Monday 31 January 2022

Megabus Service Changes

With assistance from David Slater, I have details of the latest Megabus changes affecting Norfolk routes

Norwich-Stratford (East London) service M16

This service (operated by Freestones) becomes two trips each way every day (running at the same times every day). The ‘Cambridge South Babraham Crossroads’ stop has been discontinued.

From Norwich (Bus Station):
0600 via UEA 0615 arriving Stratford 0845
1345 via UEA 1400, Thetford 1445 arriving Stratford 1630

From Stratford:
1000 to UEA 1230 and Norwich (Bus Station) arriving 1245
1745 to Thetford 1930, UEA 2015 and Norwich (Bus Station) arriving 2030

These times are shown until Thursday 7 April 2022 (one week before Easter). From Friday 8 April 2022 the timetable will change with additional trips.

Norwich-Birmingham service M37

The 0955 service from Norwich which returns from Birmingham at 1600 (operated by Freestones) will cease operation after Monday 31 January 2022. No further timings for those trips are currently shown on the website which gives information up to Saturday 9 April 2022.

The 1110 service from Birmingham which returns from Norwich at 1615 (operated by Prospect Coaches) will be the only remaining trips on this service operated Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only. The Megabus website shows this service pattern until Saturday 9 April 2022 (one week before Easter).

My thanks to David for the information


Saturday 29 January 2022

Grebe's Latest Arrival

The latest arrival at Beccles based Grebe Coaches is an Optare Solo M880; which is an unusual type for the operator as almost all of the fleet are Mercedes Benz mini coaches

The Solo is registered MIL 1417, a plate formerly carried by one of their mini coaches. Its previous identity was YJ10 EZP and was new to Nottingham Community Transport in May 2010

Mark Beaumont has also supplied a photo to our Facebook site which is reproduced here

My thanks to the operator and Mark for the photos and to Neil for the information


Thursday 27 January 2022

Yellow Decker On The Road

Yesterday afternoon my daughter was on her way to Worthing town centre when she saw this yellow decker, presumably having just completed a school run

Y416 CFX is an East Lanc Vyking bodied Volvo B7TL which was new to Yellow Buses of Bournemouth in May 2001.

As reported earlier (A Week In Worthing - 3rd December 2021) it is currently owned by Seven Sisters Bus & Coach of Sussex but presently on loan to Compass Bus. 


Wednesday 26 January 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th January 2022

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains information on a couple of changes to local bus services.

Sanders Coaches has altered the timetable of its 44 /X44/ 44A Holt to Sheringham services from the 8th January 2022.

BorderBus has amended the stopping places and timetable of its 146 Kessingland to Norwich service from the same date.

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


Tuesday 25 January 2022

Jubilee At The Double

A visit to the Great Yarmouth Campus of the East Coast College yesterday afternoon revealed two Jubilee Coaches parked up on Suffolk Road.

The twosome were Dennis Javelin/Plaxton Profile YU05 ZHT and Van Hool bodied Scania W27 JCR. They were both involved in transporting pupils from Lynn Grove Academy to the college.


Sunday 23 January 2022

Surprise Visitor

A surprise visitor to Norwich City Centre yesterday was a former London Transport Eastern Coach Works bodied Guy Vixen of 1953 vintage.

Privately preserved MXX 317 is similar to the six buses hired by London Transport to Great Yarmouth Corporation in 1958 for one man operation trials

My thanks to my sister-in-law for the photo.


Thursday 20 January 2022

West In The East

It's been a couple of months now since Volvo B7 Gemini 32345 LK53 LZF moved to First Eastern Counties from the First West of England depot at Weston-Super-Mare.

This morning it was working the 09.27 James Paget Hospital to Caister Marram Drive 8 service and I witnessed its arrival at Market Gates. Not only did I get a photo of its departure to Caister but I also got one of the First West of England branding still above the entrance door.


Wednesday 19 January 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th January 2022

Today's Notices and Proceedings Report, published by the East of England Traffic Commissioner, contains nothing of relevance regarding local area services. However, the full Report can be viewed here soon


Monday 17 January 2022

Brand New Arrival at Lynx

 A brand new arrival (Literally) at Lynx in Kings Lynn is ADL Enviro 400 Demonstrator SK71CKX.

It has just the delivery milage from Falkirk of 474 miles on the clock. It will be with Lynx for around three weeks whilst ther own E400's return one at a time to ADL Falkirk for some work to be carried out.

During its stay it will carry fleet number 60 and expected to be used primarily on School Contracts rather than public service, subject to change i am sure. Lynx are expecting another three E400's in the spring to bring the total in the fleet up to five.

61 & 62 pictured above at Kings Lynn Bus Station

Many Thanks to Sam Larke at Lynx for use of his photos and the information.


Friday 14 January 2022

Sanders’ Decker Disposal

Sanders Coaches has disposed of one of its three former Isle of Man East Lancs Lowlander bodied VDL DB250LFs. PM03 EJC has now been reported with Dan’s Coach Travel of Great Finburgh, Stowmarket and still retains its previous owner’s colours.

Source of photo: Dan’s Coach Travel


Thursday 13 January 2022

St Stephens Street Diverts

From Saturday 8th January 2022 all bus stops in St Stephens Street in Norwich are out of use following the start of work to redevelop the road as part of the government's Transforming Cities Programme. This means some bus services using those stops being diverted via Norwich Bus Station

Regular contributor David Bell was in Norwich on Monday to see what effect the closure had on services and continues 'Some like Border Bus service 146, First's Charcoal Line 40/41 and Konectbus 11B have relocated their departure point to the bus station whilst other services like the Pink Lines 10/11/12 are running through the bus station to access Queens Road so they turn right at the top of the bus station'

'All Sanders services are turning left into Surrey Street and then right into the bus station where they start and terminate'

'Some services like the picture of Purple Line 32023 on the Mulbarton route didn't use the bus station but ran past the bottom and then turned right up All Saints Green'.

He also added 'There also seemed to be an unusual number of Coastal Reds on the Coastlink services'

My thanks to David for the 'embarrassment of riches' regarding the numerous photos provided - giving me the enjoyable problem of deciding which photos to post!


Gemini Returns From Ipswich

Wright Eclipse Gemini / Volvo B7TL 37174 SF07 FDE has returned to Great Yarmouth following its long term loan at Ipswich; fitting in a couple of days at Lowestoft prior to its arrival at Caister Road,

Yesterday afternoon it was observed arriving at Market Gates on the 922 Cliff Park Academy school service followed by some runs to the Barrack Estate on the 2

My thanks to AaronM for the information and photo


Wednesday 12 January 2022

Latest Dolphin Arrival

The latest acquisition at Norwich-based Dolphin Autos is this BMC Condor bus, YK55 AAN. The 57 seater was new to First West Yorkshire as their 68610 in November 2005, having recently been based in Halifax.

My thanks to LiamS for the photo and information


Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th January 2022

Only one operator of local interest appears in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Konectbus has retrospectively amended some of their services from 4th January 2022 and they include Park & Ride route 501 serving Thickthorn, Norwich Airport and Sprowston. Another Park & Ride service similarly affected is the 510/511 linking Costessey with the University of East Anglia. A third, the 502 serving Harford and Sprowston, has amended its route and timetable. Additionally there are timetable alterations on the 5B Stalham to Norwich City Centre service

The full Notices and Proceedings Reports can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 11 January 2022

Final Journey For B7RLEs

Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLEs 69026 SF55 UAU and 69030 SF55 UAY have been collected for scrap and the photo shows them in the rear yard at Caister Road prior to their one way trip.

Their departure leaves recently withdrawn B7RLEs 69029/31/45 SF55 UAX/Z/BE in the yard together with Flying Banana 42943 WA56 OAS

My thanks to First for the information and photo


Monday 10 January 2022

Roundtree Way Clear Out?

Following a post on the changes at First Great Yarmouth, I have received messages concerning some withdrawals at First Norwich.

LT52 WTK leaving Market Gates on a summer's day in July 2016

Among them is former Great Yarmouth Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 32204 LT52WTK. New to First London’s Alperton depot in 2002, it moved back to Roundtree Way from Caister Road in October 2019

Others taken out of service include five Dennis Tridents, 33055/60 (LN51 GKO/GJU) and 33245-7 (LT52 WUW/X/V) plus B7RLE 66822 (MX05 CEO). The Barbie livery appears to have been eradicated there now!

My thanks to LiamS and Dan High for the information


Sunday 9 January 2022

Konectbus Newcomers

Two arrivals for the Konectbus operated Costessey Park and Ride were making their way to Norfolk earlier today following a repaint into the new Park and Ride burgundy livery at Hants & Dorset Trim

They were Alexander Dennis Enviro400’s LK08 FLJ and LX57 CJJ which have fleet numbers 644 and 645 and were formerly Go Ahead London EN19 and EN67 respectively.

It is believed two others, LX09 FCD and LX09 FCE, have already arrived at Dereham and are confirmed to be receiving fleet numbers 646 and 647

My thanks to Konectbus for the photos and information and also to LiamS for his assistance in preparing this article.


Saturday 8 January 2022

Farewell 59

First Great Yarmouth organised a small farewell tour today for Volvo B7TL/ALX400 32059 W219XBD which has come to the end of its time with the company.

32059 arrived in May 2014 as part of a batch of Volvo B7TL from First Leicester, all arrived in Barbie livery before all the others gained Olympia colours, 59 was chosen to wear a new heritage livery for Great Yarmouth Transport meaning the Blue and Cream was to return to the streets of the town.

June 2014 and 32059 is seen working the 3 service to Hemsby Beach still wearing its original livery.

Forward to June 2015 and 32059 appears for the first time in its heritage livery, seen on Beatty Road.

Forward to today and 59 is joined by recent repaint 37562 FJ08FYN and former GYT AEC Swift 85 WEX685M for its farewell run around the town.

85 leads the convoy out of Caister Road and along Northgate Street before passing through the Bus Station and onto the Seafront. A photo stop at Seashore Terminus was next on the list.

All three GYT liveried vehicles assembled at Seashore Terminus by this time 85 was sounding a little 'Throaty' due to a blowing exhaust much to its owners displeasure!

32059 being positioned with its 'Goodbye 59' screen on show, well done to Zak at First for creating that for the day!

It has been saved for preservation back in its native Leicester where it will return to its original Barbie livery which it wore from new back in 2000.

Many Thanks to Chris Speed & Mark Reynolds at First for organising the little outing, nice to see a few local enthusiasts aswell and putting faces to a few names who have contributed to the blog also.

Stay Safe, Grahame.

Friday 7 January 2022

First Great Yarmouth Update

Today is the last day in regular service for First Great Yarmouth Heritage liveried Volvo B7TL 32059 W219 XBD. It was observed on the 8 service earlier this morning in Gorleston High Street, complete with its blue wheels! It will be making its farewell run through the town tomorrow accompanied by similar liveried Wright Eclipse-Gemini 37562 FJ08 FYN and preserved AEC Swift WEX 685M.

In other news First Norwich 36178 BD11 CDX returned to the city yesterday with similar 36177 BD11 CGF going back today.

This week is also the last week in service for Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLEs 69029 SF55UAX and 69045 SF55 UBE. However, on the positive side Gemini 37174 SF07 FDE is expected to return from Ipswich soon

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the update


Thursday 6 January 2022

Border Bus Newbie In Service

With the sighting of their new arrival in service at the beginning of the new year, another of the BorderBus fleet makes an appearance on the blog in today's post.

Brand new ADL Enviro 200MMC BB71 BUS was observed by Liam S in Beccles yesterday outside the Tesco store. It was seen on the 146 route to Kessingland and Southwold.

My thanks to Liam for the photos


Wednesday 5 January 2022

Town Centre Photo Shoot

 A couple of photos from yesterday afternoon ...

Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th January 2022

Just the one relevant 'local' entry in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. It concerns the surrender of an operating licence held by David Peter Arnold, trading as Boomerang Coach Tours, at Lincoln Avenue in Saxmundham, Suffolk.

The full Notices and Proceedings Reports can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 4 January 2022

Freestones Further Updated

Some time has lapsed since we have provided an update on Dereham-based Freestone Coaches. However, David Slater offers information on what are possibly two recent fleet additions and are from his latest observations on Megabus workings.

It would appear that the cherished number ME54 BUS, which is a play on Megabus, has been applied to a different Irizar i6. The previous i6 (originally YT62 JBX) was shorter than the current one. The latest carries the word ‘Kingsize’ just beyond the rear wheels and the main fleet name of Freestones Coaches. The name is carried over the front windscreen and along the roofline are names of various British towns.

There is also a shorter Irizar i6 registered S28 FSC which seems to be the regular vehicle on the Birmingham service. This coach carries the newly revised Megabus livery style, the style that no longer features the Megabus Man (Sid) character.

My thanks to David for the information and his accompanying photos.

Colin Oakley provides details regarding the earlier registrations of the two coaches. ME54 BUS was formerly YN14 FVR. whilst S28 FSC was previously YN16 WUL. The pervious holder of the ME54 BUS plate has reverted to YT62 JBX. Thanks Colin


Saturday 1 January 2022

New Year Stayers

I begin by wishing you all a very happy new year with our first post reporting eight coaches seeing in 2022 in Great Yarmouth.

The sole visitor at the town's Beach Coach Station was Whittles' Volvo B8R / Plaxton PantherYX19 MLU which has visited the resort before

Next to The Arc Cinema on North Drive were two Mercedes Benz Tourismos - namely Caledonian Travel's BNH69 GHH and Alfa Travels's 115 BV19 YFK. The former was previously part of the National Holidays' fleet.

Another two Alfa Travel Tourismos in the form 118 BV20 HNB and 119 BV20HNC were located outside the New Beach Hotel. Both making many visits to the town in recent months

Heading south, two branded coaches were outside the Sealife Centre on Marine Parade. They were Temsa Safari HD12 RHD YJ19 BCO, operated by Llew Jones of Llanrwst, with Tourismo BU18 YTL from Watts Coaches based at Bonvilston near Cardiff bringing up the rear. The later was previously with the original Shearings.

On the opposite side of the road were Acklams' Volvo B11RT / Plaxton Elite YX18 LLO and Volvo GO02 TVL of Go2 Travel of Rotherham