Lord Mayors Special

A queue of buses which would not normally be found in the bus
station this afternoon.
Saturday afternoon was the ever popular Lord Mayors Procession through the centre of Norwich. The carnival like parade conveyed from Newmarket Road to Palace Street via St Stephens Street, Red Lion Street and Castle Meadow - which meant from 14:30, buses were diverted to alternative stops in the City Centre.

All bus departures were moved to Norwich Bus Station, All Saints Green or Surrey Street. Most areas were jam packed with buses waiting to drop off and pick up; it took around ten minutes for my bus to get through the bus station. To sum it up; complete mania, however, the bus station staff and Konectbus and First representatives did an excellent job at getting passengers onto the right buses. At one point, a First Norwich customer assistant walked a passengers from the bus station up to All Saints Green just to ensure they found their bus, top marks there! 

Konectbus were providing extra late night buses on the Thickthorn Park and Ride on the evening, with Mercedes Benz Citaro artics in use on the 601 to ensure there is enough space for everybody. There are additional buses employed on the route in the meantime also.

Yellow 33149 makes an appearance on the Red Line
The stress on the bus station from the sheer amount of bus movements just about proves that the facility, rebuilt in 2005, will never live up to the capability of the previous Eastern Counties run site - which housed almost every city centre bus movement at one point during its history.

At First, route branding was quite rightfully ignored during the peak time rush. Buses were sent out as and when they were sitting spare and dependent on customer demand. How smoothly it all ran was a real credit to the controllers and related staff, most buses were back on their 'correct' routes within an hour or so. As we all love our rare workings, here's what went on: Yellow Line President 33149 completed a return run on the 24 to Thorpe St Andrew and Purple Line President 33163 was sent out on a relief run on the 15 as far as Wymondham Cross. Blue Line Gemini 36168 was sent out to Long Stratton on the Purple Line 35 and later to Heartsease on the Red Line 23. Red Line 33235 appeared on the Purple Line 37 also.

Diversions were lengthy and delays were mounting. First let around twenty passengers onboard a 28 towards Thorpe Marriott for free to speed up the departure, but an all round nice gesture and appreciated by those who had waited quite a while for their bus home. On the subject of the 28, the diversion to get it back onto route was enormous with seven stops missed out and the bus doing a complete loop of the Eastern side of the city centre inner ring road, rather than heading Westwards to Grapes Hill as it usually would. A diversion totaling 4.1 miles and adding approximately twenty minutes on top of the journey time. All in all, an enjoyable afternoon watching the chaos in some excellent company.
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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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