Monday 29 April 2024

Town Wander

I had a quick wander around Great Yarmouth just before lunchtime today with First's Caister Road depot being the first port of call. Outside on the forecourt, with two local StreetLites for company, was First Norwich branded Volvo B9 36193 BN12 JYT, now a Great Yarmouth bus.

Observed in the rear yard was withdrawn Wright Gemini bodied Volvo B7TLs 37021 YJ06XKK, 37024 YJ06 XKN and 37154 YN06 URH. Also present there was Coastal Clipper Volvo B9 37567 AU58 ECF.

At Beach Coach Station was Peelings Coaches, Plaxton bodied Volvo B12M JJZ 9130 carrying the name Norfolk Mardler. It was new to Lakeside of Ellesmere as YN56 ORZ in January 2007


Sunday 28 April 2024

Reepham Road Visit

Ashleybus444 contacted me on X, formerly Twitter, to tell me that Volvo Olympian N368 LPN was at First's Reepham Road outstation in Norwich earlier today.

It was first located in Great Yarmouth in 2015 stored/hidden at the rear of Beach Coach Station behind the toilet and admin block. (see photo) Then in Stagecoach colours it was formerly with Stagecoach Kent as fleet number 16368. It had been purchased by a local charity for conversion into use a shelter/SOS type vehicle.

Also at the outstation was recently withdrawn Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban 66976 KX05 MGZ plus a few other out of use single deckers.

My thanks to Ashley for the photos


Friday 26 April 2024

New Vehicles For Angies

There has been three recent additions to the Lowestoft-based Angie's Tours fleet. They include an Optare Solo (pictured) a 31 seat King Long plus a 59 seat Neoplan.

The first mentioned is a Solo M920 which has the special registration of PC05 PCC which was new to PC Coaches of Lincoln in March 2005. Details of the other two vehicles will be provided as soon as we receive them.

My thanks to Robbie Collins for the information and photo.


Sizewell C Buses

One of the six Specialist Passenger Solutions StreetLites based at Lowestoft, intended to provide transport for the Sizewell C project, has appeared at First Great Yarmouth for possible servicing. Numbered 47805 in the First Eastern Counties fleet, SK17 HHA is pictured inside Caister Road depot by Roger Bellward.

It has been brought to my attention by Steve Blackburn that an article was released in September last year concerning the use of hydrogen-powered buses being trialled for the Sizewell C project. The Wrightbus double-deckers are to be part of a pilot scheme to see whether they would be suitable for transporting workers to and from the construction site. Delivery is expected sometime this year and will be among the first hydrogen buses to be based in Suffolk. If successful it could lead to a fleet of 150 being based in the county. The complete article can be viewed HERE

My thanks to Roger Bellward for the use of his photo and to Steve Blackburn for details of the article.


Thursday 25 April 2024

Beeston's Volvo B8L In Norwich

Yesterday witnessed the rare appearance of a Beeston's double decker in Norwich which was recorded by our regular correspondent Dan High.

It was one of the operator's two recently arrived MCV Evoseti bodied Volvo B8Ls in the form of MUN 59N

My thanks to Dan for the photos of it on a school hire passing Castle Meadow.


First Essex Arrival

An unusual arrival at First Eastern Counties’ Great Yarmouth depot yesterday was a First Essex Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL

New to First Bristol in November 2008, 37621 WX58 JYG is at Caister Road for an engine rebuild.

My thanks to Cameron Robinson for the use of his photos.


Wednesday 24 April 2024

Recent Re-Registrations

Norfolk Coachways of Besthorpe have recently re-registered both of their Plaxton Panther bodied Volvo B9Rs obtained from Greys of Ely during August 2022

URZ 1309 and RXZ 3099, which both feature on the home page of their website, are now B21 NCW and B22NCW respectively.

My thanks to Martin Bott for the information and photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 24th April 2024

For the second consecutive week there are no entries of  'local' interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full report will be available to be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 23 April 2024

Norwich Exiles in Use

David King reports from Cornwall that the three Volvo B9TL's arriving from First Norwich over a week ago quickly entered service with little or no attempt to remove any branding initially. The first photos show 36166 BD11 CFK at Camborne with efforts being made to remove the rear branding.

Similar 36170 BD11 CFP was also viewed in Camborne yesterday on the T3 service from Newquay to St Ives

36175 BD11 CFZ is pictured just east of Helston earlier today with the U4 Falmouth Moor to Penzance service still with Blue Line branding.

The remaining seven are yet to arrive from Norwich as they are still in use with First Eastern Counties.

My thanks to David for his report and photos which are copyrighted


Monday 22 April 2024

Dolphin Addition

A recent arrival at Dolphin Autos in Norwich is BMC Condor YK06 DNU, last with Harpers Coaches of Derby.

It was new to First Yorkshire in June 2006 as their 68632 and subsequently moved to CT Plus of Yorkshire

My thanks to Dan High for the photo.


Sunday 21 April 2024

Reepham Road Outstation

My son's Sunday football match took me to Norwich this morning and we passed the recently opened outstation for First Norwich on Reepham Road. It is currently home to the Driver Training vehicles, Contract vehicles and some recently withdrawn from the fleet.

First up are Driver Trainers 66840 MX05CGE & 66881 MX05CKP, also just visible is 69033 SF55UBT.

Next are recently withdrawn Volvo B7RLE's 66987 KX05MHV and Heritage liveried 66985 KX05MHO.

Volvo B9TL 36269 BG12YKB is used for contract work and seen above alongside withdrawn 32100 LT02ZCJ.

Finally another withdrawn Volvo B7RLE , 66980 KX05MHJ once of the Yellow line fleet.

All photos were taken through the fence from the public car park.


Saturday 20 April 2024

Converted Deckers Arrive For Clipper Duties

Late last week two newly converted open top double deckers arrived at First Great Yarmouth’s Caister Road depot.

They were Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TLs 37066 YK57 EZV and 37065 YK57 EZU and have received their Coastal Clipper liveries with branding yet to be applied. This summer’s services commence on Saturday 4th May.

My thanks to Roger Bellward for the use of his photo


Friday 19 April 2024

BorderBus MOT Prep

Mark Doggett also called in at Go-Coach premises at Swanley today where he found 'new' BorderBus Scania LX59 CNO undergoing MOT prep

Thanks for the photo Mark


Ensign Arrivals

Mark Doggett was at Ensignbus at Purfleet earlier today and observed five former First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL's present

They included ex Great Yarmouth 37022 YJ06 XKL, 37023 YJ06 XKM and 37174 SF07 FDE plus ex Lowestoft 37060 YJ06 XMM.

You may have noticed that 37022 has returned from BorderBus and has been replaced there by another ex Great Yarmouth decker 37150 YN06 URD. The fifth example is former Norwich 37026 YX06 XKP

My thanks to Mark for the photos and update


Thursday 18 April 2024

Mulleys' Latest arrival

Another new addition to the Mulleys' fleet is this Plaxton Panther. YN69 LCM, Toby Cullum took a photo of it freshly out of the paint shop.

He has also provided a better photo of the recently repainted Switch Metrodekker YJ23 EKO.

My thanks to Toby for the photos.


Wednesday 17 April 2024

Sunbeam's Service 1B

On a bright Monday morning on 8th April, Hevingham based Sunbeam Coaches Bluebird bodied Fiat Ducato type YX60 CLF is captured about to make the right turn from The Street onto Wickmere Road at Matlaske while working the first Monday circuit on Monday & Friday only service 1B Aylsham Circular.

In the second shot, YX60 CLF is captured on Regent Street in the village of Wickmere on 12th April while also working the Aylsham Circular service 1B. The route is one of a number of revised services introduced with the support of Norfolk County Council to replace similar services previously provided by Feline Executive Travel of Catfield.

Vehicle YX60 CLF was delivered new to Middlesbrough based Ayresome Community Transport during November 2010 and later passed to Feline in November 2019. It subsequently received their cherished plate ET06 FET in August 2021 and presumably reverted to its original registration prior to joining Sunbeam.

My thanks to Stephen Purkiss for the use of his photos together with the detailed information.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 17th April 2024

There are no entries of  'local' interest in today's East of England Traffic Commissioner's Notices and Proceedings Report. However, the full report will be available to be viewed here soon.


Tuesday 16 April 2024

Last Journeys

Two Coastal Reds liveried Volvo B7TL/ Wright Eclipse Geminis left First Great Yarmouth's Caister Road depot earlier today for their last journey to Ensignbus at Purfleet in Essex

They were 37023 YJ06 XKM and 37150 YN06 URD. The former is seen on Middleton Road in Gorleston in October 2021 whilst the latter is pictured on Church Lane also in Gorleston in August 2021

My thanks to first Great Yarmouth for the information.


Monday 15 April 2024

Norwich Sightseeing Tours Cease

After more than twenty years of providing tourists and locals trips around the fine city, Norwich's Sightseeing Tours have ceased their services immediately.

Following the passing of Awayadays and City Sightseeing Norwich operator David McMaster, the service is no longer able to run tours and private hire. In its time the group provided free vintage bus rides at Christmas raising money for charity.

Meanwhile some of the existing fleet has transferred to Ensignbus at Purfleet where photos of them were taken by Mark Doggett. Private bookings using the original fleet will still be available but will now be operated by a separate company - Norfolk Vintage Bus Hire

My thanks to Mark for the use of his photos


BorderBus Observations

Seen earlier today at the BorderBus premises in Beccles was Go East Anglia's Scania OmniCity 851 AO57 EZL in Hedingham's colours - on loan due to a decker shortage.

As many of you may know, it was previously based in the area being new to Anglianbus in February 2008 when it received fleet number 503. It is shown here in Gorleston High Street in July 2016 following Anglianbus fleet renumbering it to 551.

Also in the yard (or nearby) was Galloway's Volvo B7TL / East Lancs Myllennium Viking PO54 ACY and former First Volvo B7TL 37022 YJ06 XKL.

My thanks to Steve Blackburn for his report and photos.


Sunday 14 April 2024

More Withdrawls for First

The last Coastal Reds Volvo B7TL in use has been withdrawn this weekend, 37154 YN06URH is the final B7 to be taken out of service to be replaced by Norwich based B9TL's.

         37154 pictured shortly after repaint into Coastal Reds livery back in August 2021.

Another two Volvo B7RLE have also been withdrawn at Norwich, 66985 KX05MHO & 66987 KX05MHV have been displaced by the Electric Kites.

66985 pictured in Castle Meadow back in April last Year.

 Thanks as always to First for the information.


Withdrawn ALX400s At Ipswich

John Podgorski has supplied a photo of First Eastern Counties B7TL/ALX400s 32652 AU05 MUP and 32479 AU53 HJV at Ipswich depot after their withdrawal. It was taken on the 11th April

Thanks for the photo John


Saturday 13 April 2024

Lowestoft Rail Replacement

Rail replacement bus services are in use this weekend due to track renewal work between Ipswich and Lowestoft.

Two local operators were noted today providing services with Angie's Tours and Belle Coaches vehicles appearing at Lowestoft rail station. The former were employing their Van Hool bodied DAF YD02 RCU whilst the latter were utilising their Setra LIL 9715.

My thanks to Lowestoft Central Project for the photos.


Friday 12 April 2024

Norwich To Cornwall

Earlier today three First Norwich Blue Line Volvo B9 TL/ Wright Eclipse Geminis left for a new life in Cornwall

The trio, comprising 36166 BD11 CFK, 36170 BD11 CFP and 36175 BD11 CFZ, were observed at Reading Services by Antony Shaw

My thanks to him for the use his photo.


BorderBus First!

It's been a little quiet on the blog over the past few days as I have spent time away with family in Gloucestershire. However, I will post the information I have previously received retrospectively following today's report

Yesterday I received information that a former First Great Yarmouth double decker was residing at the BorderBus premises in Beccles. It was identified as Volvo B7TL /Wright Eclipse Gemini 37022 YJ06 XKL still in its Coastal Red colours.

I contacted Andrew Pursey at BorderBus who tells me that they had purchased another Scania double decker from Ensign which should have been delivered this week to go into to service on the 15th April. This would release a single decker for use on the revised 521 service. However, Ensign was unable to get the vehicle through its MOT in time so sent the ex First Yarmouth vehicle as an interim replacement.

The Scania OmniCity is still at Ensign and has already been repainted into BorderBus livery. It has been identified as LX59 CNO; similar models are already in the fleet.

My thanks to Andrew for the information and photos of the Scania fresh from repaint.


Thursday 11 April 2024

Mulleys' Switch Colour

One of Mulleys' two Switch Metrodekkers, YJ23 EKO, has gained the operator's colours following a repaint. The twosome were new to the company in March last year

My thanks to Toby Cullum for the photos.


Wednesday 10 April 2024

Gwent Vales Travel

Whilst on my short break in Gloucestershire I visited Dursley which has my wife's family connections and I couldn't help looking in at the 'bus station' !

Gwent Vales Travel Wrightbus bodied Scania L94UB WX06 JXT (ex Cardiff Bus) was waiting to operate the 62 service to Thornbury earlier. The 8th April was the first day out with their new route, operated on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council, Route 62 from Dursley to Thornbury.

I chatted to the driver who was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic plus I welcomed the shelter from the rain! (which persisted for most of the day). Apparently the operator was 'absolutely blown away by the support from everyone that travelled with' them on the route.

Thanks for the chat driver and wish the business well in its new venture