|Lynx Optare Tempo 7 YJ58CEY at Burnham Market Green|
Today was the first day of operation of Lynx service 36 along the North Norfolk Coast, a service which has been in the spotlight over the past few months.
Operated by Stagecoach, the long standing Coasthopper service was deemed not to be financially viable to run this Winter which lead to Norfolk County Council opening a tender for a service operating between King's Lynn and Sheringham. Awarded to Lynx, a competitive move from Stagecoach saw the decision to continue running the service despite their initial decision. Subsidy provided to Lynx from the council was swiftly withdrawn, and registrations for Stagecoach services reissued to the Transport Commissioner. During the fifty-six day notification period, Stagecoach's application to operate between Wells and Cromer was rejected, and the Council soon turned back to Lynx to run a service alongside Stagecoach who would only operate as far as Wells.
Today I headed out for a few photographs, being pressed for time to get to work in the afternoon. I first travelled from Wells to Burnham Market onboard Optare X1200 Tempo 7 YJ58CEY. With such short notice given to Lynx that they would run a service, the four Optare Tempos sourced have yet to be painted into then distinctive red livery, instead they operate in the dark blue base colour of their former owner Blue Diamond with Coasthopper logos. Timetables are literally fresh off the printer in the office, and timetable information is displayed at most stops - understandably, it has not been possible to get them to every stop along the route.
|Lynx Optare Tempo 1 YJ05JWZ at Wells The Buttlands|
Initially, until October 23rd inclusive, the Lynx service is operating every 90 minutes. This will increase afterwards to basic hourly through the day. It is also worth noting that the temporary 36 service is not interworked with the 35, but does meet buses from Kings Lynn. Furthermore, the 36 does not serve Cromer as the Coasthopper did previously.
I then headed towards Cromer on 1 YJ05JWZ, one of the original Lynx fleet and the only red bus on the Coasthopper during my day. It later turns out that 7 YJ58CEV was swapped for 3 YJ55BKG due to a mechanical fault. A special mention goes to the very friendly driver, who said the most wonderful thing... "People say anorak, but then go fishing or go and watch football, well you're a fishing anorak. Somebody's got an interest, leave them to it". Another very friendly member of the Lynx team, employed for the day to help people out, hopped onboard at Wells to explain the recent Coasthopper calamities and offer his apologies on behalf of the operator. He ended his 'speech' with what I will use to end this post: "We will be back."