New addition and massive throwback

After a tiresome exam this afternoon, I arrived home to an envelope on the doorstep encasing the latest addition to my collection of bus related memorabilia; the July 1999 First Eastern Counties Norwich City Bus Times booklet.

Each and every timetable contained within has been scanned, saved and uploaded onto the hugely popular Norwich Buses Blog historical archive. There is also a range of Ambassador, Sanders and Anglianbus timetables as well - with one from Millennium Freeway. You can see for yourself here.

Throwback to 1999

The book itself contains a number of things of interest. It was published in a time when First really began to establish themselves in Norwich, with their own "Barbie" colours making cream and red buses history. A note in the booklet proclaims "Most First Eastern Counties buses are either in our traditional colours of red, cream and orange or our smart new livery of of while, blue and magenta."

Alan Barrett was the managing director, and the booklet boasts the addition of fifty new low floor buses since 1996. First Eastern Counties Agents still existed, including the likes of the Union of UEA Student Office, Dixons in Hellesdon and number of post offices and convenience stores.

The free concessionary travel scheme for over 60s was not yet introduced. Instead the Norfolk County Counil Concessionary Scheme was in place, with over 60s with a card receiving a discount of up to 80p on First services.

The Norwich network was distinguished by the Norwich Sixer and Season Ticket Zone maps. With the Citywider and Cityplus areas forming what later became Zones 1-5. A week ticket for the entire Norwich network cost £9, today's equivalent is double the cost at £18, there is also a £270 difference in yearly ticket prices.

The services themselves are massively different to today aswell. A total of six school services and four "N" prefixed night and early morning services were operated, and services ran much more frequently much later than today's timetables.
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About Kieran Smith

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: samuel.larke@gmail.com
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