Wednesday Bus Bonanza: Heading Eastwards

Seen prior to taking me to Lowestoft is Omnicity 462 on the 60.
Yesterday I set out towards the East of the region to photograph some of the new Anglianbus and Konectbus services.

Originally planning to hop on a First X2 direct to Lowestoft, I arrived in Norwich a little early, so instead ended up onboard BorderBus Alexander Dennis Enviro200 103 BB09BUS to Beccles. At Beccles, I intended to stick around for a bit and catch the X2 I would have been on from Norwich. Again, I changed by route and took the Anglianbus 60 from Beccles to Lowestoft Rail Station. Today worked by Scania Omnicity 462 YN03WRJ, the 60 appears to be a competitor of the X2 and 146 (Operating identically to both the routes as far as Carlton Colville) and First Lowestoft local services. For most of the way through Carlton Collville and Whitton Estate, it was very much a basis of whichever bus is infront gets the passengers.

Before we move onto new services, an answer to a question I have promised to provide an answer to eventually to a number of readers. If you haven't already noticed, Anglianbus vehicles recently have begun adorning cards with numbers on in the front windscreen, which has lead to a number of emails and messages as to what they are. The cards are the number of the carline the bus is working, that being the duty of which routes and which times a bus will be operating during the day.

The new 61A has stirred things up among local operators, with First
biting back with an impressive fare deal.
So arriving in Lowestoft, I hopped off at Lowestoft Rail Station ready to grab a photograph of the first new service of the day. I ended up getting it at Lowestoft Bus Station instead, as the sun was glaring off the front of the buses.

The new Anglianbus 61A compliments the 61 and strongly competes with First's 99. The 61A operates every 20 minutes between Kessingland Africa Alive and Lowestoft, hence giving residents a yellow bus through their village every 10 minutes when combined with the 61. To bite back, all single fares on First's 20 minute frequency 99 have been reduced to just £1, a total of £1.40 cheaper than using the Anglianbus services. First passengers can also benefit from a £2 reduction in Africa Alive entry fee on presentation of a valid ticket from the 99. Both operators are using their destination screens to show off their services, with Anglianbus' 61A proclaiming "Africa Alive" and First's 99 displaying "All single fares £1" along with "Africa Alive and Pontins".

An impressive line up of eight coaches in Great Yarmouth, with a
further two behind them.
Moving on from Lowestoft, I headed to Great Yarmouth to capture Konectbus' new presence in the town on camera.

Firstly, however, I had a bit of time to run round to Beach Coach Station in the hope of photograph a couple of coaches. My hopes were met, with a total of ten coaches present on the former rail station site. These included three Setras from Shearings/National Holidays and one from Crusader Holidays, a Setra S250 'Special' from Craggs, a Plaxton Elite from Happy Als, Plaxton Panther from Tim Draper, Caetano Cutlass bodied Dennis Javelin from locally based Norse, a Sitcar Beluga 3 bodied Mercedes Benz O816D Vario from Carraigeways and last but not least a Bova Futura from M&G Travel. I'm sure you can imagine my excitement at the impressive line up of vehicles! After a chat with a very friendly coach driver about industry happenings, I bid farewell with my reason being "There's a bus I need to photograph" - which he had a little chuckle about. 

The new Konectbus 71 replaces part of former Anglianbus service
63 and offers new links to Wroxham.
The bus was Konectbus Optare Versa 304 MX58KYV working new service 71. The new Konectbus 71 replaces part of former Anglianbus service 63 and offers new links to Wroxham. A return journey each weekday operates the entire route through to Wroxham, and a return journey operating as far as Hemsby Beach turning circle operates also. The afternoon return to Wroxham becomes a school service from Broadland High School. For a new service, loadings were pretty decent, a quick count as the bus shot past equated to around ten passengers. It is worth noting that although the bus was displaying Hemsby, the working photographed was the afternoon return to Wroxham.

The 71, and 72 from Norwich, give Konectbus a new precense in Great Yarmouth. The closest the blue and yellow buses had ever been to Great Yarmouth on regular service was Acle, when Anglianbus cut the town off of it then Anglianexpress 7 to reduce journey time and replaced the town with the Konectbus 52 from Norwich - the same service exists today, but only operates as far as Blofield Heath. 

The 28 in a location you may never see it again.
My ride home ended up being First Great Yarmouth Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33423 SN60CAA, the much loved former Jersey decker.. The onboard WiFi was working smoothly and allowed me to get the know how about where I would be heading next.

Duke Street in Norwich is currently closed due to a gas leak, putting First 28 and Konectbus 5 on emergency diversion. With the 28 being my local route, I couldn't resist a photograph of it in a bizarre place. The 28 was diverted via St Crispins Bridge, Palace Street and Tombland; with the 5 operating via Grapes Hill and Theatre Street, before looping around Farmers Avenue to face the right way on Castle Meadow ready to return to Queen's Hills. How could I turn down a photograph of a bus on a route which may be where it was for the first and last time in its life?
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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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