|It was a busy but extremely smooth running first day for the new|
Norwich Park and Ride operation.
I headed out for the day on on the brand new buses, and small handful of existing fleet numbers, to test out and catch on camera the first day's working. From my first sighting of one of the buses on the road I was stunned, they look fantastic from the outside and are a definite improvement on what was previously working the services. My first journey was to Sprowston site on the 502, worked by 624 SN65OAC. Instantly I was impressed - by the inside just as much as I was by the outside - they are certainly the best Alexander Dennis Enviro400s I have been on when new. Seating is perfect with firm but very comfortable Esteban Civic seating, complete with smart leather headrests.
|The excellent new next stop screens in action, and all working|
perfectly from my experiences today.
Konectbus had an eye for perfection today. Attendants were on hand at the bus station, drivers were geared up with information and a McKenna Brothers (The destination display suppliers) support van and staff member was present to lend a hand using the new and much more complex control screens. As seen in the photographs through this report, the eighteen brand new buses are fitted with a separate route number display, produced by Brightec, which allows colour branding to be used. The main city Park and Ride services take advantage of this, with Postwick displaying red, Thickthorn and Airport displaying pink and Harford and Sprowston displaying blue.
|Working lunchtime reliefs on the 510/511 was 623 SN65OAB.|
|636 SN65OAV at Norwich Airport Park and Ride terminus.|
It is worth noting that, despite some disbelief from my original report, Konectbus now own the lease on the sites and Norwich Bus Station - with relevant staff now transferring over to Konectbus. Fifteen former Norse drivers now make up part of the thirty-eight strong team of drivers on the Park and Ride service. In more numbers, Konectbus have spent a grand total of £3.3 million on the fleet of eighteen brand new buses - not including the four which are repainted. I would personally class the operation as one of the biggest moves from a local operator in at least a decade.
|638 SN65OAX picked up the day's workings on the 512 today.|
An excellent day I have indeed, and unfortunately one I will be unable to replicate for many years to come. Konectbus can only be credited for the hard work they have put in to make today's operation so successful. Special mentions must go to David Jordan, Steven Royal and David Smith for their input - as well as all the drivers, controlling staff and office staff who contributed towards the running and formation of the service.
Footnotes: Konectbus liveried 602 SN10CFF was in use on the 501 today. 539 SN65OAY is as yet undelivered and 633 SN65OAP entered service devoid of any fleetnames.