Saturday, 18 July 2015

Weekend Supplement

Another big post to keep you entertained and we start with Latitude. On Friday Latitude started in earnest, although the queue on the A12 northbound Thursday took seeing to be believed, and as usual the many bus and coach links were in operation. As last year BorderBus are in overall control of everything, with much hiring of other coaches necessary. The intention was to get both local shuttles and coach transfers covered on Friday, but not having the whole day to spare I soon realised this would prove inpossible so I'll be doing the coaches on Monday when they return everyone to Diss station from a secret location en route. (That means I haven't decided where yet).

So on Friday I settled for a few trips on the Southwold Shuttle, particularly as it gave me the rare opportunity to travel on one of BorderBus's Plaxton President B7tl's, normally used exclusively on Sir John Leman School work. So after arriving in Southwold on Anglian ex Metrobus Scania 555, which is STILL suffering from the air leak on the door lock I reported on its first day in service some months ago, I linked up with the legend that is Malcolm on the Southwold to Latitude Shuttle, surprised at just how many people were waiting for it that early.

BorderBus 204 Volvo B7tl President X662 LLX loading up at Southwold
When we got to the Latitude day drop off point I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was a period of what can only be described as off roading on a farm track. Not something you get to do everyday! Unless you're a farmer.

The drop off point at Latitude
There was also another B7tl doing the internal shuttle, but being the observant enthusiast I am I didn't take a note of which one it was! Update - it's 203!

204 and 203 together.
It's always nice to do something a bit different and not only was the route and bus different but so were the passengers wth no buggies or shopping trolleys blocking everything up and everyone out to have a good time. I also had a good time and thanks to Malcolm and BorderBus for letting me hang out for a couple of hours.

So on to Saturday and my weekly report from Camera Robinson who was in Norwich catching up with the latest returnee from Rotherham. Turquoise President 32100 was already, well turquoise but has been refurbished with leather seating and is the first of the route branded buses to have had the rear route colour painted out and replaced by the generic First Purple.  B7tl 32203 and Trident 33167 are currently up in Rotherham having the same treatment.

The new rear of 32100 at Castle Meadow            pic (c) Cameron Robinson
Cameron assures me that the seats are really comfortable. However since Cameron also thought the previous seats were really comfortable I will endeavor to get on her in the coming week to test them out for myself!

Lower deck seating on 32100      pic (c) Cameron Robinson
A close up of the new seats       pic (c) Cameron Robinson
Also in Norwich today was the third different open top vehicle to operate the Norwich Tour this Summer. After regular Olympian G520 VBB suffered mechanical probs yesterday Ensignbus came to the rescue and sent up another Olympian, this time Alexander bodied Olympian P493 MBY. Cameron got this pic of her in Norwich Bus Station. He also informs me that Coach Services President X457 EGK will be converted to open top and taking over the service at some point to comply with DDA requirements. As usual my thanks to Cameron for sending me pics and reports when I'm unable to get out myself.

Ensignbus Olympian P493 MBY at Norwich Bus Station     pic (c) Cameron Robinson
Another invaluable contributor is Davd Green of Galloways. David has informed me that Galloway have taken delivery of a new coach for National Express work to replace the coach which suffered fire damage some months ago. There is some confusion as to which type of Volvo it is. Davd has been told B8R but believes it to be a B11R, which sounds more feasible. What is not in doubt is the registration, which is BF15 AJX. It has a Caetano Cutlass body (not Levante David?) but as yet hasn't been allocated a fleet number. Many thanks for the info, David.

Finally I arrived at Southwold on Friday just in time to see this rather smart coach leave. Fenn Holidays Van Hool T917 MR09 FEN appears to be the newest coach in the March company's fleet, new appropriately in March 2009 and certainly looked good in the Southwold sun.

Fenn Holidays Van Hool T917 MR09 FEN at Southwold


  1. Replies
    1. I have absolutely no idea why I made that mistake as I knew what bus it was. However it is now corrected and the planet can revert to spinning on its normal axis.