured on Great Yarmouth's Wellington Road having passed through/under Wellington Arch.

Later in the day the bus returned to Lowestoft and is seen outside the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club on Royal Plain.

My thanks to Tim Major for the photos.


Friday, 15 October 2021

62 In Service Once More

Following the completion of internal modifications at First's Caister Road depot, Great Yarmouth Transport liveried decker, Volvo B9TL 37562 FJ08FYN was noted back in service at lunchtime today as these photos from Dan High show

My thanks to Dan for the photos - and I have used one of them for the new blog header


Wednesday, 13 October 2021

BorderBus President On 146

Liam S noted one of the BorderBus President's arriving at Norwich Bus Station with a 146 service from Southwold earlier this morning. The Volvo B7 continues to have its Sir John Leman High School branding on the sides.

Liam decided to have a run to Beccles on 204 X662 LLX, the former Metroline VPL160, and says that riding on these VPLs is like 'stepping into a time machine back to the early noughties; fit a double door and you have the full London experience'. The old Metroline moquette and ribbed hand rails invokes nostalgia more than the First and Go-Ahead versions'

Arriving in Beccles, similar 202 X643 LLX was also on the Old Market stand for some unknown reason and was out of service. I couldn't find any reference to it being out on the Bus Times site.

He alighted from 204 at the Beccles Tesco store and got another photo there

My thanks to Liam for the photos


Great Yarmouth B9 Refurbished

The recently painted Great Yarmouth Transport liveried vehicle, Volvo B9TL 37562 FJ08FYN, has just received an internal refurbishment and returned to First's Caister Road depot.

The accompanying photo shows both upper and lower floors of the bus which has also been fitted with a new white destination screen.

It is currently awaiting new bell pushers with other work needing completion before it returns to service

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photos

Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th October 2021

Just the one entry in today's Notices and Proceedings Report published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner.

It concerns the revocation of the PSV licence held by the PTS Group of North Walsham. The running of services under this licence have been ceased with immediate effect.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Coach Station Five

An early visit to Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station this morning yield five vehicles including a Shearings branded coach. That was VDL Futura WJ20 EDF owned by Watts Coaches of Bonvilston near Cardiff.

The second vehicle snapped was Roberts Travel Group's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BD18 TNO based in Coalville, Leicestershire.

Alfa Travel was represented by a further two Tourismos in the shape of 118 BV20 HNB and 119 BV20 HNC

The final attendee was Killamarsh, Sheffield based Coopers Tours Scania R777 JCS.


Monday, 11 October 2021

Bungay Or Bust!

A Couple of regular blog contributors met up at the weekend to sample the lengthy round trip from Lowestoft to Bungay on the 99A Service. 

Zak Nelson was at the wheel whilst Aaron went along for the ride and to grab some photos along the way.

Aaron has kindly supplied a brief description of the trip,

Yesterday saw a lengthy trip with Zak to Bungay via Southwold and Halesworth on the Clipper 99/A – a four hour round trip. A nice route, very quiet tight roads, had to adjust mirror a few times. Not much time at each end at all only a chance to get a quick snap of 37025 YJ06XKO!

Return journey arrived in Southwold bang on time with 37575 AU58ECZ running late about to depart on the 11.55 99A to Bungay with us bound for Lowestoft so managed to get both together!

Also attached is a photo of the Grey Line timetable board at Bungay St Marys Street.

Many thanks to Aaron and Zak for sharing the trip!


A Catch up with First

The continued branding and repaints for Coastal Reds continues with the latest Gemini recipient being 37578 AU58EDJ, pictured below sunning itself at Caister Road on Saturday afternoon prior to a trip out on a Bernard Matthews Contract run. 37574 AU58ECY has now also returned to Caister Road and is currently undergoing inspection prior to returning to service here.

Former First Sheffield Volvo B7RLE 69033 SF55UBT has now become a Driver Trainer at Norwich.

Another Trainer has been on loan from First Essex this past week in the shape of 66846 MX05CGV.

Ipswich Depot has rebranded a couple of Volvo B7RLE'S with 69010 & 69011 now carrying Mainline 66 details for the service to Martlesham Heath.

Another ex Sheffield Volvo B7RLE 69032 is now residing in Ipswich and has gained Ipswich Reds branding. Seen below working the 64 Ipswich - Woodbridge service. Sister 69020 has had similar treatment but is currently on loan at Lowestoft.

Finally back to Yarmouth where Volvo B7TL 30960 YJ51RDU has gained Coastal Reds branding.

Many Thanks to Mark Doggett for use of his excellent photos, and it was nice to catch up with Mark at the weekend at Caister Road.


Sunday, 10 October 2021

Sanders Sojourn

Last night regular contributor Tony Wilson emailed a photo showing Optare Solo YJ58 CBX operating the recently introduced Holt town service provided by Sanders Coaches

Optare Solo YJ58 CBX nearing the Kelling Hospital end of the route yesterday
With the increase in housing developments in the area, leading to population growth, the operator now provides the service between Heath Drive near the depot and the Medical Practice at Kelling Hospital via the town centre

Brush Type 2 (later class 31) D5631 on the delayed departure from Weybourne yesterday
Coincidentally I was in North Norfolk yesterday for the Members Day event at the North Norfolk Railway and, of course, it would have been rude to not get some Sanders photos at the same time!

I was fortunate in capturing my first photo of one of the new Coasthoppers in action with Volvo B8RLE/ MCV Evora BV21 OOD awaiting time on the Station Approach in Sheringham prior to departing for Wells-next-the-Sea

Prior to that former Isle of Man Transport East Lancs bodied DAF DB250 PM03 EHU was off to Holt on the 44.

Meanwhile I have received news that both of Sanders two new Volvo B5 deckers have arrived and are expected to be in service sometime next week

My thanks to Tony for the use of his photo


Saturday, 9 October 2021

Jubilee's Latest acquisition

Yesterday was the first day Rollesby-based Jubilee Coaches were using their recent acquisition on a schools run. Plaxton bodied Dennis Javelin YU05 ZKM is the latest former Suffolk Norse vehicle to enter service with them.

My thanks to Kevan Portas for the information and photo.


Friday, 8 October 2021

New Operator For The 80

Following the removal of PTS Group's (trading as Wrights Coaches) licence earlier in the week, its solitary public bus service, Dereham market day service 80, has been retendered by Norfolk County Council.

The new operator is Our Bus and Will Mason was in Dereham earlier today to get a photo of the company's Volkswagen Crafter GN09 LFU on the route prior to its return to Aylsham. As Will says it makes quite a change from the Scania deckers that Wrights used on the service

My thanks Will for the update and photo


Friday Flashback (For One Day Only!)

Following the post on Tuesday morning concerning a couple of coaches at the Cadogan Road Coach Park in Cromer (Cromer Catch - 5th October 2021), it reminded David Burdett of a photo he took at that location some time ago.

David says 'Just viewed the shot of the coaches in Cadogan Road coach park at Cromer, and thought you (and maybe your members) might like to see my shot taken in exactly the same spot some 50 years ago, give or take a year!

This AEC/Plaxton of Sheffield United Tours was on the regular Saturday express service between Sheffield and Cromer which arrived in town around lunchtime. I spent many many hours at this coach park in my teenage years, every one of them thoroughly enjoyed, with the anticipation of what might turn up in Cromer on any particular day! Hope of interest'

It's certainly of interest David and I can remember many examples of the SUT fleet were seen at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station when I used to look in at weekday lunchtimes! The coach is a Plaxton Panorama bodied AEC Reliance with the registration KWE 370D and a model of it is currently available on e-bay. Thanks for the email and photo


Alde Valley Off Route

Yesterday morning just after 9 am I was heading south on Southtown Road in Great Yarmouth when the regular BorderBus 580 service passed me.

On closure inspection it was not the usual Scania N230UD BB58 BUS but similar BB10 AVA. The Alde Valley Academy branded BB10 AVA has been almost ever present on the 521A/522/522A services. From the beginning of this school term it appears that both vehicles working these routes are now Scania deckers.

Unfortunately there was nowhere for me to stop and get a photo and I couldn’t get in place for the return journey as I was expecting an urgent call at home - Why does that always happen!

Thankfully AndrewW was at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston yesterday afternoon and stumbled across it working the 14:20 from Bungay to Great Yarmouth. Upon examination of it appears that the vehicle had worked the 580 route all day

My thanks to Andrew for the photo and information


Thursday, 7 October 2021

Where Are They Now ~ T124 OAH?

Wright Renown bodied Volvo B10BLE T124 OAH was new to Great Yarmouth-based Ambassador Travel in March 1999 and employed on Norwich Park & Ride duties in its then mainly green livery.

It has recently been purchased from Bradshaws Travel of Blackpool by Whincop of Peasenhall in Suffolk. Now registered as LPW 971 it is being used on schools work. Among its many previous owners are Transdev Blackburn

My thanks to SteveW for the photo and information


Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Completely Arrival

Norwich-based Completely Coach Travel has added another vehicle to its growing fleet with the addition being being observed in Norwich's Castle Meadow yesterday by Dan High.

The latest arrival is Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 LK57 AXJ which was acquired from Midland Classic of Burton upon Trent. It retains its former owner's colours and also the double door layout. The bus was new to Metroline as their TE831 in October 2007

My thanks to Dan for the photo and update


Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th October 2021

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

BACT Community Transport of Hillside Road East in Bungay is introducing two Thursday only Bungay Shoppa hail and ride services from 25th October 2021. Shoppa 1 will operate from Low Road to St Mary's Street in Bungay via Wainford, Shipmeadow, Barham and Ilketshall St Andrew/St John. Shoppa 2 will also run to St Mary's Street in Bungay commencing in the High St in St Lawrence continuing via St Peters, South Elham, Rumburgh and Flixton

has started a new SJL10 schools service between Aldringham and St John Leman School in Beccles from 29th September 2021. The operator has also amended the timetables of its 521/ 521A Halesworth to Aldeburgh and 522/ 522A Peasenhall/Leiston to Leiston/Aldeburgh services from 31st August 2021

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Cromer Catch

Trevor Arbon reports from our Cromer outpost on a couple of coaches at the Cadogan Road Coach Park this morning.

Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BX14 LCL is parked alongside Johnsons of Worksop's Irizar i6 500 RT. The Just Go! branded coach was new to them in June 2019 as YM19 JJU

My thanks to Trevor for the photo and info


Clipper On Coastlink

Yet another unusual working earlier this morning and this time the location was at Lowestoft Bus Station.

Aaron M captured Coastal Clipper branded Volvo B9 37565 AU58 ECD reversing from the stand to work a Coastlink X22 service to Norwich

Thanks to Aaron for the report and photo and I trust you didn't get too wet from the deluge!


Monday, 4 October 2021

Coastal Substitute

Dan High reported an unusual appearance on the Norwich Blue Line 25X service earlier today; but it wasn't until later this evening that I received the photo due to the Facebook outage

It appears that there may have been a shortage of availability of the three Blue Line buses based and currently operated by First's Caister Road depot.

However, First Great Yarmouth's Coastal Red Volvo B9 36215 BJ12 VWX was observed providing the service in Norwich City Centre earlier today

My thanks to Dan for the photo


Sunday, 3 October 2021

Away From The Coast

Yesterday evening one of Sanders' four new Volvo B8R/ Evobus Evoras was observed in Norwich City Centre away from its usual coastal duties. 

521 BV21 OOD Norfolk Discoverer was employed on the 44A service returning to Sheringham.

My thanks to Dan High for the information and photo

Meanwhile Sanders Coaches are not running any Sunday services today in order to conserve fuel for the school runs on Monday.


Saturday, 2 October 2021

Old EXCEL Livery Replaced

First Great Yarmouth Gemini 37578 AU58 EDJ has, until recently, spent sometime in the old blue EXCEL livery and employed on Bernard Matthews' Great Witchingham runs

That was until today as the Volvo B9TL has now been repainted into the new Coastal Red colour scheme

It was placed outside First's Caister Road depot earlier today just before the rains came.

Fortunately Will Drake was on hand to get some photos for the blog

Thanks Will


Alfa Trio

Returning from my visit to the Caister Recycling Centre yesterday afternoon I passed Beach Coach Station in the pouring rain and took some photos. I thought I had taken them in vain but with the help of  tweaking with some software I am able to reproduce them here

Three of the four coaches present were Mercedes Benz Tourismos from the Alfa Travel fleet; 118 BV20HNB and 125 BV20HNJ were parked together whilst 119 BV20HNC was parked on its own

The fourth coach was Marchants of Cheltenham's BT15 KLK, also a Mercedes Benz Tourismo


Friday, 1 October 2021

Blue Line Geminis Return

The three First Norwich Blue Geminis on loan at Great Yarmouth have returned to their former duties. 36176-8 BD11 CGE/F/CDX have been seen on 25X and 26 city services by Dan High following the return of students to the UEA

However, Great Yarmouth drivers are taking them to Norwich, driving them in service before returning them to Caister Road as Norwich has no spare drivers to operate them.

My thanks to Dan for the photo and to First for the information


Clipper Cabriolet in the City

One of First Great Yarmouth's open top Coastal Clipper Cabriolets paid a visit to Norwich City Centre at lunchtime today. Both Joe Wilson-Smith and Dan High respectively provided photos for the blog.

Bus Times website recorded that Volvo B7TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini 37000 CRZ 366 had completed circular 'dead run' between Castle Meadow and Bernard Matthews Harleston factory. I believe it was a test run to see if deckers can operate the route.

My thanks to Joe and Dan for the photos


Putting BorderBus First!

You may recall that early last month I reported a First liveried double decker had been observed in the BorderBus yard at Beccles. (Stranger in The Camp - 4th September 2021) Andrew Pursey later confirmed its identity as ex First Kernow ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 30955 YJ51 RCU

Since its arrival I have been hoping to catch a glimpse (and a photo) of it in service. Fortunately Syd Eade did just that yesterday morning close to Oulton Broad North Station on the operator's SJL7 service to the Sir John Leman School. Whilst it remains in First colours, references to First have been removed apart from the rear fleet number.

My thanks to Syd for the report and photo