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Monday July 30th 2012 - Sunday August 5th 2012 ~ Olympic Duties

A few of our X1 drivers have been released for Olympic duties. Our regular correspondent Des Speed is one of them and he has been involved in the park and ride duties at Weymouth. Well it certainly makes a change from a return to Toftwood ! Why do I always want to call it Torchwood ? I don't know really.
Meanwhile back on the X1 a week of little note has passed,  although Nene Quay /South Brink in Wisbech has reopened at last, hopefully permanently this time.More of which anon.
37579 on Monday's Y13 at Norwich : Photo from Kieran Smith

Monday 30th saw 37578 off the road as work continued in preparation for its MOT. 37158 had an exam in the morning and was then used to replace 37567 on K1-XL07. Both vehicles had been required for examination by the Volvo man who was paying a visit to Lynn.
Tuesday unusually saw 37159 turned out for K2-XL08, however, it only did Lynn - Peterborough and back before being replaced by 37563. Ironically later 37563 was swapped as it required deep cleaning and a service, its replacement ? Yes 37159 again which toddled off to Lowestoft at 18.35.
L11-XL17 had a change of B9 at 13.30 with 37572 giving way to 37564. Punctuality was average today. Michael Bryant reports former X1 vehicle 34108 back in service today on  a Bernard Matthews contract, it had recently been delicensed.
No sooner had dear old 34108 returned to traffic than a dim motorist backed into her at the James Paget Hospital on Wednesday . I am told that the offender had his music system playing so loud, he failed to hear the bus driver sounding the horn !
Wednesday morning saw the surprise reopening of Nene Quay in Wisbech - the work on the flood defences which had over-run had been rescheduled for completion on 31st August, but last week's local paper carried a front page story on the negative effect the closure was having on local businesses and as a consequence, the road reopened a full month earlier than forecast. That said there is still a lane coned off leading on to the Horsefair Roundabout. It was not immediately obvious that the road had reopened and there were no signs to indicate this. It was hardly surprising then that many X1 services continued to use the diversionary route via the A1101 today.
Woohoo ! The X1 is back to normal : 37159 this morning from the office window.
 L8-XL14, normally a solid B9 turn,  was the first service I saw passing my window with 37159. It was later seen emerging from Vancouver Avenue garage at 12.14 having refuelled to enable it to complete this long diagram. Other X1s taking the reopened route were 37574 on L10-XL16 and 37571 on K17-XL04. The timetable was pretty much kept today, although 37576 on K3-XL09 was in trouble on arrival at Lowestoft and 37160 was hastily sent over from Lynn to continue the turn. 37576 was able to continue back to Lynn light for further checks. B10M coach 20102 was employed on a Bernard Matthews contract today, presumably in reaction to the damage sustained by 34108 yesterday.
By Thursday, about 50% of X1 workings were back using the correct route out of Wisbech westbound as news of the reopening began to filter through. A very noisy 37158 was on Y9-XL15 which was 7 late from Wisbech on the popular 10.18 to Peterborough and 10 late returning eastbound. Only other turn notably late was K17-XL04 with 37569, this was 11 late into Lynn from Lowestoft for the 13.45 Peterborough departure, it was then spotted by Bruce passing Walpole 8 late , but was on time coming back from Peterborough, so a good job done there. K4-XL10 had 37576 replaced by 37565 at some point today.
37573 on the 12.55 Lowestoft - Peterborough (K2) in Norwich photographed by Kieran on Friday.
On Friday all 19 turns were noted taking the booked route at Wisbech. Services ran into King's Lynn from Lowestoft up to 10 minutes late. Southgates timings showed some anomalies : 37570 on L11-XL17 arrived from the coast at 10.37 and departed for Peterborough 19 minutes later at 10.56, while Y13-XL19 with 37563 had a lightning turn around, in at 11.39 and out again at 11.51 - a mere 12 minutes. A much more stable pattern was evident with eastbound services to Lowestoft which were seen leaving the Southgates at 09.11, 09.42, 10.14, 10.41, 11.09 and 11.42.
Early afternoon saw some examples of Friday timings though, K14-XL01 13.35 from Peterborough rolled in to Wisbech at 14.42 (22 late) and while 37567 on K15-XL02 was just 2 minutes late heading west, there was then a long gap until K16-XL03 and 37157 went by 24 late at 14.14. As so often happens K17-XL04 following was almost empty and only 5 late (37577). Returning services were K15-XL02 2 late, K16-XL03 24 late and K17-XL04 3 late. The next turn was another B7, 37158 on K18-XL05 and this was 16 late.
37156 enjoyed a third day being pampered in the depths of Vancouver Avenue, which included having all its tyres changed. The other two spare buses were 37571 (scheduled safety service) and 37575 which came out this evening to take L8-XL14 18.50 Lynn - Peterborough forward, it having replaced 37564.
I had a short X1 experience on Saturday. I took Y10-XL16 from Walpole Highway to Wisbech at 10.33 with Mrs O driving 37158 - this bus needs some serious TLC. When the doors opened and closed it sounded like something was about to drop off, if it hadn't already done so and inside the downstairs saloon, the noise from the ailing fan was all consuming. The startled looks from passing pedestrians as we entered Wisbech were a little disconcerting. Despite this 158 completed its day's work without incident.
Coming back after a brief break, I took Y7-XL13 10.56 Wisbech - Lowestoft. I must say firstly that I had seen this service earlier when I had taken Mr Robinson up to Walpole Highway to catch the 09.06 to King's Lynn. Y7 due at 09.03,  took us completely by surprise when it passed through Peterborough bound with 37576 dead on time - unheard of these days as the Southgates driver change adds at least 5 minutes to the schedule.
 576 was back into Wisbech just slightly late but after loading with a full compliment of passengers, departure was 7 minutes behind schedule. Having negotiated our way out of Wisbech where we were held at every set of lights, a brisk get away from Walsoken was soon kerbed when a 15mph tractor pulled out directly in front of us at the Victoria Cafe site. We then became stuck behind the slowest piece of farm machinery imaginable with no chance of overtaking as Saturday traffic streamed past. A layby came and went with no sign of the tractor pulling over and eventually a clever bit of driving saw us get past the obstacle at Walton Highway, but not before we had lost a further couple of minutes. How frustrating it must be to the X1 drivers when this kind of thing happens. Our driver Ian then set off with a purpose before dropping me and a few other punters back at Walpole. At least 37576 was quiet and comfortable where I sat which was upstairs opposite the staircase. This was more than could be said for a rather large lady who made a beeline for the front seat at Wisbech and who then discovered its limitations for legroom !
Once again this afternoon, the only major delay noted was a B7 worked service. 37159 on K18-XL05 was almost 25 late at Terrington with 37572 just 6 minutes behind it on K19-XL06. There were no vehicle swaps today and 37156, 37564 & 37570 were the spare buses at King's Lynn. A big thank you here to Mr A Nonymous (you know who you are !) for his assistance today.
The Sunday service was as usual, entirely B9 worked and services from Lowestoft were on average about 10 minutes late arriving in King's Lynn.
Who thinks up adverts these days ? Now call me an old sceptic, (I've been called worse incidentally) but even being the Internet friendly lot we are these days, is it really worth having an ad with no phone number or exact address ? Obviously these people think so and more to the point expect you to memorise the web address whilst driving your car. All in all a confusing ad which now adorns no less than 15 of the 22 X1 vehicles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Who thinks up adverts these it really worth having an ad with no phone number or exact address ..more to the point expect you to memorise the web address whilst driving your car... ."

So you could memorise an 11 digit number over a web address?!

what one would you remember the most?!