Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rubber Duck We Have A Convoy

Oh well that's it. The most unique fleet of buses in the country has gone West. South West to be precise as this afternoon the 12 MAN Ecocity gas buses left Anglian Bus to begin a new life in Devon at Plymouth Citibus. Myself and Tim were at Ellough to witness the departure. No words are needed so enjoy the pics and videos. A commemorative post will be published soon, hopefully with some exclusive pics never seen before of their initial construction.

A word of thanks to the Plymouth drivers who collected them today - it doesn't show on the videos except when Tim's arm appears, but nearly all the drivers acknowledged us as they left - a nice touch much appreciated.

Anglian have reinstated all the Scania Omnicities and Omnilinks previously withdrawn, as well as Trident 712, which has had more lives than a cat. And so East Anglia plunges back into the Dark Ages, with nothing to suggest the 21st century exists - no gas buses, electric buses, even hybrids, no MMC's, no B5's, nothing except a few pink Streetdecks which are hardly trailblazers in the future of bus travel. An era has ended, a sad day indeed.

101 WX62 HGU was the first to go
Followed by 110 AU13 FBJ
And 103 WX62 HHE
Those three left in front of the remaining 9, who left the yard and then rather pleasingly assembled outside before leaving in convoy. 106 was the last to leave the depot, although it headed the convoy away. For the record the order leaving the yard was after 101, 110 and 103 was 109, 107, 108, 111, 105, 102, 100, 112 and 106.

Still showing 81 Bungay 106 AU62 DWN is the last gas bus to leave Anglian's yard

So long, farewell and thanks for the memories. I will come and see you in Plymouth.


  1. Assuming they were moved on for cost reasons? Let's see how often services are cancelled for mechanical reasons now that the reserve fleet is back in play..

    1. Yes Trevor, warranty runs out next year and they'll suffer far less damage running on City streets than they do on narrow country lanes round here. Makes sense but still don't like it!

  2. What can you do? Bit of a no brainer really then but still desperately sad to see them go.Could almost class them as iconic? Never had the chance to catch a ride on them but will miss seeing them about. Apart from all the withdrawns being placed back in service,any further additions look unlikely?

  3. Great set of images and vids.

    Yes, if there was a radio the anthems for 712 will be a hit by Gloria Gaynor (wonder what I am talking about here).

    Look forward to the commemorative post on this.

    John D.

  4. awesome videos! Really enjoyed watching those. I saw two gas buses heading East on the A47 at Longwater at about 1400ish earlier, I'm guessing they suddenly realised they missed the A11 turning?!

  5. Yep, a decent period of mourning. But then a few questions:

    1. If we really wish we'd kept them longer, then what could we have done? Used them rather more, perhaps? How many other people went to say goodbye, apart from the two of you? Has it made the papers yet?
    2. Bus companies have to run a business, not a museum. Even a modern one. The gas buses came here courtesy of the much maligned Department of Transport, not through our efforts. We hate Government and the EU because they spend too much of our money. On things like this. Looking to the future, not the past. We vote against it, whenever we have the opportunity; and make a joke of it.
    3. Yes the industry is in the doldrums. All over the country. East Anglia in the Dark Ages? Cambridge? The City Challenge is seeking to promote buses as the most important transport part of its growth agenda. What more could you ask for? The population are in total revolt. They want anything but. (It's not the buses, but the consequences they say. A bus needs to get about. Everything in life has consequences). We complain about what we don't have when its offered? What are we, infants? So we expect their operator Stagecoach to do . . . what exactly? Throw their money at people who don't want it? And back "home" (as we think of it) what about the Norfolk and Suffolk Mayor. What will be their priorities? We decide. Yes, the industry is too risk adverse. Who can blame them?
    4. As Anglian took the initiative, when they were independent, perhaps "the future" lies with the independents? At least those who aren't being gobbled up; the money just isn't around. Their owners need a pension, somehow.
    5. I've lived in and around East Anglia most of my life. The problem? We're just too tight. Beggars can't be choosers. If East Anglia is a backwater, and it is, it's because that's what we've made it. We couldn't have done a better job by hanging a "Keep Out" sign to the modern world on the door.
    Britain wants to be the world's innovation hub, they say. We have a funny way of going about it. Just as long as nothing changes and everyone else pays the bills.

    Happy memories, everyone.

    1. If I didn't know better, Smurf, I'd say there was just a touch of cynicism there!

      When Gillingham sold Steve Bruce to Norwich is 1985 I understood the reasons why, but still didn't like it. Not liking something doesn't mean you don't understand.

  6. you are more than welcome to come and visit your gas buses in plymouth. we will make you feel very welcome at plymouth citybus

    1. I will obviously wait until they are in service and then Megabus will take a hit! Thanks for the invite, if yesterday is anything to go by you seem a friendly bunch and I can't wait to come and see you.