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27th August - 4th September 2012 ~ More A47 Woes

Welcome to the blog where our bus service would run perfectly if it were not for the A47 ! I'm sure in years to come people will find it hard to believe that the main road between Norfolk and the Midlands was still chiefly single carriageway in 2012. More of which anon..
Our 22 faithful Geminis seem to be more reliable than ever, in fact it is now well over 4 months since a replacement coach appeared. The new ticket machines have been causing some consternation for drivers as senior citizens are struggling to grasp the concept of scanning their passes into the new equipment. Most common complaints are that they do it too quickly or don't hold their passes in the right place. Oh well, maybe in time.

Time to have a look at the past week or so then and on Monday 27th the usual Bank Holiday hourly timetable was in force. Two turns had to swap vehicles, L10-XL16 started with 37566 but presumably due to heavy traffic this was swapped at Lowestoft for 37569. K5-XL11 also changed 37575 for 37576 at some point. 37574 was given the whole weekend off after arriving in King's Lynn on Thursday evening.
It was back to the normal timetable on Tuesday, The maintenance backlog was swiftly dealt with at King's Lynn. Exams were undertaken on 37564 & 37158 (not completed due to waiting parts), while 37159 was ready in time to do K5-XL11 and 37563 was taken off K15-XL02 at lunchtime to be serviced and was replaced by 37573 which had been in for repairs to a water leak. Considering this was the day after a Bank Holiday with heavy traffic, nothing much ran in excess of ten minutes behind time. Y13-XL19 with 37565 arrived into Lynn 12 late from Lowestoft for the 11.45 to Peterborough and it was noted 14 late returning from there. Only K1-XL07 ran badly out of course and it left Wisbech 22 late on the 15.48 to Peterborough with 37569 and must have run late all day as earlier it had been 13 late into Lowestoft.
Wednesday saw a teatime swap with 37575 being replaced by 37563 for K3-XL09 16.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough. The only late runner in the west was was 37566 on K17-XL04 13.45 King's Lynn - Peterborough which ran 26 late with 37566, surprising as both K16-XL03 & K18-XL05 either side of it ran on time. 37578 on L8-XL14was 13 late arriving in Lowestoft but all other services seen by Malcolm were on time, so overall a good day.
On Thursday 30th only one turn swapped buses, this was L8-XL14 which came into Lynn at 09.07 with 37570. This was then taken off and replaced by 37576, then this evening another change occurred with 576 itself being  replaced by 37564 off Y7-XL13. Another reasonable day for punctuality with only L11-XL17 (37159) and K16-XL03 (37574)  spoiling the log by running 14 late.
Friday saw several changes, 37566 on Y7-XL13 was into King's Lynn at 08.35 but then retired to Vancouver Avenue with 37576 working forward. The next swap was L10-XL16 and 37568 came off for 37571, probably because 37568 had seen a 6 minute delay departing on the 10.15 Lynn - Peterborough increase to 15 minutes on its return., then K19-XL06 saw 37570 changed for 37578 and there was even time for another swap when K3-XL09 had 37569 changed for a repaired 37566 on the 16.15 King's Lynn - Peterborough. We have already mentioned 37568s delay and following it was L11-XL17 with 37579 which was 20 late throughout. Afternoon services eastbound from Wisbech ran as follows : K14-XL01 37157 11 late, K15-XL02 37567 4 late, K16-XL03 37158 22 late, K17-XL04 37565 7 late and then a big gap from 15.59 to 17.03 before K18-XL05 arrived with 37159 about 40 late. At the eastern end punctuality was better and only the Service 1 to Martham was badly affected.
37158, 37159 & 37160 - still in the picture for now,  both 37158 and 37160 have had repainted front panels.

On Saturday 1st September 37565 was unable to complete K15-XL02 and 37160 took over. The day began well but chaos soon ensued with a collapsed manhole between Wisbech and Guyhirn causing heavy delays and the consequent diversion of X1 services via North Brink and Wisbech St. Mary to reach Guyhirn. L9-XL15 ran outward via the normal route departing Wisbech 5 late with 37157 and coming back via the diversion 19 late.The last service seen using the usual route westbound was L11-XL17 at 11.29 (9 late). For much of the afternoon eastbound services arn around 20 late due to the delays caused by the diversion. Work on the manhole problem commenced around 19.30 just as six boy racers decided to have a pile up having been unable to slow down sufficiently for the temporary lights ! A shortage of drivers which had seen supervisors standing in resulted in the 17.15 K5-XL11 King's Lynn - Peterborough being cancelled and 37570 retiring to Vancouver Avenue.
Sunday services mainly took the A47 with lighter traffic, but come Monday morning everything was back to running via Wisbech St. Mary. The day began badly when 37577 which was running empty to Wisbech to work K19-XL06 07.21 to Lowestoft failed en route with a water leak. 37160 was rapidly despatched to replace it. 37569 is on Mot prep this week so this then left only one 37567 spare, however 37577 was soon repaired and was later able to replace 37570 on K5-XL11 at 10.32. Thanks to Bruce for monitoring the service today. There were various other swaps today, chiefly for servicing commitments and as a result of late running.

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