|Galloway's new Optare Solo waiting at Framlingham|
I was lucky enough to have a coffee with one of this blog's biggest supporters. It's quite pleasing to know that part of someone's daily routine is to make themselves comfortable and spend time reading what I am posting. My ego was well and truly massaged so thank you, Paulo, and best of luck with the course you are taking.
I had a couple of hours to kill before my bus back to Framlingham, and was just wondering what to do when I saw an Ipswich Buses Trident pull into old Cattle Market showing 98 Shotley Marina. The 98 is normally Solo operated, occasionally a little Dart, and I've never been on the route, so checking I could get back in time I got on it and sat back, in comparitive luxury as the vehicle was IB14, which has tables, WiFi, and even a radio (not used) as it formally operated the 196 BT contract. The reason this journey is operated by a decker is it serves Holbrook College and picks up a large number of noisy but otherwise well behaved school students. It was after we left the school that the reason the route is normally little bus operated became clear.
|The top deck of IB 14|
I have been on some tight routes for big buses before - the 62 between Halesworth and Beccles is tight enough but this route between Holbrook and Harkstead is INSANE!!! I'd think twice about taking a large car down there and there were times the hedgerows were brushing both sides of the bus simultaneously. Vision from the top deck was spectacular but from the driver's seat must have been terrifying. I must mention the driver who was not only an extremely capable driver, but also a really nice young guy who is a regular on this run and a real credit to Ipswich Buses. We got to a very sunny Shotley Marina with just enough time for me to grab a quick pic with Felixstowe Docks in the background,and then glory be go back the same way. I will definitely do that trip again and can't recommend it highly enough.
|Ipswich Buses 14 Dennis Trident LG02 FDJ with Felixstowe Docks in background|
|Galloway 331 MAN MCV Evolution YJ60 GFA seen last week at Old Cattle Market|