In the meantime I took the opportunity for a wander round Yarmouth as I had successfully avoided the town during the high season weeks. The lack of Plaxton Presidents was a joy, most have now been replaced with ex Leeds B9tl Gemini 2's, and it looks much better for it. Still getting used to the new stop arrangements there but I did manage to see a new service in the town, Our Bus's 271 to Hemsby, operated on by an increasingly rare breed in the area now, an original Optare Solo.
|Our Bus Solo CN54 HFD on the 271 to Hemsby|
|Konect 602 on the 7 to Norwich|
|Konect 638 at Castle Meadow|
It won't be too long now before I can do a post I've been waiting quite some time for. Just some red fronted buses to appear in Norwich and I can do my complete rainbow post. The latest buses to be painted up are the B9tl's on the Blue Line. I confess I wasn't sure how they would look with blue fronts but I have to say I love them. Really striking and in my opinion one of the best looking colours to see there. It maybe the Gemini body that makes the difference as I'm not sure that blue would suit a President as well, but in the Norwich sun they looked really eye catching. First up is 36169 BD11 CFO
|36169 heading towards Norwich Riverside|
There has been some real rubbish spoken as to why the gas buses are going. I have heard that Anglian can't afford the lease anymore. Well they are not leased they are owned so that puts that one to bed. Secondly they cost over £30,000 a month to run. Rubbish - they are cheaper to run than diesel buses. Thirdly they are too big for the country routes. In recent weeks gas buses have been employed on the tightest of country routes including places like Topcroft on the 84 to Harleston, and are no bigger than the Scanias being refurbished to replace them. So what is the reason?
You have to take a bit of everything, mix it up and reassemble it. Next year the 5 year warranty on the gas buses expires. The country routes Anglian have do cause more damage than City routes do, including to the underneath of the buses, and MAN parts I'm told are not the cheapest in the world. Therefore it actually makes sense to use them in a location where damage will be reduced and therefore operating costs too. Scania panels are not difficult to come by but Ecocity panels aren't that common so without warranty I can understand why at the current rate of damage costs would go through the roof. I don't want to see them go but can now at least understand. However one question remains to be answered - Why the heck weren't we told that in the first place instead of being fed absolute rubbish about bus lengths and them being leased etc. Not good, and definitely not professional.
Fnallly while I'm having a moan is there a worse advert for public transport in East Anglia than the Gents toilets at Norwich Bus Station. The loo in my flat is bigger, and in a far more hygienic state. The Gents at Norwich Bus Station are a disgraceful health hazard and cannot possibly encourage anyone to use public transport. Obviously I don't know what the Ladies are like but the Gents should be condemned. Those Portaloos were a darn sight cleaner.
A couple of special posts coming up this week on the Carters.Ipswich Buses transition. Oh, and I passed Soames yard in Otley earlier today. Still looks busy, including a Suffolk Norse E300 over the pits.