Good news for the people of Aldeburgh, Leiston and Saxmundham - there are timetable changes coming to the 64/65. Bad news is the changes are minimal and are of no improvement whatsoever to connections in the area. In fact my 4 times a week 196 that gets into Saxmundham 15 mins after the 64 to Ipswich has gone will now get in 5 mins after, making it even more frustrating. Trains are still not being connected with. I'm told the reason the changes I proposed last year have not been implemented yet is because of various arguments between communities along the route who all want the best connections, and uncertainty over the aforementioned Martlesham corridor. Don't understand those arguments as right now the 64/65 manages spectacularly to connect with naff all anywhere on the route so anything would be better than nothing.
When it was announced Anglian had lost the 60J/68 tender it was understood that while the 68 was to be re-tendered - Ambassador will be taking it over - the 60J had bitten the dust and was not being re-tendered. However yesterday on VOSA it was revealed that Suffolk Norse are going to operate a new service 108 along the 60J route between Lowestoft and JPH. What's more there is a 33% increase in journeys, going up to 4 from 3 each way a day. It has been suggested 60 seater sardine cans will be used (as on the 107), but I expect more likely 14 seater minibuses which already operate a route in Lowestoft (can't remember which one!). The loadings do not justify a big bus, and the route is very tricky for a bus that size too.
Speaking of connections Anglian's ridiculous new timetables came into operation this week, including a 45+ min wait at Southwold if you want to interchange between the 88A and 61. The weather forecast for the next few days is for a strong easterly/northeasterly wind with a high wind chill factor. Thanks Anglian, much appreciated. Perhaps your management would like to try out that connection to see what you have sentenced your dumped on passengers to. Is it any wonder, Smurf, that businesses don't approach operators with innovative ideas when ineptitude such as that is on display?
Anticipation is high in Norwich for the arrival of the shockingly pink Wright Streetwrecks to arrive. To my knowledge I'm the only blogger in the area to actually travel on one (apologies if I've missed anything) so it will be interesting to see what others think. My advice is to judge them after 3 months and see if they still feel new then. I confess I don't know the Pink Line that well but I'm going to suffer a President over the next week or so to see what the Streetwrecks will have to cope with.
And on the subject of new buses I took the opportunity on the way home yesterday to try another E200MMC. Some have been delivered to Arriva Kent Thameside to operate the B13 on behalf of TfL which runs between Bexleyheath and New Eltham in South East London. I took a trip for the one and only time on the route as it is one of those mind numbingly boriing routes round as many residential raods as possible, taking half hour to do a trip that other routes do in 10 - think the 2 in Gorleston multiplied by 5! I remember the B13 being operated by Bexleybus Optare Metroriders in the late 80's and if anyone can work out what ENR stands for in the fleet number ENR6 then can you enlighten me as I haven't a Scooby!
|Arriva ENR6 LK65 EKV at Bexleyheath Clock Towet|
Over the weekend I'll post the second part of my Canterbury visit, including a very familar livery, and remember I'm meant to cover trains too with a rail post.