Wednesday 28 February 2024

Service Alterations Registered ~ 28th February 2024

Just the one item of interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

High Suffolk Community Transport of Mark Soham, Woodbridge is to cease operating its service 10 between The Old Crown, Eye Road in Kenton and Hamblin Road in Woodbridge from 30th April 2024.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here.


Monday 26 February 2024

Improved Bus/ Rail Links

Steve Hewett of the East Norfolk Transport Users Association (ENTUA) has provided the following press release. ENTUA has campaigned for better bus and rail links for a number of years.

'A new project will get underway in Great Yarmouth next month to improve connections between the rail station and local bus services as part of Norfolk County Council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

Work which is due to start from Monday (4 March) will see a new bus stop lay-by with a shelter and real time passenger information constructed on the eastern (southbound) side of A149 Acle New Road between the station access road and the Vauxhall roundabout. As well as pavement widening to create a new section of foot/cycleway and real-time passenger information installed within the rail station to direct people to the improved bus services.
Buses frequent the station on rail replacement duties. This is ADL Enviro 400 LX57AXJ then with Completely Coaches carrying out such a duty in February 2022. (Source: Grahame Bessey)
Accessibility improvements will also be carried out to the existing bus stop on the opposing carriageway (northbound) side of A149 Acle New Road between the station access road and Fuller’s Hill roundabout.

Works are expected to last for up to 11 weeks with a lane closure in place on the outbound side of the Acle New Road for the duration of works but all traffic management will be removed during the Easter holidays and May Day weekend.

Funding for the project is through the county council’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which was awarded nearly £50m from the Department for Transport (DfT) to improve bus services and infrastructure facilities throughout the county, including in Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth.

For full details of the project, including a public information notice with details of traffic management for the work, visit

Thanks Steve

Sunday 25 February 2024

Angie's Arrival

The latest coach to arrive at Lowestoft-based Angie's Tours is Yutong GT12 Y7 PJO previously with PC Executive Coaches as Y80 PCC. It was new to Hill of Melton Mowbray in January 2020 as YK69 WJG.

My thanks to Robbie Collins who tells me that the operator's website has also been revamped.


Friday 23 February 2024

First Cabriolet Departs

Further to our posting of some ten days ago, the first open top cabriolet has now left First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot.

Reported on social media as being destined for Wales, 37059 YJ06 XML departed on tow earlier this afternoon. It will shortly be followed by similar 37057 YJ06 XMH. (Update: to First Cymru to possibly replace their ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TLs 32012 W812 PAE and 32013 W813 PAE). Meanwhile speculation continues on their replacements.

In other news, three double deckers are currently off the road. They include 36285 LX59 DBU awaiting a new gearbox and 37570 AU58 ECT with a rear axle problem. The third is 36287 LX59 DBY with electrical issues.

My thanks to First for the information.


Thursday 22 February 2024

More Withdrawals

With new Electroliners arriving almost daily at First Eastern Counties some of the old timers are being retired at First Norwich.

The latest are Wright Eclipse Gemini 37148 YN06 URB and Plaxton President 32214 LT52 WTX. The former moved from South Wales in the summer of last year and is pictured by Dan High at Castle Meadow in Norwich about to leave for the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital in July of that year.

The President was permanently based at Great Yarmouth in its Barbie livery for a number of years until late 2016. It is seen here on Alexandra Road in the town working the service 2 to Barrack Estate

In the autumn of 2018 it was re-liveried and later made appearances in the town with First Norwich branding with Grahame capturing it leaving Caister Road for the 6 service to Bradwell in April 2021.

My thanks to Dan and Grahame for the use of their photos.


Wednesday 21 February 2024

Service Alterations Registered ~ 21st February 2024

Just the one item of interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

Sanders Coaches of Hempstead Road Business Centre in Holt has received consent for a new operating centre at 58 Bessemer Road in Norwich with twelve vehicles authorised.

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here.


Tuesday 20 February 2024

End Of The Road For Welsh's Coaches

Another long established coach operator is calling it a day after some 57 years of trading. The business was established following the current owner's parents winning the football pools in September 1964!

His father worked for a coach operator doing some occasional driving and in 1967 he set up Welsh’s Taxi and Private Hire Service, running taxis at the weekends. The West Yorkshire-based business prospered and a year later a Ford Transit minibus was acquired leading to the established operator of today.

Over the last twelve months there has been at least two members of the small Welsh's Coaches fleet visiting Great Yarmouth - laying over at the town's Beach Coach Station. The first photo shows VDL Futura W25 HOL in May 2023 whilst the second features Mercedes-Benz Tourismo W6 HOL as a more recent visitor in November last.

It is expected that the operator will close in June.


Monday 19 February 2024

Wrights' Re-Registration

Hoveton-based Wrights Coaches has recently re-registered one its coaches to conform with its other PTS registrations. The Norfolk operator's Mercedes-Benz Tourismo BN17 JUV now carries the W30 PTS plate as from Friday.

My thanks to Matthew Wright for the information and the artistic photo. The latest fleet list is available here.


Friday 16 February 2024

'Early' Activity

Being a retiree there's no immediate rush to rise from my slumbers early in the morning! However, that can be to my detriment as that means that I can miss some of the early workings.

This morning provided some evidence of that, although Tim Miller was in Great Yarmouth to witness a couple of such operations. The first was the visit of BorderBus loanee ADL Enviro400 MMC YY73 TGZ on the 580 service from Harleston. It departed shortly after with a return journey to Bungay.. Fortunately there are more appearances on the route later today.

Around the same time Sanders Coaches' Volvo B7RLE / MCV Evolution 533 SW63 TAV arrived at Market Gates on the 07:15 service 6 from North Walsham.

My thanks to Tim for the information and photos


Thursday 15 February 2024

BorderBus Demonstrator

On Tuesday I received a message from Andrew Pursey at BorderBus advising that ADL Enviro400 MMC YY73TGZ had arrived at the depot for demonstration purposes until 26th February.

He added that it would have its first outing today working the 146 route between Norwich and Southwold and I caught up with it at South Lowestoft Retail Park on the 11:20 from the city. It later appeared on the SJL5 Sir John Leman High School to Carlton Colville service.

My thanks go to Andrew for the 'heads up' and to Tim Miller for details of its later use.


Wednesday 14 February 2024

Cabriolets On The Move

Two of First Great Yarmouth's open top cabriolets have reverted back to their original registrations prior to transfer elsewhere.

Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs 37057 YJ06 XMH and 37059 YJ06 XML were caught on camera earlier today at Caister Road depot by Roger Bellward destined for an undisclosed location.

My thanks to Roger for the photos


Service Alterations Registered ~ 14th February 2024

Just the one item of interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report.

It is from the west of the area and concerns the cancellation of Jonathan Joplin's (C Peelings & Sons') PE1 service between High Field Car Park in Fakenham and Kings Lynn Bus Station from 12th March 2024

The full Notices and Proceedings Report can be viewed here


Monday 12 February 2024

Lowestoft Loans

Three double deckers were on loan to First Great Yarmouth today from Lowestoft including Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32651 AU05 MUO. It is pictured at Caister Road prior to its return later this evening.

The others were Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL's 36186 BN12 JYJ and 37577 AU58 EDF


Sunday 11 February 2024

Sanders' Latest Enters Service

Kieran Smith reports that Sanders Coaches' recent addition to the fleet entered service on Friday.

MCV eVolution bodied Volvo B7RLE SW63 TAV is now a regular vehicle on the operator's X6/6A routes to Great Yarmouth. Number 533 has been named Norfolk Harnser and has now received fleet names etc.

My thanks to Kieran for the information and photo.


Saturday 10 February 2024

Norwich Bus Station Disruption

Regular correspondent David Slater visited 'Norwich yesterday and saw that there were some road works going on at the top end of the bus station meaning that when arriving the buses and coaches cannot enter the bus station from Queens Road. They can however still leave by this road. I have no idea how long the work has been going on or how long it will last.

Having regularly watched and photographed the Megabus coaches running non-stop on the A11 at Barton Mills for quite a while, I had often thought about a ride on one. So yesterday I made a trip from Cambridge to Norwich and back (1055 ex Cambridge/1405 ex Norwich).

The coach was Prospect Coaches PR19 STU, an Irizar i6 integral new in June 2019, and is seen in the photo of same in the bus station along with the road closure barriers etc.'

My thanks to David for his contribution and photo


Friday 9 February 2024

Another President Goes

Dan High tells me that another First Norwich Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TL has been taken out of service.

32112 LT02 ZDL was new in April 2002 and First Eastern Counties acquired it from the then CentreWest of London in February 2010.

My thanks to Dan for the information and photo.


Thursday 8 February 2024

Further First Activity

Former First Great Yarmouth stalwart 32205 LT52 WTL has been withdrawn at First Norwich. According to Bustimes, its last day of working was on the 2nd February when it was employed on the 21s between Old Catton and the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. The Plaxton President paid its last visit to the town in April 2023 when it received attention in the workshops for gearbox issues.

I also understand from First that Volvo B7TL /ALX400 32651 AU05 MUO is being returning to active duties.

My thanks to Dan High for the report on 32205 and to First for the information on 32651. Photo of 32205 courtesy of Grahame Bessey.


Wednesday 7 February 2024

BorderBus School Runs

With a half an hour or so to spare this afternoon I thought I would make my way to Carlton Colville to witness some of the school runs operated by BorderBus this afternoon.

I took up my position on Hollow Grove Way close to the junction with Beccles Road. Scheduled to arrive first was the SET Beccles School bus and I was hopeful that the Stephensons of Essex loaned decker might be working it. True enough Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Myllennium Viking PO54 ACY turned up in its Galloway livery

The second BorderBus working, some twenty minutes later, was Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 218 BX62 FOJ on the SJL5 from the Sir John Leman School in Beccles.

Following on six minutes later was Scania OmniCity 212 BB61 BUS on the BH2 service from Bungay High School, pictured stopping at Daffodil Walk.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 7th February 2024

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

First Eastern Counties is to amend the timetables of its X2 / X21, X22, 902 services between Lowestoft Bus Station and All Saints Green in Norwich from 25th February 2024

Sanders Coaches has altered the timetable of its 35B Swafield and Cromer route from 2nd January 2024

BorderBus has changed the timetables of two schools services. They are the BH1 from Kessingland to Bungay High School and the BH2 between Lowestoft and Bungay High School. The changes took effect on 4th January 2024

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


Tuesday 6 February 2024

More Withdrawals

First have withdrawn both Volvo B7TL /ALX400s 32651 AU05 MUO and 32654 AU05 MUW which moved to Lowestoft in mid-January. The former recently worked a 981 Beccles to Gorleston's East Norfolk Sixth Form College service as seen in the photo

Meanwhile, Coastlink liveried Enviro400 33803 YX63 LJF has received a new engine and had a new gearbox fitted. It is currently undergoing an MOT.
My thanks to First Great Yarmouth for the information


Streetdeck Repaint

Former First York Wright StreetDeck 35929 MF72 WBJ arrived in Ipswich on the last day of January freshly painted in its new Ipswich Reds livery. It was snapped today on the 65 route to Rendlesham on only its second day in service.

My thanks to Toby Cullum for the use of his photo


First Day In Service

Omar Atiallah noted that Simonds had a new '73' registered bus in service late yesterday afternoon. It was the first day in service of Volvo B8RLE / MCV eVoRa BV73 MSO and was employed on its service 2.

My thanks to Omar for the report and photo.


Monday 5 February 2024

Norwich Observations

Earlier today regular contributor Dan High was observing bus activity on Castle Meadow in Norwich.

His first photo shows one of Simonds tour coaches unusually involved in working service 2 between Norwich and Diss. The vehicle concerned was Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B8R YX68 UAC which was acquired from LA Travel of Kirkintilloch in Scotland.

New Electroliners continue to arrive with 36562 BK73 AHO entering service on Sunday. It was in use today on the Pink Line to Hoveton.

The Plaxton Presidents continue to soldier on with 32105 LT02 ZCU being employed on the 24 to Queens Hills.

My thanks to Dan for the use of his photos.


Sunday 4 February 2024

Saturday Pair

Passing Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth yesterday afternoon I surprisingly witnessed two vehicles present.

The coach was from Cousins of Stanway (Kings Tours) in the form of Mercedes-Benz Tourismo KC22 ABC - no doubt on a day trip from Essex.

Optare Solo YJ62 FZD from the Our Hire (Our Bus) fleet was also noted. The Acle-based operator acquired it from Bullock of Cheadle in November 2020.


Saturday 3 February 2024

Enviro 500 Departs

Loanee Enviro 500 38201 SN09CAU has left Caister Road and is heading back to Ensign. 

It has headed for Norwich for onward movement down to Essex with more Electric Deckers being collected for the city.

38201 pictured at Caister Road in November 2023.


Friday 2 February 2024

In Transit

A member of the Southern Transit fleet put in an appearance in Worthing earlier this morning on a schools service.

GB18 RML, an Enviro400MMC City purchased new by the Sussex-based operator, is normally reserved for private hire and other work. The vehicle is fitted with high back seats with seatbelts adorned in 'Routemaster' moquette, It had visited the East Anglia Transport Museum at Lowestoft for their Trolleybus Weekend in September 2018.

Photo supplied by my daughter.


BorderBus Loan

Beccles-based BorderBus has a Galloway Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Myllennium Viking double decker based at its Ellough yard. It was observed there last Wednesday (24th January) and yesterday by Steve Blackburn.

I understand from Andrew Pursey, at BorderBus, that the Wednesday was the day it was picked it up from Boreham. PO54 ACY, carrying fleet number 704, is currently on loan until half term. The operator recently had a vehicle shortage as a Volvo had gearbox issues (since resolved) and two Scanias were undergoing an MOT.

My thanks to Steve Blackburn for his report and to Andrew Pursey for the prompt response to my questions and for providing a photo.


Thursday 1 February 2024

32479 Becomes Last Of '53' Registered ALX400s

With the withdrawal of 32483 AU53 HKA at Norwich, the last of the FEC Transbus ALX400 bodied AU53 registered batch is 32479 AU53 HUV at Ipswich. 

Affectionately known locally as the Big Red, it was named after Ipswich enthusiast Jim 'James' Long in June 2017. My photo shows it in use on the 77 service at Undercliff Road West in Felixstowe on 6th May2018.

My thanks to Dan High for the information on 32483


First West Of England Exiles Face Withdrawal

Some of First Norwich's Volvo B9s, which arrived from Bristol and Bath in May and June 2022, are beginning to be withdrawn. Both 37403 MX58 DXP and 37415 MX58 DYG have already left for First Ensignbus at Purfleet.

One of the seven visited Great Yarmouth on 18th June 2022 on an X1 working and is pictured there by Will Drake outside Caister Road depot the following morning..

My thanks to Will for the use of the photo and to Dan High for the information.