Saturday 31 December 2022

Going Green

Just before the Christmas holidays Adam Roggerman was passing First Essex Basildon depot when he saw another decker in the new green livery

It was former First London and First Leicester Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33552 SN58 CFY which is currently the only one of its type to receive the green livery. 

Similar Enviro400 33546 SN58 CFM is also expected to be treated likewise soon.

Many thanks to Adam for the report and photo.


Friday 30 December 2022

Gemini Returns

First Great Yarmouth's Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 37150 YN06 URD has recently undergone an engine rebuild and is expected to return to service in the next few days..

The decker first arrived at Caister Road from First South Yorkshire's Doncaster September 2019 and is pictured here on Church Lane in Gorleston during August last year


Wednesday 28 December 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th December 2022

There are no 'local' entries in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full Report can be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 27 December 2022

Ensign's Astromega In Service

Contributor Adam Roggerman managed to get out of the house on Boxing Day to see Ensign's Astromega on their X10 service

The decker is numbered 245 in the fleet, registered JEV 245Y and owned by Ensign Bus. It is in the colours of Southend Transport's Yellow and Blue with X1 branding.

My thanks to Adam for the photos


Coach Services Update

Our correspondent 'Jdraves1' reports the latest from Thetford-based Coach Services which includes the withdrawal of one double decker and the availability of two others.

The withdrawal relates to that of Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL X509 EGK. It was new to London Central in February 2001 as their PVL190 and joined Coach Services in May 2013. It is seen here in Bury St Edmunds in September 2016.

Both Volvo B9TL/ Wrightbus Eclipse Geminis BJ11 EAX and BN61 MWZ are available for sale but continue in use with the operator.

My thanks to 'Jdraves1' for the information


Sunday 25 December 2022

Christmas Coaches

I toured round the usual haunts of the seafront area of Great Yarmouth during yesterday afternoon to see what coaches were spending Christmas at the resort.

I could only find six and half of them were members of the Alfa Travel fleet! Two of them were outside the New Beach Hotel and they were both Mercedes-Benz Tourismos in the form of 116 BV19 YFL with 89 BX15 OEA tucked up closely behind.

Our next location was the layby next to The Arc Cinema where four coaches were present with an unbranded new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo at the front of the line. From the 'legals' I found that BV72 YBB was from Lucketts of Fareham.

Closely behind was the third Alfa Travel coach 91 BX15 OEC and beyond that Buckleys Coach Holidays' BU18 YTF - yet another Tourismo!

Bringing up the rear was the sixth Tourismo BV19 YHT from the Roberts Travel Group.

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas lunch!


Saturday 24 December 2022

Seasons Greetings & Thanks

Well that went quickly - a very busy year indeed with all the comings and goings for many of our local operators’ fleets. You can view all the posts of the year (and previous years’ posts) in the blog archive located at the bottom left hand side of the web site. There’s also the search facility at the very top of the web page if you are looking for a particular item.

The blog has surpassed well over 3 million page views with the number of monthly visits continuing to grow achieving a record high in October this year. As you can see the blog goes from strength to strength and much of it is down to the many contributors. Thank you all as the information is much valued and appreciated. You are welcome to provide any reports especially if they are accompanied by photos.

Once more my very special thanks to Grahame Bessey for his input and support despite being a very busy man. Finally we would like to wish all readers, contributors and supporters a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023

Take care all


Friday 23 December 2022

New Evoras for Sanders

North Norfolk operator Sanders Coaches has taken delivery of four brand new MCV Evora single-deckers.

The photo by Stephen Purkiss shows number 529 BV72 KKD receiving route branding and fleet name vinyls at the Hempstead Road Depot in Holt. Although similar to the six Coasthopper branded vehicles these latest additions are of the longer type with a maximum seating capacity of 46. All are individually named after long serving and well respected members of the Sanders team, two of whom, Martin Wise and Roger Parker, sadly passed away this year.

Sign written and wrapped in the new X55 livery, they are to be introduced onto the North Walsham to Norwich service from January 2nd. Fleet numbers, registrations and namings are as follows:- 
526 BV72 KKA Roger Parker
527 BV72 KKB Brian Billman
528 BV72 KKC Joe Cook
529 BV72 KKD Martin Wise

Their introduction into service means that three Optare Olympia bodied Scanias 120-122  PN09 ELJ/EMJ/ENJ will return to Holt as will loanee 518 BV21 OOA

My thanks to Sanders and Stephen Purkiss for the information and photos


Thursday 22 December 2022

Orange Line Streetdeck In Service

The latest Orange Line branded Wright Streetdeck was in use on the First Norwich route yesterday (See Orange Line Upgrades - 14th December 2022).

35163 SK65 PWF is seen here on Castle Meadow yesterday evening by Dan High. It is the first of the recently transferred Streetdecks to enter service replacing Dennis Tridents currently in use. Three of the latter have already been taken out of service to make way for the latest arrivals.

My thanks to Dan for the photo


Wednesday 21 December 2022

FREE Christmas Vintage Bus Tours

Yesterday was the first day of the free vintage bus rides around Norwich by Awayadays with all voluntary donations being in support of the Big C - Norfolk's Cancer Charity.

Awayadays are using their Routemaster CUV 151C on the service. The Park Royal bodied bus was new to London Transport in March 1965 as RM2151.

It was being supported yesterday on the half hourly service by privately preserved Eastern Coach Works bodied Bristol VRT VPW 85S. Originally ordered by Waveney District Council, it was first registered for use by Eastern Counties in September 1977.

The rides are running from 1030 to 1530 daily between the 20th and the 24th December inclusive. My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the photos.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st December 2022

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

Coastal Accessible Transport Services of Leiston has ceased operating its Coastal Service from 2nd December 2022.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 20 December 2022

BorderBus Fleet Update

We can exclusively reveal that Beccles based BorderBus has collected a further two former Yellow Buses of Bournemouth vehicles.

They are Alexander Dennis Enviro200's YX12 AKP (2032) and YX12 AEY (2028) which were both previously with First London. The twosome were picked up yesterday and are to receive internal and external overhauls prior to entering service.

Three double deckers in the fleet are currently VOR with Scania Omnicity's 207 BB53 BUS, 208 BB58 BUS and 208 BB58 BUS all requiring attention to their engines.

ADL Enviro200 103 BB09 BUS has been withdrawn after being recently involved in an RTC at Kelsale, near Saxmundham. It is to be scrapped as it is deemed to be uneconomic to repair, although the number plate is being retained.

Plaxton President 202 X643 LLX has surprisingly passed its MOT and is being prepared for active service as a standby vehicle.

Not so lucky is the previous 207, LK51 XGH, which has changed hands numerous times since the operator originally sold it for use as a bird hide! It is currently being scrapped at a site in Ilketshall St Andrew, near Bungay.

My appreciation goes to Andrew Pursey at BorderBus for his help with preparing this post and providing the photos of the newcomers. My thanks also to Steve Blackburn for the additional information.


Monday 19 December 2022

Last B9 Arrives

This weekend saw the arrival of the last of the eight ex Go Ahead London Volvo B9TL / Gemini 2s at First Great Yarmouth's depot. 36282 LX59 DAO arrived at Caister Road yesterday completing the batch.

Details of the acquired octet are as follows:-

36281 LX59 DAA
36282 LX59 DAO
36283 LX59 DAU
36284 LX59 DBO
36285 LX59 DBU
36286 LX59 DBV
36287 LX59 DBY
36288 LX59 DBZ

My thanks to Simon Taylor for the information and photo.


Sunday 18 December 2022

NCFC Private Hire

Late yesterday afternoon I observed one of Belle Coaches vehicles operating a private hire on behalf of Norwich City Football Club members to Carrow Road. Kassbohrer Setra LIL 9456 was employed on the 7 route from Hollow Grove Way in Lowestoft to the city travelling via Gorleston, Bradwell, Belton, St Olaves, Haddiscoe and Loddon.

It didn’t appear to be well supported and neither were the team who lost to promotion rivals Blackburn Rovers.


Saturday 17 December 2022

First Great Yarmouth Update

Recent addition to the First Great Yarmouth fleet, Volvo B9TL/ Wright Gemini 36284 LX59 DBO had its first day in service yesterday working the 8’s between Gorleston’s James Paget Hospital and Marram Drive in Caister.

In the workshop is Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 37150 YN06 URD which is undergoing an engine rebuild.

All of the cabriolet open toppers have recently passed their MOTs with the exception of Dennis Trident 32905 CRZ 166 which worked its last open top service this year. It is hoped that the former W905 VLN will be replaced by a more modern vehicle.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information.


Wednesday 14 December 2022

Orange Line Upgrades

First Norwich have begun to roll out the first of their vehicle upgrades for the Orange Line 21/22 group of services in the city.

Former West Of England Wright Streetdecks are being repainted and will replace existing Dennis Trident/Plaxton Presidents on the routes.

First to receive its new look is 35163 SN65PWF, seen above after completion of its transformation.

Other vehicles to gain Orange Line livery will be 35113,35114,35140 and 35141. All of which are recent Streetdeck arrivals from West Of England operations.

Many thanks to First for the info and Zak for the photos.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th December 2022

For the second consecutive week there are no items of local interest in the East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 13 December 2022

Lowestoft ~ Brief Visit

A flying visit to Lowestoft this lunchtime which saw me view activity at First's Bus Station and to Angie's Coaches site off Norwich Road.

The twenty minutes there saw me gain photos of two of the five former London United Alexander Dennis Enviro200's and a picture of ex First West Yorkshire Volvo B7/Wright Gemini 37044 YJ06 XLU awaiting its next duty on Gordon Road.

One of the Enviro200s sighted was 44454 YX09 HKO about to leave on the 1210 99 Coastal Clipper service to Southwold. The other was 44451 YX09 HKK working the 109 to Hollow Grove.

Looking in at Angie's Coaches' Norwich Road Industrial Estate site there were three vehicles present and one was the recently acquired Scania YN57 FZL from Coach Services of Thetford. The second was King Long WJI 5242 being warmed up; whereas I was unable identify the third vehicle being devoid of its registration plates.


Monday 12 December 2022

Coach On Simonds Bus Service

One of this afternoon's Simond's service 2 Norwich to Diss workings had the luxury of a coach on the route with Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BN17 JJY being employed. The coach, normally on tour work, is pictured on Norwich's Castle Meadow by Dan High.

Thanks Dan for the photo


Sunday 11 December 2022

Weekend Gemini Arrivals

Two more ex Go Ahead London Volvo/Wright Geminis are being collected over this weekend to join the Great Yarmouth fleet.

First collection was LX59DBU which will become 36285 with First, the second is LX59DBV which will become 36286, pictured below after receiving its branding and legal lettering at Caister Road.

Many Thanks to Simon & Will for the photos and First for the Info.


Friday 9 December 2022

Dolphin's Addition

The latest addition to the Norwich-based Dolphin fleet is Vehixel Scholarbus bodied Iveco FE52 HFJ, previously with Marett's Chariots of Aylmerton in North Norfolk.

It was one of many bought by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive and was first operated by Timeline of Bolton in February 2003

Advertised for sale last month on the UK Bus & Coach Trader Facebook site, it is seen in Dolphin's yard during yesterday evening displaying a VOR sticker on its front windscreen.

My thanks to Dan High for the photo


Thursday 8 December 2022

36281 on the 99

First Great Yarmouth's ex Go Ahead London Volvo B9TL / Gemini LX59 DAA has been on the wonder lately.

36281 ended up in Lowestoft last night after being put on the X1 (there was delays on the A47 so it substituted for another bus). It was used this morning on 0735 Southwold to Lowestoft (see pic), then the 0840, 0940, 1040 & 1140 99 Lowestoft - Kessingland service. It went back on the X1 at 1305 so it ended up back in Great Yarmouth.

My thanks to Leighton Bromswold for the use of his photo.


New Arrivals for Norwich

First Norwich has taken delivery of the first of a batch of six ex Bournemouth Yellow Buses ADL Enviro 400 MMC.

They were purchased due to demise of the Bournemouth company which ceased trading in August this year.

They have been refurbished by Thorntons in the North East.

They were revealed across the FEC social media outlets earlier today, with the following statement.

'We’d like to introduce you to the first of a batch of Euro-6 standard low-emission buses that will be joining our Norwich fleet over the next few weeks. 

These modern vehicles have been fully refurbished inside and out before arriving in the city and will be running across the network, as well as on Costessey Park & Ride services 510 & 511, just as soon as they’ve had their final preparations for service by our engineering team.
Keep an eye out for them on a service near you soon!'
Details of the full batch as follows,
34421 SN17MTO
34422 SN17MTU
34423 SN17MTV
34424 SN17MTX
34425 SN17MTY
34426 SN17MTZ

 34423 SN17MTV is pictured above with its former owner back in June 2021 (Mark Doggett)

Many Thanks to Mark & Zak for the photos and First for all the Info.



As reported many times here, a number of First Norwich Green Line and Blue Line vehicles stay overnight at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot.

Among those taking up residence last night were former First Wessex Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 69546/55 BF12 KWL/R. Accompanying them in the photo is Blue Line Volvo B9 BD11 CFK.

Others included a third Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse Urban 66980 KX05 MHJ which was employed on Green Line route 14 yesterday (photo: Dan High), despite being branded for the Yellow Line. Wright StreetLite 47509 SN64 CRU made up the quintet of overnight stayers.

My thanks to Dan and First for the photos and to the latter for the information


Wednesday 7 December 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 7th December 2022

This week's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report contains no items of local interest. However, the full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 6 December 2022

Caister Road Activity

Another former First West of England Wright StreetDeck has appeared at First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot today.

It was 35141 SN65 OMJ and is pictured over the pits in the depot this evening with its final destination being Norwich.

Also the last Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 32210 LT52 WTR has finally left the rear yard at the depot today after having taken up residency since late August.

It was the last Barbie liveried bus in service here and a bright future lies ahead as it has been secured for preservation.

My thanks as always to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photo.


Red Peppa

Former Eastern Counties Enviro 200 Dart 44928 EU08FHB which recently transferred to First Cymru has been given a makeover for its new owners and now wears the Red livery similar to Great Yarmouth & Lowestoft's Coastal Reds branding which is for local Swansea services.

44928 was purchased by FEC in May 2013 from Ensignbus and began life in Lowestoft.

Early 2016 saw it move down to Ipswich where it gained the Grey fronted livery for the town's fleet at the time.

Its final workings with FEC saw it move to Norwich for use on Pink Line services and it and sister RT09JPT became known as Peppa's with reference to the Pink cartoon character Peppa Pig!

Pictured in Norwich in May 2021 in Castle Meadow heading for Eaton Park.

44928 moved to Wales in November 2022.

Many Thanks to Joshua Temple & Sam Larke for their photos in this post.


Monday 5 December 2022

City Centre Activity

Dan High has sent some photos recording a couple of happenings in the Norwich city centre earlier today.

Firstly, newly transferred Wright StreetDeck 35140 SN65 OMH made its first appearance in service with First Norwich today following its move from Bristol. It is seen here on Yellow Line 28 returning to the city centre from Thorpe Marriott.

Dan also reported earlier that a Coastal Reds StreetLite was in use on Green Line 15A route to Wymondham Cross. He later gained a better photo of First Great Yarmouth's 47512 SN64 CRZ as darkness fell. No doubt it was replacing a failed vehicle staying overnight at Caister Road.

My thanks to Dan for the photos.


Saturday 3 December 2022

EYMS In Norwich

David Slater visited Norwich yesterday and photographed an East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS) Mercedes-Benz Tourismo in Castle Meadow.

It was 80 EYC, wearing fleet number 94, which is seen unloading passengers below the Castle and ramparts. The registration, which has been carried since new, has been used by numerous EYMS vehicles over the years.

My thanks to David for the photo and information.


Friday 2 December 2022

StreetLite Returns

One of yesterday evening's overnight stayers at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road premises was a First Norwich Charcoal Line Wright StreetLite.

The saloon was 47505 SN64 CPZ which was returning to its old haunts.

The StreetLite was new to First Eastern Counties in November 2014 being allocated to Caister Road depot from the beginning.

Just over two years later it was transferred to Norwich and in early May 2017 it was sent to Simon Morris at Ipswich for the application of its Charcoal livery.

My thanks as always to First Great Yarmouth for the photo and information.


Ambassador 72 Plate at Thetford

Following our report of a week ago regarding new Caetano Levantes at Ambassador Travel (Ambassador's 72 Plate - 25th November 2022) I have a photo of one of them in use last night taken by Omar Atiallah.

It was of BV72 XFB at Thetford on the 17:15 490 service to London originating from Norwich at 16:15. My thanks to Omar for the photo.


Thursday 1 December 2022

Another StreetDeck Arrival

Another First West of England Wright StreetDeck has arrived at Lowestoft's First Eastern Counties depot destined for First Norwich.

35113 SO15 CUW is pictured at the Gasworks Road site and my thanks to Will Drake for the photo.

Today also saw the collection of Eastern Counties heritage liveried Alexander Pointer bodied Dennis Dart 42926 SN05 EAE from Lowestoft by Geoff Ripley & Sons of Barnsley for scrap.


Green Line Last Night

We recently reported that from the beginning of November the operation of some Norwich Green Line services would based from First Great Yarmouth's depot due to driver shortages at the former..

Quite often some Green Line buses staying in Great Yarmouth Caister Road depot overnight can provide some 'different' vehicles

This was the case last night with Lilac fronted Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban 66987 KX05 MHV residing overnight

Other stayers included similar 69533 BF12 KWM and Volvo B7TL 37055 YJ06 XMF making a return visit.

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