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Regular news from around the region

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New Livery in Norwich

Click here to keep up to date with which buses have been repainted.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Fleet Lists Updated

As its the first of the month, our fleet lists have now been updated. Please use the tabs above to access them.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

All Change

When I took over this blog, one of my main ideas was that my posts would be subjective and informative, and never personal. However today, surprisingly, I go against that rule.

I’ll refer back to a post I made a few weeks ago regarding the cancellation of Konect’s service 2 and 2A. I was asked to keep the news to myself until Monday 14th September; which I did so. A couple of days later, on Thursday, I noted how another local blog had made a point about having kept the information quiet after being “respectfully asked to remain embargoed”. To be honest I had wondered why it had taken four days for the other blogs to post the information, so I emailed my contact at Konectbus enquiring about it. This is what I received back: “It’s (the post) caused a major issue with a lot of people. Your name is mud amongst the enthusiast world. You are being disrespectful at a time where people jobs could be at risk, and to be honest I can’t be arsed anymore.” As I have some decency, I will not name name’s however I asked the employee why he had failed to tell me the date to release the information had been moved to Thursday to which he did not reply. But that isn’t the point. I’d like to pick out a section of their message. “Your name is mud amongst the enthusiast world.” I’m not going to pretend that that didn’t hurt, but I wasn’t surprised to be told something like that. I’ve obviously been aware of various things that have been said about me, around me, and behind my back which could cause my name to be compared to mud, and I’m aware that I’m not everyone’s favourite bus enthusiast because of those rumours. At first, the hatred towards me was my motivation to carry on and the main reason why I continued to run the blog. Then I questioned my morals. I realised that the only reason I was writing Norwich Bus Page was to piss people off. I knew that my presence on the web was annoying various people, and that pleased me. But what kind of person am I if the only reason I’m writing is to get under people’s skin? I started writing because I enjoyed doing it. I enjoyed being a source of information and being able to keep other enthusiasts up to date with the local bus scene. That is why someone should run a blog, and that should be the only reason. But that isn’t my reason. And I don’t think I should be writing just to annoy others, so with immediate effect, I will no longer be posting on Norwich Bus Page.

To the people who have created the reasons to why my name is ‘mud in the enthusiast world’ I ask you to look at yourselves. What is it have you achieved by doing what you have done? Do you feel like a better person? Maybe you didn’t know what you were saying actually affected me, maybe you did. Maybe that’s the reason you did it. And if that’s the case then maybe you need to re-evaluate your morals, but just remember. I’m not leaving because of you. You have not caused me to make this decision, you have not ‘won’. I will continue to be an active member of the community and I will continue to enjoy photographing buses. I will also continue to post my photographs on flickr and keep up to date with the local news. I also plan to carry on updating NBP’s fleet lists and galleries, so this isn’t the end. I may even add more features onto the website, but I will not be posting any news. There are plenty of places where you can find things like that but here will no longer be one of them.
To my loyal readers, contributors and friends who have stuck by me I say thank you. I probably wouldn’t be the person I am now without you.

So to recap, Norwich Bus Page will no longer be a blog, but a website. Fleet lists and galleries will continue to be updated so do please keep checking back.

It’s been fun,


Now, Harry here. As NBP prepares for this big change, I take the decision to resign. Over the last few weeks, I've lost all interest in the bus industry and I too am struggling to find time to post. Zak's decision has eased my mind, although I admit I'm going to miss posting! 

A few of my favourite photos from me on the blog...
20514 and 20515 together, at the FirstGreatYarmouth depot

VT09JPT next to an EATM preserved decker, at Lowestoft. 

Before I sign off for the final time, I conclude this post with a farewell and a few of my favorite most I've created.....
Take care folks! The page is in the hands of Zak. ^Harry

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Bus Station Student Accomodation Opens

Although this isn't directly bus related, I still think it's worth posting as it will change the way our bus photos taken at Norwich Bus Station will look forever. Norwich University of the Arts have been building modern student flats on the derelict piece of land adjacent to the bus station for over a year, and over the last week the building has been declared open and students have begun to move in.

Last year, I took a photograph opposite the bus station of the empty site. Today, I took another one of the completed site and I have merged the too photos together to create a video montage which can be seen on our Facebook Group.

A ghost of what is to come

Monday, 14 September 2015

Konectbus Cancel Service 2

It has been confirmed that Konectbus are to withdraw their 'konectexpress' branded services 2 from the 11th of November, and the 2A from the 2nd of November. This announcement comes just weeks after the route received a batch of four year old Alexander Dennis Enviro400s which are branded for the route and feature leather seats and WiFi.

one of Konect's express 2 branded buses working on the X6 to Attleborough
In a statement from the company, I was told that "there is not enough trade for two companies." This will mean all passengers wishing to travel to the North coast will have to use Sanders Services instead.

The official VOSA document can be seen here.

There is a petition to save the service which you can sign by clicking this link.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Further Afield ~ Isle Of Wight

Photos from my holiday to the Isle of Wight earlier this summer.

Plaxton President
Southern Vectis, apart of the Go-Ahead group, was founded in 1929 and there are many sub-sections to the company:

Southern Vectis are public/local bus services which operate in and around the Isle Of Wight, in a two-tone green livery which is very similar to the new Norwich P&R colours (except has a swirl/wave rather than a curve half way).

The "Needles Breezer" is an open top service, using Plaxton Presidents.

The "Island Breezer" uses Open-Top Volvo Olympians (same livery as the KonectBus Olympian, which actually originated here), open-top Scanias and also Palatine bodied Volvo Olympians.

The Island Coaster (example below) which uses Presidents.

Vectis Blue (excursions and school services) use a dedicated blue-livery fleet of 54 vehicles, including Optare Solo SRs, Plaxton Paragon, VanHool coaches and Enviro400ss, to name a few models.

Anyone visiting the Isle Of Wight? Make sure to use this frequent, good value bus service, with routes covering 28 miles across of the Island. Be sure to check out the main locations for a variety of buses - Newport, Yarmouth, Ryde, Shanklin and the Needles. Also, you have to see this plant pot (didn't get no photos myself, so can only provide a link to an external site). Take care!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

New Norwich Park & Ride ~ Photo Special Part 2

Following on from yesterday's post, I managed to get myself up to Costessey Park & Ride today to view the revamped services up there. 

The 510 operates every half an hour to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, whilst the 511 operates at the same frequency direct to the University of East Anglia. On the routes today was konectbus liveried bendy bus 804 BL57OXN and 637 SN65OAW. Also noted parked up at the rear of the site was repainted Mercedes-Benz O530G Citaro 800 BD57WDA.

637 incoming on a 511 to the UEA
804 about to turn into Costessey P&R
and picking up passengers for the hospital
637 returning after operating the UEA
repainted 800 seen at the back of the site, resplendent in her new paint job. Sister 802 also wears the new green livery
Whilst I was there, I was asked by a large number of confused passengers why they hadn't seen a 604 to the City Centre, and I had to explain that the buses don't operate to Norwich anymore. It seems that no matter how many posters, leaflets or news reports are put out, the changes still manage to escape the grasp of the general public!

Monday, 7 September 2015

New Norwich Park & Ride ~ Photo Special

Today was the commencement of Dereham based Go-Ahead Group company Konectbus operating all six of Norwich's Park & Ride sites, having taken three from Norse and retaining three they have operated previously. In a seperate post to our series looking at Norwich's Park & Ride, we bring you some of the best photos taken of the new operation. Unfortunately I was unable to visit the site at Costessey, however I intend to do so tomorrow to bring you photos of services 510 and 511.

one of the new style signs situated at each of the sites.
All except one of the new Enviro400s were out and about today, 639 SN65OAY is still awaiting delivery. Here's a list of each bus and what routes it was noted working throughout the day.

600 SN10CFD - 501
602 SN10CFF - 502
622 SN65OAA - 501
623 SN65OAB - 501, 510, 511
624 SN65OAC - 502
625 SN65OAD - 503
626 SN65OAE - 501
627 SN65OAG - 501
628 SN65OAH - 503
629 SN65OAJ - 503
630 SN65OAL - 502
631 SN65OAM - 502
632 SN65OAO - 502
633 SN65OAP - 501
634 SN65OAS - 502
635 SN65OAU - 501
636 SN65OAV - 501
637 SN65OAW - 501
638 SN65OAX - 503, 512

Each bus features visual and audio next stop announcements, leather headrests, and free WiFi which also works when the engine is off! I heard many compliments from members of the public throughout my day, especially at the sites which used to be operated by buses registered in 2003.

634 in the morning sunlight at Harford
big thanks to the driver on 638 for slowing down allowing me to take this shot!

standard liveried 602 picking up passengers at Sprowston

631 next to the departure screen at Sprowston
629 at Postwick Park & Ride
638 negotiating road works outside the Postwick site
3 in 1! 627 passes 626 and 622 at the Airport
repainted Harford liveried bus 600 SN10CFD was operating the 501 today
633 still lacks the finishing touches, but was pressed into service also on the 501. Seen here at Thickthorn

634 on the 502 leads 638 on the 512. Note the coloured route numbers replacing the coloured buses
For more photos, click here to go over to my Park & Ride album on Flickr, and remember to check back tomorrow evening for photos of buses operating between Costessey Park & Ride, the UEA and the Hospital.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Norwich Park & Ride Special Part 4 - Sprowston

As the new Park & Ride operation starts tomorrow, I thought I should probably catch up with our series looking at the six sights, and today we'll look at Sprowston.

Norse 7158 PN03ULL departing for Postwick
The site was the fourth purpose built Park & Ride for Norwich and was opened by Neville Chapman, who was the Chairman of Norfolk County Council on the 30th of September 2003. It is situated on the A1151 just on the outskirts of Sprowston, about a four minute walk away from a large Tesco.

7159 PN03ULP next to a vey helpful departure board
 As reported in Part 3, Sprowston Park & Ride is interworked with Postwick Park & Ride, with a fleet of Dennis Trident Plaxton Presidents operated by Norse Eastern Ltd. This creates a colourful scene between the two sites, with Postwick's red buses appearing at Sprowston, and Sprowston's purple buses appearing at Postwick.

Postwick branded 7160 PN03ULR in full sunlight. I got told off by the driver because I was taking photos on council property.
 There are 792 spaces, including disabled spaces, with recycling facilities and covered cycle parking areas. The services operate between 0650 and 1900 on weekdays. whereas on a Saturday the site shuts at 2000.

Norse branded 7171 PN03UMJ departing for Postwick
 Service 606 operates from Sprowston to Postwick, whilst the return leg is numbered 605. Both services call at Norwich Bus Station, and County Hall.

7165 at the pick up point, next to another solar powered departure board.
That concludes Part 4, and in Part 5 we'll be looking at Norse's third site at Norwich Airport.

Current Routes:
Part 4 - Sprowston
Part 5 - Airport
Part 6 - Costessey

New Routes:
Part 7 - Harford to Sprowston
Part 8 - Thickthorn to Airport
Part 9 - Postwick
Part 10 - Costessey

Thursday, 3 September 2015

A First Look at Konect's New Park & Ride Buses

Konectbus have been showing off their new Park & Ride buses this week, at various locations. This morning, 624 SN65OAC was parked at Harford Park & Ride along with Anglian's very own David Jordan who was giving out the new timetables and answering any questions from the public.

Old and new: the last remaining old Park & Ride liveried bus passing 624 at Harford this morning.
This was the first time I had seen one of the new buses up close and personal and I must say I am very impressed. The livery looks fantastic in the flesh, and the look is completed by the smart and relevant vinyls. Inside, the buses have moquette seating with leather headrests and wood effect flooring, like on the Straight 8, but instead of USB charging points, they feature visual and audio next stop announcements.

Downstairs, there is plenty of room for wheelchairs and buggies
Upstairs is light and airy
and features a next stop screen which can be seen to the right.
One feature I had not been aware of from the beginning was that the bus hosts two destination screens on the front of the vehicle. On the right hand side of the screen is a smaller, more expensive display which can incooperate different colours into the destination. I was told today that no decisions have been made as to what colours each display will be yet, as Konectbus are keen for them to look as neat as possible, but for now the colour of the route number will replace the colour of the bus on each route.

624 displaying the new Harford Park & Ride display, complete with blue route number
The display on the rear of the vehicle can also accomodate the different colours, however the screen on the nearside door cannot.

Remember the new services commence on Monday, with a fleet of 18 brand new buses complimented by a selection of refurbished vehicles.

For a full list of the new buses, click here.

It may also be of note that when I went to the City, the buses operating Harford were 500 YJ05PXA and 602 SN10CFF alongside the last remaining Harford branded bus 601 SN10CFE. Upon my return, 601 had been replaced by 510 LB02YWX and 500 had been replaced by ex-Thickthorn 502 YJ05PXC.

Depot Vist ~ Anglianbus

With the news of two of Anglian's StreetLites being repainted white recently, I ventured to the depot this afternoon in the hope of being able to photograph them. Upon arrival, I was greeted with the site of 352 MX60BWJ sitting pretty in the workshop on the rolling road with a host of mechanics around her. After waiting for a good five minutes, I managed to grab the attention of a man who had come out of the office. I was initially told to 'get off the site, coz I don't want anybody on here', but not wanting my trip to be wasted, I asked what I should do to gain permission to take photos. This was to talk to Anglian's new depot manager, Allistair Strong. So I walked round to reception and asked if he was available and after about a minute's wait, I was greeted with a firm handshake by a smart, cheery chap who introduced himself as the new depot manager. After a brief chat about the StreetLites, he then explained that he'd be more than happy for me to photograph any buses I like here, and escorted me round to where the StreetLites were parked.

352 MX60BWJ looking fabulous in white, ready to be collected by Mistral
and sister 350 MX60BWH has also been repainted
For those who were unaware, the five year lease on these buses has now ran out and Anglian has decided not to renew it, therefore the batch of four are to be sent back to the dealer where they will no doubt be sold or leased out again to another company.

350 and 352 are the only ones to be painted, whilst 351 MX60BWK and 353 MX60GXA were also present on my visit, still wearing their AnglianBus livery. All are due to be at Mistral by the end of the month.

Talking of white buses, I noted long term loanee 214 YW14FHS, an Alexander Dennis Enviro200 working the 60 this afternoon.

A big thanks must go to Allistair Strong for taking time out of what must be a busy schedule to allow me to photograph the buses.