Saturday, 21 June 2014

Buses at East Norfolk Sixth Form College

Upon finishing my exams last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to secure full time employment starting this Monday. After the initial hype of having taste on independence I suddenly realised that yesterday was going to be the last time I stand on the wall outside college and photograph the one-a-day services which operate to and from the sixth form.
I'll start with Anglianbus, who operate three services which stop on Church Road outside the college once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Service 81 is diverted from it's usual route to serve the college whilst the 81A follows close behind after serving Aldeby. The 68 is the old 731 service which operates from Rackheath to East Norfolk and Great Yarmouth College via Acle whilst the 7A (previously 830 and 69) stops on Middleton Road just a short walk from the premises. The 81 is usually operated by an OmniCity but occasionally sees an OmniLink or Solo, whilst it's sister route 81A is dominantly Solo operated with an occasional gas bus in the afternoon. The 68 has seen more and more OmniLinks being used on it since the devastating fire on the route last month saw another Solo withdrawn, and that was no different on Friday when 457 AU61AVK pulled up.
 457 emerging from behind an awkwardly placed telegraph pole.

Sanders Coaches of Holt operate three services to the college. The normal service number 6 operates from North Walsham to Great Yarmouth but is diverted before and after college to pick up students. Because it is a regular public service, it is usually operated by a low floor single deck bus from the Sanders fleet. The other two services are contracted and are numbered 834 and 837. The 834 operates to Happisburgh via Stalham and like the 837, sees a wide variety of Sanders' coach fleet operating it. The 837 operates to Potter Heigham, then Wroxham, then onto Aylsham if requested and although more commonly operated by coaches, a low floor bus appearing on the route is not uncommon.

Bova Futura 805 CT05LCT was listed for sale a good number of months ago, but has failed to sold as it was still out in service on Friday.

Like Sanders, Ambassador Travel also operate two college contracted services and one public service which service the site. the 730 is usually operated by one of their four Optare Solos but due to the lack of number of suitable vehicles, the company are often forced to use a coach. A Wednesday only service to Chedgrave, numbered 577, also operates from East Norfolk at lunchtimes. The two contracted services are numbered 878 and 879. The 878 operates from Alpington via Loddon and Thurlton whilst the 879 operates from Ditchingham via Loddon and Haddiscoe. Both coaches are timetabled into Loddon at the same time due to the sheer amount of students living there. The 878 usually only has one coach that operates it, ex-MOD Volvo B10M Plaxton Paramount 109 GLZ1270, or 'stealth bus' as it's been nicknamed by passengers due to it's black colour. The 879 often has a different coach everyday, with the standard allover white Plaxton Premiere's dominating but you shouldn't rule out a National Express Jonckheere or a Just Go Holidays liveried Sunsundegui making an appearance. Also spotted recently was 110 G261UAS.

109 GLZ1270 saw a spell of four months continious use on the 878 last year.

First operate a number of town routes past the college as well as two contracted services. The 881 is a double deck route to Carlton Colville via Hopton and Lowestoft and is operated by FirstGreat Yarmouth. A second route, the 882, is operated by a single decker by FirstLowestoft and finishes in North Cove via Oulton Broad.

One of Lowestoft's three remaining Plaxton Pointer 2s is 43489 R689DPW.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about some of the lesser known service which operate in the area as much as I've enjoyed photographing them for the last two years. Although I am now entering full time employment, I will endeavour to continue writing the blog with the help of new admin Harry. The good news regarding this post is that Harry is starting education at East Norfolk in September so we will continue to cover the Yarmouth area! 

Good luck with your A Levels Harry and I hope I'm not too busy all the time to continue being a photographic bus enthusiast.

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