Sunday 2 November 2014

Weekly News Round Up 2/11/14

As they say in the business it has been a very quiet news week. So it is quite a mix this week with some noteable observations and other things that have come to my notice this week, as well as a bit of blog news and outlook for ther week ahead.


Apart from what has been previously mentioned this week B7tl 32489 returned on Friday and ex Essex B7rle 66984 went the other way. If you missed the post with the projected fleetlist post refurbishments click here. 

The bus wars in Ipswich took a development this week with this announcement in Notices and Proceedings.

    • Cancellation Accepted: Operating between Ipswich Town Centre and Bixley/Broke Hall given service number 55/56 effective from 25-Dec-2014.
 So once again First's love/hate relationship with Bixley continues. To be fair when I travelled on the route a couple of weeks ago it wasn't exactrly heaving but that can be said for a number of the town routes operated by both First and IB. What, if anything replaces it remains to be seen, but this could easily be the first move in calming the wars and less virtually empty buses running around Ipswich.

Also cancelled this week have been Ipswich buses' ridiculous service X which operates from Tower Ramparts to Ipswich Waterfront and is truly quicker to walk, and it seems others share that view hence its demise. Simonds have cancelled their college days only service 77 from Thetford to Diss from the end of the year.

Now speaking of Simonds they are quite a good compnay for unpredictability of vehicle allocation. You never quite know what is going to be on what recently. I have seen coaches on the 1 and 2 in Norwich, there was even one on the 113 from Ipswich a few weeks ago, new E200's keep popping up and on Thursday I was treated to the sight of a Mercedes minicoach on the 113's. VRY 841 is a Mercedes Vario 0815D with a Sitcar Beluga 2 body, and it must be said compared to the usual Plaxton primos or E200's on the route must have been a taste of luxury for the passengers!

Simonds Mercedes VRY 841 at OCM on Thursday
Also on Thursday passengers on Ipswich buses' X3 to John Lewis in Ravenswood might have felt a bit superior for once too. Usually the domain of old Darts they had one of IB's Scania Omniciti's which have the most comfortable seats in the fleet.

IB 71 Scania Omniciti YN56 NVC unusually on the X3 to John Lewis
And finally from Ipswich this week Bryan Dickson has allowed me to use a pic he took of this rather intimidating asnd impressive coach spotted in Civic Drive. Selecta Cars 1.EXU.303 is a Volvo (that's all I know) belonging to Selecta Cars of Gent in Belgium, who according to their website have a fleet of 22 vehicles including 3 double deckers and 2 VIP coaches transporting 1250 passengers a day.

Selecta Cars of Gent, Belgium in Ipswich for some reason!
Now recently there has been a debate going on over which is more comfortable - leather seating or fabric seating. I was leaning towards fabric. Someone else pointed out that leather is easier to keep clean, and then my Scottish Correspondent sent me this YouTube video that I feel once and for all puts the argument to bed. Now I wonder just how many companies in your area have bus seats you can do this to. Hammers at the ready...........

Blog News

First of all I know transport enthusiasts like their stats so here are a couple of self indulgant stats. On Thursday this humble publication clocked up 100,000 pageviews which a year ago seemed a ridiculous thing to imagine. It took 367 days to reach that milestone. However, the next 100,000 may not take as long assuming I'm still doing it! On July 31st I proudly declared on Twitter that the blog had at the last gasp achieved 10,000 pageviews for the month. In October there were 14,642 pageviews, which means a growth over the last 3 months of 46.42%. At this rate the next 100,000 will take less than 5 months. My thanks to all of you for reading, commenting, allowing interviews, and encouraging me. It means a lot. To sum it up here is a snippet from an email I recieved this week. Yes, getting to know managers and knowing the industry reads the blog is great, but this made me feel even better.

By the way I agree with your pic of 47501 being your fav, I’m not a train fan but my grandson says your pic is FAB ! (He’s 7 and a big train fan).

 I'm on my travels this week. As yet I'm undecided if I'm lugging the laptop around the country so the best place for updates and first pics will be Twitter. However highlights of the week will be a 9 bus journey to Kent on Wednesday, then 4 bus journey to London followed by Megabus to Newcastle on Thursday. I have arranged a visit to Alpha recovery in Newcastle on Friday morning, which is where a lot of First buses are taken on their final journey. Hopng 34187 is still there and recognisible. Sunday night I'm sampling Megabus's sleeper service, which I'm really looking foward to, and I'm back on Monday. Keep checking in as posts could go up at any time.


Yarmouth Bus Page has announced that First Yarmouth depot are the latest to start using the new VIX TP5700 ticket machines, following on from Kings Lynn and Ipswich who are already using them. Not sure about Lowestoft yet but since Lowestoft and Yarmouth drivers operate the X1 eastern section it would make sense if Lowestoft had started today as well.


  1. Hi steve. A galloway. Up date is 337 the latest daf mcv bus is now in fleet livery I will. Try and get you fleet. Numbers. And reg plates off ex bells lowestoft volvo. Vanhool coaches. All l know they. Were at one time p reg at one time

  2. Steve, the coach is a VDL Jonckheere JSD140. The VDL range was wittled down a couple of years ago, previously featuring the Bova Berkhof Jonckheere and other VDL products. Now it's just the VDL Futura (replacement for the Bova Futura and Magiq), VDL Jonckheere (That's what the above product is called) and the VDL Synergy. The JSD140 part is just to signify it's the high floor model, rather than the JHD lower floor models. As for the chassis, I'm not sure. It may well be Volvo based, it which cased it'd most likely be a B12BT, but it could be integral.

    As for Simonds, coaches on the 1 and 2 are standard. It happens every day, so that's not really a freak allocation. But as for a Sitcar on the 113, I've only ever seen that once before! Strange.

  3. The sitcar was on 113/4s for a spell a month or two back before the E200s turned up.

  4. Hi steve the two. Ex bell vanhool. Coaches fleet numbers. 339 and 340