Norwich Buses Blog on Holiday - Part Four

11113 BG58OMJ at Grimston Bar Park and Ride site
Day four of my holiday to Yorkshire, and it was time for visit to a place I been itching to go to for many years: York.

To get into the city centre, we traveled on the impressive York Park and Ride system. The entire six service network is run by First York, using a fleet of brand new Optare Versa EVs, Mercedes Benz Citaro artics and Wright Eclipse Urban bodied Volvo B7RLEs. The system in place in York is one for other cities to look up to; services run every ten minutes, and even more frequently during the peak periods. Colour branding is used effectively, not on buses, but on stop signs, maps and destination screens. The services run seven days a week, and up until around 18:00 on Sundays.  Silver Line service 59 has a return bus from York City Centre to Monks Cross Park and Ride site at 21:15, compare that to Norwich where the buses finish at around 18:45, and do not operate on a Sunday. In the City Centre, services operate in similar loops - where they can get round awkward one way systems and bus lanes - to ensure in most cases no change of bus is required. As the service is run by First, group tickets come in the form of a First York group day ticket, priced at £7.20, allowing unlimited travel on any bus in York operated by First.

EYMS 779 A17EYD began as a demonstrator, but is is now a
permanent member of the fleet.
My time in York started off well with a photograph of the smart East Yorkshire Motor Services 779 A17EYD. At first it may appear to be a demonstrator, however, the Alexander Dennis Enviro400 has actually settled down as a permanent member of the fleet. Despite this, and quite rightfully in my opinion, East Yorkshire Motor Services appear to have been in no hurry to repaint it.

If you have not yet recognised it, A17EYD was originally SN61DFK - the same Alexander Dennis Enviro400 demonstrator which was loaned to Norfolk Green for driver familiarisation prior to taking delivery of their first pair of the type in the summer of 2012. During its life as a demonstrator, it traveled far and wide; McGills had a go with it in Glasgow, as well as P.C. Coaches in Lincoln, Go-Whippet in Cambridge, Stagecoach Sheffield, Trent Barton, Lothian Buses, Go North East and Impera buses in the North East. I'm certain there were many more than this, but these are just some of the results pulled up with a Google search.

The Unibus brand is used on University services by Transdev
Transdev have a considerable hold in York, with four brands of services operating in and around the city. Unibus operates two services centred around the University of York, the flagship of the two being the 44 into the City Centre and Acomb - on which competition is tight with competing First services. Although the fleet, made up of Plaxton Presidents and Wright Renowns, may seem dated, they are brought up to date with free onboard WiFi. Transdev also operate the City Sightseeing franchise, a seventeen stop operation with a ten minute frequency and live guides over the summer seasons. Used on the service is the very first all electric double decker bus, an East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Trident retrofitted with new Magtec electric running units. The Yorkshire Coastliner brand, the origins of the much loved First Great Yarmouth Alexander Royale bodied Volvo Olympians, operates through York from Leeds for Malton, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington. The Transdev York brand is used on services serving the City and the nearby housing, shopping and leisure areas.

The new First York university livery uses vibrant pink and lilac
It's very much exciting times ahead at First York currently. The operator has worked with the University of York to provide a new mini-network of services creating links with the University campus. The 66 (Photographed right) competes with Transdev's equivalent between the rail station, city centre, campus and York Sports Village - notably, it operates at a frequency of approximately every 6 minutes during the day and hourly from midnight through to 7am the next morning. Alongside this are services UB1 and HB1 operating in the immediate area around the campus, and 56 following similar routes.

And with that comes the end of Part Four and Day Four of my wonderful Yorkshire holiday, day five and a big trip to Hull with a world first comes tomorrow!
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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:
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