Tuesday 30th January 2018 ~ Timetable News and Stagecoach Exit ?
The widely leaked news that Stagecoach plan to pull out of King's Lynn was made public this evening. Norfolk Green took over all the local services which were operated by First in June 2011. They were subsequently bought out by Stagecoach in May 2015 and they have gradually eroded the regional identity from their fleet and now it seems obvious why. Who will step into the breach if the Stagecoach plan comes to fruition ? Let the rumour mill start !
Back to First Group and the new XL timetable from next Sunday has met with mixed reactions. On the operating front, Norwich depot have made inroads into the lines formerly worked by King's Lynn. Three diagrams begin at Norwich, these being the 06.30, 07.00 & 08.40 departures and the first of these also finishes at Norwich. Until now King's Lynn has latterly had 36 drivers for 22 turns (on weekdays), but from Monday this is reduced to 31 drivers for 17 turns. The shortfall is because Norwich now have six driving rosters on the route including three where they work buses through to Peterborough. Three King's Lynn drivers now have diagrams on the University - Rail station service 25 in between XL turns. The King's Lynn drivers will now be working a four day week.
On the timetable front on weekdays, the service largely follows the previous pattern, save the hourly serving of certain villages. In the evening the 15.40 from Norwich now copies the 18.10 and terminates at Wisbech instead of running through to Peterborough. The late bus from Peterborough is retimed to depart 15 minutes later at 22.45.
The Enviro 400s which were due for replacement in September / October now look as if they are going to continue operating the route, possibly for another two years, though of course this is subject to change (isn't it always ?), Certainly they have been behaving a bit better in recent months. This week King's Lynn have begun to remove the gold backed destination vinyls along the bottom of the upper deck windows. The gold lettering is also being removed, some has already gone and reference to the X1 will also go after Saturday.