End of year review - The Independents

The ZF-Tronic gearboxed Enviro200 trialed by BorderBus
This year's End of Year review is being done a little differently this year, with the categories split into operators rather by date. We begin with a look at the year's happenings for the local independents.

BorderBus, heading into their third year, have recently been on the up. I have noticed a huge increase in loading recently on their 146 service between Southwold and Norwich, which celebrated a year of operation in July. BorderBus also trialed a ZF-Tronic gearboxed Alexander Dennis Enviro200 midway through the year.

Coach Services
The Thetford based independent added two former Stagecoach London Scania Omnicity double deckers to their fleet this year, sending two Plaxton President bodied Volvo B7TLs out of the fleet. Various coaches have come and gone through the fleet throughout the course of the year.

Eastons continued to operate a wide range of holidays and excursions this year, whilst adding a a Duple Vega bodied Bedford to their vintage fleet and demonstrating an Sitcar Voyager bodied Iveco Daily. Their new website Norfolk Vintage Hire was launched in September.

Lynx had an unfortunate encounter with Stagecoach in September
At almost one year old, Lynx - headed by the former Konectbus management - have had quite a year. Their original 35 timetable has doubled in frequency and passenger discussions prove the operator is the preference between Hunstanton and King's Lynn. The 35 has grown to include the 35B and X35, aimed at college students.

Following Stagecoach's decision to withdraw the Coasthopper over the winter period, a Norfolk County Council subsidy was awarded to Lynx to operate the service. Following this, Stagecoach (In a highly competitive move) re-registered their commercial operation. The funding for Lynx was withdrawn. Stagecoach had not registered their service in sufficient time to begin operating between Wells and Cromer, so Lynx operated the full stretch of the route for a month-and-a-half, with Stagecoach operating between King's Lynn and Wells. Four Optare X1060 Tempos were acquired for use on the service, which entered service in the blue livery of their former operator with Coasthopper names.

Our Bus
Our Bus took on the TR3 and TR4 services from Swift of Great Yarmouth and the 730 from Ambassador Travel midway through the year. For the services they acquired Alexander ALX300 bodied Volvo B10BLE VAG680R and Optare Solo YE52FHC.

Sanders added six of these smart Pulsars to the fleet in 2015
Sanders have invested hugely in their fleet this year. Six Wright Pulsar 2 bodied VDL SB200 single decks joined in two batches throughout the year, accompanied by a three former Reading Buses East Lancs Omnidekka bodied Scania N94UD double deckers. More recently are three former Johnsons Optare Olympus bodied Scania N230UD, three former Arriva London Wright Eclipse Gemini bodied DAF DB250s and a Bova Futura. In the first half of the year, two Plaxton Elite bodied Volvo B9Rs joined the coaching fleet.

Expansion for Sanders came in September with the withdrawal of First services 12 and 12A between Wroxham and Stalham. Further to this, the withdrawal of the First 11A from Greenborough Road saw the former-Neaves 32 extended to serve the area. Passenger numbers have increased heavily on the X44, 44 and 44A after the withdrawal of the Konectbus 2 and 2A between Norwich and Holt.

This operator has had a relatively stable year in terms of fleet changes. The only major change this year was the loss of the contact to operate the Suffolk County Council subsidised service between Diss and Ipswich to Galloway of Mendlesham.
Share on Google Plus

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
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. Lists from Ensign seem to list a total of 12 ex Arriva London Gemini's. Wonder what they will replace - or are they incresing the 44/X44 frequency now that Konect have given up?

    1. Sanders only have acquired three according to their information. Believe that the twelve you refer to are all purchased by Ensign for onward service.