Sunday 29 March 2015

Weekly News Round Up 29/3/15

Welcome to Summer Time everyone, and another round up of what's been going on. A lot of posts this week, with some really great contributions from various people, for which I'm eternally grateful. Let's get on with it.


  • Anglian announce May changes
  • Changes coming to Ipswich buses
  • First Ipswich record record safety results
  • BorderBus reveal new paint job
  • Anglian introduce refurbished Scania
  • Lucky escape for passengers in Brazil

The main news of the week has to be the changes coming to Anglian's network in May. Double the number of buses to Southwold, a new 61A Kessingland - Lowestoft service mirroring First's 99,  a shake up for the 60, with services extending to Bungay, Halesworth and Southwold, faster services between Bungay and Beccles on the 80. The 62 between Halesworth and Kessingland cut completely, as is the 63 between JPH and Hemsby, and the 86 between Beccles and Haddiscoe. Full details and strong opinion by clicking on link at bottom of this post.

More changes are also coming to Ipswich Buses, with a shake up to services in East Ipswich. Details of the VOSA registrations can be viewed on the link at the bottom of the post and check back tomorrow for more details after my meeting with Malcolm Robson to discuss the changes.

Now I am always happy to publish good news, and since this is normally the week's most read post I thought despite receiving the news a few days ago that it deserved to go in the round up to get maximum exposure. I received an email from Paulo at First Ipswich. For a couple of years now First Group have been using the Greenroad system which measures driver's performance while out on the road. This system takes into account acceleration, braking, smoothness of the driving, fuel economy, amount of idle time etc. I am happy to reproduce Paulo's email in full:

Hi Steve,

Just to share with you a remarkable day for First Ipswich.
We have achieved the lowest score ever since the GreenRoad system is in place.
We have achieved 15 score today and we are the best depot within EC and on top ten all over UK.
I know that you appreciate safety and comfort whilst traveling on a bus and GreenRoad system scores and monitors exactly that.     

Paulo included the following picture which means absolutely nothing to me (I don't understand it) but means the world to him and shows how well the Ipswich drivers are scoring.

The chart showing the Greenroad scoring.
Not only that but the very next day the Ipswich team scored a 14. Well done to all of the Ipswich drivers and thanks to Paulo for rightly wanting the world to know about it!

BorderBus start their new timetable and route tomorrow - I'll have a report and pictures from the new section of route on Tuesday - and on Monday they revealed exclusively to this blog their most recent acquisition fresh back from the paintshop, including pics of the repaint process. The link to the post is at the bottom of this post.

BorderBus's new E200 MX12 DYU fresh out the paintshop
Across the road at Ellough Anglian also revealed a new vehicle for them. The first of the refurbished ex Metrobus Scania Omnidekkas arrived on Tuesday and was swiftly pressed into service. After I revealed that instead of using the Go-Ahead fleet number of 1504 Anglian had numbered it 556 to tie in with the rest of the fleet, I then heard from Arthur the Anglian Aardvark (the equivilant of Freddie the Frog as far as contacts are concerned) that all the 1504 vinyls have been removed, and now the Scania only displays 556. Therefore that makes the picture below quite a collectors item!

1504 is no more, only 556 remains.
Finally, and thanks are due to Nicky Pursey for sending me this news story, some passengers in Brazil had a truly lucky escape when their minicoach was swept into a huge hole in the road and washed away by torrential floods. Next time you have a gripe about your bus service running a few mins late think of this and be thankful. The story, with dramatic video can be viewed by clicking here.

Other Tit-Bits
I don't normally report accidents but this one was all over the media like a rash within minutes of it happening, complete with youtube videos so no harm will be done if I mention it. An Ambassador National Express Levante collided with the back of an Anglian gas bus on the Acle straight on Monday. There was extensive damage to both vehicles but thankfully no serious injuries. Anglian 104 is still waiting to be assessed and could be off the road for sometime.
Ipswich Buses revealed the first of the refurbished X reg Darts on Monday. IB 93 has been converted to DDA compliant, and had leather seating installed. IB 98 has now replaced it at Hants and Dorset Trim. More on that in the post below.

On loan Yarmouth Dart 42921 is to be made a permanent transfer to Norwich and will be repainted into Corportate livery I understand. Shame - would look interesting with a purple front. Gemini 2 36180 has been seen operating Yarmouth services after undergoing MOT there.  The Norwich open top service started yesterday in the rain with a bus advertising Colchester Zoo. OK.
Tomorrow sees changes to Sanders services in Norfolk. See here for more details. 

This weekend was the Mid Norfolk Railway's Diesel Gala. A full report and many pics can be found in the post linked below.

I am well aware that I still haven't posted about the Norwich Running Day last Sunday, where apparently all I did was lean against a stationary bus. The post will be up tomorrow morning and happily I will be able to prove that indeed I did go out and about! However, leaning against a gleaming Routemaster chatting to intelligent and knowledgeable people about the subject I love is not a waste of time in my opinion. Then Chris Speed joined us and we had to stop talking about football and talk about buses instead!!!!

Oh and apparently Shearings have got some new coaches. Just thought I'd mention it.

This Week's Posts
BorderBus Repaint Special   A special report on the repaint process of BorderBus's latest E200

Ipswich Buses 93 Returns and Anglian 1504 Arrives  The first pics of refurbished Dart IB 93 and Anglian's ex Metrobus Omnidekka 1504 (now 556)

Anglian's Schitzophrenic Omnidekkas  I am the first to reveal that the Anglian Omnidekkas will have two fleet numbers, and more pics only to be found here.
Anglian Scania 1504/556 Ride And Review  I road test and review the new Anglian Omnidekka on its first day out, taking pics in locations away from the norm.
Class 365 Special  A feature on the class 365 EMU, including pics taken at Cambridge last week
Major Ipswich Changes and New P&R For Norwich  A look at the latests VOSA registrations affecting Ipswich Buses and the revelation that First are to operate a Park and Ride service from Harford P&R to County Hall

Go-Whippet Obs  My obs of different Go-Whippet vehicles last week in Cambridge and St Ives

Anglian Changes Announced  I analyse the forthcoming changes to Anglian services in May and offer a typically unbiased opinion! Well maybe....

Mid Norfolk Railway Diesel Gala Special  I abandon myself in a sleepy corner of Norfolk to get you the best pics of the wonderful beasts taking part in this year's Diesel Gala.

And that's it. A reminder that next week is Easter so Sunday services will be operated on Good Friday and Easter Monday, so if you don't have a Sunday service tough luck. Actually we don't have a Wednesday or Saturday service here now either so work that one out! Check in tomorrow for the Norwich Running Day pics (AM), which will be different to any others you have seen (on blogs), and the latest on the Ipswich Buses changes in May (PM).


  1. Gotta feeling I read somewhere about a Chelmsford P&R driver who got a Drive Green score of zero over up to 2 years or something. But P&R, that's cheating! (In my day zero was a failure, but there what do I know). I once tried one of the driving monitors on the mobile phone, and it seemed excellent at measuring the state of the roads, bleeping at my driving at every (repaired or unrepaired) pothole. Perhaps I needed a man with a flag in front, walking at 2mph.

    1. Dear God it would sound like a heart monitor in most of Norfolk!

  2. Hi steve galloway update a demo in the form of mercedes citaro bp14fjz or fuz has turned up its in a all over blue livery