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Saturday 29th November 2008 ~ A Right Knees Up

Thanks to a change of arrangements, I had my first trip on a B9 Gemini this morning in order to get to Peterborough station for our NENTA York trip. I was the only passenger to venture upstairs on the 07.31 Wisbech - Peterborough K2 which departed a minute late with 37577. I decided to make a timing sheet and we were blessed with a clear road all the way. We only stopped to let single cars go when leaving the Horsefair and similarly at the Eye Green roundabout, so a better trip for this purpose would be almost impossible to imagine. We even went sailing through the Wisbech Tesco roadworks on green ! The driver seemed to have 577 at full throttle for most of the journey and the timings were :
Weasenham Lane 2'53" (booked 2'00")
Guyhirn Bus Stop 11'05" (booked 10'00")
Thorney Toll Bus Stop 15'21" (booked 15'00")
Thorney Bypass Rbt 1 17'41"
Thorney Fish & Chip Shop 21'05" (booked 22'00")
Thorney Bypass Rbt 2 22'30"
Eye Green Rbt 26'29"
Boongate Rbt 31'35"
Queensagte Arr 35'19" (booked 37'00")

Bearing in mind the ideal conditions on this occasion, it shows that prospects for making up time in the event of late running are almost zero. The driver said he preferred driving the B9s to the B10s as they were easier to manouevre in tight situations because they are shorter in length. My only gripe was the appalling lack of legroom. I was sitting upstairs at the front to enjoy the view (actually peering through the mist !) and found the only way to be comfortable was to sit sideways and effectively take up 2 seats. Sitting normally was very awkward and my knees were pressing firmly against the front of the bus and I am of average build, anyone taller or indeed chunkier than me would have great difficulty. For a long journey this would be unbearable. I was reminded of a journey to Norwich on VR391 (DAH391K) in around 1974 and came to the conclusion that things haven't changed much. The journey on the VR was perishing and the journey on the Gemini only marginally less so.
Other buses seen by me today were 37563 about 5 down leaving Wisbech on K3 07.09 to Lowestoft and later in the evening 37575 on K15 21.31 Wisbech - Peterborough. According to the board, Lynn despatched the following this morning :
K15 37570, K18 37565, K16 37574, K1 37568, K17 37572, K3 37563, K2 37577, K5 37576, K4 20353, K7 37571 and K6 37578.
I did glimpse 20353 arriving at Peterboro' station on K4, but whether it completed its turn is uncertain (see Sunday blog)
Bruce had a day of sighting services in my absence, but as he puts it 'had a poor day' , he reports
"To Peterborough

Y9 was a B10M near enough to time at 09.20
L12 was 6 late at 10.54 with 37579
Y14 was 24 late at 12.12 with a B10M
K15 was 23 late at 12.41 with a B9 bus
K16 was 17 late at 13.05 with a B9 bus
K17 was 2 late at 13.20 with a B9 bus
K18 was 18 late at 14.06 with a B9 bus
K3 was 15 late at 14.33 with a B9 bus

From Peterborough

Y8 was 8 late at 10.56 with 37573
Y9 was 3 late at 11.21 with a B10M believed to be 111 but going too fast to read the fleet number from the side.
J11 was 32 late at 12.50 with an unidentified B10M - I couldn't get down my ladder quick enough.
L12 was 29 late at 13.17 with 37579

And then it all went wrong!.

Because I was expecting a B10M, I didn't take my eyes off the road. The next bus to pass was 37575 at 14.28 (a 71 minute gap), followed by 37570 at 14.58. (But with Devon General TUO74J empty at 14.53 in between!)

Now I was out down the yard, washing the horse trailer and my bus roofs. The road was never out of my sight. Buses from Lynn crept up behind me but I reasoned I could catch them on the way back - fat chance! Where L13 and Y14 went, God (and KingsLynn) only knows - and J10 for that matter. I know I was still shivering 2 hours later, after I ceased observations at 14.58 !

I feel I have failed but the service from Peterborough went out of the window and my observations with it.

I just reiterate the point made to Gerard - 6 months ago, a late coach was the exception - now it is the rule.

P.S, Both the 20.18 (Y9) and the 21.18 (K20) to Lynn were B10Ms on Friday night.

Going to Gravesend tomorrow - Arriva territory - sensible people"

Yes Bruce, buses taking the A47 bypass were a rarity too in the old days, but of course, commonplace now. Well done for persevering anyway.

1 comment:

ECBusman said...

R463 CVR on Yarmouth Shuttles. All others seen by me, as same as recent previous message, were the B9TLs. Terence W.