Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Depot Visit - BorderBus

Today was cold. But I had to be in Beccles, so rather than drive or bus into town I decided to cycle which may seem odd as driving or bussing are indoor activities whilst cycling isn't, but to be fair I could do with the excersise and it helped me keep warm too. My main aim today was to photograph some of BorderBus' double deckers. They operate seven Volvo B7TL Plaxton Presidents on school contracts for Sir John Leman High School, all of which bar one had escaped my camera due to their lack of time on the road during usual bus spotting hours.

the BorderBus depot on Moor Business Park
I had earlier contacted BorderBus to find out if they could accomodate a visit and to see if all the deckers would be present and I almost instantly received a reply from Lisa inviting me round. She also informed me that all the deckers will be present and they'd be most happy to have me.

206 X652LLX
I arrived at Moor Business Park for only the second time in a couple of years and sadly cycled passed Goldline Travel's premises. The reason for my sadness was that they used to take me to school every day when they had collection of about ten coaches, but now they only operate taxis. My sadness was shortlived however when I turned the corner into BorderBus' premises to see all their deckers lined up nicely for me. Their Enviro300 106 KX54NKH was also present. I hid my bike behind it and found reception where I was greeted by MD Andrew Pursey, who notably was also the MD at AnglianBus before it was taken over by Go-Ahead. He introduced me to the team and left me in the hands of one of their mechanics who gave me a brief overview of the latest going ons before taking the time to move each bus out of it's parking space so that I could photograph them individually.

before DDA //\\ after DDA
Their newest double decker is 207 LK51XGH which was acquired last year. More recently it is the first to be converted to be DDA compliant ready for next year. It has been fitted with a removable ramp which is kept on board should any of the children which use the services be in a wheelchair. They've also had to re-jig the seats downstairs, which reduces the capacity from 33 to 31. For those interested in seating numbers, the X-reg Presidents are all H47/33F whilst the 51 reg one is H47/31F due to the conversion work. All are planned to have the same treatment by January next year. A quick caption for the picture below: SRO229V is a DAF MB200 Plaxton Supreme IV which has been stood in that very spot for years and years now. It's being used as a shed although I cannot confirm for whom.

A big thanks to Lisa, and Andrew for allowing me onto the premises so welcomingly, and to the mechanic Eric, for showing me around and putting up with my everlasting requests for him to move buses for photos. I'm sure you know this but not many companies are out there that continue to support local enthusiasts in the way that you guys did today. I'm sure I'll be back soon!
204 X644LLX

More photos can be found on the Facebook page and on flickr, whilst a fleet list can be found here.

Blog Notice: It has been pointed out to me that the content on my blog and another Norwich based blog have been remarkably similar recently. I'd like to point out to anyone questioning this that we both write a blog about bus activities in Norfolk & Suffolk therefore we both will report on similar if not the same things. This can't be helped! 

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