Tuesday 31 October 2023

Simonds Recent Arrival

Buried among the many emails in our spam box was a message from Peter Oakes who tells me that from 3rd of September this year Simonds have been operating a Saturday service from Bergh Apton to Norwich via Alpington given route number 86.

Saturday's allocation was ADL Enviro200 MX62 AWG which was new to Simonds in August. It is pictured stopping in Alpington in Norfolk.

My thanks to Peter for the report and photo.


Monday 30 October 2023

Electroliners Enter Service

Today saw the introduction of the new Wright StreetDeck Electroliners on First Norwich routes with at least nine entering public service and further examples appearing on driver training duties

The services they were employed on were the Pink, Blue, Orange and Red lines with the route number on the destination screen highlighting the relevant colour.

The photos were provided by our regular Norwich contributor Dan High and my thanks to him for the many he sent with those included in this post being only a small number of them.

Saturday 28 October 2023

J&M Preservations Update

Since our last J&M Preservations update, work has commenced on the recently acquired ex Halton Transport Dart 77 PX06 DWD.

It began with the removal of the bird mess and moss from the sides of the bus and the cleaning of all intact windows. The remaining hopper windows have been removed. Their replacement has been sourced from recently acquired donor ex Halton Plaxton Dart 18 PX55 EGV. The entire vehicle interior has been stripped of all useful parts and the body was sent to Trevor Wigley of Barnsley for scrap.

After having all the donor windows fitted, the opportunity was taken to test drive PX06 DWD on private land, away from the public highway. Further work continues.

The information has been sourced from J&M Preservations' Facebook page. Photo sources J&M Preservations and Christian Newsome


Thursday 26 October 2023

Ex First Great Yarmouth Decker In Yorkshire

A former First Great Yarmouth Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL has recently appeared on the roads of Yorkshire.

The last Barbie liveried bus at Caister Road, 32210 LT52 WTR, was taken out of service in October 2022 following gearbox issues. It was new to First CentreWest in October 2002 as their VTL210 and transferred to First Eastern Counties in May 2010.

It is now with Viscount Travel and Jamie Perks got a photo of it on loan to Yorkshire Buses working a Huddersfield - Storthes Hall Park service. It appears to be in a temporary paint scheme with all First decals and Barbie branding removed and now has a blue skirt. Note the 2210 fleet number!

The Volvo is owned by Eastern Bus Enthusiasts Group and, after more than £6,000 worth of extensive mechanical work and a new MOT, it has been placed on loan to operators to earn funding for the next stage of its restoration.

My thanks to Jamie for the photo and to LiamS for the heads up


Wednesday 25 October 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 25th October 2023

There are no 'local' entries of interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full Report can now be viewed here.


Tuesday 24 October 2023

First Electric Bus Launch

First Bus and Norfolk County Council were inviting the public to look around Norwich's new zero-emissions double deck buses at The Forum earlier today.

The 'Meet The Bus' event is in advance of the vehicles going into service in the city over the coming weeks and is part of a wider project to fully electrify the operator's Roundtree Way depot, replacing its diesel fleet with 70 electric vehicles by March 2024.

The buses appearing at the launch event were 36531 BK73 AEV and 36542 BK73 AFU although no fleet numbers were displayed

My thanks to our regular Norwich contributor Dan High who attended the event and sent a few photos for publication


Monday 23 October 2023

Angie's Rail Replacement

With rail structural works currently being undertaken at Wymondham requiring a four day blockade, Anglia Railways is replacing trains with buses between Norwich and Thetford all day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week.

One of the buses involved is Lowestoft-based Angie's Tours Scania N230UB OmniCity YN56 FAU which was observed in Norwich's Castle Meadow earlier today. It was acquired from Tyrers Coaches of Lancashire in April this year having been ex Nottingham City Transport 541 but was new to Reading in November 2006.

My thanks to Dan High for the photo.


Sunday 22 October 2023

Impromptu Visit To First Great Yarmouth Depot

With the return of former Great Yarmouth Transport's AEC Swift to First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road earlier today, those present were offered an impromptu tour of the depot by a member of the First staff.

Outside the front of the depot was ADL Enviro500 38201 SN09 CAU recently acquired from Ensignbus which was still carrying decals of former operators Nu Venture and First Kernow. Also behind and peeping out of the building, was Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B9R coach 20802 TFO 319.

Also inside were the many coloured examples of the Wright Gemini bodied Volvo fleet at Great Yarmouth. Here B7TL's 32641 KP54 AZC and 37022 YJ06 XKL are lined up with B9TL 37569 AU58 ECN

In the workshop receiving attention was Volvo B9TLs 37572 AU58 ECW and 36215 BJ12 VWX (the former seen back in service on Monday)

Among those outside in the yard was First Lowestoft's Volvo B9 37275 LK58 EDJ awaiting repairs.


Swift 85 Celebrates 50 ~ Sunday

Sunday was the second day of 50th birthday celebrations for ex Great Yarmouth Transport's AEC Swift 85 WEX 685M. As I said in the previous post it was spending the weekend in the town running on some of its old routes.

I first caught up with it on Crab Lane in Gorleston returning from Bradwell on the 18 with Jamie Vendy at the wheel.

It continued to Market Gates from where it then came back to Gorleston on the 3 for Yallop Avenue and is pictured in the High Street.

I beat it to the terminus at Yallop Avenue and got a photo of it there followed by chat with Jamie. Thankfully he promised to give me plenty of time for me to get a photo of its return via Beccles Road roundabout.

Unfortunately the trajectory of the sun wasn't playing ball so I had to settle for a picture of it on Beccles Road under the cover of a tree!

The final run was from Market Gates to South Denes and No 85 is pictured on South Beach Parade having passed the Pleasure Beach and Premier Inn

It was originally planned to terminate close to the Harbour's Mouth but, with South Denes Road closed to traffic from Hartmann Road southwards, the alternative destination of Nelson's Column was used instead. The photo was provided by Jamie Vendy

The Swift then returned to Caister Road depot where a celebratory cake was cut and very nice it was too!

My thanks to the Jamie for organising the day out and for bringing the bus back to visit its old haunts.


Saturday 21 October 2023

Swift 85 Celebrates 50 ~ Saturday

This year marks the 50th birthday of AEC Swift 85 WEX 685M being new to Great Yarmouth Corporation in October 1973. In 1986 Great Yarmouth Corporation was re branded as Great Yarmouth Transport which is the livery No 85 is now wearing.

No 85 on its first run from from Vauxhall Holiday Camp

Last year the Eastern Counties Bus Preservation Group was approached by the then owner of WEX 685M asking if it would be interesting in purchasing the bus and were fortunate in being able to do so.

Swift WEX 685M's arrival at Market Gates

To celebrate its anniversary the Group decided that No 85 should visit the town and be employed on routes it previously worked over during this weekend.

After runs to Caister, James Paget Hospital, Gorleston Beach and Barrack Estate
WEX 685M spends the night inside First Great Yarmouth's depot at Caister Road

Unfortunately, I was unable to be involved in the celebrations on the first day so Saturday's photos have been kindly provided by the Group with the consent of Jamie Vendy.


Friday 20 October 2023

Second Ensignbus Loanee

On Sunday Grahame reported that First Norwich would be gaining two Wright bodied Streetdecks on loan over the weekend from Ensignbus. (Ensignbus Loans for FEC - 15th October 2023). This was followed by Dan High's photo of the first loanee, 168 LX71 AOB, on a First Norwich Blue Line service in Norwich's Castle Meadow on Wednesday (Norwich Morning Sightings - 18th October 2023).

Earlier today, the second Ensignbus Wright SreetDeck 171 LX71 AOM (First fleet number 35702) was seen in Castle Meadow also on a Blue Line service heading for Bowthorpe.

My thanks again to a very wet Dan High for the photo.


Thursday 19 October 2023

Brighton Sightings

As my daughter was returning from a job interview in Brighton yesterday afternoon she took a few bus pics for me.

The first shows Seaford & District's AV19 X19 SEA laying over at Old Steine. The Alexander bodied Volvo B7TL was originally new to Dublin Bus in September 2000 as 00-D-40010.

The second photo shows Brighton & Hove's WrightDeck 938 BX15 ONP in Coaster livery on North Street. It is named after stage and film actress, singer, and dancer Dame Anna Eagle.

The final offering is of Brighton & Hove training vehicle 7951 PL51 LDK also seen on North Street. The Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL is named Ian Mills and previously saw service with Southern Vectis. It was new to London General and was Go-Ahead London Central's PVL251.

I am grateful to my daughter for the photos


Wednesday 18 October 2023

Service Alterations Registered ~ 18th October 2023

Just one local item to relate from today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

It concerns High Suffolk Community Transport of Woodbridge which is withdrawing the third Thursday of the month operation of its service 10 between The Old Crown, Eye Road, Kenton and Hamblin Road, Woodbridge from 1st November 2023. It will continue to run the service on the first Saturday of each month

The latest Notices and Proceedings Report will be available to view here soon


Norwich Morning Sightings

Dan High was observing activity in Norwich's Castle Meadow this morning and saw Ensignbus loanee 168 LX71 AOB on First Norwich Blue Line route between the Rail Station and the University. The Wright SreetDeck Micro Hybrid is numbered 35693 in the the First fleet

Also noted was Yellow Line's Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse Gemini 2 36267 BG12 YJZ masquerading as a Pink Line bus!

My thanks to Dan for the photos.


Wednesday Tour

Today's tour of the holiday area and the coach station in Great Yarmouth revealed a total of five coaches.

On Marine Parade, outside the New Beach Hotel, was Buckleys' Coach Tours Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BU18 YTG

The remaining four were located at Beach Coach Station and among them was another Tourismo from the Gibbons Holidays' fleet in the form of BU18 YMM

Berrys Coaches of Taunton were represented by WF17 DGO, a VDL FHD2-129.370 Futura 2.

The third coach was Bibbys of Ingleton's Van Hool EX15M, EX69 DAF, new to the company in November 2019.

Making yet another appearance was Kearney's (Glenferry Coaches) Scania 162-C-9755


Tuesday 17 October 2023

Tamworth Sunday

My thanks to Grahame for standing in for me whilst I had a long weekend break seeing family in Tamworth. Naturally I managed to sneak in a few photos of buses operating on the Sunday.

Two of them were of Arriva Midlands North Mercedes-Benz Citaros at Victoria Road Bus Interchange and the first, 3005 BJ12 YPO, is naturally in Arriva colours.

The next Arriva Citaro was in 'Midland Red' livery and is numeric neighbour 3006 BJ12 YPP which was difficult to photo in the low sun.

The final photo shows Stagecoach Midlands ADL Enviro200 36758 KX62 BVE


Sunday 15 October 2023

Ensignbus Loans for FEC

First Norwich is gaining two Wright bodied Streetdecks on loan from Ensignbus over the weekend.

168 LX71AOB has arrived with 172 LX71AOG arriving on Monday.

168 is pictured below in service with Ensign at Lakeside.

We are told that they are to help with an increase in contract work.

Many Thanks to David Oakley for the photo and First for the Information.

Photo Flashback 2020

Well its been a while since i have posted, Roy has been busy at blog HQ keeping you all up to date!

2020 was a different year for everybody and one which so many will want to forget. Public transport was still running on limited services and this a look back at some of the images captured during that time and afterwards.

A batch of Volvo B7RLE arrived with FEC from South Yorkshire, one vehicle which transferred caused much upset with the locals up North as it was Mainline Heritage liveried 69017 SF55UAK, it was put into service at Norwich before having a very short spell on the coast before engine issues put paid to its career here in October 2020.

Another vehicle which was also shortlived with FEC was Mini Dart 43486 SN55CXF which transferred to Lowestoft from Essex, photos of her in Suffolk were limited! Seen here in January 2021 (I know)

Ipswich based Volvo B7RLE 66987 KX05MHV was on loan at Yarmouth in October 2020 and is pictured on Beaconsfield Road working the 8 to Caister.

An unusual visitor for Rail replacement duties was Scania FJ03VVR from Eastleigh based operator Velvet. It was new to TM Travel in the Midlands before having a brief spell in preservation before being placed back in passenger use with Velvet.

 Finally with the introduction of the new Scania fleet of Excel deckers, older Enviro 400's were debranded and did appear as regulars on the 1/1A services for a while during Covid before they were rebranded for Coastlink services. 33819 YX63LKJ is pictured in Ormesby in April 2020 heading to Lowestoft on the 1 service now known as the Coastal Clipper of course.


Wednesday 11 October 2023

Six At Beach Coach Station

This afternoon six coaches were observed at Great Yarmouth's Beach Coach Station before the rain appeared.

Three were grouped together comprising Alfa Travel's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 126 BV20 HNK, Tamar Coaches' VanHool TX16 Alicron TC15 HOL and Wheelers Travel's VanHool J3 WTL

Middletons Tours of Tamworth were represented by P24 MTL another VanHool but a TX17 Astron. It was originally registered YD14 GFO and new to Parrys of Cheslyn Hay.

The remaining two coaches were Mercedes-Benz Tourismos from the Caledonian Travel fleet. In the company's usual colours was NH18 SGH, formerly with National Holidays.

The other was silver/grey liveried BV22 WUM and was previously with Shropshire operator Elcock Reisen which was placed into administration in late August after 95 years.