After the roadworks of last week, Saturday & Sunday came as a pleasant surprise with almost all services running nicely to timetable. The only buses not to feature in service on these days were 33803 which was spare ready for its safety service on Monday and 33805 which spent Saturday in Scarborough and which was not used on Sunday. 33823 returned to service on Saturday cured of its adblue fault.
Monday saw the start of a Twitter account devoted to service X1 :
You can access the new page at : https://twitter.com/First_X1
The day began with a resumption of the roadworks in Lynn Road, Wisbech. What appears to be happening in recent days (weekends excepted) is that the road is closed every other day from around 09.00 - 16.00 with temporary lights in force on the days when the road remains open. X1 services have been diverted via Walsoken with delays being minor except during the late afternoon. On Monday other incidents on the A47 accumulated to make morning services between 10 & 15 minutes late heading for Peterborough. Y9-XL15 with 33823 ran very late though and was seen leaving Wisbech 26 minutes late on the 10.18 to Peterborough. Delays further east were less, but K16-XL03 arrived in Lowestoft with 33811 13 late prior to working the 10.00 westbound.
On Tuesday, Peter and myself went on an X1 pilgrimage to Norwich taking the 08.05 ex Peterborough (K3-XL09) with 33809. Running a few minutes late, we soon became so comfortable in the leather seats that this seemed a minor detail. Having taken an interest in the route since we were both pupils at King's Lynn Grammar School in the early 1970s, not surprisingly we were not shy at coming up with some suggestions as to how things could be improved. One thing we couldn't moan about though was the bus itself which seemed capable of a good turn of speed on the odd occasions that the A47 traffic allowed. Why though are there no bus stop signs at Middleton ? I daresay the Council are the people to ask. Two passengers boarded here as well as a handful at Narborough. At Swaffham there was a good crowd waiting for our bus and we did well to get away just 4 minutes late at 10.11.
Leaving the A47 for the Toftwood 'experience' we once again bemoaned the fact that this locality being served seems to add more time than the number of passengers joining warrants, although I'm sure the people in the know at 'First' would dispute this. Approaching Dereham we came up with another of our bright ideas. Why not move the Matsell Way stop nearer to Morrisons and the Mid Norfolk Railway ? I'm sure there must be a good reason why this has not occurred. The traffic in Dereham was heavy and the clearances in the Market Place are very tight for the Enviros to negotiate requiring some intelligent driving skills. Our trip off the A47 into Hockering was, in the event, not required, but fortunately we didn't have to wait very long to regain a path on the busy main road.
Before long we had arrived at Norwich bus station, our (and most of the other passengers) destination. We waited until most passengers had left the bus before getting off ourselves, but having been sitting in the front window seat suddenly became aware that we were being watched. Eight pairs of senior citizens eyes no less were glaring at us fiercely - were they being polite allowing us to disembark first ? No - they were just intent on having a fight for the front seats, such is their popularity!
|On a personal note, I was delighted at seeing Paragon coach 20514 still in use on an X1 short and later on we also saw 20515 also in use.|
|33822 was working K16 10.00 Lowestoft - Peterborough seen here departing Norwich with Calvin at the controls.|
Emissions with two Ms ?? Surely not ? - but our second example of an additional letter being manufactured occurred on the Trafford Arms lunch menu - the fish and chips are highly recommended, but WHERE does the fish come from ?
Oh well, it tasted jolly good as did the Adnams Bitter and Winters Mild. As usual, whiling away our time looking at old buses meant it was soon 15.40 and time for us to make tracks for Norwich bus station in torrential rain and the 16.00 departure, Y6-XL12 which was 33805 with a friendly Lowestoft driver. The queue for the bus was a long one and considering its new construction, the bus station's shelters here give scant protection on a day like today. Inside, the warmth and comfort of the new bus was very welcome, though it is such a shame that some passengers show little consideration for their surroundings as shown here