Wednesday 31 August 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th August 2022

Today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report contains a number service changes by Sanders Coaches

Already taken place from the 3rd of August 2022 are alterations to timetables and amendments to start and finish point to the following routes:-
5/CH2 Charles Road, Holt and North Walsham Post Office
5A Cromer to North Walsham
6/X6 North Walsham Post Office to Great Yarmouth Market Gates
6A North Walsham Post Office to Cromer Bus Station
16/18/18A/19/20/79 Aylsham to Holt
34 North Walsham Post Office to Stalham Old Rail Station
88 North Walsham to Anglian High School
210 North Walsham to Norwich Bus Station
X55/55 North Walsham Post Office and Norwich City Centre
NC3 North Walsham to Norwich City Football Ground
NC11 Stalham Old Rail Station to Norwich City Football Ground

An amended timetable will come into effect from 1st September 2022 on Sanders' 43/43A/43B services between Reepham Market Place and Norwich Bus Station

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 30 August 2022

Wells-next-the-Sea Tiger

Tony Wilson was on one of his many journeys from the East Midlands to North Norfolk for a holiday when he thought he would take the less direct route from King's Lynn and call in at Wells-next-the-Sea.

Tony says 'Lo and behold we were greeted by a quite wonderful sight of a vintage open-top single-decker hard at work on the replacement bus service for the now withdrawn Wells Harbour Railway.

Usually operated every 20-minutes with a brand spanking new all-electric Mellor Sigma 7 bus, it was supplemented by a 1951 Leyland Tiger TS1 (840 XUJ), with Reading bodywork. This had seen service on Jersey and Guernsey then on the UK mainland in Scotland and more recently Essex. Illustrated here in the new ‘bus station’ at the town end of the route.'

Many thanks to Tony for the report and photos.


Sunday 28 August 2022

Gorleston Coach Activity

The Sunday before the August Bank Holiday regularly sees the East Coast Trucker's Children's Convoy when the truckers take disabled and disadvantaged children in their cabs for a trip to Pleasurewood Hills. The public line the route to clap and wave as it as passes through Norwich, Acle, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston before arriving at the Suffolk attraction around midday

There were some 90 HGVs in the convoy this year and I caught up with it at Church Road in Gorleston hoping to get a photo of the support coaches provided by Sanders Coaches. The two involved were Jonckheere bodied Volvo B13RTs BT14 DLX and BT14 DLZ, although the former was the only one in the procession through Gorleston.

After all the noise and excitement of the late morning, the afternoon was spent more sedately in the Gorleston seafront area. Music from the bandstand made for a pleasant afternoon followed by a drink on the terrace at the Ocean Rooms. Retracing my steps, I saw a coach outside the Pavilion Theatre and took a quick photo of Roy McCarthy Coaches' YX65 ZKM, a Volvo B11R/Plaxton Panther.


Cromer ~ Sunday

Trevon Arbon passed the Cadogan Road coach and car park in Cromer on three occasions yesterday and the first time he spotted Ministerley Motors' YT15 AWC, an Irizar i6 bodied Scania K360IB4 formerly with Finglands of Manchester.

It was present on his evening round but in the company of Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 123 BV20HNG

During the day he also witnessed the presence of Angela Coaches' Neoplan 2216SHD Tourliner R500 ACL.

My thanks to Trevor for the photos and reports


Saturday 27 August 2022

London Interlude

Saturday meant a visit to London to see Only Fools and Horses The Musical at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, An early arrival at the afternoon matinee provided an excellent opportunity for some bus photos in the Haymarket area and here is a selection,

East London Transit New Routemaster LT945 LTZ 2145 on the Strand
London United BYD ADL Enviro400EV BCE47017 LB69 JPO in Charles II Street
TOOT Bus Volvo B9 /Optare Visionaire YXY791 YJ11 TVE on Haymarket
Arriva London LT492 LTZ 1492 in Haymarket with Big Bus Co PN09 EOD following behind
Golden Tours 133 BD16 YEU Volvo BTL/ MCV Evosetti in Haymarket on their Red Route
Go-Ahead London EH94 YY66 OYZ Alexander Dennis Enviro400H MMC also in Haymarket

Cromer ~ Saturday

Regular contributor Trevor Arbon observed three coaches on the Cadogan Road Coach & Car Park at Cromer earlier today.

The first picture is of Sleafordian Coaches Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B8R DB22 SLE. It is named in honour of the late co-founder Don Broughton.

Seen parked together were Ambassador Travel's Scania YN16 UAG and Landmark Coaches' BJ14 KTG, a Jonckheere SHV bodied Volvo B11R. The latter was new to Heyfordian of Bicester.

My thanks to Trevor for the photos.


Friday 26 August 2022

Border Bus BB71 BUS Escapes 146

A rare 'treat' visiting Great Yarmouth Town Centre yesterday to get the battery in my phone replaced. 'It will take half an hour sir' - so I was at loss of what to do for the next thirty or so minutes. My first thought was to go to the local W H Smith's (other newsagents are available) and remind myself of how expensive magazines are now. (A Victor Meldrew moment!) I then adjourned to a well known coffee shop for a flat white and observing bus activity from the window overlooking Regent Road.

After a while I saw a Border Bus single decker arrive on the 580 service from Bungay in the form of ADL Enviro200 MMC BB71 BUS - that's unusual I thought! Oh dear, no camera and the phone was unavailable too. As I had lots to do that day, I thought no more of checking Bus Times to see if it was on the route all day.

However, one person who did was Andy Watts who noted it was 'working the morning 580 journey that extends to/from Harleston instead of one of the Scania deckers. It continued to work the 580 route all day and I managed to snap it on Beaufort Way working the 11:26 from Bungay. Ever since the vehicle was new it has almost exclusively been allocated to the 146 route and to my knowledge this is only the second day ever that its been on the 580.'

My thanks to Andy for the report and photo and, by the way, it is back working the 146 route this morning!


Thursday 25 August 2022

Before The Rain Came!

Out at last with the camera to get photos and I looked in at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth and found Buckleys' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV19 YFA on site plus Johnson Coaches of Lincolnshire J5 EEG.

The former was new to Buckleys in April 2019 whilst the latter, a Lahden bodied Scania K400EB4, was new to Happy Days of Stafford as YR61 RVP in January 2012.

I had just missed an unidentified Sleafordian coach leaving on Alfa Travel duty.


Wednesday 24 August 2022

Another Arrival For First Lowestoft

Another former London United Alexander Dennis Enviro200 was collected from Norwich’s Roundtree Way depot this afternoon and delivered to Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road garage.

YX09 HJO, with fleet number 44450, arrived in Coastal Reds livery for later onward transfer to Lowestoft

Meanwhile, First Lowestoft’s Eastern Counties heritage liveried Dennis Dart SLF 42946 SN05 EAE has been taken out of service.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photo


Overnight Stay

First Norwich Volvo B9TL/ Wright Eclipse-Gemini 2 36180 BD11 CDZ spent the night at First's Caister Road depot in Great Yarmouth last night.

It had replaced another Volvo B9, 37573 AU58 ECX, which experienced a tyre blow out whilst working a Bernard Matthews run.

My thanks to First for the information and photos.


History of Yellow Bus Arrivals

Following our earlier post regarding the acquisition of four ex Yellow Buses from Bournemouth, Ken Aveyard contacted me concerning his interest in observing where the operator's buses were going to. Having worked in the area's transport industry for a number of years he was able to supply some history regarding the foursome.

'The four were originally new to Rotala's Wessex operations in Bristol, where I photographed one of the ones pictured BX62FOJ back in 2015. They later transferred to Preston Bus and when they were purchased by Bournemouth in 2019, with original fleet numbers 126 - 129, three of them ran for a while in Preston colours (126 went straight to the paint shop).'

'Please find attached BX62FOJ in Bristol, and in Bournemouth in Preston colours. It later gained the Yellow Buses livery with blue branding for the 2 (as shown in your picture) in 2019, and was renumbered to 5072 in 2021.'

Thanks for the information and photos Ken.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th August 2022

Today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report contains some items of local interest.

Our Hire, operating as Our Bus, has altered two of its North Walsham services from 25th July 2022. It has amended the stopping places of its 33A Waitrose and 33 Cromer routes.

Simonds of Bottesdale is to cease providing its 552 Denham Post Office to Thomas Mills High School, Framlingham service from 1st September 2022.

Also of interest is that Dereham Coachways Limited, of 20 Rashs Green in Dereham, has surrendered its operating licence with effect from 13th August 2022.

The Report can be viewed HERE


Monday 22 August 2022

Yellow Buses At Border Bus (Updated)

Andy Swan messaged me on Sunday evening to say he had spotted four yellow double deck buses at the Beccles premises of Border Buses on Moor Business Park.

He was able to get a photo of two of the Wright Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TLs with all four originally with Yellow Buses of Bournemouth. You may remember the operator ceased trading earlier this month after administrators failed to find a buyer for the business.

I am grateful to Andrew Pursey at Border Bus for details of the foursome which are BX62 FNV, BX62 FOJ, BX62 FUO and BX62 FUU which were numbered 5071-5074 in the Yellow Buses fleet. All four arrived on Friday following a 500 mile round trip by drivers.

He told me that the Suffolk operator had gained some extra school routes following the demise of neighbour Lamberts Coaches and it is hoped to repaint the Geminis for use on these and other services before September. However, he will have his work cut out as they all have short MOTs!

At the same time the four remaining Volvo B7TL/ Plaxton Presidents are nearing the end of their lives with two requiring engine replacement and Andrew is considering their future.

My thanks to Andrew for the update and to Andy for supplying the photos


Wednesday 17 August 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th August 2022

This 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 15 August 2022

Stonham Barns ~ Big Bus Show

Stonham Barns, just east of Stowmarket, held its first bus and coach event on Sunday with some 25 vehicles in attendance. LiamS provides information and photos (too many to post !!) but here is a selection.

He was fortunate in travelling to the event in Sanders Coaches' Yutong TC9 number 003 HV20 HRV and was grateful for the air conditioning on such a warm day.

Go East Anglia featured a representative from each of the three subsidiaries operating in the region. Chambers sent along one time Anglianbus Scania K230UB OmniLink AN61 LAN; Hedingham provided ex London Volvo B9/ Wright Eclipse 538 LX59 DDE; whilst Konectbus was represented by Alexander Dennis Enviro400 611 SN62 AVO

Ipswich Buses brought along former Trent Barton Optare Tempo X1200SR 97 YJ12 GWO suitably branded for Route 13 between Copdock and Central Ipswich.

An interesting decker was N827 FKK now with The Bus Shelter of Ipswich. The Volvo Olympian, with an Alexander RH body, was new to Dublin Bus as 95-D-254 and had also seen use with Stephenson's of Essex and Galloways of Mendlesham. Getting in on the picture is Belle Coaches Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BU18 YPG

Another Suffolk operator, Whincop of Peasenhall, displayed both of their Volvo B10BLE Wright Renowns. Here’s T124 OAH, originally with Ambassador Travel and now registered as OJI 742.

Two former London Transport AEC Routemasters also made an appearance in the form of RM1871 ALD 871B (pictured) and RM857 WLT 857

My thanks to Liam for the photos


Saturday 13 August 2022

Cambridge Visit

Omar Atiallah visited Cambridge yesterday and took a few pictures for the blog whilst he was there. The main reason for his visit was to use his complimentary ticket for the Cambridge Sightseeing service.

Whilst there he observed three former Stagecoach Norfolk Green ADL Enviro300s which are now part of the Stagecoach East fleet. They were 27642 GX10 HBU (pictured), 27645 GX10HCA and 27647 GX10 KYZ

It was quite a surprise to see Alexander Dennis Enviro 400ev City bodied BYD electric bus 14024 LF60 UXO off route and on the Milton Park & Ride.

As expected Whippet was also operating services with Plaxton Centro bodied Volvo B7RLE WS327 YX59 BZF seen here on the X3 to Huntingdon.

My thanks to Omar for the photos and report


Wednesday 10 August 2022

New Arrival For First Lowestoft

A former London-based Alexander Dennis Enviro200 was collected from Norwich’s Roundtree Way depot this afternoon and delivered to Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road site. 

YX09 HKM, with fleet number 44452,  arrived in Coastal Reds livery for later onward transfer to Lowestoft

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and photo


Demonstrator At Sanders

Holt-based Sanders Coaches has taken delivery of ADL E400MMC demonstrator SK71 CKX for a short period. It is mainly being used on the 44/X44 Norwich to Sheringham/Cromer route for about a week

It's not the first time it has appeared in the Norfolk and Suffolk area having been employed by Lynx in January this year and a month later by BorderBus.

My thanks to Kieran Bhalerao for consent to use his photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 10th August 2022

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

First Eastern Counties is introducing a new schools 975 service from 5th September 2022. It will run from Great Eastern Square in Felixstowe to Kesgrave High School and operate via Nacton, Levington, Newbourne and Waldringfield

The full Report can be viewed here soon


Tuesday 9 August 2022

Lowestoft Loans

There has been a few movements of late regarding loans from First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot to Lowestoft's Gasworks Road garage involving Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7TLs.

32345 in use at Great Yarmouth in January this year
Towards the end of last week former Yorkshire residents 37026 YJ06 XKP and 37055 YJ06 XMF were on loan to the latter. However, 37026 has subsequently returned with 32345 LK53 LKF taking its place

In other news Volvo B9 36186 BN12JYJ is at Caister Road having an engine rebuild. Also receiving attention in the works is 37577 AU58 EDF.

My thanks to First for the information.


Friday 5 August 2022

Query Solved!

I received an email from Dennis Abbott on Monday evening about a yellow Bristol FLF parked in a layby on the eastbound carriageway of the A47 between the A140 and A146 junctions.

Dennis continues 'From the destination screen it had obviously operated in Scotland although whether it was a Scottish bus originally or a swap I don't know. It had black lettering along the waist rail but I didn't have time to read it. What intrigued me was that the rear dome appeared to have been removed or altered and looking in my rear view mirror there looked to be an open staircase going to the top deck in the style of a 1930s double decker'

However, a few days later a couple of photos taken by Mick Wicks identified the vehicle as being on Great Yarmouth's Marine Parade. It was former Northern Scottish Bristol FLF NRD2 RVW393D which was new in 1966 to Eastern National as fleet number 2867. It later transferred to Midland (Alexander) becoming MRD197 before transferring to Northern in 1979.

It was subsequently sold to Last Bus Cafe based in New Pitsligo in 1986 gaining an unusual "open top" modification to the staircase and is still the current owner..

My thanks to Mick for allowing me to use his photos and trust that Dennis' appeal for information  has now been satisfied!


Thursday 4 August 2022

Worthing Bus Rally

Apologies for the delay in bringing this report to you but its been a nightmare downloading, cropping and identifying all the vehicles in my 60 photographs. That's apart from the difficult task of selecting which ones to use!

This viewed greeted me after leaving a Brighton Road cafe following breakfast - Ex London Transport AEC Regent
KYY 529 passes Stagecoach South ADL Enviro 400 SN18 KOE on a Brighton bound Coastliner service
There was around 70 entries this year and for the first time the organisers extended the road closure on West Parade to allow for increasing numbers attending now and in future years.

Our first photo from the rally is this Arrivabus Mercedes-Benz Citaro in Arriva Pride livery new in 2012

Next up is the impressive looking Top Marks Coaches B12 DKR, a VDL Berkhof bodied Volvo from 2007.

There were many former Brighton & Hove buses present and this is Worthing Bus Preservation Group's Scania N113DR / East Lancs F718 LFG.

Ex London Transport vehicles were also well represented and this is RT113 FXT 288, a 1940 AEC Regent with LTPB bodywork.

An interesting visitor was PFN 865, an AEC Regent V 2LD3RA recovery vehicle. New in 1959 as a double-deck bus with Park Royal bodywork, it was converted to a recovery vehicle by its original owner, East Kent, and is preserved in this form.

1939 Leyland Cheetah EYA 923 put in an appearance. Complete with a Harrington C31F body it was in the livery of Blue Motors of Minehead.

Our final photo is of Southern Transit's open top LDX 76G. Many of you will notice the Ipswich registration and the Leyland Atlantean PDR1/1 was new to the Suffolk town in November 1968. It is seen here providing trips along Marine Parade.

All the photos taken at the rally have been uploaded to an album on our Flickr site .


Wednesday 3 August 2022

Wells Beach Bus

Regular contributor Stephen Purkiss provides this report on the the recently introduced Wells-next-the-Sea service.

As from Friday 22nd July 2022 a new Daily, Summer only, Town to Beach bus service commenced operation at Wells-next-the-Sea. It replaces the Wells Harbour Railway which, having opened in July 1976 closed in September 2021 despite much opposition, both local and national.

Operated by the Holkham Estate, primarily using a Mellor Sigma 7 electric vehicle, the new service runs along Beach Road and as this road is privately owned, no local bus registration is required. This is not the first service to run over this route as local operators, including S A Abel and Dunthorne Coaches of Wells, had at various times provided services between Wells Railway Station on Polka Road and The Beach via The Quay prior to the opening of the WHR. During busy periods, open top 1951 Leyland Tiger PS1 type 840 XUJ will provide additional capacity. Both vehicles are garaged in Wells overnight.

On the slightly damp morning of Saturday 30th July, Mellor Sigma 7 electric bus MX22 LFV is captured at the Wells Town terminus situated adjacent to Wells Town FC ground, having just arrived in from The Beach. Note the new road leading up to Beach Road, the turning area and other passenger control paraphernalia that has recently been constructed. As mentioned above the route runs along the privately owned Beach Road which is beyond the fence, but below the bank in the background.

Service Alterations Registered ~ 3rd August 2022

For the third 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.