Monday 30 January 2023

First Day Training Duty

Recently transferred First driver trainer Volvo B7RLE/Wright Eclipse 66883 MX55 HHP began its driver trainer duties earlier this morning.

It is firstly pictured at Wroxham and later at Hemsby's Kingsway en route to Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot. My thanks to Simon Taylor for the use of his photos.


Saturday 28 January 2023

Electric Versa On Test

First York Optare Versa EV 44912 YJ15 AYO has been testing in the Norwich area for a bout a week now and paid a brief visit to First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot last Sunday. The vehicle is being tested by Snetterton based Equipmake who are developing an electric drivetrain for Versa conversions.

It was out again today on test and was seen on Red Lion Street by Liam S operating on trade plates. My thanks to Liam for the photo.


Simmonds New Arrival

Peter Oakes tells me that a new addition to the Simonds of Botesdale fleet is an Alexander Dennis Enviro 200MMC; their first brand new service bus in ten years.

It carries the registration YX72 OMY and Peter provides some interior and exterior photos of it being used on a recent Saturday Only 37A service Diss to Norwich via East Harling.

My thanks to Peter for his help with this post


Sixth Form Services

It's been some nine months now since I first observed comings and goings at East Norfolk Sixth Form College on Church Lane (ENSFC Bus Activity - 23rd April 2022) so I monitored activity there during yesterday afternoon.

It started at around 15:40 when one of First Lowestoft's buses arrived to work the 982 15:50 to Oulton Broad for students only. On this occasion ADL Enviro200 44453 YX09 HKN graced us with its presence.

Shortly after, Coastlink branded Wright Eclipse Gemini 37275 LK58 EDJ arrived to work the 981 15:50 to Worlingham.

A couple of minutes later and Sanders' former Go South Coast Wright Eclipse Urban 506 HF54 HHB turned up with the extended 6 service to North Walsham starting at the college at 16:04.

Ambassador Travel's Optare Solo M780 YK04 KVU came along shortly after to provide the 68 16:00 service to Blofield Heath.

A second Sanders' Wright Eclipse Urban appeared in the form of 504 HF54 HFP for the 834 16:08 to Stalham closely tailed by Ambassador Travel's Wright Eclipse Urban GN07 AVF on the 878 to Alpington.

So after just over half an hour's activity everything returned to normal!


Friday 27 January 2023

Costessey P & R Today

Recently acquired from Yellow Buses of Bournemouth, First Eastern Counties ADL Enviro400 MMC 34425 SN17 MTY began regularly operating the Costessey Park & Ride service this week.

It is seen earlier today on the route by Dan High who has provide photos of it operating on the 510 service this morning between the park & ride site and the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital.

I am grateful to Dan for the photos


Wednesday 25 January 2023

Konectbus Update

It's been sometime since we've looked at recent changes at Konnectbus' Dereham and Rackheath depots.

Kieran Smith's photo of the repaint of Alexander Dennis Enviro 200MMC 201 YX69NPF.provides a timely reminder. It has now gained Konectbus blue replacing its green park and ride livery. Similar 202 YX69 NPG is currently having the same treatment.

In other changes, Alexander Dennis Tridents 603 SN10 CFG and 605 SN61 CZV have recently returned off loan. Driver trainer Scania N94UB 9019 YR52 VFK has left the fleet to be replaced by Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 9029 LX54 GZO

Many thanks to Kieran for the photo and the fleet update. The current fleet list can be viewed HERE


Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th January 2023

There are some entries of local interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Anthony Marett Consultants has submitted an application for the authorisation of an operating centre for two vehicles at Metton Road, Roughton near Cromer.

First Eastern Counties
is to provide a 'new' daily 109 service between Lowestoft Bus Station and Crestview Drive in Gunton from 27th January 2023. It is also amending the route and stopping places of its 101 Crestview Drive, Gunton to Cowslip Crescent, Hollow Grove service from the same date.

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


Monday 23 January 2023

Norwich Activity

A couple of First Norwich workings reported by Dan High in Norwich City Centre this morning.

The first concerns the use of former First Bristol Wright StreetDeck 35140 SN65 OMH on the 11A service to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital despite being branded for the Orange Line!

Also out this morning on the same route was First Ipswich Reds branded Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32490 AU53 HKH

Meanwhile, withdrawn at Norwich Roundtree Way Depot is similar 32488 AU53 HKF which was seen by Will Drake with its First references removed.

My thanks to both Dan and Will for the information and photos.


Saxmundham Rail Replacement

This past weekend saw 'planned route improvement work' under way between Saxmundham and Ipswich rail stations. With lines being closed rail replacement was in use providing some unusual vehicle workings.

All photos have been provided by 'Reg Vardy' and the first shows Dan's Coaches 'Uncle Bert' YN04 ANV negotiating its way to Saxmundham High Street. The Van Hool bodied Scania was new to Beestons.

Panther Travel provided Enviro200 KX11 EEH, seen here at Saxmundham Station. It was previously new to the TGM Group.

Two MCV Evolution bodied ADL Enviro200s from the Hedingham fleet were observed in the form of 267 AU58 PZS and 268 AE59 AWM.

At Ipswich, former Lothian Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban SK07CGO was waiting time at the town's rail station. Running a service to Norwich, the Suffolk Travel vehicle was formerly Ipswich Buses' 162. Sanders' Van Hool T915 Alicron WH11 CHR was also noted on a Norwich service.

Also on standby at Ipswich Rail Station was Belle Coaches' Mercedes Benz Tourismo LD10 HOL

Back at Saxmundham we see three vehicles awaiting their turn including Dan's Coaches' Scania L94UB/ Wright Solar 'Dawn' YS03 ZKF and Angie's Coaches' Volvo B10BLE/Wright Renown Y169 HRN.

Finally a photo of the former passing the old Marlesford Station building on the A12 road

My thanks to Reg for the many photos. Apparently the Angie's and Hedingham breakdowns on the Saturday caused a few headaches!


Friday 20 January 2023

32492 Withdrawn

Former First Ipswich Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32492 AU53 HKK has been withdrawn from service at First Great Yarmouth. 

32492 spent just over three months at the seaside having arrived at Caister Road on the last day of September 2022. 

Its withdrawal follows closely behind that of similar 32488 AU53 HKF which only lasted just the one day in use at Norwich earlier this week following its transfer from the Suffolk town.

I believe that another two examples are under threat at First Ipswich.

AU53 HKK is pictured in the rear yard at Caister Road earlier today with its next (and last) journey planned for the scrapyard.

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


Wednesday 18 January 2023

First Norwich Oddities

Dan High was observing First Norwich activities on Castle Meadow in the city centre this morning.

His first report was the use of First Ipswich Volvo B7TL /Alexander ALX400 32488 AU53 HKF on Pink Line 12 services between Wroxham and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It worked the route for most of the day.

The other surprising use was that of recently arrived Wright Eclipse bodied Volvo B7RLE 69545 BF12 KWC on driver training which later saw public use on the 12 and 37 routes.

My thanks to Dan for the report and photos.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th January 2023

There are a couple of items of local interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

High Suffolk Community Transport of Woodbridge is to vary the days of operation of its 10 route between Hamblin Road, Woodbridge and The Old Crown in Kenton from 1st April 2023. The service, which runs via Worlingworth, Bedfield and Framlingham, will operate on the first Saturday and third Thursday of the month.

First Eastern Counties is to amend the timetable of its 11/11A, 12 and 12A services from the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital to Sprowston/ Wroxham from the 19th February 2023.

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


Tuesday 17 January 2023

Another Arrival

Another arrival at First Great Yarmouth is a further Wright Eclipse 2 bodied Volvo B7RLE from First Wessex in the form of 69545 - BF12 KWC.

It is pictured at the front of the Caister Road site prior to delivery to First Norwich's Roundtree Way depot. 69545 is presently branded for the 10 Weymouth - Poundbury route and is expected to be pressed into use on Norwich's Green Line service and, as such, may visit the town again.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo.


Monday 16 January 2023

Open Top Addition for Yarmouth Fleet

Another week, another arrival to report for First Great Yarmouth Depot.

A new addition to the Clipper Cabriolet fleet for 2023 will see the arrival of former First Glasgow Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 37533 - SF08SNJ.

Pictured leaving Glasgow's Caledonia depot, 37533 aboard Thorntons low loader where it will undergo its conversion to part open top. The vehicle recently underwent an exhaust overhaul to Euro 6 standards.

The new arrival will replace Dennis Trident 32905 CRZ166 (ex W905VLN) which is now withdrawn, we are told it will also gain the CRZ166 cherished number plate when back in Norfolk.

Many Thanks to David Oakley for the photo from Glasgow and to Chris Speed for the info.


Friday 13 January 2023

New Trainer At Great Yarmouth

Further to yesterdays postings, I am pleased to be able to report some local activity which also includes reference to Grahame's post on the new addition to the First Eastern Counties training fleet.

First Sheffield's Volvo B7RLE 66883 MX55 HHP has now surprisingly turned up at First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot.

It spent the night at the seaside prior to moving on to Norwich this morning where it will become an addition to the training fleet.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photos.


Thursday 12 January 2023

First Training Fleet Addition

A new member of Eastern Counties training fleet has been collected today from First Sheffield's Olive Grove depot.

Volvo B7RLE 66883 MX55HHP is the vehicle in question and will be added to the training fleet based in Norwich.

The well travelled bus was new to First Manchester before having spells in Plymouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and Bath where it was converted into a Training vehicle. It was last part of the Midlands Training fleet based in Sheffield.

Thanks to Smon Taylor for the photo.


Latest Streetdeck Deliveries for Ipswich

News today that 4 More Wright bodied Streetdecks have been delivered to Ipswich this week.

35921-35924 all arrived at Foudation Street complete with new branding, preparations were done in Norwich prior to heading down to Suffolk.

35921 BN72TVT about to head to Ipswich.

35922 BN72TVU also ready for the off in Norwich.

Confirmation of arrivals,

35921 BN72TVT

35922 BN72TVU

35923 BN72TVV

35924 BN72TVW

Many Thanks to Zak Nelson for the Photos and First for the Info.


Quiet Times

There doesn't appear to be much happening in our local Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft area at present which coincides with the time when coach visitors are almost none existent. This morning's tour around the usual haunts revealed absolutely nothing.

I ended up looking in at the rear yard on Harley Road at First's Caister Road depot which revealed the presence of two former Go Ahead London Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9s in the form of 36285/6 LX59 DBU/V. Ex Ipswich ALX400 32654 MU05 MUW was on view at the front of the depot.


Wednesday 11 January 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 11th January 2023

There is just the single 'local' entry in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. 

It concerns an application for a PSV operator's licence by PTS Group (Norfolk) Limited to operate seven vehicles from Unit 10, Tilia Business Park on Tunstead Road in Hoveton with the Transport Manager named as Carl Crysell

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


Friday 6 January 2023

Off For Repair

Earlier today a Coastal Clipper liveried Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL left First's Caister Road depot on tow.

The bus, 37568 AU58 ECJ, was involved in a road traffic accident in mid December and has departed for repair.


Wednesday 4 January 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 4th January 2023

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


Tuesday 3 January 2023

First Day Out

Captured on its first day out in service today was one of Sanders' brand new Volvo B8RLE/ MCV Evoras 526 BV72 KKA 'Roger Parker'.

My thanks to Aaron M who supplied a photo of the bus tuning into Grammar School Road in North Walsham heading for Norwich on the X55 express service. He reports that he got photos of all four of the new Evoras on the route today.


Monday 2 January 2023

London Visit

As this is the first post of 2023 we would like to wish you all a very happy New Year!

Regular contributor Omar Atiallah visited London on New Years Day on National Express service 491 with Caetano Levante bodied Scania BV72 XFA providing the means of travel.

It is seen here on its layover at Abellio London's Battersea Depot in the company of other National Express branded vehicles. They included Edwards Coaches' similar BV71 GYS and Volvo B11RT/ Caetano Levante BV17 GUE,

Naturally there was also a large selection of Abellio buses on site and the picture shows ADL Enviro400 9525 SN12 AAX at the forefront of the photo.

If you look carefully at the photos you will see that some of the Wright Streetdecks are brand new and are without their registrations.

Receiving attention in the Abellio workshops was Optare MetroCity EV 1009 YJ22 AXT

Before the return journey Omar got a photo of another of Edwards' vehicles, Caetano Boa Vista bodied Scania K410UB6 BV66 WFL, entering Victoria Coach Station headed up for the 040 Bristol route.

On the return journey he observed a couple of Oxford Tube Volvo B11RLET / Plaxton Panorama's headed by YX70 LVE on Buckingham Palace Road.

My thanks to Omar for all the photos