Friday 31 May 2024

Simonds' Withdrawals

Regular contributor Omar Atiallah tells me that Simonds of Bottesdale has has taken three of its vehicles out of service.

The first is ADL/Transbus Enviro300 SN06 BOV which joined the fleet from Suffolk Norse by late summer of 2022. It is seen here on Norwich's Castle Meadow during February last year

The other two are Caetano Levante bodied Volvo B9Rs SIA 488 and SLK 886. The former was previously FJ11 GMZ and was acquired from Edwards of Llantrisant in November 2019. The latter was ex FJ11 MLE which joined the fleet a month later and is pictured in St Stephen's Street in Norwich in November 2021.

My thanks to Omar for the information


Thursday 30 May 2024

Wednesday At The Beach

Had to visit Great Yarmouth earlier today and made a point of looking in at the town's Beach Coach Station around lunchtime where I found three coaches.

Two were Mercedes-Benz Tourismos from the Alfa Travel fleet in the form of A143 BF23 CFL and A148 BF24 AOW (pictured).

Also present was Felixstowe Travel's M40 FXO, a 2017 Volvo B8R with Sunsundegui SC5 bodywork.


Wednesday 29 May 2024

This Morning At Ensign

Mark Doggett looked in at Ensignbus' premises in Purfleet earlier today and found a couple of buses which may be of interest.

The first photo shows a former First Great Yarmouth Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL which has been converted into a driver training vehicle. 37023 YJ06 XKM is about to be transferred to West Thurrock-based Road Train

Another similar decker in Coastal Reds livery was present in the form of ex 37154 YN06 URH. This confirms the suspected destination when seen by Jon on a trade plate in Lowestoft on 15th May

My thanks to Mark for his report and photos


Lowestoft Loan

Currently on loan at First Great Yarmouth is Lowestoft's Alexander Dennis Enviro200 44454 YX09 HKO. Is is pictured here by Cameron Robinson on the recently introduced 3 service at Burgh Castle.

My thanks to Cameron for the use of his photo


Service Alterations Registered ~ 29th May 2024

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

Konectbus is introducing a new Coastal Konect 717 service from 29th June 2024. It will operate from Norwich Bus Station to Kingsway in Hemsby via Sprowston, Wroxham and Martham.

First Eastern Counties has amended the timetable of its 1C service between Hemsby Beach and Great Yarmouth's Britannia Pier from 25th May 2024

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


Tuesday 28 May 2024

Felbrigg Hall Services

Today a contribution from Tony Wilson about bus routes serving the National Trust property at Felbrigg Hall in North Norfolk.

'Something a bit different for 2024. Sanders Coaches of Holt in North Norfolk, have adjusted a number of rural routes that serve the Cromer, Holt and Sheringham Triangle. These are the already established once-a-week Monday to Friday 16/17/19/20, plus new route 15. All routes serve the National Trust property of Felbrigg Hall and Parkland, along private gated roads.

The dedicated bus is fleet number 222 (RX22 SKU) a low-floor Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with EVM Cityline bodywork, upon which Mrs.W and I experienced the 16 (Holt & Cromer) and 15 (Cromer & Sheringham). The series of attached pictures illustrate a selection of the rural and narrow byways plus some of the local ruminant inhabitants encountered along the way. My gate opening/closing and shepherding skills were put to good use and unlike the Bermuda Triangle, we lived to tell the tale.

The second new route in Norfolk to serve such a property did materialise. Operated by Hevingham-based Sunbeam Luxury Coaches route 1B is an infrequent circular service based on Aylsham, that runs on Mondays and Fridays (not Bank Holidays). It appears that the regular steed is a 14-year old Bluebird Orion bodied Fiat Ducato registered YX60 CLF, illustrated in front of the Hall.'

My thanks to Tony for his report and accompanying photos


Monday 27 May 2024

Revisited Ipswich March 2011

Been a long while since we did a revisited feature, so as its a bank holiday i thought i would have a dig through my hard drives and take a trip down memory lane.

March 29th 2011 is where we are going back to and a very sunny day in the suffolk town.

We begin with First Volvo B7RLE 69430 which was in Park & Ride livery but sporting an allover advert for Suffolk Police when pictured here in the Bus Station.

Independent Operator Carters had this ex Stagecoach United Counties Olympian L679HNV as part of their fleet of varied vehicles, they were eventually purchased by Ipswich Buses.

Beestons of Hadleigh had Scania Omnicity YT11LTA in use on their 91 service between Sudbury and Ipswich, this was later aquired by West Coast Motors in Glasgow and became a partial open top working on the Glasgow city sightseeing tour.

Galloway of Mendlesham had AY09BYC a VDL SB220 Plaxton Centro from new and seen here in a very bright version of their livery entering the Buttermarket.

Finally another Operator serving Ipswich at the time is Mulleys of Ixworth, P641ENN is a Scania L113CRL, East Lancs. This was one of a pair aquired from Nottingham City Transport.

Hopefully not as long between blogs next time!


Sunday 26 May 2024

Another Ipswich Exile Appears

Following Friday's offering of a former Ipswich Buses Scania N94UB Omnicity in use with another owner, a further member of the sextet new in January 2007 turned up in Great Yarmouth yesterday evening

This time it was YN56 NVC which is now with Suffolk & North East Essex Wellbeing Services. Cameron Robinson noticed it parked up on the quayside in the town

Thanks for the photo Cameron


Saturday 25 May 2024

Soggy Saturday

In Traditional Bank Holiday style the good old english weather lived up to expectations and today was a wash out!. Certainly not the type of weather fit for open top bus rides, however they were running today along with a red intruder.

One of the survivors from last years fleet of open toppers is 32348 LK53LZL (now back on original plates). It was the first noted today whilst i spent 45 mins at the Seashore terminus in the car with some sandwiches and camera!.

Next arrival was 37065 CRZ266 one of the new B9TL conversions from Norwich.

For those who preferred a drier ride Coastal Red 36282 LX59DAO was in service about to head to Hemsby when she was pictured waiting to leave.

The rain got a tad heavier just as i jumped out to photograph 37066 CRZ366 arriving which at this point was my cue to exit home!

Finally former Norwich Red line B9TL 36193 BN12JYT was on Staff shuttles between Seashore and the Depot.

Lets hope the rest of the Bank holiday brightens up a bit!


Friday 24 May 2024

Ex Ipswich Scania Still Going Strong

Ipswich Buses exile Scania N94UB Omnicity YN56 NVE was observed in Vicars Lane, Leeds on Tuesday last (21st) by Mark Doggett.

Now operated by Connexions Buses, it has lost its previous Battenberg' Green/Purple livery and is now registered ESU 912.

My thanks to Mark for the photo.


Thursday 23 May 2024

Chatsworth Surprise

On Tuesday Tony Wilson asked his wife what she wanted to do for her significant birthday and fortunately she suggested the seasonal Stagecoach Peak Sightseer open-top bus network around  Derbyshire Peak District

After the morning run on the Blue route they returned to the Chatsworth House hub, where what should be parked up was one of Hevingham-based Sunbeam Coaches coaches. M29 SUN is a Jonckheere Mistral bodied Volvo B12M which was new to Titteringtons registered as FJ06 BOV..

Many thanks Tony for the photo


Wednesday 22 May 2024

Local First Bus Changes

Beginning this Sunday 26th May 2024 First are making some changes to their Coastal Reds and Coastal Clipper services in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft area

Coastal Reds route 2 is to be extended - recent withdrawal 37025 YJ06 XKO is seen in use in April 2024
* The opening of the new Herring Bridge in Great Yarmouth has given the opportunity to extend the current 2 service and provide new routes 3 and 3B connecting Market Gates, via Barrack Estate, to Gorleston, Bradwell, Burgh Castle and the James Paget Hospital. These will replace the existing 2, 5, 6, 6A & 6B services.
The new Coastal Reds timetable booklet can be downloaded here

* The Coastal Reds service 7 will see improvements including additional journeys and the operation of a new Saturday service.
The new Coastlink X1/X11 (& 7) timetable booklet can be downloaded here

* There is to be no changes to the Coastal Clipper 1/1A route between Lowestoft and Martham although a revised timetable will provide a more reliable service
The new Coastal Clipper 1/1A timetable booklet can be downloaded here

Many of these changes are being partially funded by Norfolk County Council under the Government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), aimed at enhancing public transportation infrastructure.

* The Coastal Clipper 99 service in Lowestoft will cease operating via the Coast Road and will use Norfolk Road in Wangford with minor timetable changes. Additional 99A departures will also be provided
The new Coastal Clipper 99/99A timetable booklet can be downloaded here

Transformation Underway

After almost a fortnight after their arrival, work has begun on applying transfers to the recently converted open top cabriolets at First Great Yarmouth.

Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B9TL 37068 YK57 EZX is seen undergoing its transformation at Caister Road depot earlier today. Expected in service tomorrow as CRZ 599

My thanks to First for the photo.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 22nd May 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 21 May 2024

Ambassador's 73C Service Today

After shopping in Gorleston I returned home via Church Lane passing East Norfolk Sixth Form College where I saw a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 516CDi Mellor Strata.on the north side of the road waiting time to operate Ambassador Travel's 73C service to Cantley late this afternoon

It was registered NK73 YBA and was new to Weardale Motor Services of Stanhope in September last year and running for a short while as GO73 WMS. I am assuming the 27 seater is now with Ambassador.


Monday 20 May 2024

The Remaining MMCs

Following Dale Bell's Thursday report on the appearance of one of the ex First Norwich Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMCs at Chelmsford (First Norwich MMCs On The Move - 16th May 2024) he has now provided photos of the other two.

Both 34425 SN17 MTY and 34426 SN17 MTZ are pictured in the vicinity of the bus station and were new to Bournemouth's Yellow Buses. They continue to operate with First Norwich branding.

My thanks to Dale for the photos.


Saturday 18 May 2024

Wrights Coaches Additions

At the beginning of the month Hoveton-based PTS Group, operating as Wrights Coaches, acquired two additions to its fleet.

They are two blue liveried 45 seater Scania Omnilink PSVAR compliant single decker buses in the form of YT61 FEU and YT61 FEP, formerly with Preston Bus as their 30115 and 30116. They have now received registrations W22 PTS and W23 PTS respectively.

My thanks to Matthew Wright for the information and photo.


First Volvo On Trade Plates

Yesterday evening Jon was driving his daughter along Elm Tree Road in Lowestoft and found a First Coastal Red double decker in front of him on a trade plate.

The vehicle concerned was Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL 37154 YN06 URH with the trade plate 580 TW. It is assumed it was on its way to Ensignbus at Purfleet. Perhaps a future visit by Mark Doggett will be able to locate whether it was destined for there (or not!)

My thanks to Jon for the report and to his daughter for the photo


Friday 17 May 2024

From Leicester To Norwich

One of the First Leicester Wright StreetDecks have entered service with First Norwich today.

35180 SK16 GUX was employed with First Leicester branding on the X29 Norwich to Fakenham services when observed by Dan High earlier today.

My thanks to Dan for the photos.


Yesterday At Ensign

Regular contributor Mark Doggett paid another visit to Ensignbus' premises at Purfleet yesterday. He observed the following former members of the First Eastern Counties fleet:- 32100 LT02 ZCJ, 32203 LT52 WTJ, 32651 AU05 MUO, 37021/2/4/5/6/43/4 YJ06 XKK/L/N/O/P/XLT/U

His photo shows ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL 32651 AU05 MUO - originally in use with First Ipswich and later with First Lowestoft

Also present was former First Great Yarmouth Volvo B7TL/ Wright Eclipse Gemini 37021 YJ06 XKK

Next up are photos of similar First Lowestoft 37043 YJ06 XLT and 37044 YJ06 XLU.

My thanks to Mark for the information and photos.


Thursday 16 May 2024

First Norwich MMCs On The Move

Some of the six First Norwich Alexander Dennis Enviro400 MMCs, acquired from Bournemouth's Yellow Buses in October 2022, are beginning to find their way to First Essex, It is understood from social media that they are to be split equally between Chelmsford and Colchester.

The latest to arrive at Chelmsford today is 34424 SN17 MTX and is pictured here by Dale Bell.

My thanks to Dale for supplying the photo.


Wednesday 15 May 2024

Sanders Latest Arrival

Previously unreported here is that Sanders Coaches has recently taken delivery of their second new Volvo coach.

Plaxton Panther 3 bodied Volvo B8R CE24 SAN is named Charles Edward Sanders after the company's Managing Director. It is shown outside the operator's new Norwich depot on Bessemer Road

My thanks to Nick Farrow for the photo and information.


Sunbeam Coaches' Acquisitions

Sunbeam Coaches of Hevingham in Norfolk has recently acquired a couple of coaches and opened a second depot says its social media site.

The first coach is Yutong GT12 YD19 HHZ acquired from ABC Coaches of Pendlebury, Manchester

The other addition is Temsa HD12 Safari NG17 XML from TS Travels of Ossett in West Yorkshire. It was originally registered as H19 ATK

The operator has also opened a second depot at Dunkirk in Aylsham.

My thanks to Nick Farrow for his help with this post.


Service Alterations Registered ~ 15th May 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.


Monday 13 May 2024

MNR Bus & Coach Day

Sadly I was unable to attend yesterday's Mid-Norfolk Railway's Bus and Coach Day due to illness but fortunately I received photos of some of the vehicles attending from Dan High and Jack Taylor.

The first from Dan shows Hedingham Wright bodied Volvo B7TL 502 LF52 ZN normally seen on the Clacton open top service.

His second pictures London Country liveried Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian R364 LGH passing the display area at the station.

His next one features two deckers at Hardingham Station. Former Westcliff on Sea AJN 825, a 1939 Eastern Coachworks bodied Bristol K5G, stands beside another K5G former Eastern Counties HPW133 which was built ten years later.

Moving on to the display area, captured by Dan in the Konectbus corner, was their ADL Enviro200 248 LX13 CZA, previously with Go North West, and driver trainer ADL Enviro400 9645 LX57 CJJ.

Jack Taylor took photos of four vehicles seen clockwise starting with Ipswich Buses 29 Scania N230UD Omnicity. in heritage livery celebrating 120 years of Ipswich Transport. Next is SALEC Travel's Setra A4 SDY followed by Sanders Coaches' Volvo B8RLE/ MCV BV23 NUU and finally Dons of Dunmow's Neoplan Tourliner DH17 DON

Jack also took a photo of former London Transport 1950 AEC Regent III with Weymann RT8 body RT 3183 KYY 912.

Finally, Dan observed this ex Sanders Coaches' SNT 925H, a 1970 Bedford VAL 70 with Plaxton Panorama Elite bodywork. The vehicle has recently been reacquired by the operator's owner.

I'm very grateful to both Dan and Jack for all the photos they've sent but unfortunately I can't publish all of them but have mostly selected those vehicles appearing for the first time


Sunday 12 May 2024

J&M's Latest Acquisition

Suffolk-based J&M Preservations has acquired another bus to add to its collection and it wasn't a Dennis Dart!

It was an Optare Solo M780 with the registration MX06 ABO which the group collected on Friday and was driven to its new home without any issues. The Solo was new to Hampson & Furness (Speedwell Bus) of Greater Manchester in April 2006. More recently it was in use with Star Travel of Aylesbury, a family run private hire and bus operator.

It joins three other vehicles owned by J&M Preservations; ex Abellio KP02 PVU, former Halton Transport PX06 DWD and ex FirstBus WX05 RVN

My thanks to Mason Lee for the information and photos. Continuous fleet updates are available on the group's Facebook site