Thursday, 28 July 2016

Fleet Update: Konectbus/Anglianbus

More news from Go-Ahead for you today with a five withdrawals at Konect and two additions at Anglian.

510 on Church Road in Woodton yesterday
Konect have withdrawn all of their Volvo B7TL Wright Eclipse-Geminis; meaning their whole double deck fleet is now Enviro400. Of those five, two have been transferred to Anglianbus, where they will remain until the whole batch are transferred elsewhere within the group.

510 LB02YWX and 511 LB02YWY are the two currently at Anglian, whilst 512 LB02YXA, 513 LB02YXE and 514 LB02YXF are in Dereham in Konect's withdrawn section of the depot.

Thanks to my contact at Konect for the info.

On the subject of Go-Ahead, Anglian will be officially launched as Woodton United's main sponsor on Sunday before their friendly against Norwich Vineyard. A bus is being bought down to their ground on Church Road for photos and publicity from 13:00 onwards.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Gas Buses to Plymouth?

A Plymouth-based bus enthusiast blog has today reported that Anglian's fleet of gas-buses are set to transfer to Plymouth Citybus once they have installed the relevant equipment at their end. It will bring to an end a four year stint in the region operating on mainly on the 88s, 7s and 61s. In Plymouth, they are earmarked to work the 40, 41 and 43s. Original post here.

Photo: 102 WX62HHF on the 7 on Saturday before Konectbus took over the service.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Konecbus take over Anglianbus 7

635 operating the X7 (renumbered from 503) this morning
Today was the first day of Konect's new service 7, which has been taken over from sister company Anglianbus. It has been rerouted to call in at Postwick Park & Ride; providing the first P&R service to Great Yarmouth, whilst alongside the renumbered 503 (X7), it offers a frequency of one bus every 15 minutes to the city centre.

Konect have repainted five of their 65 registered Park & Ride buses into a new livery which mixes the Park & Ride green with their "Straight 8" livery, but have decided against branding the service "Swift 7" after initially proposing that would be the plan. The buses which have been painted are as follows:

635 SN65OAU
636 SN65OAV
637 SN65OAW
638 SN65OAX
639 SN65OAY

636 approaching from Great Yarmouth on the 7
You may have already seen the repainted buses in service over the last week or two, void of any branding. A lot of people's (including myself) first impression of the new colour scheme was rather negative, but what a difference the vinyls make as today I take my negative opinion back. The buses looked very smart indeed, especially in the sun, with the colour scheme finished off with green destination screens. USB ports have also been installed, to bring the buses up to speed with those used on the "Straight 8" service and to add something extra which First currently do not offer on their rival X1 and X11 services. These additions walk hand-in-hand with the free onboard WiFi which altogether offers passengers total connectivity on board without having to worry about running out of battery.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Open Topper Arrives

A number of updates to bring you today, including one we've all been waiting for! Firstly though, I can report that five more ex-Leeds Volvo B9TL Wright Eclipse-Gemini 2s have arrived in Norfolk with three heading to Great Yarmouth to complete their set, and two heading to Norwich. In Great Yarmouth, 36186 BN12JYJ 36187 BN12JYK and 36188 BN12JYL join 36181-36185, whilst at Norwich 36189 BN12JYO and 36190 BN12JYP are the first two to arrive out of an expected fourteen.

At Roundtree Way depot in Norwich, both buses were being prepared for service. They arrived with their Leeds fleetnames removed but were still retaining their Pulse branding and West Yorkshire legal lettering (see above right). I was involved in the process of removing this branding and cleaning up all the sticky residue that was left; before adding Eastern Counties lettering alongside Norwich 'speech bubbles' and name above the door (see below left). Both 36189 and 36190 were completed today.

Now to the exciting bit. As you're most likely aware, FirstGreat Yarmouth have been expecting an open top bus to operate their summer-only service 3 this year. The route itself started at the end of May and will run until the 24th September and has seen a variety of vehicles operating it so far; but from next week that should change as ex-Essex Dennis Trident Plaxton President 32905 W905VLN returned from Midland Road depot in Rotherham in the early hours this morning, where it has undergone extensive refurbishment and conversion into an open topper. The bus also features a special "Seasider 3" livery which is set to be complete over the weekend with special branding to compliment the blue and cream colours.

Fortunately for me, my work situation allowed me to manouvre the bus into the sunshine (once it came out) so I was able to take the following photo.

32905 looking absolutely splendid in the sunshine!
32905 is expected to move down to Yarmouth early next week after having her branding applied and final pre-service checks completed in Norwich.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Anglianbus Sponsor Local Football Team

an anglianbus on the X88 near Woodton
Today it was announced that Go-Ahead's Anglianbus have become the main sponsor for a brand new local football team; Woodton United. A spokesperson from the club have commented "we're delighted to have Anglianbus as our sponsor. We wanted to keep local but show ambition, and a company the size of Anglian fit right into that category. They have operated the bus route through the village for many years now and being part of the Go-Ahead Group, it's a really big company to have on board for a brand new club." As part of the deal, Anglian's logo will feature on the front of Woodton's shirts and on other publications that are released by the club. It will also be on their website which can be viewed by clicking here.

David Smith, Assistant Commercial Manager at Anglianbus says "The club approached us asking if we were interested in sponsoring the team and we were happy to get involved!"

Anglianbus service 88 links the village with Norwich, Bungay and Halesworth 7 days a week.

Facebook: @woodtonunited
Twitter: @woodtonunited

Monday, 18 July 2016

Fleet Update: First

33823 picking up passengers outside the Royal Norfolk Show
A couple of updates from First today; Norwich's 36167 BD11CFM has returned from Simon Morris in the Blue Line livery, with 36177 BD11CGF going the other way. Great Yarmouth Trident 33246 LT52WUX swapped places with Norwich's ex-Leeds 36185 BN12JYH last week, and three more of the batch are reportedly expected at Yarmouth this week. Also a rather surprising transfer is Lowestoft's X1 branded Enviro400 33823 YX63LKN has moved to Great Yarmouth.

Fleet Update: Konectbus

900 seen back in March parked up in Konec't staff
carpark where withdrawn buses are kept.
Konectbus have updated their official fleet list on their website, as of July 14th. Enviro400s 635 to 639 are now in Swift 7 livery but un-branded whilst Optare Solo 900 VX51RHZ has replaced ex-Anglianbus 953 YN57HPX in the operational fleet.

The list also confirms that the Swift 7 buses will have USB ports.