Big Weekend Buses

First's fleet of 16 B9's should all see action this weekend, with most
extra Blue Line journeys operated by them.
Hello stranger! Whilst Kieran takes a few days away to get some final revision done in preparation for his Sixth Form exams this week, I've been drafted in as the supply teacher of bus blogging, to keep you all informed until he's back.

Another trip to First's new premises on Castle Meadow last Thursday revealed in some detail the plans for this weekends bus operations. On Saturday, up to 0900 the 25 and 26 will operate normally to Chancellors Drive, although the 25 will operate all day via The Avenues rather than South Park Avenue. From 0900, all regular Blue Line services will terminate at Bluebell Road and return to the city via Fiveways & Earlham Road or Unthank Road. The cancellation of service 27 along with the savings of one bus each on the 25 and 26 for the day (thanks to some duty tweaks) will help operate additional one-way reliefs on the Blue Line between 1000 and 1500. Six buses will run these reliefs run from Castle Meadow to Bluebell Road, terminating at the Fiveways Roundabout. As well as these extra journeys outbound on the Blue Line, four buses will hit the road between 1000 and 1500 providing a 10 minute frequency shuttle service from the Bus Station, also terminating at Bluebell Road/Fiveways Roundabout. 

One of the buses First may have on loan from Norse, along with
drivers for use on whatever First controllers see necessary.
Due to the immense pressure on Norwich controllers (and yes, there are extras in too!), First advise that the city's colour network is likely to be ignored, with most buses likely to operate on 'Lines' they aren't branded for.

During the night time on both days, evening 25 and 26 are operating as normal, although from 1945, all shuttle 25/26 buses will operate to the bus station, returning dead to Bluebell. Six buses are to be used on an additional 8 departures per hour from 1945. From 2200, things start to hot up. High frequency services are to be operated by six buses from Norwich, along with nine buses from other Eastern Counties depots. Also notable is that First have on loan twelve Norse double-deckers (those used on the Park and Ride) from 2200. Buses on loan from Kings Lynn, Lowestoft and Yarmouth will conclude their duties by operating super late services back to their depot towns, either as X1 or X2 for Lowestoft. Circular services W1 and E1 are to operate around every 15 minutes from about 0015, subject to change.

On Sunday the 26 will not serve the Hospital, and again all Blue Line buses will terminate at Bluebell Road/The Fiveways. There will be several additional buses on the Blue Line, with nine to be used on shuttles from Castle Meadow or Rail Station to Bluebell Road. Four buses will be used on the 10 minute Bus Station shuttle as they were on Saturday.

First have previously operated special services through the Bus Station.
Service 100 runs frequently for special events like Sundown Festival or the
Royal Norfolk Show, both events are held at the Showground.
Also notable is that Norwich have booked buses on loan for Monday too, with up to eight X1 Enviros (Kings Lynn based) to operate alongside other First and Sanders vehicles from Norwich down to Wembley.

Although no more details have arrived about Konect's services to Big Weekend since the last update, Operations Manager Steve Royal informs me that an additional 13 buses will leave the yard on both mornings.

So all in all a very exciting weekend, with bus operations of a type we may not see again here in Norwich for a very long time.

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About Sam Larke

Norwich Buses Blog was founded in December 2013 by Sam Larke after he left another popular blog, Norwich Bus Page. Since it's launch, the site has grown dramatically, especially whilst written solely by Kieran Smith during 2015. The blog is now in it's third year and we look forward to more success and growth in the future. If you think you'd make a good writer for Norwich Buses Blog, please do get in touch via email:
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  1. Just as an additional to this Sam, all 727 NX services are suspended from the UEA from 5pm on Friday until 5am on Monday. Coaches will serve Norwich Bus Station ONLY.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Martin. I was beginning to wonder what on earth was happenings with the 727. Megabus have also suspended services to the UEA.