Friday 30 September 2022

New Heritage Liveried Bus

A new heritage liveried vehicle has entered service with First Eastern Counties. One of the recently arrived saloons from First Wessex has received Eastern Counties colours.

BF12 KWM was seen by Ashleybus on the 36A service in Norwich this afternoon and has also received fleet number VW 553

My thanks to Ashley for the photo


Thursday 29 September 2022

Latest Arrivals

This evening two First Ipswich Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7Tls arrived at Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot following their transfer from the Suffolk town.

They are 32653 AU05 MUV and 32654 AU05MUW which are pictured inside the depot earlier. A third decker, 32681 AU53 HJY, is also said to be on its way.

Also previously unreported is the arrival of the first of a batch of ex Go Ahead London Volvo B9TL / Gemini 2s. LX59 DAA is seen over the pits tonight being prepared for entry into service.

My thanks to First for the information and photos

32481 AU53 HJY was later swapped with 32492 AU53 HKK on Friday afternoon (30th September)


Early Foursome

A tour around the usual spots in Great Yarmouth earlier this morning yielded a total of four coaches.

The first sighting was of a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo with the cherished registration K28 JCT. Operated by Johnston Coaches of Rugeley in Staffordshire, it was new to Glen Valley Tours of Wooler, Northumberland as BU18 YNM.

Next up was Van Hool Alicron BIB 3994 from the Bibby's of Ingleton fleet. It was previously registered YJ14 CBY

Finally, at Beach Coach Station there were two regular visitors - Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BV20 HNB and Gee-Vee Travel's VDL GT16 GVT.


Second Ex Wessex Saloon In Service

Ex First Hampshire and Dorset Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE 69548 BF12 KWJ was Dan High's transport home late yesterday afternoon

This is the second former First Wessex bus remaining in Norwich and it was employed on the 28 to Thorpe Marriott.

My thanks to Dan for the photo.


Another Goes

Another former First Manchester Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 has been taken out of service by First Great Yarmouth. New to First York (Rider) in January 2002, 30959 YJ51 RCO arrived here from Manchester in May 2018.

This leaves just two B7TL/ALX400s in service in the shape of 30960 YJ51 RDU and 30964 YJ51 RAU which were both in use this morning.


Wednesday 28 September 2022

Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th September 2022

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

High Suffolk Community Transport
has registered a new first Saturday of the month service linking Eye Road, Kenton to Hamblin Road in Woodbridge via Framlingham. The service commences from 1st November 2022.

First Eastern Counties has amended the timetable of its 36/36A Horsford and Long Stratton / Harleston service from 12th September 2022.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed HERE SOON


Tuesday 27 September 2022

Rail Replacement East Midlands Railway

Whilst Omar Atiallah was at Norwich Station at the weekend he also observed coaches in use on East Midlands Railway rail replacement between Norwich and Peterborough.

Among them were two from Tates Coaches of Luton, two from Angie's Tours and one each from Bland's of Stamford and Simonds of Botesdale.

Tates were using Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BU16 GZP and Scania/Caetano BX65 WBT and Angie's Tours supplied Volvo B11RT P31 PJO and Mercedes-Benz Tourismo X25 PTS.

Bland's Coaches Volvo B9R XIL 7321 and Simonds Volvo B8R YX68 UCA also made an appearance.

My thanks again go to Omar for the information and photos.


Rail Replacement Greater Anglia

Last weekend saw rail replacement in use on Greater Anglia services providing an opportunity to view coaches etc not normally in use.

Omar Atiallah was at Norwich Station and recorded eight vehicles in use - two from Sanders Coaches, two from Coach Services, three from A2B and a decker supplied by Eagles

Sanders Coaches employed OC21 SAN and Van Hool WH11 CHR whilst Coach Services were using Volvo B7R AR08 KXD and Scania 230UB YN57 FZL

A2B Bus & Coach of Cambridge supplied Alexander Dennis Enviro200s YX11 AEA and YX18 KZE plus Mercedes-Benz Sprinter WX22 TYK

The Eagles' decker was LJ05 BJF which was new to Arriva London and then moved to Holmeswood who converted it to single door. Suffolk Norse acquired the Volvo Alexander bodied B7TL in January 2019 and it is now with Eagles of Castle Acre near Kings Lynn

Thanks for the information and photos Omar


Monday 26 September 2022

No 8's First Passenger Use

Saturday was the first time the EATM's Lowestoft No 8 had carried passengers following a restoration spanning over 20 years, after only passing its MOT days earlier.

The Massey bodied Regent V is seen on that first run from the rear platform of another Massey bodied decker No 12 PBJ 2F. The photo was supplied by Syd Eade who also took another of its arrival at Lowestoft Station on the first run chaperoned by No 12.

My thanks to Syd for providing the photos


Saturday 24 September 2022

Carlton Colville

Today was the first day of the East Anglia Transport Museum's Trolleybus Weekend at Carlton Colville.

I decided to make a flying visit just to witness activity at the site and to travel on the first one of First Ipswich's seventeen brand new Wright Streetdecks on its first day in public use. I quickly snapped 35910 BN72 TVA arriving at the Park & Ride site and I needn't have rushed as Chris Speed was in charge of the new arrival!

After our quick catch up prior to departure, I headed for the top deck and immediately saw a screen reminding me of the time and date !! Presumably this will display next stop information when in service. On arrival at the Museum I went to seek out newly restored Lowestoft No 8 918NRT. It was in the yard with Leyland Titan PBJ 2F and Routemaster WLT 613 for company.

After a chat with a couple of friends and more pics of No 8, I crossed Chapel Road outside the museum to await my return journey on the Streetdeck. Almost immediately I was rewarded with a photo of one of the guests vehicles returning after a run out. It was South Notts (82) 82 SVO, a Leyland/Albion LR3 Lowlander with a Northern Counties H41/30F body.

After all that excitement (!) a return journey was next on 35910 and, after many attempts, I managed to get a photo of it with the complete destination screen showing.


Early Express 727

Omar Atiallah was up at silly o'clock this morning to catch the 02:50 National Express 727 service from Thetford to Norwich for an early start to his day's work. Originating at Heathrow Airport, it was worked by one of Ambassador Travel's recent triaxle arrivals BV22 VSG; seen here at Norwich Bus Station.

My thanks to Omar for the photo


Friday 23 September 2022

Unusual Appearance

Dan High was on Red Lion Street in Norwich earlier today when he spotted this First green liveried bus on a Green Line 15A service heading for Wymondham Cross via the city centre.

Nothing unexpected in that you would think, until you look more closely and see that it is Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE 69544 BF12 KWD formerly with First Hampshire and Dorset (First Wessex). Apparently this and 69548 BF12 KWJ will both be staying in Norwich.

My thanks to Dan for the information and photo.


Overnight Stayers

A quick run along Great Yarmouth seafront to Beach Coach Station in the rain this morning to see what was about

The first coach encountered was PM71 JAM a VDL from Marshalls of Sutton-on-Trent masquerading as a Shearings vehicle on Marine Parade..

Outside the New Beach Hotel was Alfa Travel's 98 BU16 HBF which featured in yesterday's report. Another two from the fleet were seen at Beach Coach Station in the form of 108 BV19 YFC and 123 BV20 HNG.

Also observed there was Crosskeys Coaches Mercedes-Benz Tourismo FX65 HWZ with Just Go! branding.

Another Tourismo from Henshaw of Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire was HC19 HEN, a plate previously used on the operator's Turas bodied Iveco

G-Line's BF67 WFK and Leon's LE18ON looked as though they hadn't moved since yesterday.


Thursday 22 September 2022

Banana Buggy Resurfaces!

I was recently contacted by the owner of a caravan storage business located in the Bedford area. On the site was a Freight Rover minibus with the registration D70 TLV. The owner of the vehicle brought it to the site for storage between three and four years ago. His intention was to renovate the vehicle and take it to classic car shows. However, the owner passed away before he could start the renovation and it was recently being sold on eBay. Bidding ended last week and has been reported as sold - apparently for restoration/ preservation.

From the photo it can be seen that a yellow livery is slowly reappearing underneath the current paintwork. This provides a clue to its previous existence as a member of the Halesworth Transit fleet operating as the Flying Banana in the Great Yarmouth area. The Carlyle bodied Freight Rover Sherpa was new to North Western with Flying Banana acquiring it from Brian Isaac of Morriston, Swansea in 1993. It was later converted into an open top as a 'Banana Buggy'. It can be seen in this form on the Public Transport Experience blog

My thanks to Katie Nickolls for getting in touch and giving me approval to use the photos


Lowestoft's No 8 Receives Adverts

Tim Major has supplied some photos of Lowestoft Corporation No 8 918 NRT showing the AEC Regent V now adorned with adverts.

The bus passed from Waveney District Council to the Playbus Group in Lowestoft and the attached newspaper article provides details.

It subsequently saw use as Basil Badger's Playbus for Basildon Council. Fortunately it evaded scrapping when it was laid up / stored at Pitsea with clutch problems. 

It was then  moved to Ensignbus at Purfleet for evaluation, but in the mean time two enthusiasts agreed a deal and acquired the bus which moved to Canvey. It later went to the EATM at Carlton Colville in 2009

As a bonus there is a copy of the advert that appeared in the local press from Eastern Counties about the change of services in Lowestoft.

918 NRT should be be out and about this weekend in connection with the East Anglia Transport Museum's Trolleybus Weekend.

My thanks to Tim for the photos and the press cutting


Coach Station Yesterday

Peter Oakes contacted us to say that his coach was one of six parked up at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station during yesterday afternoon

They were, left to right, G-Line Coaches Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BF67 WFK, Peter's coach Simonds' KDX 108, Globe of Barnsley's Van Hool GL19 BES followed by followed by three more Tourismos. That trio comprised Alfa Travel's BU16 HBF, Leons of Stafford's LE18 EON and Caledonian Travel's UMO 58. The last mentioned was formerly NH69 RHH and formed part of the National Holidays fleet.

KDX 108 is a Van Hool bodied Volvo B10M-62 and was originally registered WT02 WCT in March 2002 when delivered new to Wickson of Walsall Wood in the West Midlands. It joined Simmonds in December 2006. The Volvo was soon to work on factory contract duties to the Cranswick site at Eye in Suffolk.

My thanks to Peter for the information and photos.


Wednesday 21 September 2022

New Arrivals For Ipswich Appear

The first two Wright bodied Low Height Streetdecks have arrived at Norwich for prep prior to moving down to their new home in Ipswich.

17 brand new vehicles are due, the batch being numbered 35910 - 35926.

The first arrivals are 35910 BN72TVA & 35911 BN72TVC.

Details of vehicles identified so far are,

35910 BN72TVA

35911 BN72TVC

35912 BN72TVD

35913 BN72TVE

35914 BN72TVF 

Many thanks to Zak for use of the photos and Information from Bus Lists on the Web


Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st September 2022

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.


Sunday 18 September 2022

Weekend Visitors

 Just a quick post with a small selection of coaches noted in Great Yarmouth over the past few days.

First up is Yeomans Travel of Herford Scania/Itizar I6 pictured on Thursday evening at Beach Coach Station.

Next up is a regular visitor to the town wearing Shearings livery is Chiltern Travel Setra K21HCC which first featured on the blog back in June 2021. Pictured outside the Carlton Hotel on the seafront.

Finally, OU17OTB is a Neoplan Tourliner belonging to Hargreaves Coaches of Skipton, North Yorkshire.


Saturday 17 September 2022

New Arrivals Galore

Its looking like a busy few weeks ahead for First Eastern Counties with new arrivals appearing all over the network.

Lowestoft has begun recieving its ex London United E200 Darts with a couple entering service this week.The full batch of 5 is 44450-44454.

News today is the imminent arrival of a batch of ex Go Ahead London Volvo B9TL Gemini 2 for use at Great Yarmouth which should see off the remaining ALX400 Volvo B7's.

LX59DAA is pictured at Ensignbus where the batch has been purchased from, this will be collected in the coming week. The list of vehicles aquired and fleet numbers known so far is as follows,

36281 LX59DAA

36282 LX59DAO

36283 LX59DAU

36284 LX59DBO

36285 LX59DBU

36286 LX59DBV

36287 LX59DBY

36288 LX59DBZ

Onto Ipswich where 17 brand new Low height Wright Streetdecks are expected to arrive from the factory in Belfast over the coming weeks with the first due next week. Fleet numbers to be 35910 - 35926.

We are told they will go to Norwich for prep prior to entering service as are the batch of Volvo B7RLE From Wessex which are also beginning to enter service in Suffolk.

Norwich are also expecting some more double deck arrivals in due course.

So get your cameras warmed up its going to be a hectic few weeks of arrivals and departures by the looks of it!

Many Thanks to Chris Speed, Mark Doggett, Andy Metcalfe and Ensignbus for help with Photos and Info.


On Standby

Regular contributor Trevor Arbon was up and about very early this morning in Ipswich and saw this decker on standby for rail replacement plus there was a train breakdown south of Ipswich

Angie's Tour Scania N230UD Y70 PTS was at the stops outside the station just in case it was required following overhead line repairs between the town and Manningtree.

My thanks to Trevor for the photo


Friday 16 September 2022

Lowestoft Corporation No 8

This morning Tim Major sent me photos of the final preparations to get Lowestoft Corporation No 8 back in service.

No 8, registered as 918 NRT, is a Massey bodied AEC Regent V and was new to the Corporation in January 1963

The final embellishments were being made and it was having windows fitted when these pictures where taken by Tim during yesterday.

It is hoped that a test run (or two) will take place during the weekend so that it will be available for the Trolleybus Event next weekend (24th and 25th September)

My thanks to Tim for the photos


Where Are They Now ~ YJ59 AZA

In late July this year I posted that Sanders Coaches' Wright Pulsar bodied VDL200 405 YJ59 AZA had left the fleet. The former demonstrator, which also saw use with Arriva and First Bradford, is now with Tanat Valley Coaches at Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant on the Welsh border. (it's times like this when you are grateful for copy and paste!)

My thanks to Simon Charsley who has provided a photo of YJ59 AZA in its new Tanat Valley Coaches' blue livery.