Sunday 8 February 2015

Weekly News Round 8/2/15

It is true to say this has been an eventful week. More so for the blog than anything off it. You wouldn't believe how much fuss has been created through Dave and Bryan joining the blog. I will put it qute simply - I now need help. I cover a wide area and for 15 months have been spending a lot of time "swanning around on buses" to get my own photos, news and reviews in order to get what I consider some readable, as accurate as possible and entertaining posts. Quite often I will be out for over 10 hours and then have to write a post when I get home. My posts are not 50 words long and take well over two hours normally. Despite allegedly not having a life my hobby has become a full time unpaid job, and the time has come to stop trying to do it all by myself. Other blogs have had and still have more than one person writing posts and contributing and as I want to expand into Essex, not to mention needing yet another eye operation I simply cannot do it all now.

So I asked two people who have become good friends to join me. The fact they are both excellent photographers is a huge amd massive bonus but is not the sole reason I asked them. David makes regular trips to Essex, as does Bryan and so they will be able to do special missions, as even a round trip to Ipswich takes me 4 hours and two prebooked minibuses - not a 15 min journey on a regular service as some are lucky enough to have. When Roy asked Grahame to join him on ENBB I didn't see any toys getting thrown out of the pram because it meant Grahame's pics would be on there first. Sam and Keiran quite rightly put their pics up on their own blog first before considering requests for them to be used elsewhere. Yet the reaction to David and Bryan joining me has been immature and quite embarrassing. The fact is that if everyone followed set protocol and courtesy in giving due credit and LIVE links to pics taken from Flickr or other sources then friends or not I doubt it would have been as easy to persuade Dave and Bryan to join me. I am sure the guys will be happy to let others use their pics provided the right credit is given after they have been published on here first, just as others have done with pics on their own blogs. I certainly will with mine, as I always have. Lessons need to be learned and procedures followed, as I am not the only blogger to have been annoyed by the actions of others in the last few days. We ARE all in this together, but if some don't show the respect or courtesy deserved by the guys out in all weathers and hours getting pics then they can't complain if those guys start picking and choosing who they let use their pics. Right let's get on with the important stuff - the news!

We'll start with First and all the action has been up in the North of the region as sod all very little is going to happen at Ipswich for a bit now apart from the odd irregular working. I hope to get a special post up looking back at the refurbishment programme in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime here is one of my pics of the last piece in the jigsaw, 69006, that I caught to Wickham Market on Wednesday.

69006 at a very sunny Wickham Market on Wednesday            pic (c) SW
 So into Norfolk, where Norwich and Yarmouth have been mutually helping each other out. A shortage of suitable vehicles for the 39 led to Yarmouth Plaxton Dart 42921 beng loaned to Norwich for a few days, although sources tell me by time you read this it will be back home in Yarmouth. I saw it in Norwich on Saturday but typically as I got my camera out off it moved, so here is a pic supplied by Cameron Robinson, who has played with it in the editing suite I think!

Yarmouth based 42921 outside Debehams in norwiich on the 39 7/2/15      pic (c) Cameron Robinson
Going the other way to Yarmouth was a surprise choice. One can only assume that Green Line branded Volvo B7l 66301 needed some work done at Yarmouth as she has been covering for the absent Dart. I managed to get a (moving) shot of her Saturday returning from Belton on the 7's.

Green Line branded 66301 in Yarmouth Saturday.        pic (c) SW
Over the last few weeks there has been a gentle procession of Yarmouth's ex Jersey Darts to Lowestoft, with Lowestoft's short E200's going to Norwich. I spotted the final Dart to leave Yarmouth, 43864 in Lowestoft. Well to be fair it was Cameron who spotted it - I just took the pic!

Lowestoft new arrival 43864 on the 111 to Carlton Colville      pic (c) SW
Nothing to report from Anglian or Konect, except after suffering multiple vehicles this week with extremely poor to nonexistent heating, rumours are starting to circulate that Anglian have been taken over by Birds Eye to produce a new range of frozen passengers!! One of those vehicles is Scania OmniCity Decker 551, which the former Operations Manager assured me in October would not be running around this winter with cold air blowing upstairs as it did last year. It is.

Ipswich Buses have been active this week, with East Lancs Dart 93 going to Hants and Dorset Trim for a complete refurb and DDA upgrade. 3 more will follow, and it is believed IB have also purchased 3 Pointer Darts from Lothian. The Mercedes Benz Citaro K demonstrator is turning heads in the town and tomorrow I will have the first of what I suspect will be several posts delving into Bryan's archive of vehicles that have been on loan in Ipswich over the years. Here is a taster - Check back tomorrow for more.

An Eastern Counties Ford Transit/Dormobile MB968 C968 YAH on loan to cover a soon to be withdrawn service 36 to Wherstead Village in 1986.         pic (c) BD
Finally something I am really, really happy to be publicising. Sanders, who it must be said don't feature too prominently on these pages put out a tweet yesterday. I had to read it three times before I actually believed it. Sanders have cancelled their planned fares rise due to the falling costs of fuel. No it's not April 1st I promise. I quote from their webpage. The full page can be viewed by clicking here,
and I urge you all to do so. I sincerely hope that with companies having blamed rising fuel costs in the past for fares increases more will follow Sanders' lead and either freeze or reduce fares to benefit the customer. Well done, Sanders - you can be proud of yourselves today.

Great News! 
Over the past 12 months we have been faced with large cost increases including insurance, company overheads, and the cost of vehicle parts. We had therefore planned to increase our bus fares with effect from Sunday 1st February 2015. 
The GREAT NEWS is that due to the recent drop in fuel costs we are able to delay any increases to our fares. 
We can confirm there will be no fare increases across our Bus Network on February 1st 2015 as planned, and hopefully for the forseeable future.

STOP PRESS: It has been confirmed that ShowBus 2015 will be held at its former stamping ground of Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, on Sept 20th. This pleases me no end as the last ShowBus I went to was at Woburn Abbey in the mid 80's. This year I will be there if I have to walk both ways!!

So that;s it for another Round Up. I am hoping for an extremely special post Friday evening, and of course on top of Bryan's nostalgic post tomorrow there will be other posts throughout the week. Take care, everyone.


  1. It will be great to see some news coming from Essex in the future, news is few and far between (except of course for the rather excellent Busmopolitan Blog). Network Colchester and Network Harlow, which have been absorbed into Arriva (or reabsorbed, with Colchester), are set to change their legal names, to be part of Arriva Kent Thameside. Staff are wearing Arriva uniforms now, so it will be interesting to see if Arriva branding comes back completely in these areas.

    1. Thanks Lee. It will be a few weeks to set everything up, but I'm hoping to have Essex fleetlists, certainly for the major operators, and I'm hoping my friend at Arriva might be able to help me there. How much of Essex I'll be able to cover is a matter of debate, I may need a host of contacts willing to keep me updated with things as it's a very big county and I confess I'm a little ignorant of things there. I may even decide to have a separate Essex section on the blog so there s much still to do. I'll give updates on progress as and when I have them.

  2. Hi steve galloway update just to let you know that 341 the volvo lavante fj61eyg has entered service on the 250 Heathrow service in all white ( not livery up yet)