|The X1 in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston is heavily changed|
Full details of major changes to First's flagship X1 and X2 were published yesterday, and I've since spent a some time scribbling over timetables to piece together the changes.
On the X1 smallest of all and easiest to explain is that buses will now call at Bracondale for County Hall. Between Lowestoft and Norwich, buses will run every 30 minutes and operate the normal route in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth via Magdalen Estate. Alongside this are journeys every 30 minutes between James Paget Hospital and Norwich, which are rerouted to operate via Middleton Road rather than Magdalen Estate. This provides a 15 minute frequency between Norwich, Acle, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston. The move into Middleton Road comes after the withdrawal of Anglianbus service 61 along the road. On the Sunday timetable, the X1 operates every hour between Norwich and Lowestoft with the routing via Magdalen Estate and - as current - every second journey between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth is operated as a slightly less direct service 1.
|The X2 is to operate direct between Lowestoft and Norwich|
The X2 as we know it today is, in effect, replaced by new service X22. Combined, a 15 minute frequency is provided between Lowestoft and Norwich. The X2 is to operate "direct" to Lowestoft, no longer calling at Chedgrave and Loddon (Except for a handful of peak journeys), Hales or North Cove. The aforementioned points are all picked up by the new X22. The new timetables and routing seem to be based on competing with BorderBus 146, which when launched cleverly operated direct to Beccles in just over thirty minutes. Fast X2 buses leave the Bus Station 5 minutes before a BorderBus 146 leaves St Stephens Street, and every second new X22 is timed identically to the 146 in Carlton Colville. Heading into Norwich, timings at Beccles are within minutes of the 146, giving many passengers a "whichever bus is first" option. On Sunday, the X2 reverts to its longer routes, serving the full route as we know it today.