Around The UK: First sales, Route One Awards and bus station modernisations

Among others, National Express owned The Kings Ferry is in with
the chance of an aware at this year's Route One Excellence awards.
Following on from last week's report, there has since been news of more First depot closures - among many other interesting bits which have made the news this week.

Many of this year's Route One Excellence Award nominations have been announced. Most exciting is First Eastern Counties' nomination for the "Large Bus Operator of the Year (Over 150 vehicles)", where they will come up against the likes of First Glasgow, Reading Buses and Arriva Cymru. "Large Coach Operator of the Year (Over 50 vehicles)" is up for grabs by The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Edwards, Lucketts, Shearings or York Pullman; with "Medium Coach Operator of the Year (16-50 vehicles)" heading for either Epsom Coaches, locally based Galloway, Reays Coaches, Golden Boy or Maynes of Buckie. The full list can be enjoyed in its entirety here.

Also revealed from Route One is that a series of tests drives will take place at Milbrook Circuit exclusively for the magazine.

First South Devon's Plymouth operate is to be sold to Stagecoach, expected to take place ready for September 6th. The sale does not include any vehicles, however, Stagecoach will be taking on the Dartmouth Park and Ride contract. The deal includes the depot at Plymouth and outstations at Dartmouth and Tavistock; with the Torpoint facility closing and operations transferring to the main Plymouth depot. Employees for First will have the opportunity to transfer over to Stagecoach South West with the takeover. Stagecoach already have a successful operation in the South West of England, meaning the new operations at Plymouth will no doubt create some new links and services.

Just yesterday, an Optare Spectra bodied DAF DB250 of A-Bus was engulfed by flames. All of the fifteen or so passengers were evacuated quickly as the fire, said to be caused by an engine fault, began at the rear of the bus and spread to two nearby parked cars. The vehicle in question was a real notable one for being the first ever low floor double decker bus in Britain.

One of the designs for a £13 million renovation at Preston Bus
Station (Lancashire County Council)
National Express West Midlands have began placing the first ever Alexander Dennis Enviro200MMCs in service, whilst the first of the type for London have began to be sighted heading for the capital. At Go-Ahead London, the two Irizar i2e buses have made an entry into service on the 507 out of Victoria.

Over in Preston, five artist impressions have been finalised of plans for a £13 million investment into the bus station - which includes a new "youth zone" constructed alongside it. You can view each and every design and vote for your favourite here.
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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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