Thursday 30 June 2022

New Repaint

Dan High has sent a photo showing the latest repaint in the First Norwich fleet. Just back from the paint shop is Wright StreetLite 63325 SK65 PXF complete with its lilac front.

My thanks to Dan for the picture of 63325 in Castle Meadow on the 14A to The Plumsteads.


Wednesday 29 June 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 29th June 2022

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


Monday 27 June 2022

Beach Foursome

Another quick visit to Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth during yesterday evening when four visitors were logged.

G-Line Holidays' YJ18 BCK, a Van Hool TX15 Alicron, was the first to be observed and is normally based at St Annes-on-Sea in Lancashire.

The second was Royston-based Richmond's Coaches' 239 LYC which is a TX11version of the Van Hool Alicron

The others were YJ57 BTX, a VDL SB4000 with Watersons Coaches of Pontefract, and the inevitable Alfa Travel Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, BV20 HNC - a regular visitor to the town.


Sunday 26 June 2022

First Acquires Costessey P&R Services

Following a retender of the Costessey Park and Ride services, First Norwich will take over the operation of the 510 and 511 routes to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and the University of East Anglia respectively from the current operator Konectbus

Costessey P&R is currently operated by Konectbus - Photo: Dan High

The new arrangements start from the 4th July 2022 and details of the two services are available on First's website


Friday 24 June 2022

Bakers Dozen

Last night was one of those rare warm evenings on the east coast without the cold breeze so I took advantage of it; ending in a four and half mile walk of the holiday area. It would be rude not to note any visiting coaches on the way and I did eventually record thirteen of them.

The first port of call was Beach Coach Station where I observed ten on site, with one of them parking on the car park following lack of space on the coach and lorry parking area due to development work. Simonds Volvo B9R YX68 UCA was the coach in question.

Of the remaining nine, there were three Alfa Travel Tourismos present in the form of 92 BX15 OED, 107 BV19YFB and 118 BV20 HNB

Portsmouth City Coaches YS16 LNE, a Scania K360IB4 with Irizar i6 bodywork, was an unusual visitor and was previously with Solus Travel of Tamworth.

Dudley-based Dunwood Travel sent along their new Higer bodied Scania YN22 YHD which only joined the fleet in March

Other visitors were Caledonian Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo NH18 PGH, Grayway's Tourismo BA19 OXL, Arena Travel's Scania YN18 SFO and 2 Ks Travel WA54 BUS

Two coaches were located on the Palm Court Hotel car park on North Drive; Bakers Dolphin Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV19 YMC and Ross Travel's VDL RT69 BUS

Our walk ended at the Wellington Pier but before retracing our steps I got a photo M & D Travel's VDL SW15 YAU with National Holidays' branding.


Thursday 23 June 2022

Prom Hire

Will Drake has sent a photo of one of First Great Yarmouth open top buses about to leave Caister Road depot on private hire this evening.

It has s distinctive destination as it will be used to transport participants to a local school prom at the Parkhill Hotel just north of Lowestoft.

My thanks to Will for the photo


Swift Taxis Acquired

Swift Taxis and Private Hire, which at one point operated almost twenty coaches and buses in the Great Yarmouth area, has been sold to local taxi company Albies Limited. The new arrangement took place from the beginning of this week

The company had surrendered its PSV operating licence on 6th February 2017, ending a sixteen year period of service. Micheal Smith and Tony Boyne, trading as Swift Taxis from 2 Queen Anne's Road in Southtown, first applied for a licence during January/ February 2001. The operating centre was at nearby 173 Southtown Road. (Source: PSV Circle News Sheets).

The company acquired their first 'large' vehicle in August 2005 in the form of an Ikarus bodied 43 seater DAF with the registration T826 GSE. It was new to Leask & Silver of Lerwick in June 1999 when it had the registration T20 JLS.

Swift's only double decker in the fleet was a Jonckheere Monaco bodied Volvo B12BT SE51 DZV which subsequently saw use with Richards Coaches and more recently Completely Coach Travel. The last to leave the fleet was Neoplan bodied Dennis Javelin SJI 8127 in February 2016.

Swift Enterprises GY Limited will continue to operate a freight and courier service in addition to its garage services from its Gapton Hall Industrial Estate base


Wednesday 22 June 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 22nd June 2022

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


First Great Yarmouth Latest News

It appears that the much travelled Simon Taylor has made another visit to the South West and brought back with him another Volvo B9TL.

However, 37407 MX58 DXU was not delivered to Norwich but to Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot last night instead. It has been rumoured that perhaps one or two of the ten moving from the south west may be allocated here; perhaps this is one of them.

Fortunately as I was preparing this post Will Drake sent a photo of the new arrival - my thanks to him for that.

Update: The Volvo has subsequently moved to Norwich and this completes the seven (not ten now) arrivals from the south-west


Tuesday 21 June 2022

Surprise Visitor

An unusual visitor arrived at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot earlier today to visit the workshops.

First Norwich Purple Line Dennis Trident 33152 LR02 LXL is pictured in the corner of the depot awaiting an engine rebuild. On Saturday LiamS reported it as withdrawn

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo.


RTL Arrives at EATM

The East Anglia Transport Museum reports the arrival of a former London Transport RTL at its Carlton Colville site.

LYF 104 is a 1951 Leyland 7RT with a Park Royal H30/26R body. It is one of 1,632 Titan chassis built by Leyland to a London Transport specification. It was originally a tram replacement vehicle which entered service at Wandsworth garage. RTL1163 was withdrawn in 1963 and stored at Walworth prior to going to Harding Coaches of London for spares.

It entered preservation in November 1969 and after moving to a number of preservationists it was finally purchased by its previous owner in May1991 and appeared at various London based events.

My thanks to Tim Major for the photos and to Ian's Bus Stop website for the vehicle's history.


Monday 20 June 2022

More Arrivals for Norwich

Our roving reporter Simon has had another busy weekend of collections from the South West with two more Volvo B9TL arrivals to report and another pending.

First to report is 37403 MX58DXP pictured heading back on Sunday.

Second vehicle is 37408 MX58DXV, The remaining one is believed to be 37407 MX58DXU subject to confirmation.

Many Thanks to Simon for keeping us up to date! He will need a well earned rest!


Sunday 19 June 2022

Ipswich Pride

One of the First Ipswich double deckers has recently received a modified livery featuring the Pride Flag

Volvo B7 32476 AU53 HJK was running services at the Ipswich Transport Museum yesterday after receiving the embellishment.

It is the fourth and last First Eastern Counties vehicle to be so treated and joins First Norwich Streetdeck 35150 SN65 OMU, First Great Yarmouth Volvo B9 36215 BJ12 VWX and First Lowestoft Volvo B9 36187 BN12JYK.

Photo supplied by Jamie Clarke


Unexpected Arrival

The influx of First West of England deckers has penetrated as far as the coast with Volvo B9 37406 MX58 DXT at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot this morning. It arrived on the X1 during yesterday evening.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo


Saturday Evening At The Beach

There were just the three at Beach Coach Station yesterday evening with two of them from the Alfa Travel fleet in the shape of Mercedes-Benz Tourismos BY19 YFL and BX15 OED

The third vehicle was X31 SLE, yet another Tourismo, from the Worcestershire-based Mystic Isle Travel fleet.


Saturday 18 June 2022

Norwich Activity

LiamS managed to a picture of recent arrival Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini 37410 MX58 DXZ in use in Norwich earlier today, it is seen on Castle Meadow on the 37 service heading for Hellesdon

On the negative side two Dennis Trident Plaxton Presidents have been withdrawn; Purple Line 33152 LR02 LXL has joined plain liveried 33154 LR02 LXN which was withdrawn a few weeks ago.

Volvo B7RLE 66978 KX05MHE has also been withdrawn

My thanks Liam for the update and the photos


Friday 17 June 2022

Help Required

Earlier in the week Chris Beard posted on our Facebook page asking for any help to look after a former Ambassador Travel bus.
'Hi everyone, I own former Ambassador B6 L69UNG. I'm now starting to struggle with looking after her (I'm disabled with a back injury), is there anyone who would be interested in forming a group to look after her.
L69 UNG is an Alexander Dash bodied Volvo B6 which was new to Ambassador Travel in June 1994 as their 503.

You can contact Chris through his Facebook site at


Thursday 16 June 2022

37026 Finally Arrives

In late March, Grahame reported on the arrival of two First Bradford Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini's at Caister Road and indicated that three more were expected soon.(Bradford duo arrive at Caister Road - 24th March 2022). Two of those were later delivered having been converted to open top by Thorntons at Ashington leaving the last one, 37026 YJ06 XKP, outstanding

With its continued non-arrival there was much speculation about the reported transfer on local enthusiast Facebook groups. This was compounded by the fact that Bus Times included it under the First Norfolk & Suffolk fleet but allocated to Bradford. Apparently it was awaiting a replacement engine and was expected at the Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot sometime today.

It did finally get delivered today with Will Drake recording its arrival and it was also observed that the legal lettering still referred to First West Yorkshire Limited. It should be on the road within the next few days.

My appreciation goes to Will for the use of his photo and to First for the information.


Wednesday 15 June 2022

Coastal Pride

Last week I posted that that four of First Eastern Counties' buses are to carry a modified livery featuring the Progress Pride Flag.

Yesterday afternoon I was passed by First Great Yarmouth's Volvo B9 36215 BJ12 VWX on Beccles Road in Bradwell wearing the Pride branding on the Coastal Red livery


Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th June 2022

A couple of entries for our local area in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Our Hire, operating as Our Bus, is providing a 'new' 100 daily seasonal service between Vauxhall Holiday Park and the town's Seafront from 25th July 2022. Serving the train station, Market Gates and Britannia Pier, it will continue until the 4th September 2022.

Paul Simon Whincop is increasing the number of vehicles operating from premises in The Street, Peasenhall near Saxmundham to sixteen.

The full Report can be viewed here soon


MX58 DYG In Norwich

You will no doubt be pleased to know (!) that recent migrant Volvo B9TL 37415 MX58 DYG has now found its way to First Norwich's Roundtree Way depot from Kings Lynn. Will Drake saw it there earlier today and has forwarded this photo.

This is not the first time I have been aware of .MX58 DYG as I got a photo of it during a visit to Bath resting in Dorchester Street in October 2019.

My thanks to Will for his photo


Tuesday 14 June 2022

Seafront Four

The second part of yesterday evening's sightings comprises four coaches dotted around the seafront area of Great Yarmouth. The first, naturally a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, was parked in the North Drive overspill car park for the Palm Court Hotel. It was UK17 TAW from the Devon fleet of Taw and Torridge.

The next coach encountered was Simonds Van Hool bodied Volvo B12B 166 UMB which I had earlier passed on the town's bypass. The vehicle is currently running with no fleet names and was originally with London General as SN09 AZV

Outside the Royal Hotel on Marine Parade was another Caledonian Travel VDL in the form of SF17 EDJ.

The Hotel Victoria, on Kings Road, was hosting Redline Travel's Volvo B11R/Jonckheere SN18 RED. Complete with National Holidays' branding, the vehicle was noted the previous week at Beach Coach Station - see Ten At The Beach - 7th June 2022


Seven Up

With an early evening appointment yesterday it gave me the ideal excuse to seek out any coaches in the holiday area and at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth. As there were quite a number about I have split the observations into two posts with the first concentrating on the seven at Beach Coach Station.

Five of the seven were Mercedes-Benz Tourismos with two of them from the often photographed Alfa Travel fleet; these were 96 BU16 HBD and 116 BV19 YFL. The other three were Acklams Coaches' BV66 GVM, Richard Taylor's RT69 RTT and Caledonia Travel's BV22 WPM

The other two visitors were VDLs which included KM Travel's YG22 LVD and Bluebird Coaches' T321 BBC with branding.


Monday 13 June 2022

Third Ambassador Arrival Identified

I looked in at Ambassador Travel's site at Gapton Hall Estate in Great Yarmouth on the way home this evening in the hope of identifying the third arrival.

Again my luck was in although it wasn't parked in the yard. However, with the workshop doors open I located the last of the trio transferred from National Express West Midlands. It was a third Volvo B8R in the form of BK15 AJV.

To sum up the three arrivals are BK15 AJV, BX65 WAE and BX65 WAA. My thanks to Ambassador for their help.


Northgate Hospital Visitor

A 2002 Dennis Dart SLF/ Caetano Nimbus was observed by Will Drake at the Northgate Hospital site this morning, situated just off Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth.

HV52 WSX was new to Wimco of Mitcham in December 2002 and is now employed touring the country visiting various clinical sites offering training and education to nursing teams.

Further information obtained from Ian's Bus Stop website indicates that it was new to Mitcham Belle in November 2002 and used on its 493 Richmond service. The operator was later acquired by Centra London in August 2004 and gained fleet number DC27 in October of that year. When Centra London ceased trading in May 2006 it went into store. A month later it passed to Caetano at Waterlooville on behalf of Dawson Rentals and in February 2008 it became 'The Health Bus'

My thanks to Will for the photo


Beach Twosome

Two coaches were resident at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station late yesterday morning.

The first was Matlock-based KV & GL Slacks' Neoplan N2216/3HDc PSV 554. It was new to City Circle of Hayes as PJ12 ATK in June 2012.

The other was a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo SB16 MTB of the Bakers Coach Services fleet from Morton in Marsh, Gloucestershire.


Sunday 12 June 2022

Two More B9 Arrivals

Another weekend of collections from Weston Super Mare for First driver Simon Taylor this weekend, a train journey down to the South West and then a long drive back to Norfolk. Not once but twice!

First collection on Saturday was Volvo B9TL 37415 MX58DYG.

She was safely returned to Kings Lynn Depot yesterday evening which enabled Simon to get back to London to meet his connecting train down to Weston on time.

37415 pictured above at Vancouver Avenue, Kings Lynn before heading down to Norwich.

Collected today was another in the shape of  37410 MX58DXZ, pictured below at Weston depot prior to heading back to Norfolk.

 Thanks to Simon for the info and Photos


Thursday 9 June 2022

Pride Month

Earlier in the week First announced that four of its buses are to carry a modified livery featuring the Progress Pride Flag.

One bus from each of the Norwich, Ipswich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft depots are being treated to this modification in honour of Pride Month which takes place each June. Norwich Streetdeck 35150 SN65 OMU has already received this restyling and was seen in use earlier today at Norwich Bus station.

Many thanks to Dan High for the photo


Second South-West B9 Snapped

The second of the ten rumoured Volvo B9TLs expected to move east from Bath and Bristol, was observed at First Norwich’s Roundtree Way depot this morning.

Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied 37406 MX58 DXT, delivered towards the end of May, was situated inside the works when photographed by Will Drake.

A further two of the ex-Manchester Volvos are believed to be awaiting transfer from the south-west with 37410 MX58 DXZ and 37415 MX58 DYG ready for collection.

My thanks to Will for the photo


Wednesday 8 June 2022

Ambassador Views

This afternoon I looked in at Ambassador Travel's James Watt Close yard on Gapton Hall Estate in Great Yarmouth in the hope of getting a photo of Optare AU08 DKL. The Versa had recently taken over the working of the 271 Bradwell to Hemsby service following accident damage to the regular vehicle, Volvo B7RLE GN07 AVF

As luck would have it, AU08 DKL was parked on the forecourt immediately next the exit so I took the opportunity to get a photo. The bus was new to Anglian of Beccles and later with Konectbus being painted in the latter's colours. Semmence acquired it June 2019 before transferring it to Ambassador.

Whilst taking the photo, a member of the staff came out for a friendly chat and told me that they had recently received three Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B8R coaches to cater for the increase in the Great Yarmouth to London National Express service later this month. Two were in the yard, BX65 WAE and BX65 WAA, whilst the unidentified third was in the workshops receiving attention. .

My thanks to Ambassador Travel for the information.