Monday 31 July 2023

Norfolk Coachways Addition

Regular contributor David Slater was at Fiveways Roundabout during the weekend when caught a Norfolk Coachways' vehicle on rail replacement duty. Unfortunately it's only the rear of the coach as he was Photographing another vehicle as it came into view.

Perusing the Norfolk Coachways website he ascertained it was a recent addition to the fleet in the form of Optare Tempo X1200 PXZ 2744. The coach is no newcomer to the area as it was new to Konectbus in June 2005 as their 405 MX05 ELJ. It was acquired in February this year.

My thanks to David for the information and photo


Saturday 29 July 2023

Essex Airlink

Last Monday, the 24th July 2023, Adam Roggerman sampled First Essex's new Airlink service X20 which runs from Stansted Airport to Colchester via Great Dunmow, Braintree, Coggeshall and Marks Tey.

Employed on the route are former Chelmsford Park & Ride vehicles which transferred to Basildon last year and have now moved on to Colchester. The five buses concerned are Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs 67189-93 SN66 WKK/L/M/O/P

My thanks to Adam for the report and photo


Friday 28 July 2023

Sandringham Flower Show

Wednesday 26th July was the date of the 140th Sandringham Flower Show and there was the usual interesting selection of coaches turning up. David Bell provides a selection of photographs.

Illustrated are Chet Coaches of Chedgrave; Ambassador Coaches of Great Yarmouth in Grand UK Holidays livery; Salec Travel ex-Dereham Coachways; Yutong of ICT Coaches of Norwich; Eagles of Castle Acre ex-Richard Taylor of St Ippolyts; Bova VDL of Eastons of Stratton Strawless.

There were also coaches from Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Leicestershire with the prize for the furthest travelled going to Edinburgh Coach Lines in Shearings livery. I suspect the last mentioned was that of YSU 196 which I observed at Beach Coach Station on the previous Tuesday.

My thanks to David for the photos.


Wednesday 26 July 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 26th July 2023

Some interesting entries in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

BorderBus retrospectively amended the timetable of its LAT2 service between Halesworth Rail Station and the Latitude site at Henham from 19th July 2023

First Eastern Counties has also retrospectively amended the route, stopping places and timetable of its 28/29/X29 services between St Stephen's Street, Norwich and Oak Street in Fakenham from 23rd July 2023.

OurHire, operating as OurBus, is to cancel its 85 Claxton to Norwich Bus Station service from 3rd September 2023.

An application for an operation licence has been made by The London Bus Company (Norfolk) Limited of Diss in Norfolk for an operating centre at Sco Ruston Hall near Coltishall for four vehicles.

Buckland Omnibus Company of Rendlesham near Woodbridge surrendered its operating licence on 17th July 2023.

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


Tuesday 25 July 2023

Tuesday Tour ~ 25th July 2023

The regular Tuesday Tour of Great Yarmouth seafront and Beach Coach Station netted seven coaches this morning

As usual we travel from south to north and the first coach we came across was Rowell of Prudhoe's VDL Futura XSY 405 parked up on South Beach Parade.

They were queuing up outside the New Beach Hotel on Marine Parade with two Alfa Travel Mercedes Benz Tourismos 126 BV20 HNK and 105 BU17JCZ at the front of the trio.

Next in line was Bland's Volvo B11R/ Jonckheere FP 7788 which was earlier with Parks of Hamilton as their LSK 504.

Passing me on Nelson Road North on my way to Beach Coach Station was P & O Lloyds's Mercedes Benz Tourismo BF23 CGX.

At the Coach Station itself was branded Mercedes Benz Tourismo YSU 196 from the Edinburgh Coach Line fleet. It was new as BF16 XRM.

The final and more interesting find was a visitor from overseas in Bova coach B-RC 9103. Operated by Berlin Rock Coaches of Germany, the vehicle contains a mixture of seating, kitchenette, relaxation areas together with sleeping accommodation plus a trailer in tow at the rear. Further details can be found on their website.


Monday 24 July 2023

Coach Services' New 88 Route

Coach Services began their new 88 service today with Volvo B8RLE/ MCV eVoRa BV23 NVC seen awaiting departure at Thetford Interchange late this afternoon. It runs every two hours between Thetford, Mundford, Northwold and Kings Lynn and it was BV23 NVC's first day in service.

My thanks to 'jdraves1' for the information and photo.


Norwich Bus Changes

New timetables changes in the Norwich area came into effect from today with the first noted by Dan High being First's new 21A route through the Fiddlewood Estate during off peak times on the Orange Line route from Old Catton to the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. The photo shows Wright StreetDeck 35163 SK65 PWF on the service this morning.

The next photo shows Konectbus newly introduced hourly off peak 30A service between Norwich City Centre and Drayton. Employed on it this morning was their ADL Enviro200 MMC 201 YX69NPF.

First Essex Volvo B7TL/ Alexander ALX400 32482 AU53 HJK has been retained to assist with the First Norwich changes and was observed on Red Line 23 route which is diverting due to the closure of Ketts Hill.

There continues to be the miss match of wrong coloured buses on the wrong routes by First and an example of that was Turquoise Line 13 branded Volvo B9 36172 BD11 CFV heading for Fakenham on the more frequent Yellow Line X29 service.

I'm indebted to Dan High for the photos and information.


Saturday 22 July 2023

Coach Services' 40 Ends

Regular correspondent 'jdraves1' tells me that from Monday Thetford based Coach Services will cease to operate its route 40 linking Thetford and Brandon with Kings Lynn.

It is be replaced by a new 88/89 service offering increased frequencies and later buses with further details now available on the Coach Services website

My thanks to 'jdraves1' for the information and photo


Friday 21 July 2023

UEA Graduation Shuttles

Courtesy of our Norwich correspondent Dan High, I am pleased to bring you photos of some of the buses in use on University of East Anglia Graduation Shuttles earlier today.

First up is First Norwich ADL Enviro400 MMC 34426 SN17 MTZ. The former Yellow Buses of Bournemouth decker is now a regular on the 510 Costessey Park and Ride

A number of First Ipswich buses have been helping out with the shuttles and this is Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32652 AU05 MUP.

A second Ipswich vehicle of the same type in use was 32479 AU53 HJV. Named James Long in memory of a local enthusiast, the vehicle is in Eastern Counties heritage livery with fleet number VA479.

As mentioned previously, First Norwich also has Ensign's Wright StreetDeck HEV SK18 TKY on loan with First fleet number 35322

Our final shuttle photo is that of another First Ipswich bus, Wright StreetDeck Micro Hybrid 35912 BN72 TVD.

Today was the last day of the UEA Graduation Shuttles with buses expecting to return to their normal duties. Thanks to Dan for the many photos


Wherry 100 Starts Monday

A quick reminder that Our Bus starts their Wherry 100 Service between Vauxhall Holiday Park and Great Yarmouth Seafront from this coming Monday 24th July 2023. The service also connects for rail services at the station.

My thanks to Steve Hewitt at the East Norfolk Transport Users Association for the promotional material.


Thursday 20 July 2023

Ex First Open Topper W905 VLN Moves On

On 8th June we reported on the First Eastern Counties arrivals at Ensign during May and one of them was partial open topper Dennis Trident 32905 W905 VLN. (Ensign Arrivals In May)

Ensign initially bought it hopefully to sell on to another operator but June's Ensign report states it as being disposed of to PVS of Barnsley which specialises in the dismantling of redundant buses and the exporting of engine units. So sadly it looks as though its end has come.

It was the first Cabriolet to operate the Great Yarmouth seafront service and was replaced by a former First Glasgow vehicle this year. It was taken out of service due to its age rather than its condition.

My thanks to Ross Newman for his monthly report and to Will Drake for his photo of the Trident's final departure from Caister Road on 26th May.


Wednesday 19 July 2023

Ensign Loan

There was the unusual sighting of a First Ensignbus London red liveried double decker parked on Castle Meadow in Norwich for most of this afternoon.

It was Wright StreetDeck SK18 TKY which was previously used as a demonstrator by London United as their WH45252. Ensign acquired it in 2021 primarily for filming work but it is also employed on schools services. It had been given fleet number EBS1972 reflecting the year in which Ensign was first established.

I speculated that it may be on hire from Ensign to assist with the increased First Norwich University work, which my contact at First Norwich confirmed. The First fleet number is 35322. My thanks to Harry Holmes for the photo and to First for their assistance.


First Essex Loans

With additional buses being required by First Eastern Counties in Norwich this week to cover extra University work the operator has hired two deckers from First Essex.

They are Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 32482 AU53 HJZ and 32483 AU53 HKA and both were in use on the 11 to Sprowston and Hethersett this morning.

A First Norwich decker was also off route with Orange Line branded Wright Streetdeck 35113 SO15 CUW on Red Line route 23A

All photos were taken this morning on Castle Meadow in the City Centre by Dan High to whom I am grateful.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 19th July 2023

Only a single entry of local interest is included in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Thompsons Coaches is increasing its authorisation to use eleven vehicles at its Charnwood Estate operating centre in Framlingham, near Woodbridge.

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


Tuesday 18 July 2023

Tuesday Tour

Our regular Tuesday tour of Great Yarmouth's seafront and Beach Coach Station returns after a break. However, unfortunately, I missed a couple of photos of vehicles on my trip round from Acklams and Coopers Tours.

Five coaches were observed with three of them from the Alfa Travel fleet with the first, BU16 HBE, ready to leave with a full load from the New Beach Hotel.

The other two Mercedes Benz Tourismos were at Beach Coach Station in the form of BV19 YFD and BV22 WTO together with Kearney's (Glenferry Coaches) Scania 162-C-9755 taking up residence once more!

The final coach there was Paul S Winson's Scania / Irizar i6 XX15 PSW


Monday 17 July 2023

Norwich Flyer?

Normally based at First Ipswich, Volvo B7RLE / Wright Eclipse Urban 69423 AU58 FFK found itself in Norwich today.

Dan High observed its use on First Norwich's Yellow Line 29 route for most of the day in its Felixstowe Flyers livery and branding. It is seen here in the City Centre on Castle Meadow. Thanks Dan.

Chris Speed responded to our Facebook post by saying additional buses are required in Norwich this week to cover extra University work.


Saturday 15 July 2023

First Essex Arrivals

Adam Roggerman has news of two new transfers to First Essex at Basildon. They are from First Glasgow's Blantyre depot and are 33981 SN65 OFW and 33991 SN65 OGG.

Both are in Urban 2 livery and have seen service on the 25 to Southend and the 300 to Chelmsford. Another is due for Basildon over the weekend in the form of 33992 SN65 OGH which is anticipated tonight. Chelmsford is to receive 33994-98 SN65 OGK/L/M/O/P


Friday 14 July 2023

Norwich Sightseeing Returns

On 3rd July it was announced that the popular Norwich City Sightseeing open-top bus would be suspended until further notice. This was as a mark of respect following the death of its proprietor David McMaster on the previous Saturday

The sightseeing tour is operated by Awayadays who used another open top bus one day last week to run a free service. It was former Southern Vectis Leyland Olympian K742 UDL and ran free of charge with no money being taken. My thanks to Dan High for the photo.

The tours restarted on Wednesday and are being run by Awayadays' loyal and dedicated team. It operates from April until October with nine stops and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.


Wednesday 12 July 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 12th July 2023

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

Our Bus is to operate a flexible bus service between The Staithe in Thurne to the Kings Head Public House in Acle on Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 17.00 pm excluding bank holidays. The new 72A service starts from 24th July 2023. The operator will also run an amended timetable on the Acle Area Flexibus / 71a, 73a services from the same date

is ceasing to operate its LAT1 service from Diss Railway Station to the Latitude Festival site at Henham from 19th July 2023. However, there will be services from Halesworth Station instead in addition to those from Southwold and Kessingland.

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


Rural Service To Be Reduced

Yesterday's Eastern Daily Press reported that a rural bus service to villages near Great Yarmouth is to be be reduced from September.

Our Bus will be cutting the 72A route between Martham, Hemsby and Acle by ceasing the 1.30pm and 4.30pm departures from the start of the next school term. Norfolk County Council says the route's existing timetable was said to be in "very little demand".

From September, a pre-booking service will be provided for the area as well as providing a connection for new villages, including Clippesby and Thurne.


Tuesday 11 July 2023

Lazarus 33821 Returns!

On the 12th June 2023 we reported that the July edition of Buses magazine disclosed the withdrawal of First Eastern Counties Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33821 YX63 LKL. (First Eastern Counties Enviro400 Withdrawn) This was due to the vehicle being involved in a road traffic accident resulting in severe damage the front of the Lowestoft-based decker which could not easily be repaired. This could have led to it being scrapped.

However, within days of our post the operator decided on repairs but we didn't post that information so as not to break confidentiality. The repaired bus returned to Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot this afternoon for inspection and is awaiting an MOT prior to entering service.

My thanks to Ryan for the photo.


Sunday 9 July 2023

At The Races

Paul Hawkins has provided photos of two former First Eastern Counties deckers in use on York Races shuttles recently.

Both Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Geminis AU07 DXT and AU07 DXS are now owned by Reliance Motor Services and are seen in use on the 197 to the railway station.

The North Yorkshire-based operator also has a third former First Eastern Counties vehicle in the form of AU07 DXX with all three having recently been acquired from First Potteries.

My thanks to Paul for the photos.


Saturday 8 July 2023

First Cymru Transfer

Recently collected from South Wales is First Cymru Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 37148 YN06 URB.

Dan High captured a photo of it being employed by First Eastern Counties on a Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital run in Norwich's Castle Meadow yesterday.

Thanks for the photo Dan


Friday 7 July 2023

Devil’s Dyke This Evening

A meal at Devil’s Dyke this evening and, whilst we were waiting for friends to arrive, Brighton & Hove’s Pride bus turned up.

Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 438 BF12 KXS terminated at the site prior to working the return 77 service to Old Steine.


Worthing This Afternoon

A couple of photos taken on our last full day in Worthing which may be of interest. The first is a visitor from Devon in the form of Daish’s Holidays’ Volvo B11R BV72 KOA.

A short time later, the Stagecoach South Pride bus 10894 YX67 VCG coincidently appeared as a Pride event takes place tomorrow in the resort. It was heading for Littlehampton on the 700 Coastliner service.


More Lowestoft Visitors

Three coaches were observed by Tim Miller at Belvedere Car and Coach Park in Lowestoft earlier today. Two were from Norfolk whilst the third was from Barnsley.

The two Norfolk representatives were Euroview Coachings’ Scania K410/ Irizar i6 YN17 OLW and Coach Services’ Plaxton Leopard bodied Volvo B9R YX15 OVC.

The South Yorkshire-based representative was Gee-Vee Travel’s Bova Futura GT08 GVT.

My thanks to Tim Miller for the report and photos.


Wednesday 5 July 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 5th July 2023

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

Holkham Holiday Parks has made an application for an operating centre for three vehicles at The Carrot Wash in Warham Road at Wells-next-the-Sea.

BorderBus has registered alterations to the routes and timetables of two of its Latitude services, LAT2 from Southwold and LAT4 from Kessingland, to take effect from 21st July 2023.

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


Tuesday 4 July 2023

Brighton Buses

Monday saw a trip to Brighton on Stagecoach South’s Coastliner 700 service which included a diversion around the city due to no eastern access to Churchill Square - where we usually alight. Instead we disembarked at Old Steine where I spent most of the afternoon.

The first photo, however, was taken in nearby St James Street where Brighton & Hove’s Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B9TL 468 BK13 OAN was at the stop about to leave on a Whitehawk 1 service.

Returning to the Old Steine, it was noticeable that the bendi-buses no longer operate the Universities 25 route having been replaced by double deckers. Here Brighton & Hove’s former GoAhead London Volvo B9 214 LJ61 NXE lays over before its next journey.

Other operator’s in the city include another Go Ahead subsidiary, Metrobus, with their Scania OmniCity 6968 YP58 UGJ on its way to Crawley Bus Station on the 271.

At the nearby Pool Valley Bus Station I witnessed the arrival of Worthing Coaches Scania/ Caetano BV72 XGF on the National Express 025 Brighton service.

Back at the Old Steine I was about to witness a number of Big Lemon movements; the first of which was ex Nottingham Community Transport Optare Solo M29EDV Green liveried YD63 VBM on its way to East Saltdean. Two of their Higer Steeds were the next to be observed in the form of BIG 822 (pictured) and BIG 839.

Finally, whilst I was not in position to get a photo it, I saw red Optare Solo YD63 VDA being towed past. I later found it to be Big Lemon’s which had been away from the operator for nine months. It was on its way back from Switch after being reported as being on test in Rotherham. It was reported on the Friends of PSV Circle’s Facebook page.