Saturday, 22 December 2012

NBP ~ Review 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, time to reflect on the bus activity throughout the past year.


2012 has been a huge year for Anglianbus, probably the most significant in the company’s history, with the highlight being sold to major bus operator The Go-Ahead Group, in April. and since then, Anglian has expanded its network at quite a fast pace. 
With the backing from Go-Ahead Anglian have been have able to fight back at First, with more frequent journeys on the A47 / X47, the introduction of new 146 Service between Norwich & Lowestoft and emerging new services in Ipswich specifically targeted against First Ipswich. 

In April Anglianbus moved towards modern bus travel by introducing Smart Cards. There were three types introduced; Stored Value, UCAN Travel & Scholar which have since proven to be very successful. 

Anglian have also made another successful move to get recognised and attract more people to their services by acquiring 13 MAN EcoCity Gas buses with help from The Green Bus Fund.  Only six have arrived so far with seven more expected throughout January 2013.
Anglianbus were the first company to run these buses in the UK thanks to MAN delivering six of them three weeks early. Anglian placed an order for these after a successful trial with demonstrator WX61FXO in December 2011.

Since being part of the Go-Ahead group, Anglianbus have been on the receiving end of inter-company transfers with no less than 20 buses transferred to Anglian  throughout the year with a majority of them coming from Metrobus & Brighton & Hove. They were Scania OmniCitys & Dennis Tridents.(Except YN05HFE being written off on its first week of service)

I think that without a doubt, we will see Anglian bus' network expand even further in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft & Ipswich and see Anglian's fleet at both Rackheath & Beccles expand throughout 2013.


The start of the year saw Konectbus receive their first two 54 Reg bendy buses branded for Costessey Park & Ride from Hants & Dorset’s Trim Workshop.

In January Konectbus withdrew 6 of their Optare Excels MK1’s with most of them being cannibalised, this was followed more recently be the Optare Excels MK2’s being transferred to Hedignham Omnibuses.

 In October Konectbus started to receive their 5 Brand new Enviro400’s for the 3 & 6, the first being SN62AVG.

Also in October, konectbus achieved a 97% level of passenger satisfaction in a recent survey of Go-Ahead Group bus operators outside London. Konectbus was the best performer out of the 11 Go-Ahead companies surveyed. The survey took part on 8 different konectbus routes throughout peak and off-peak times to give a fair representation of their services.

In November Konectbus launched their new Konectexpress 2 service which linked Sheringham & Cromer with Norwich, which competes against Sanders Services.

First Eastern Counties

There have been a lot of changes in the First Eastern Counties fleet throughout the year, the highlight being in August, when First EC in Norwich rebranded its operation as ‘First Norwich’ and colour coded the routes to simplify the city’s bus network. When this first started people were confused and annoyed by the lack of availability of timetables and even the online ones were put up at the last minute.

In October, long serving First Eastern Counties bus N602APU a Volvo B10M Plaxton Premier was  withdrawn and sold, and was later replaced by the First Midlands Plaxton Paragons (WV02EUR & WV02EUP)

Also in October, First made changes to their X1 Service with more “X1 Shorts” between Norwich & Great Yarmouth in addition to the half hourly express between Lowestoft & Peterborough Via Norwich, Great Yarmouth & Kings Lynn. This wasn’t long after Anglianbus increased the frequceny of the A47 Service and brought back the X47.

November saw First Lowestoft receive the new first livery and “First Lowestoft” branding with their new Enviro200 Darts. As a reminder they are:

44512  DK57SXF - Lowestoft
44513  DK57SXG - Lowestoft
44928  EU08FHB - Lowestoft
45116  VT09JPT - Lowestoft
45117  ST58JPT - Lowestoft
45118  ST09JPT - Lowestoft
45119  RT09JPT - Lowestoft

More recently First have refreshed their X2 to route with the new First Livery and route branding in an attempt to fight back at Anglians 146 Service.

Swift Taxis

It’s been a very quiet year for Swift, with the only noteworthy change being double decker SE51DZV leaving the fleet after finally finding a buyer with Richards Coaches.

Also long time Great Yarmouth server G470LVG has gone missing after several weeks with a VOR sign in the window. It has not been seen at any Swift depot so it’s where abouts is unknown.

Finally, FJ53VDL has been sitting at the back of the Southtown road yard for weeks with a shattered rear window, and Swift are evidently in no rush to repair it following the withdrawal of the 206 service on the 18th December 2012.
Hopefully in 2013 Swift will seize back some of its old contracts so we can once again see the large Swift Coach fleet which we used to know.


Again, very little change throughout the year with OurBus as well, 2012 started with the takeover of the 292 service from Swift with SF54OUY, SN53KZV & N482CEG being the main buses to run the route.
The only fleet change is the more recent acquisition of a Plaxton Beaver SN53KZV.

The Seafront & Brittania Pier Circular Service made its annual return and was operated by SF54OUY.  It started as always at the end of July and ran throughout Augsust and finsihed at the Start of September.

Ambassador Travel

In March Ambassador won some contracts off Anglianbus, they were 102, 570 & 577 they started on the 3rd April.
Also throughout the year Ambassador have been using some of their sister companies buses on their Yarmouth based routes, one example being K262FUV.

In September, Ambassador lost the 731 Service contract to Anglianbus .

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has contributed to the blog throughout the year.
Zak & I (Joe) look forward to reporting on here in the new year.

Happy New Year!

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