Monday, 20 May 2013

Competiton in North Norfolk - Special Report

Yesterday, I visited the North Norfolk town of Sheringham, with a quick stop in at the Cadogen Road coach park in Cromer, just a few miles East of Sheringham, which inspired me to do this report!
Two Plaxton Premieres and a Scania
L113 awaiting departure on the X5.Taken
by me when I was about 7 (2007ish)
Way back when I was very little, in the late 90 and early 21st century, Eastern Counties/First was the dominant operator, with services leaving Sheringham and Cromer for many destinations. Nowadays, with the withdrawal of the X5 (Also numbered X50 and 50 during its time), First appeared to have disappeared off the face of North Norfolk, with Sanders left being the dominant operator.
When First withdrew the X5 between Norwich, Aylsham, Cromer and Sheringham, it left local independent operators Sanders and Norfolk Green the only two competitors on the Norwich to North Norfolk A140 corridor.
Konectbus 412, seen before departing on
the second ever 2 from Norwich.
A Sanders Plaxton Centro on the X40, a
direct route, in direct competition with the
When Norfolk Green reduced their journeys to one inbound and outbound journey daily, Sanders soon became the top operator, with Norfolk Green catching a few passengers. Until last year, this routine stuck, however, Go-Ahead owned Konectbus began new service 2, offering the fastest journey time between Norwich, Cromer and Sheringham, due the missing out St Faiths villages and Aylsham on the way. On arrival of the 2, Sanders upped their presence on the A140, with more buses, new branding, new routes and faster journeys. Although Konectbus are gaining more and more passengers, Sanders still appear to be getting more passengers.
Nowadays, the competition on the A140 is getting more and more competitive, with journeys at least every 15 or so minutes from Norwich to the coast, and some Konectbus and Sanders journeys following each other up the A140, with many passengers boarding either bus depending on which one is in front. Just last month, Konectbus extended the 2 to Holt, numbered 2A, which directly competes with many Sanders services.

The pictures on this blog post are all photos from past dates, for pictures from yesterday; head over to my flickr!