Thursday 28 September 2023

ENSFC 878 Service Yesterday

Former Arriva Southern Counties Volvo B7RLE GN07 AVF worked yesterday afternoon’s 878 Gorleston East Norfolk Six Form College service to Alpington (about six miles (10 km) south-east of Norwich). The service is operated by Great Yarmouth - based Ambassador Travel and the Volvo has their fleet number 615.


Wednesday 27 September 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 27th September 2023

A couple of items of local interest appear in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Our Hire, operating as Our Bus, has amended the timetable of its 33 North Walsham to Cromer service from 4th September 2023.

Konectbus is to alter the route and timetable of its 84 Harleston to Norwich Bus Station service, via Long Stratton, from 30th October 2023.

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


Tuesday 26 September 2023

Tuesday Tour

Today's Tuesday Tour began with a shower and a delayed start. This meant I missed the opportunity to snap two Caledonian Travel coaches which passed me on South Quay.

On Marine Parade, outside the Sea Life Centre, were assembled two coaches with the leader being Gardiner NMC of Ashington's Van Hool TX16 Acron 668 VFK. It was new as WJ16 KCO to Storbrook (Premier Travel) of Crawley and then with Chariot Coaches of Isleworth.

Behind was Readybus Executive Coachline's Scania K410EB4 RD18 BUS. The operator is based in Oxfordshire.

At the New Beach Hotel was Alfa Travel's Mercedes Benz Tourismo 126 BV20 HNK plus YD19 HHM a Yutong TC12 from the Lundwood-based fleet of KM Travel.

Meanwhile, only one vehicle was noted at Beach Coach Station - Gibbon Holidays' Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BU16 GZF


Monday 25 September 2023

EATM Trolleybus Weekend

The annual trolleybus weekend held at the East Anglia Transport Museum attracted a few interesting visiting vehicles.

The first photo shows former Maidstone Corporation 26 YKO, a Massey bodied Leyland PD2, alongside similar ex Lowestoft Corporation PBJ 2F.

Patrick Burnside turned up with his preserved Eastern Counties Bristol L5G bus with its Eastern Coach Works body. Registered KNG 711 it ran with fleet number LL711

An unusual attendee was mobile London Transport Workshop/ Emergency Tender ALM 842B which was based on a Leyland Titan PD3A/1. She was built in 1964 with a Mann Egerton body,

Also visiting was Southern Transit's former London Transport AEC Routemaster RML2760 SMK 760F and preserved AEC Reliance HLP 10C with Harrington bodywork in the livery of Premier Travel of Cambridge.

My thanks to Tim Major for the information and photos


Sunday 24 September 2023

Garden Visitor

Regular correspondent Tim Miller paid a visit to Highway Nurseries on the A146 road just outside Norwich this afternoon

On arrival he found a member of the Kent-based Guideline Coaches fleet in attendance on a Pennywood Tours trip. The organisation specialises in a range of day outings and holidays, mostly based around Garden visits.

My thanks to Tim for the photo


Friday 22 September 2023

Electroliner On Test Runs

Recently delivered Wright StreetDeck Electroliner BK73 AEV has been appearing on the First Norwich Red Line route between Longwater Retail Park and Heartsease Estate in the city.

It made its test runs on the route yesterday and Dan High also reports its use there this morning. Thanks Dan for the information and photo.


One Of Last Barbie Liveried Deckers Withdrawn

Another First Essex decker in the news is the withdrawal of ex First Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL/ Wright Gemini 32629 KP54 KAX last month.

KP54 KAX shortly after arrival in Great Yarmouth during June 2014
For some reason it was the one I always looked out for when it was allocated to Caister Road since it moved to the town from First Leicester in June 2014. It was off the road the following month for inspection repairs and had a new engine fitted at First Norwich in May the following year.

It was a resident at First Great Yarmouth until the end of August 2019 when it transferred First Essex being based at Colchester. The photo shows it in service in Colchester during September 2020. Its withdrawal came in early August which meant it was probably one of the last barbie liveried ones to be taken out of service.


Thursday 21 September 2023

First Essex Exile Continues In Service

First Essex branded Volvo B7TL / Alexander ALX400 32483 AU53 HKA continues to see use in Norwich today.

It is pictured on Castle Meadow earlier this morning by Dan High. Thanks for the pic Dan.


First Electric Bus In Norwich

The progress towards seeing electric buses in Norwich has started with the appearance of a Wright StreetDeck Electroliner in the city.

BK73 AEV was observed on Castle Meadow yesterday by Dan High who sent us a few photos of it on test /driver familiarisation workings. Whilst no fleet number was displayed I understand it is to be 36531. It also has lettering denoting that it is 'Funded by the UK Government'

So far six have been delivered; two are at Norwich whilst the others are at another 'undisclosed location'. A total of 59 are anticipated which have been allocated fleet numbers 36530 - 36588.

My thanks to Dan for the photos and to First Norwich


Wednesday 20 September 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 20th September 2023

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

Great Yarmouth-based Ambassador Travel introduced service 50 between Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College and Easton College in Norwich. Operating during college terms only, it commenced on 4th September 2023 and runs via Great Yarmouth, Caister, Ormesby, Hemsby and Postwick.

First Eastern Counties has changed the timetables of a number of services in the East Suffolk area from 4th September 2023:-
70/70A Old Cattle Market, Ipswich to  Turban Centre, Woodridge.
73/74 Woodbridge to Felixstowe.
972 Turban Centre, Woodbridge to Farlingaye School, Woodbridge.
975 Great Eastern Square, Felixstowe to Kesgrave High School.

The complete Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here.


Tuesday 19 September 2023

First's 20802 Withdrawn

The latest news from First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot is that Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B9R coach 20802 TFO 319 has been withdrawn. A replacement gearbox is needed..

It arrived as recently as 22nd August and has been mainly employed on the TS21 contract between Great Yarmouth and Thetford. 

My thanks to First for the information.


Today's Tuesday Tour

Our regular weekly tour of the holiday area of Great Yarmouth begins this week with a photo of Mercedes-Benz Tourismo YSU 196 from Edinburgh Coach Lines. Previously registered as BF16 XRM, it was heading towards me as I was lining up for the next two photos. I didn't need to have panicked as it parked just behind me!

Our second shot is of Parks of Hamilton’s Volvo 9700 LSK 819 in Caledonian Travel colours

Parked immediately in front was Prentice Westwood's Eclipse Holidays liveried Irizar i6 bodied Scania YSV 771 - formerly registered as YN14 PMU.

Passing the Marina Centre and heading south on Marine Parade was Gee-Vee Travel's Yutong TC12 GT17 GVT

At Beach Coach Station were two Mercedes-Benz Tourismos in the form of Caledonian Travel's BV22 WPN and Alfa Travel's 97 BU16 HBE with the latter enjoying a wash and brush up.

My thanks to Andrew Fakes for his help in updating this post


Wednesday 13 September 2023

Ambassador's Blue Solo

So far unreported here is that H Semmence's Optare Solo M950SL AU07 KMK has recently transferred to Ambassador Travel and carries fleet number 612.

It is still in the blue colour scheme which it has worn since its acquisition from Konectbus in June 2019. The Solo was new with Anglianbus in August 2007 which became part of the Go-Ahead Group in April 2012 and later renumbered into a common fleet numbering scheme as 951.

The Solo was working Ambassador Travel's 68 route between East Norfolk Sixth Form College and Brundall this afternoon.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 13th September 2023

A couple of items of local interest feature in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

First Eastern Counties has amended the route, start and finish point, stopping places and timetable of its 917/915 and 918 services between Sycamore Drive, Rendlesham/ Church Lane, Snape and Farlingaye High School from 4th September 2023.

Simonds of Bottesdale has altered the route and timetable of its 581 Diss Bus Station to Beccles Old Market Place service from the same date.

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


Tuesday 12 September 2023

Konectbus Arrival

A recent arrival at Konectbus is Alexander Dennis Enviro400 / Optare Olympus LX58 CWN which was observed by Dan High yesterday on the 5B service between Eaton and Stalham.

The decker was new to London General (a subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group) as their DOE1 in December 2008 and has become 648 in the Konectbus fleet

My thanks to Dan for the photo.


Monday 11 September 2023

Jubilee Coaches Update

Former driver Kevan Portas tells me that Rollesby-based Jubilee Coaches acquired a Kassbohrer Setra from Gold Hill Travel of Loughborough last month. New to Evobus of Coventry in July 2010, BK10 EKA had spent some time with Dean's Coaches of Ellistown in Leicestershire.

There have been two recent departures including YO54 DRX, formerly registered L555 JCR, which has gone to Semmence of Wymondham. The other was Dennis Javelin G210 UAS which I earlier posted as returning to previous owner Dan's Coach Travel of Stowmarket. (see Jubilee's Paramount Moves On - 9th August 2023)

My thanks to Kevan for the report and to Simon Moore for the photo.


Sunday 10 September 2023

Gorleston Pride

Gorleston's Pavilion Theatre is hosting its ‘Pride at the Pavilion’ festival today and First Eastern Counties are operating a free shuttle bus between Great Yarmouth's Star Hotel and the Pavilion.

First Norwich Pride Bus Volvo B9TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 36202 BN12 WOC is being employed on the shuttle seen outside the Star Hotel

The second photo shows the Pride bus arriving close to the old Gorleston Beach terminus with Chris Speed at the helm.


Friday 8 September 2023

32551 On The 8s

Since its move from Chelmsford on Sunday, First's Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 32551 SF54 OSO has been used daily, almost exclusively, on the 8s between Caister's Marram Drive and the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston.

Today has been no different as I observed it on one of the runs to the hospital in Gorleston High Street this afternoon.


Decker Returns To Old Route

An Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL was back on its first route today when purchased new by First Eastern Counties in late 2003. 32482 AU53 HJK was observed by Dan High working the 25 route between the University of East Anglia and Norwich Railway Station.

It was one of two First Essex deckers loaned to help provide extra cover on University work in mid July and 32482 has now had all references to First Essex removed - suggesting the move is now permanent. Meanwhile, the other decker, 32483 AU53 HKA, was noted on the 23A route between Longwater Retail Park and Heartsease with First Essex branding intact.

My thanks to Dan for the information and photo.


First Ipswich Visit

Stephen Tyrrell paid a visit to Ipswich yesterday and has sent in a couple of photos of unusual sightings.

His first is of First Eastern Counties 44599 YX08 HJF nearing the Old Cattle Market Bus Station being employed on the 79 service from Rushmere St Andrew. The ADL Enviro200 had only just recently been transferred from First Essex at Basildon.

The second shows a First Essex Volvo B9TL/Wright Eclipse Gemini at the entrance to Ipswich depot in the form of 37140 SN57 HCZ. The Olympia liveried decker, which has a rear advert for Adult Community Learning Courses, was there for an MOT and returned to Colchester the same day.

Many thanks to Stephen for his photos and to First Ipswich Photos and News Facebook group for the information supplied.


Wednesday 6 September 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 6th September 2023

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

Acle-based Ourhire, operating as Our Bus, has amended the route, stopping places and timetable of its 86 route between Beccles Old Market and Norwich Bus Station from the 3rd September 2023. It has also revised (or is revising) a significant number of its other services outside our local area from early September. Check its website for up to date information on these changes.

Neil & Andrew Kitchen have surrendered their operating licence for the use of premises at Suffling Road in Great Yarmouth with effect from the 31st August 2023.

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


Tuesday 5 September 2023

Tuesday Tour

Today's Tuesday tour saw many of those coaches highlighted in our Sunday evening visit to Great Yarmouth.

The first sighting was of a Bakers Dolphin Mercedes Benz Tourismo on South Beach Parade opposite the Wellington Pier. I did a double take as I thought it would be the one I saw on North Drive on Sunday but it wasn't! This was BU18 YMF whereas Sunday's sighting was of similar BU18 YMC.

Two Mercedes-Benz Tourismos were awaiting their customers outside the New Beach Hotel - Alfa Travel's BF23 CFA and Henshaw's HC22 HEN (Also seen on Sunday)

At Beach Coach Station two coaches were leaving with Alfa Travel's BN17 JCO leading Williams' BV10 ZKE to the exit (both seen on Sunday). This left Volvo B12B/Van Hool Acron DJ60 DJT on its own which was operated by Neath Coach Travel trading as DJ Thomas Coach Holidays.

On the tour round I was passed twice by P&O Lloyds Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BD18 TLV but couldn't get a photo due to driving at the time.


Monday 4 September 2023

Musical Chairs

Following yesterday's musical chairs, it hasn't taken long for the local newcomers to get involved in activities.

Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Gemini 32641 KP54 AZC is seen here in Norwich's Castle Meadow on the return 7 service to Great Yarmouth this morning whilst 32551 SF54 OSO has been on the 8s all day between Caister and the James Paget Hospital.

Jamie Clarke provides evidence of the safe return to Ipswich of 32653 AU05 MUV with a photo taken at the depot during yesterday afternoon. 32654 AU05 MUW also returned, but on the back of a tow truck!

My thanks to Dan High for the Norwich photo and Jamie for the Ipswich one.


Sunday 3 September 2023

Sunday Evening Sightings

A run along along Great Yarmouth's seafront and a visit to the town's Beach Coach Station this evening revealed four coaches with all of them being Mercedes-Benz Tourismos!

One of them seen was on the Palm Court Hotel's overflow car park on North Drive. It was Bakers Dolphin's BV19 YMT normally based at Weston-Super-Mare.

Two coaches were present at the Coach Station in the form of Henshaw's Executive Travel's HC22 HEN and Alfa Travel's 100 BV17 JCO.

Meanwhile, back on North Drive, near the Britannia Pier, was Camborne-based Williams Travel's BV10 ZKE, a coach new to Clarke's of Lower Sydenham.


Friday 1 September 2023

Two In & Two Out

I understand from sources at First Great Yarmouth that the two First Ipswich exiles 32653 AU05 MUV and 36254 AU05 MUW are returning to the Suffolk town on Sunday. The Alexander Dennis ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs have spent eleven months at the seaside having arrived on the evening of the 29th September last year.

They are being replaced by First Essex Volvo B7TL / Wright Eclipse Geminis 32551 SF54 OSO and 32641 KP54 AZC from First Chelmsford, both in Olympia livery.

My thanks to First for the information and photo which I had previously intended to publish later in the week due to data confidentiality.