Friday 31 March 2023

Open Top Road Testing

First Great Yarmouth's open top buses have to be road tested before they can enter service with 37000 CRZ 366 and 37057 CRZ599 both out for that purpose yesterday. 37000's testing run to Lowestoft and back certainly turned a few heads yesterday. Two others were having their tests today.

Four vehicles have already been scheduled for the first day of service on Sunday and they are 37000 CRZ 366, 32336 CRZ 488, 37057 CRZ 599 and 37059 CRZ 622. Of the remaining two, 32348 CRZ 266 is awaiting window repairs whilst newcomer 37533 CRZ 166 is currently over the pits.

My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information and we are hoping for some dry weather for Sunday!


Thursday 30 March 2023

Mulleys Latest Arrival

Another arrival at Mulleys is AP12 BUS, a Volvo B7RLE/MCV Evolution, which was formerly with Pulham at Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire. It arrived on Tuesday and today was employed on schools duties.

Also out on school services this afternoon were both of the new recently arrived Switch Metrodekkas

My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the supply of information and photos.


New Norwich Arrival

The second arrival in recent weeks from First Glasgow appeared in the city today in the shape of Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini 37532 MXZ3342 (ex SF08SMX). This joins sister 37533 which has been converted to Open top for use in Great Yarmouth.

Many Thanks to Will Drake for the photo and First for the information 


New Megabus M37 Timetable

David Slater has drawn my attention to the new Birmingham to Norwich Megabus M37 timetable which was introduced from Monday last (27th March 2023). It operates Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays each week

Birmingham                        0815                       1355  

Coventry                             ………                       1440  

Cambridge                          1000                       1600  

Norwich UEA                      1130                       1730  

Norwich Bus Stn                1145                       1745  



Norwich Bus Stn               1300                       1900  

Norwich UEA                     1315                       1915  

Cambridge                         1445                       2045  

Coventry                            1615                        ……..  

Birmingham                      1640                        2240  

The 1300 service from Norwich actually continues to Bristol (UWE) (1840), Bristol (1900), Cardiff Uni (2025) and Cardiff (2030).
The 1355 service from Birmingham to Norwich starts at Bristol Airport (1020) travelling via Bristol (1040), Swindon (1145), Oxford (1230) to Birmingham (1345).

All journeys are shown as ‘Operated by Megabus run by Prospect Coaches’ My thanks to David for the information and photo.


Wednesday 29 March 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 29th March 2023

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

Coastal Red, operating as Lynx, is amending the timetable of its 36 Hunstanton Bus Station to Wells next the Sea service from 17th April 2023.

Sanders Coaches is changing the route and timetable of three services from 2nd April 2023:-
26/26A/27/27A/28 Green Lane, Pudding Norton to Morrisons Store, Fakenham.
43/43A/43B Reepham Market Place to Norwich Bus Station.
98/98A Cawston Market Place to Fakenham Oak Street.

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon. 
(See also Public Inquiry in the Comments Section below)


Tuesday 28 March 2023

Seafront Tour

Early this morning I travelled through the holiday area of Great Yarmouth on the look out for any long stay coaches.

The first I came across was Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 122 BV20 HNF which left before I could get a photo of it. Almost immediately another Alfa Tourismo took its place outside the New Beach Hotel in the form of A137 BF23 CFA which is becoming a regular visitor.

A wander over to the layby near The Arc Cinema yielded two coaches with CAB Executive Travel's Kassbohrer Setra WE60 CAB at the front of the rank.

Behind was Blakes Coaches' Scania WIB 664 which operates from East Anstey, Tiverton in Devon.

At Beach Coach Station I found TU07 SOU, a Volvo B12B /Van Hool Alizee T9 from the Albert Wilde & Son Coaches fleet based at Belper in Derbyshire. It was new to Brown of Broxburn, Edinburgh as SK07 FUY in April 2007.


Former Yellow Buses Enviro400MMC In Service

First Eastern Counties 34423 SN17 MTV, one of the batch of six ex Bournemouth Yellow Buses ADL Enviro 400 MMCs, was observed in use yesterday heading for the University Technical College Norfolk based in Norwich.

Resplendent in its new Park & Ride livery, it was observed at Castle Meadow during yesterday afternoon by Dan High and later continued in use on its designated 510 route.

Thanks Dan for the photos.


Latest Cabriolet Readied for Service

Recent addition to the First Great Yarmouth open top fleet, Volvo B9TL 37533 SF08 SNJ, has had its Coastal Clipper Cabriolet graphics applied ready for the summer season.

All that is now required is the addition of registration plate CRZ 166 previously carried by Dennis Trident 32905 W905 VLN. The 1C service commences on Sunday April 2nd.

My thanks to Will Drake for the photo.


Monday 27 March 2023

Mulleys' New Deckers

Mulleys of Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds, have recently purchased two brand new double deckers thereby upgrading its fleet. Being Switch Metrodekkers, they are the first of the type permanently based in the region, although BorderBus had one on loan.

The two Metrodekkas on arrival
Both vehicles have new 2023 plates being registered YJ23 EKO and YJ23 EKN and arrived at Mulleys around lunchtime on Thursday.

The lower deck of one of the Metrodekkas
Switch was formerly known as Optare with parent company Ashok Leyland rebranding the bus manufacturer to Switch Mobility in December 2020.

The upper deck of the one of the Metrodekkas
My thanks to Omar Atiallah for the information plus the photos and to Mulleys for permission to publish


Saturday 25 March 2023

Open Top Shuttles

During the past week at least a couple of open top Clipper Cabriolets have had a trip out from Caister Road depot to Market Gates Bus Station on driver shuttle runs.

Volvo B7TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini 32336 CRZ488 was noted in use last Saturday with similar 37059 CRZ 622 on the shuttles yesterday.

My thanks to Dan High for the picture of CRZ 622 on Northgate Street on its way to the bus station.


Friday 24 March 2023

Unusual Arrival

There was an unusual visitor to First's Caister Road depot earlier today with the appearance of ADL Enviro 400 MMC 34424 SN17 MTX

It was one of a batch of six ex Bournemouth Yellow Buses arriving at First Norwich in early December last

The reason for its arrival was to receive repairs to its AdBlue system.

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


Wednesday 22 March 2023

Ambassador's Second New Levantee

A couple of days ago I reported on the arrival of two brand new Scania K410EB6 /Caetano Levantee 3s for Great Yarmouth-based Ambassador Travel. (More Ambassador Arrivals - 20th March 2023).

The post featured a picture of 306 BV72 XGK at Thetford and mentioned that similar 307 BV72 XGL was also in use that day. A photo of the latter has now been provided by Omar Atiallah who saw it about to depart Thetford with the 17:10 727 service to London Heathrow this evening.

My thanks to Omar for the photo.


Caledonian Visitor

Caledonian Travel of Gomersal's YJ17 CXW was noted at Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth this afternoon.

The Temsa Safari was new to Nicholson of Gilesgate Moor in April 2017 which also operated as TM Travel of Durham.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 22nd March 2023

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

BorderBus has registered three new school day operated services commencing on 24th April 2023:-
BH1 Kessingland to Bungay via Carlton Colville.
BH2 Lowestoft to Bungay via Oulton Broad.
SET Southwold to SET Beccles School via Kessingland, Lowestoft and Carlton Colville.

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


Monday 20 March 2023

More Ambassador Arrivals

Following some four and a half hour drive back to Great Yarmouth from Gloucestershire, I decided to relax in front of the television. That didn't last long as I needed to do some catching up with emails etc on the PC.

Whilst I was engrossed in doing that, I received some messages from Omar Atiallah who sent a photo of another recent arrival for Ambassador Travel. It was their brand new Scania K410EB6 /Caetano Levantee 3 306 BV72 XGK shown waiting at Thetford for the 1710 working the 727 to London Heathrow. A second Ambassador newcomer, 307 BV72 XGL, was also in use.

My thanks to Omar for the info and photo.


Sunday 19 March 2023

Weekend Away

Over the past few days we have spent a long weekend in South Gloucestershire catching up with the family and I hadn't taken any photos.

However, on the way back from the Iron Acton Garden Centre this afternoon our driver stopped at the petrol filling station near Yates Tesco to fill up. As she pulled in I saw First West of England Scania N280UD / ADL Enviro400 City 39461 YN20 CCY making for the bus stops outside the supermarket.

I saw my opportunity to get a photo of it operating the ‘South Glos Lynx’ Y1 service to Bristol whilst the car was being filled up and I returned to the car just in time for us to drive away. After payment of course!


First Essex Latest

Adam Roggerman sends us news of the latest activity in First Essex. First Hadleigh has started to introduce new Wright StreetLites into service namely 63454-60/64 MC72 UXS-Y/UYD. Here is 63457 MC72 UXV on the 22 Canvey to Basildon service operated by Hadleigh.

Also starting to appear are the ex-Southampton StreetLites with eleven now based at Chelmsford depot. They are 47597-602/4-8 SN14 FEX/FFA/C-E/G/J-M/O and are being (or to be) painted at Marden's Commercials. The attached photo shows 47601 SN14 FFE with Shuttles branding on its way to Southend.

One of the latest transfers to Basildon is Streetlite 47595 SN14 FEU, which was transferred following the closure of Southampton's Empress Road depot. The saloon has been repainted into Essex Bus green and was being used on Pitsea services B4 and B5. Similar 47596 SN14 FEV has now gone for repaint into green.

My thanks to Adam for the supply of information and photos. Unfortunately his emails arrived in my spam inbox thereby delaying the publication of this post.


Saturday 18 March 2023

Last Of The Tridents

Still in revenue earning service with First Norwich yesterday was Dennis Trident 33152 LR02 LXL. It is pictured in Castle Meadow in the city on the Purple Line 37 route to Hellesdon,

My thanks to Dan High for the photo.


Friday 17 March 2023

Volvo Returns After Repair

Volvo B9 37568 AU58 ECJ returned to First Great Yarmouth this afternoon following accident damage repairs at Full Circle. The decker had previously left the Caister Road depot in early January.

In the meantime Wright StreetLite 47501 SN64 CPU is back on the road after being fitted with a new engine.

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


Thursday 16 March 2023

New Addition Arrives

Earlier this afternoon former First Glasgow Volvo B9TL 37533 SF08 SNJ arrived at First Eastern Counties Great Yarmouth depot after undergoing conversion to part open top at Thorntons Bus Refurbishment of Ashington in Northumberland.

It is joining the Coastal Clipper Cabriolet fleet for the summer service and replaces Dennis Trident 32905 W905 VLN. The newcomer will receive registration plate CRZ 166 previously carried by the Trident.

Later pictures show 37533 all 'poshed up' following a wash. My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the photos.


Wednesday 15 March 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th March 2023

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

The post is dominated by changes being made by Sanders Coaches to a number of their services with the following affected by timetable changes from 2nd April 2023:-
2 Clay Pit Lane, Fakenham and Norwich City Football Club
5/CH2/X55 Charles Road, Holt to Post Office, North Walsham
6/X6 Post Office, North Walsham to Market Gates, Great Yarmouth
6A Post Office, North Walsham to Cromer Bus Station
18/16/18A/19/79/20 Aylsham to Holt
44/X44/44AHempstead Road, Holt to Station Approach, Sheringham
210 North Walsham to Norwich Bus Station
CH1 Cadogan Road, Cromer to The Quay. Wells-next-the-Sea
X44/44A Norwich Bus Station to Station Approach, Sheringham
X55/55 North Walsham Post Office to Norwich City Centre

Sanders' route and timetable changes will take effect from the same date on the following services:-
1 Holt to Norwich City Football Club
9/9A Sheringham to Oak Street, Fakenham
45/45A Norwich to Holt
46 Holt to Fakenham
55B Swafield to Cromer

Sanders' services affected by changes to the timetable, route and stopping places from the same date:-
23 Church Crossroads Homingtoft and Riverside Retail Park, Norwich
308 Station Road Hindolveston and Field Lane, Fakenham

Two new services are to be introduced by Sanders from 2nd April 2023:-
22/22A Orchard Close, North Elmham to Oak Street, Fakenham
201 Blenheim Park High School to Polka Road, Wells-next-the-Sea

From 3rd March 2023 Coastal Accessible Transport of Leiston amended its Wickham Market to Leiston service

High Suffolk Community Transport of Woodbridge is to cancel its 9 Lowestoft Old Crown Public House to Lowestoft Railway Station service from 1st April 2023.

Phew - Hope you got all that! The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here soon.


Identity Of LJI 8027 Solved

I have recently been emailed regarding a bus located on a privately owned site in the port area of Lowestoft. It's a Leyland National with the registration of LJI 8027 which appears to have been left abandoned to rot away. The enquirer asked if I could shed any further light on it.

A recent photo of Leyland National LJI 8027 in Lowestoft

From the Fylde Bus Blog it was apparently new to Crossville in February 1978 as their CFM 347S. It moved to Blackpool in February 1986 entering service a month or so later. Withdrawn in March 1990 it was one of a batch passing to Norfolk's of Nayland in a wholesale fleet renewal.

Norfolk's was a long established family firm that operated into Colchester until 1991 when it was purchased by Hedingham Omnibuses. Hedingham painted the Nationals into their red and cream livery and they survived for five more years, passing to Northern Bus of Sheffield in May 1996.

It saw little use with them until the bus resurfaced with Appleby's in Lincolnshire in 1999 and Alpha of Hull in 2001 as LJI 8027. By 2004 it was in Lowestoft. 

With Syd Eade being based in Lowestoft, I thought I would ask him if he knew anything about the bus and he certainly did! 'It is/was owned by a Daren Roberts, a one time guard on the local trains who lived with his parents in Cromer. He also owned some other wrecks including former Eastern Counties Mercedes mini D500 FAE.  Apparently Mr Roberts has subsequently left the area.'

In response to this post, I subsequently received correspondence suggesting it was later sold to JBS trading as East Coast Fabrication Services for event and film catering. Sometime ago it also underwent an MOT. It is shown on the DVLA website as SORN with its V5 ownership recorded in 2012


Tuesday 14 March 2023

First Great Yarmouth Latest

First Great Yarmouth’s oldest partial open top bus has recently been refitted with its original registration plate. Dennis Trident 32905 has reverted to its previous W905 VLN registration. This is so that the decker currently undergoing conversion at Thorntons can assume the identity of CRZ 166.

Currently off the road with engine problems is Volvo B7TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini 37060 YJ06 XMM which is pictured in the rear yard at the Caister Road depot.

My thanks to Will Drake for the information and photos


Four At The Seaside

Four coaches were observed on the tour of Great Yarmouth Seafront this morning and half of them were from the Alfa Travel fleet. The twosome were Mercedes-Benz Tourismos BV20 HNK and BF23 CFA awaiting their passengers outside the New Beach Hotel.

Nearby on North Drive was regular visitor M200 KMT, a VDL Bova Futura FHD, from KM Travel and Van Hool E11 RTG from the Roberts Travel Group.


Sanders' Arrival

Another brand new 23 registered vehicle has been purchased by a Norfolk operator. Sanders Coaches has taken delivery of a Volvo 9700 integral coach following a repaint into the new owner's livery at New Circle Enterprises of Banham in Norfolk.

With the special registration of SC23 NJS, and named Norman John Sanders, the coach arrived at the company's Holt depot yesterday morning. The NJS registration also refers to the initials of the company founder.

The operator released some publicity photos on their website and media pages today and two of them are reproduced here with Sanders‘ permission.

Meanwhile, Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLE 503 HF54 HFO has been taken out of service to keep the rest of the Volvos going. No 503 is pictured on Regent Road in Great Yarmouth in July 2019 when in its Coasthopper livery

My thanks to LiamS for the information and to Sanders Coaches who gave consent for use of the photos of the Volvo 9700


Monday 13 March 2023

Other Great Yarmouth Activity Today

Whilst Dan High was witnessing First Eastern Counties new service 7, there were another couple of interesting developments at Great Yarmouth's Market Gates Bus Station.

Initially First Ipswich exile ALX400 32654 AU05 MUW was noted on the 8 heading for the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston..

Also making an appearance was one of the two new Ambassador Travel Scania Fencer f1’s YT23 BDE, on the 271 service - the other YT23 BDF was pictured yesterday at Ambassador's depot (Ambassador Arrival - 12th March 2023)

Again thanks to Dan for the photos.


First Day Of the 7s

As you may have read earlier on the blog (New Bus Service - 24th February 2023), today is the first day of First Eastern Counties' new service 7 between Great Yarmouth Market Gates and Norwich via Caister Filby and Fleggburgh.

The service is seen arriving in Norwich earlier this morning with Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 36287 LX59 DBY in change.

36287 is later observed on arrival at Great Yarmouth's Market Gates with the destination screen difficult to capture on camera.

My thanks again to Dan High for the photos.


Sunday 12 March 2023

Ambassador Arrival

On my way back home from Great Yarmouth late yesterday afternoon I looked in at Ambassador Travel’s James Watt Close premises on Gapton Hall Estate. The reason for my visit was that I had been informed by the operator that two new buses had been purchased by the company.

I wrongly assumed that the vehicles were just ‘new to them’ (i.e. second hand) but, on seeing one of the new arrivals, at least one of them is brand new in the form of Scania Fencer f1 YT23 BDF. They are to be used on the 271 Bradwell to Hemsby and the 68 Gorleston East Norfolk Sixth Form College to Blofield Heath services from tomorrow.

My thanks to my contact at Ambassador for the information.


Saturday 11 March 2023

Greenline At The Beach

Greenline Coaches of Stourbridge had a presence at Great Yarmouth’s Beach Coach Station this afternoon in the form of their green liveried Mercedes-Benz Tourismo GC22 GLC ‘Bill’.


Snow Good!

A few snow showers made for some interesting photos from our regular Norwich correspondent Dan High who was stationed at Castle Meadow during yesterday morning.

The first photo shows a couple of First Geminis experiencing the beginning of a snow shower on Castle Meadow.

An unidentified First Wright StreetLite is up next on a westbound service.

Joining in the fun was First's Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL 32214 LT52 WTX

Not to be outdone, Konectbus ADL Enviro400 646 LX09 FCD made appearance, still in its former Costessey Park and Ride livery.

An unidentified Sanders East Lancs bodied Scania Omnidekka also passed through Castle Meadow's snowy scene.

Later First Eastern Counties Dennis Trident 33152 LR02 LXL was also to be seen to be in service as was 33166 LR02 LYD

My thanks to Dan for all the photos - especially the snowy ones.