Wednesday 1 June 2016

Major Changes For Anglian & Konect

The blog is back. I can't guarantee how regular posts will be as due to circumstances beyond my control I'm not getting out as much right now. That should all change mid July, so please bear with me between now and then. In the meantime thanks to all those who got in touch while the blog was down - your concern means a great deal.

I have today received quite extraordinary news regarding the restructuring of services operated by Anglian and Konect effective July 25th. I will go through the changes as sinply as possible, but to be honest it's not all that simple!


Services 1/11/12  These routes will now operate on a commercial basis. The Swaffham - Kings Lynn section of the route will be withdrawn. Service 12 will have a revised timetable but the same number of journeys. Connections at Watton with the 3 from Norwich will be improved.

Service 71  An additional peak journey will operate between Wroxham and Great Yarmouth, returning in the afternoon

Park and Ride 501: Timetable revisions. A 15 mins frequency will operate between the Airport and Thickthorn throughout the day.with additional short journeys between City Centre and Thickthorn in the peaks

Park and Ride 503: This service is being extended to Great Yarmouth and will replace the current Anglian 7 service. Two buses an hour will extend from Postwick to Great Yarmouth matching the current Anglian 7 frequency. Peak journeys will extend into Caister. From Postwick into the City alternate journeys will operate via County Hall and Yarmouth Rd/Rail Station


Service 7/7A: Service 7 is withdrawn and replaced by the extended Park and Ride service 503. Service 7A will continue to operate on College days

Services 60H/60S: A revised timetable with fewer journeys on the 60H

Service 61: There are major route changes to the 61. After leaving JPH heading to Yarmouth the 61 will serve Magdalen Estate, Gorleston High Street, Market Gates and continue to Barrack Estate.  The section of the route between Kessingland and Southwold is WITHDRAWN due to "the level of competition reducing the viability of this route".

Service 82: The Beccles Town Service will now only operate on Fridays

Service 83/84: The tender has been extended for a further two years. Timetable changes to even out the journeys will be made, but due to poor patronage the 83 will no longer operate on Saturdays

Service 87/88/X88/88A: All journeys on departure from Bus Station will operate via St Stephen's St due to the success of the Grey Charcoal Line. Some cuts to the 88A between Southwold and Halesworth but basic hourly off peak frequency maintained

School buses 90. BH272 and 5 (Framingham Earl) will also be withdrawn.


Wow! This is serious stuff. The main headline has got to be the withdrawal of the Southwold - Kessingland section of the 61 - a huge victory for Borderbus. However it will also mean no Sunday service to Southwold so expect First to make a move - maybe even extending the X1 to Southwold to maintain the popular cross Lowestoft link. I emphasise that is just my speculation and no decisions have been made. The P&R extension is rather pleasing personally - I told Go-Ahead management last year that the only way to compete with the X1 was to put deckers on, and match comfort and WiFi. Job done there but how successful it will be remains to be seen. I like the Caister extension too, but why not all day, giving Caister a direct link with Norwich? Also how will ticketing work? Will Postwick be the only place Concessionary Passes are not accepted? The details when published will be interesting.

Rural routes hit again, with Watton - Kings Lynn the most significant cut. I guess that's par for the course these days. Surprised about the 83 on a Saturday. That won't encourage independence for the next generation either.

All in all quite a surprise, and gas buses running around Barrack Estate will be a sight too. What this means for the Anglian fleet remains to be seen - hopefully some older Omnilinks will disappear which will be good news for posteriors! More updates as and when I get them


  1. Thomas Browne) I guess the school services will be contracted by someone else. And I presume they'll be some fleet withdrawls. Although, hopefully borderbus will see some potential with the withdrawl of the 61. Plus the fact of the purchase of the b7tl (miles better than a streetwreck) which you probably will know anyway. Hope your doing ok steve and best regards.

  2. Great to see you back Steve. Wow, some serious stuff there indeed. The 503 should be interesting, looking forward to see how that works. Caister should be all day, agreed. It used to be back during the days of the old 701/705 days of the 1990s when I first came to Norfolk.

    John D.

  3. Thanks guys, good to be back.

  4. The 705 used to run between Acle and Yarmouth vis the Ol via Rollesby and Caister.

  5. Just a note.
    KONECT 1 from Swaffham to Lynn is cut.

  6. And to think Anglian have just enhanced the 61 on a Sunday then cut it 2 months later!

    1. Agreed, that was my first thought when reading this - the second was 'so they're abandoning Middleton Road again...'. Anyone would think that goldfish have longer attention spans.

      I'm not even going down the road of them withdrawing from a (section of) route where there's 2-3 buses an hour competition to moving in on a (section of) route where there's 6-8 buses an hour of competition...

      I don't know. If they advertise what they're doing with the 61, particularly the Barracks bit, then they could actually do quite well. Emphasis as always on the word IF, so lord knows how it will actually go, particularly with Anglian in it's current... err... condition shall we say.

  7. Hope you get the situation sorted. Time and patience, in my experience; but don't make my mistake of staying quiet about it! If all else fails make the MPs earn their keep.

    I think chickens are coming home to roost. The operators and the politicians (and us users) have done a good job in pretending nothing has changed whilst having to cut expenditure furiously. The elastic had been stretched so far it had to snap. I can't blame anyone (including Go-Ahead) who is trying to plan for the future: Stagecoach and Arriva have been at it - cutting their cloth - for some time. First still seem to be trying to hold on to something of everything (until they leave it too late and and sometimes have to chop the lot), good luck to them. As in every business success is sometimes not as much what you do as what you don't do. And fortunately that's less of a problem for the little 'uns.

    It's like a three-legged animal, unstable. From experience here it looks very much as though they're getting through with the short-term expedient of maximising mileage for bucks when dwindling subsidy is available, and "efficiencies", which both mean services that usually meet the needs of the operators before the needs of the passengers. The third leg, you've guessed it, is the passengers who just have to try and make the best of it. (Haven't they always?) In Essex, as always, they're in open revolt. They want to go back to how it was. No one, as yet, is big or bold enough to tell them the truth. The inevitable mess will sort itself out. Eventually. How, is anyone's guess. But my guess is that the buses are going to serve themselves before the passengers. They have to. There'll be winners of course, and some very disappointed losers. But isn't that like the rest of life?

    1. It's very good to see you back, Steve . . . your posts are always informative, and some of the comments doubly so . . . keep it going if you can!

      Smurf's comments are (as usual) to the point, and I'm starting to fear for some small town routes now, as well as the rural routes (which seem to be seriously at risk).
      We have Oxfordshire walking away from all forms of subsidy in July and now Dorset are back for a third (fourth?) go at supported bus routes.

      The Buses Bill still bangs on about smart ticketing and franchises, without realising that, without a basic network of bus services, smart ticketing is just so much nonsense.

      To add to Smurf's comments . . . we're getting back towards the bad old days of the 1980's, when operators had to provide imetables that were, above all, efficient to operate rather than attractive for passengers. There's perilously little fat left now in many networks, and in rural counties like Norfolk the car will often win by default. Perhaps the answer is to major on urban route networks and a few interurban routes, and provide high-quality park and ride routes to stop cars going into the City centres, and simply to give up on rural routes altogether.

      I'm not saying that there won't be many losers . . . there will, but after all we do have other transport operators out there . . . taxis (and yes, I do know about extortionate taxi fares; but it's an option that maybe we haven't explored yet very much {although Devon CC have their "FareCar" network . . . effectively 4-seater cars operating occasional journeys . . . fares are charged at bus levels, and the CC make up the difference}.

      Just a thought . . . .

    2. Dunno . . . I think it's all been tried, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try again, or harder or more creatively. But I think it's the softer stuff. We get very hung up in this country on structures and procedures. It all sounds great but . . .
      And nothing to do with the EC, we can mess it up quite well without any help. And usually do.

      I'm going to sound like a convert to Steve's BorderBus fan club, but whenever I travel by bus (not as often as I'd like but more than I like) I'm not left with an experience I want to repeat. On paper, or even on-line if you enjoy ploughing through mud, it looks great, but I'm usually left with the impression that nobody knows what is going on, least of all the passengers. If it's your daily commute (and I know a number of people who do) it must be horrific; and that is their view, exactly. If a business doesn't look after its paying customers it's more BHS than M&S. (Or Amazon or anything American if you really want to find out about customer service).

      I know many bus operators have a fantastic relationship with the enthusiasts (they've a shared interest after all), and many off-peak concessions get well looked-after too as the marginal effort involved is pretty low; but realistically neither are the profit centres of the industry. Just possibly if they made it their priority to serve the paying customer well (NO excuses) then they might get repeat custom rather than the, too-often, "never again" experience. You don't achieve that by leaving them in the lurch/with no idea what is going on/ treating them like dirt (that is the passenger view whatever the management think they're doing, and I'm talking about the whole journey experience), or by making using the bus like a maze or an obstacle course - which is how it must appear to the uninitiated (not those of us on here, then). Little things mean a lot. Then they might start making some money to spend it on improving services too for the rest of us. At the moment, I'm afraid many of them don't deserve it. And, I suspect, haven't the faintest clue why. They've got all the right policies, given the instructions, done the training, ticked all the right boxes and said all the right things, after all . . . As I found managing staff, there is no direct correlation between effort and result.

  8. Well, nice to see you back young Steve. While I may not necessarily agree with everything you post, I do like the way you post it, which is a good thing in this day and age.

    Just to pick up on a few bits:

    Anglian 61; I've given my thoughts on this above, so shan't bore people by repeating them here.

    Konect 71; an ADDITIONAL journey? Well well. As always, the devil will be in the detail, so it'll be fascinating to see what time this additonal journey will actually run (before or after 2.30pm).

    Norwich to Yarmouth; no shock this has been Konectified - when Konect moved into Rackheath it was always a case of when rather than if this would happen IMO. A bit of a shock that it's not the motley crew of Tempos and Versas I was expecting though - blimey, didn't think they had it in them to be honest. Caister extensions too - presumably for workers (who complained most bitterly when the previous direct Caister-Norwich link - the x95 - was pulled)? Which I expect is probably why it's not going to be all day to start with. With that in mind, when published, the details (timetables, Postwick, concession passes past Postwick etc.) should be rather interesting indeed.

    Anglian's fleet; as to what will go - you're probably right, I'd say Scanias too. Unless there's anything leased in the fleet, then that would probably go first, then older Omnilinks.

  9. one who is now forced to use public transport all the time , I view the withdrawal of the 7/61 between Norwich and the jAMES pAGET HOSPITAL with disgust but fatalism. Hey ho No B****y cop, aka National Bus Company is back. One bus an hour via Yarmouth Road? Well, that's one way of driving customers away. I will now have to use the train to Great Yarmouth and then taxi to get to my eye clinic appointments - £11 fron Vauxhall station to the hospital. Ok konect you don't want to give me a service, so I'll stop using your 52. As far as vehicles go, the Optare Versa and Tempo are smooth vehicles which, with their off white interiors and light airiness beat the drab grey interiors of other vehicles. A thought in passing here is that many of those who suffer sickness problems travelling on buses find they suffer it less in the Tempo and Versa with the off white interior. I have always used buses where possible but the abysmal standard of communication of operators in relation to service changes and similar gains them enemies NOT friends. Scanias going? That is good news, though they are not as horrible as the nasty, clanking Volvo B7RLE.