Search This Blog


Thursday 3rd July 2014 ~ New Timetable and X1 route changes officially unveiled.

The new X1 timetable which commences on 27th July was made public today. The 'First' official announcement is as follows :

First has announced a number of changes to its flagship X1 service. 
Owing to the road works at Postwick on the A47 near Norwich, the First Bus X1 service will be split to run in two parts from Sunday 27 July 2014. 

The Postwick road works are scheduled to last 18 months, so this change is being introduced on a temporary basis. Splitting the X1 route will enable First to manage the service more effectively and the road works will be monitored continuously during this time to make sure X1 passengers are offered the best possible service. 

X1: Peterborough to Norwich 
The frequency of the western half of the route from Peterborough to Norwich remains unchanged (every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday, with an hourly service in the evenings and on Sundays and Public Holidays). However the X1 will no longer serve Toftwood, and instead will operate via Scarning (Chestnut Road and Scarning Church) and Wendling (Station Road). Owing to customer feedback we have added new stops at Cromwell Road Tesco in Wisbech and Bawburgh Road in Easton, as well as Tesco in Castle Acre Road, Swaffham. 

X1: Norwich to Lowestoft 
Between Norwich and Lowestoft, the X1 will now operate every 20 minutes (previously 15 minutes between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, and every 30 minutes between Norwich and Lowestoft) and will serve ALL stops between Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Lowestoft, using Southtown Road between Gorleston and Great Yarmouth on all journeys. 
The X1 will still operate on the A47 between Norwich, Acle and Great Yarmouth, but alternative routes have also been registered so that X1 drivers can be proactive in keeping the journeys as quick as possible when unexpected heavy traffic is causing delays. 

Passengers travelling across the split route will be able to transfer at Norwich Bus Station, which should minimise any potential delays. Through tickets are available. 

Steve Wickers, Commercial Director for First East England, said: “The X1 is our flagship route and we have had to make these changes to maintain punctuality following the road works at Postwick.
“The existing high quality X1 fleet of vehicles will continue to be used on this service, and the small number of previous generation X1 vehicles are in the process of being fitted with free WiFi, as these vehicles will also still be used on some journeys.
“We will continue to provide a reliable, value for money service to people in Norfolk and Suffolk.”

In addition to the registered X1 route split, from 27 July the existing £14 Adult/ £9.50 Young Person Eastern Counties Network Day ticket will be reduced to only £10 for Adults and £7 for Young People. This fare reduction will cover any longer return journeys taken on the X1 service (single fares continue to be available).
The return fare between Norwich and Lowestoft (currently £6.30 Adult/ £4.40 Young Person) on both the X1 and X2 services has also been reduced to only £5.50 for Adults and £3.80 for Young People.

For any passengers travelling together as a group on the X1, the NEW High-5 day ticket is available costing only £15. This ticket offers unlimited travel on the First Bus 'Eastern Counties' Network for up to 5 passengers (a maximum of 2 to be adults). 


Well, there we are. I have to say that the fitting of wi-fi to the older vehicles is an excellent idea as this feature is sorely missed by passengers currently using the X1 shorts.
Whilst the timetable at the eastern end has been completely recast, there are only minor alterations in the west. Most notable of these is an attempt to shorten the two hour gap in the evenings. Currently, Peterborough bound X1 services depart King's Lynn at 19.01, 19.53 & 21.53. These are to be adjusted to leave at 18.55, 20.20 & 22.10. Returning from Peterborough, the present departures of 20.20, 21.15 & 23.15 are to become 20.20, 21.40 & 23.30. The success or otherwise of this change remains to be seen, but shift workers finishing at 22.00 in Peterborough now have a longer wait for the last bus. Whether the 'missing' bus will ever be reinstated in a better economic climate, only time will tell.
 Similarly the QE Hospital in Lynn which has a major shift change at 19.00 will see workers having to wait until 20.20 if they wish to use the X1 westbound. These two examples might seem unlikely and yet I know of two people who are in precisely this situation. At least we can be thankful that First continues to run late buses on this  valuable route. I am sure in this situation, most smaller companies would simply shut down the service after 19.00 as is most often the case.
On a lighter note, I am delighted to have been asked to supply some photographs for the covers of the new timetable booklet which is currently at the printers and should be available shortly. For a PDF version of the new timetable, please visit these links :

No comments: