Half year review

Lynx began trading in January, and have grown exponentially since
Yesterday saw us blissfully cross the half way mark of 2015 as we enjoyed (or melted) the hottest day of the year so far. As there's been a quite a lot of happenings since the start of the year, it seems only fitting that we take a quick look over the principal goings on.

In January, Norfolk's newest operator hit the road. Coastal Red, who trade as Lynx, is managed by Andrew Warnes and Julian Patterson - who are known for growing Konectbus up until its sale in 2010. Since the beginning, the frequency of their service 35 has doubled and three vehicles have been added to the fleet. Our report from the first few days of Lynx can be found here.

Towards the end of January, Norwich was treated to a very swift loan of Ipswich Wright Axcess Floline bodied Scania L94UB 65588 V588DVF. It was then moved on to Great Yarmouth, however, suffered severe mechanical failure and now sits out back of Caister Road depot unused. Also in Norwich, the video of a stuck First Gemini 2 became an internet hit as it made national new websites!

Norfolk Coachways took on the entire fleet from Turner and Butcher
when the later ceased trading in February
In February, news came in that local operate Turner and Butcher of Kenninghall had ceased trading. Whilst it was not a direct buyout, Norfolk Coachways took on all the operator's school contracts and their fleet of Plaxton Paramount bodied Bedfords. 

At First, the five Norwich based Optare Solos had all left by mid February and Alexander Dennis Pointer Dart 42921 EU05AUN appeared on loan. It later emerged that this had become a permanent transfer, and has since been repainted into Olympia livery.

On Friday 13th February, a serious road traffic collision involving a First Lowestoft based bus caused chaos in the city centre and Dolphin Travel acquired an open top bus for prom and show work. February saw the accidental launch of the new look Norwich Buses Blog thanks to a technical glitch and our Around The UK series kicked off.

March saw the first Norwich Classic Bus Rally, which was a real
success and credit to those who organised it.
In March, the first locally based '15' registered PCV appeared on the road as Thetford Bus Station closed its gates to make way for new facility, which I visited shortly after it opened. Sanders revealed some pretty major changes to their network as BorderBus split the 146 route to comply with European domestication standards.

Norwich Buses Blog revealed the result of the 2015 Park and Ride re-tendering in Norwich, which became our third most read post. Just days after was the first Norwich Classic Bus Running Day, which was so successful there were discussions of a 'next year' before the day was even over! Later in the month, the first of a trio of former Metrobus Scania Omnidekkas entered service at Anglianbus. There were some very interesting Tuesday Time Tunnel and Throwback Thursday reports during March, and our Historical Archive just kept growing. We also celebrated our 500th post as the month drew to a close.

The biggest news of March came from Norfolk Green, who revealed
their identity would be dropped in favour of Stagecoach Norfolk
April was the biggest month so far in terms of post, with 81 in total for you to read. Among them was a report from Peelings with the revival of their heritage, big news from the Norwich Park and Ride retendering and the usual crop of reports of rare workings and fleet updates. One of the biggest posts in April came from First Eastern Counties Business Manager, now General Manager, Chris Speed from an award ceremony within the company - that can be read here

The biggest news of the month came from Norfolk Green, who revealed that they would be trading as Stagecoach Norfolk from May 1st. We also revealed that a small batch of new Optare Solos would be delivered to Stagecoach Norfolk later in the year, and brought pictures of Richard's brand new Unvi Touring GT bodied Mercedes Benz Atego, which was notable for being the first '15' registered bus or coach to be delivered to a Norfolk operator.

May saw some interesting movement to ferry passengers to two
enormous events.
In May 20514 was painted into the new First Eastern Counties private hire livery and we brought news from the operator's plans to provide transport for Radio 1's Big Weekend at Earlham Park. The report on the event logistics can be viewed here. This was followed by Norwich City Football Club's trip to Wembley, which saw just about every local operator chip in to lend a hand to Sanders Coaches in getting some 80,000 supporters down to the capital. 

As for June, I am sure you can remember back to what has happened. But if not, you can use our handy post archive on the right of the blog to find out what went on.

And finally, a thank you. I have taken a quick look at the figures for 2015 so far and Norwich Buses Blog has had around 167 thousand views, we are nearing 500 followers on Twitter and our Facebook group is nearing 200 members. which is a truly flattering and unexpected figure - so thanks to all who have read, contributed and supported the blog this year. There are some interesting things lined up for the blog over summer, so watch this space is all I will say!
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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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