Top of the agenda is the arrival of the first E300 that will be operating the Ipswich P&R from July. 67776 SN62 AXU came down from Scotland yesterday. Formerly First Borders, which no longer exists, it is one of what will be eventually 8 vehicles, although I understand at present the 8th is proving a bit elusive. 5 others have arrived at Yarmouth for preparation, and a couple will be used in Great Yarmouth for evaluation, although there is a debate if they will remain at Yarmouth or move to Ipswich in July. I can settle that debate as Chris Speed has confirmed to me that all will be going to Ipswich. For further details on the other vehicles see East Norfolk Bus Blog.
|67776 having vinyls removed at Ipswich|
|The interior of the E300|
The E300's will have something new on them though - they are all being fitted with state of the art, GPS linked destination screens, which automatically change at terminii. I assume there is a driver override option but it's different, if a tad unnecessary for a P&R. However, it does mean that the current screens will be removed and will be put in 8 of the B7tl's that still have polka dot displays. That will be good. In the meantime 67776 is being de-vinyled and will go up to Simon Morris tomorrow to be painted into P&R colours, which not even the Engineering Manager knew the details of! Ipswich Town blue has been rumoured so we'll just have to wait and see.
|The offside still with First Borders X95 branding|
The other main news concerning Ipswich, as yet unpublicised, is that Ipswich Buses' 38, the free circular shuttle bus serving Endeavour House and the Town Centre is to be scrapped from the end of June. As yet I don't know if anything is going to replace it, or other routes diverted to cover the Endeavour House section, but it is another indication that all may not be well between Ipswich Buses and the two Councils. As soon as I know anything else I'll of course let you know.
|The end for the 38 is nigh|