This week I decided to ease back on news gathering. I started the blog to reflect my own experiences and opinions, and over the last few months I have been rather sucked in to the blog paparazzi culture. No more, and unless I have first hand news I won't be publishing it. So naturally over the last 24 hours there has been a torrent of news falling into my lap!
We start with First, and I must thank my contact for supplying and clarifying all of the following. It is going to be a busy few weeks with vehicles transfers and cascades happening. It has been widely reported that 3 more B7rle's are transferring fromm Ipswich to Norwich this weekend. 66980/3/4 are the confirmed vehicles concerned, but what hasn't been known until now is that two will be repainted into Purple Line livery, thus completing the Purple Line repaint programme unless the little Darts are repainted of course, and rather surprisingly the third to be repainted into Turquoise Line livery. This will see the withdrawal of 3 of the B7l's of which more as we go on. Of course we are still waiting for 66982 to emerge with her Yellow front!
Two more B7l's will be withdrawn due to PVR requirement reducing, and another two withdrawn being replaced by two President B7tl's transferring from Great Yarmouth, so if my maths is correct that is 7 bum numbing buses off the streets of Norwich in the next 3 weeks. However it doesn't end there.
Over at Yarmouth two of the Olympians are coming off the road this weekend and are to be kept in reserve in usuable condition. The peak Bernard Matthews season is coing, and it is pretty likely the Ollies will be back out in service at some point, probably on the 8's as there are issues with them on Bernies, which is why they haven't been seen much on them recently. Also one of the B9tl Geminis is to transfer to Lowestoft and Jersey Dart 43863 is to join the withdrawn Norwiich B7l's by cascading to Bristol, where I have heard whispers they may move on down to Cornwall, although that is yet to be confirmed. Indeed ALL the Jersey Darts will soon be leaving FEC, although as yet there are no confirmed replacements. No tears shed there!
Coming to Norwich in October/Novemeber are 11 full length Streetliites. Of those 7 are to be painted into Green Line livery, with the other 4 painted in generic Urban livery. This will obviously see the end of more B7l's. There are also two more Geminis on the way, an 03 reg and an 08 reg from Green Line in Southampton, so not the ones originally expected. Their use has yet to be determined.
Finally from First confirmation that the last ever Olympian built 34110 has been saved and should be collected in the next couple of weeks for preservation. Can't say how pleased I am about that and I'll give more details when I have them. Parts have been donated from the other withdrawn Ollies at GY and they are all to be collected for scrap in the near future.
Moving onto Anglian and I received news yesterday that long serving Optare Excel 229 is to be withdrawn by Tuesday at the latest. This is because all 5 Versas have now transferred back from Konect, the last one arriving yesterday. Also from Anglian I can report that of the Streetlites recently taken out of service (there were only ever 4 of them) only MX60 BWJ has been painted white, with MX60 BWH currently being painted. Thanks, as always to my contact at Anglian for the updates. I'm hoping for more news re the Streetlites next week.
As reported on Ipswich Bus Blog Galloways have taken two 15 reg Optare Solo SR's on loan until their own new ones are delivered. KX15 GLN has been given fleet number 352, and KX15 GLK 353. Also from Galloways the on loan Stephensons Olympian has had all Stephensons logos removed but will retain the basic livery. Also on order for next year are two Van Hool TX16 coaches to replace the 11 reg Van Hool's 296 and 297. My grateful thanks to David Green for his continued and regular updates.