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Friday 19th July 2013 ~ Waiting for Something to Happen !

Running nicely to time on Tuesday 9th July, 37575 is seen at Great Yarmouth working L10 11.38 from Peterborough. Photo copyright Joe Leathers.
It looked likely that there were going to be some further developments regarding the gradual displacement of the existing fleet, hence the wait for this blog entry, but so far things have remained much the same.
The evening roadworks on Guyhirn Bank have now ceased but the diversion is in operation for another three weeks while Cromwell Road (for those unfamiliar with the area, this is the route the X1 takes out of Wisbech past the Tesco store), is similarly resurfaced and given an overhaul. The diversions are in use from 20.00 - 06.00.
Shortly before it was sidelined for repairs, 37160 is seen at Norwich bus station at 07.45 on Thursday 11th working the 06.45 Gorleston JPH - Peterborough (Y9-XL15). Photo : Joe Leathers.
We begin our round up on Thursday 11th July. Traffic was light as it has been on many days recently midweek, meaning that delayed buses had opportunity to regain time en route. L12-XL18 with 37576 left Wisbech 8 late for Peterborough, but came back just 3 late at 13.23. After lunch 37157 passed through almost 16 late on K16-XL03, but this was the only delay of note.37568/574 had the complete day off for servicing and they were joined by 37567 which was later used to take K2-XL08 18.30 to Lowestoft in place of 37578.
Friday services looked to have run fairly well in the heat , but some delays were caused by a lunchtime accident on the A47 at Postwick. Y6-XL12 looks to have been worked by three different Geminis today, 37570 came into King's Lynn having worked from Yarmouth at 05.50, but this was then taken off - 37570 has been a rare performer of late due to an unknown malady. 37569 took Y6 forward, but later this was swapped for 37572 which had come in on Y7-XL13, the 18.07 arrival at King's Lynn, later doing the 20.35 to Lowestoft. Earlier 37160 had been viewed near Middleton on K5-XL11 at 17.27 - it is due to depart King's Lynn for Peterborough at 17.12. 37160 may have been poorly as 37577 took the service forward from Lynn.
The sun brought out the day trippers on Saturday 13th and almost predictably, an accident between two vehicles on the King's Lynn Bypass at lunchtime caused eastbound queues. These were of masssive proportions and at one stage, the travelling time between the Pullover Roundabout with the A17 and Hardwick Roundabout was 90 minutes ! The X1 had to contend with the aftermath of this too and did remarkably well considering. The passing times at Wisbech of the affected services was as follows :

L8-XL14 37565 -1 / -12
L9-XL15 37578 -8 / -11
Y10-XL16 37567 -11 / -17
L11-XL17 37159 -9 / -4
L12-XL18 37572 -6 / -1
Y13-XL19 37576 -35 / -28
K14-XL01 37579 -22 / -17
K15-XL02 37563 -20 / -12
K16-XL03 37157 -16 / -16
K17-XL04 37571 -15 outward to Peterborough

The early delays were purely down to traffic levels and L11 and L12 did very well to regain time. The effect of the traffic jams at Lynn can be seen on Y13 and the following services, but all except K16 made up some time before returning eastbound. L9 with 37578 passed me at 12.01 and normally this would appear on the Southgates webcam about 30 minutes later, however, it eventually got there by travelling via South Lynn where it was seen emerging from the exit at 12.55.
A further accident at Blofield did nothing to improve things and 37158 on K5-XL11 was seen by Malcolm Hicks arriving at Lowestoft 26 late and departing -12. 37574 on Y6-XL12 was 12 late in and Y7-XL13 which was 37568 did not reach its destination. 37579 had a funny day, initially on K4-XL10 for a trip to Peterborough and back to Lynn, it was then replaced by the shy 37570. 37579 then took K14-XL01 at 12.15 to Peterborough in place of 37566. It then managed to overtake 37576 on Y13-XL19, so 37579 then took Y13 with 37576 becoming K14. Des sends us his own report on Saturday's chaos : "37576 Yarmouth depot - Light to Lowestoft then Y13-XL19 08.25 Lowestoft to Southgates - On time till slow A47 traffic from Swaffham to Lynn. Picked up oncoming driver, took bus into Lynn, Loaded passengers, drivers changed, departed Lynn -6 (11.48)", So judging from my observations it lost a further 29 minutes before it passed me leaving Wisbech !! 
Des continues :"37565 L12-XL18 14.07 Southgates - Lowestoft  - A47 closed between Saddlebow & Pullover, much disruption. Bus came empty into garage with Yarmouth driver at 13.45 off L8-XL14, (Gosh it came into Wisbech at 11.32 !! G) then operated from the bus station as the 14.00 Lynn departure. I continued with 37565 as the 17.25 Lowestoft - Yarmouth on time. This short always catches passengers out, especially Gunton Tesco for Pleasurewood Hills closing time. I left more people that wanted to travel to Norwich than I carried passengers to Yarmouth !!"
In around 1973 had you been travelling from Peterborough to King's Lynn you may well have been on one of these two FLF's preserved by Stagecoach, seen here at Sacrewell Farm on Sunday. They were used on the free shuttle service to and from Queensgate.
There was just one swap on Sunday when 37563 with a loose wing mirror on K6-XL06 was changed at Lynn at 11.30 for 37572. I had a trip to Peterborough to visit the vintage bus rally at Sacrewell Farm, travelling  on Y7-XL07 with 37565, we were 3 late from Walpole, 6 late arriving at Peterborough bus station but on time by the rail station where I got off. Unusually 37156 was turned out by Great Yarmouth for Y9-XL09 and timekeeping was poor as a result. I came back on the 17.15 from Peterborough (K2-XL02)with 37566 (yes haunting me now !) on which we departed a minute early. This clever ploy by our driver meant we were on time at Thorney, Guyhirn and arriving in Wisbech ! 
This Lowestoft driver kindly paused in front of a group of bus photographers whilst departing Queensgate with 37577 on the 16.15 to Lowestoft. What a nice gesture and we got a friendly wave too.
37566 departs Peterborough on the 17.15 to Great Yarmouth on Sunday. The 'dark skies' advert applied on March 23rd has yet to be replaced. Photograph copyright : Mark Chaplin.
Bruce reports Monday running quite smoothly and with just one bus swap, 37158 for 37564 on K5-XL11 at 10.30 to allow servicing commitments. There was though congestion in the early afternoon between the Pullover Roundabout and Tilney Shoreboat Roundabout, to the extent that traffic was backing up the dual carriageway towards Wisbech. The fine weather may have played a part in the heavier than normal traffic. Just one delay was noted by Malcolm when 37567 arrived 19 late on K18-XL05 this morning. This afternoon 37569 on Y9-XL15 was spotted travelling 'not in service' past Yarmouth Asda store.
Tuesday punctuality was excellent, although Y9-XL15 10.19 Wisbech - Peterborough was not seen and L10-XL16 with 37577 had a fairly heavy loading. Y9 came back with 37574 just 2 late, so may be I blinked and missed it going westbound ! K4-XL10 is normally a B9 diagram, but the first leg to Peterborough and back was 37160 today and this ended up being the only journey that 37160 made all week, being banished to the back of Vancouver Avenue for repairs subsequently. May be it will come out nice and quiet ! Another noisy bus, 37157 had to be taken off K16-XL03 this afternoon. K4 ended up with 37564 and K16 with 37563.
Wednesday July 17th was remarkable in that no bus ran more than 5 minutes late through Wisbech and in fact some services were fractionally early. The 10.25 from Lowestoft (K17-XL04)was 3 early arriving at the Southgates this afternoon with 37565. Cheryl reports a wheelchair passenger boarding at Wisbech on Y6-XL12 08.49 to Peterborough 'twirly' as she puts it and the bus was momentarily delayed as the passenger disembarked not prepared to pay. The first free bus to Peterborough for senior citizen pass holders is the 09.49.
There was more punctual running on Thursday and of the 18 buses travelling past me westbound between 08.50 & 15.50, almost all were on time, the exceptions being K3-XL09 with 37156 at 08.59, K14-XL01 with 37573 at 12.56 and K16-XL03 with 37159 at 15.26. Once again K4-XL10 started the day with a B7, this time 37157 but 37567 was fit to replace it during the day. X2 services are being disrupted due to a road collapse at the moment, of 8 services seen today by Malcolm, seven were running late by up to 13 minutes.
 As usual Friday was not so good on the timekeeping front, but only one service ran appreciably out of course during what is usually the dodgy time in the early afternoon.. K14-XL01 with 37572 came back from Peterborough 19 late past me at 14.39. Earlier the day had started badly with an A47 accident at East Winch which was announced on Radio Norfolk as ' affecting the X1 bus service'. 37564 on Y6-XL12 05.50 from Great Yarmouth was 20 late at Wisbech because of this. Y7-XL13 was seen with 37567 returning from Peterborough at 11.18, 28 late and L8-XL14 which was 37579 went westbound 32 late at 10.22 with 37568 on Y9-XL15 following it at 10.33. Peter texted me later to say 37578 had arrived on time at King's Lynn bus station for the 16.42 to Peterborough (K4-XL10), only for it to be replaced by 37576 which also left on time.
The sidelining of B7 37160 meant that K18-XL05 had a B9 every day this week except Friday and both Y7 -XL13 and Y9-XL15 were entirely covered by B9s. 37570 has recovered from its unknown ailment and has been out all week, while 37579 spent Sunday to Wednesday at King's Lynn for repairs.
My thanks to all our regular correspondents, particularly Bruce (who after two weeks in Cos is back refreshed waving at X1 drivers ) and Malcolm, Cheryl and Des.


July 10th 2013 ~ Ten Days In July

33423 at Caister Road garage on 29th June, before the application of vinyls. Photo : Grahame Bessey.

Well I couldn't think of an appropriate title for this late post - sorry ! So a recap of events so far this month, beginning on Monday July 1st. I had a day out researching at the NRM in York and was able to use the X1 to transport me from Walpole Highway to the Rail Station at Peterborough. The outward journey was with 37566 - yes having avoided me for years, it is now turning up for me everywhere ! This morning it worked Y6 05.50 from Yarmouth and it arrived 6 late at Walpole with Mr. Parry in charge, This was cut to a 4 minute deficit on arrival at Peterborough bus station and we were just one minute late departing as the 09.38 to Lowestoft. I alighted at the station and later came back from there with JD driving the 37160 on the 17.42 Peterborough - King's Lynn. This left the rail station bang on time and fighting our way through the evening traffic, we were just 2 late into Wisbech, departing from there on time. All in all a couple of very pleasant journeys. During the day 37570 developed a fault whilst working Y13-X:19 and it was replaced by 37564.
Tuesday 2nd ran smoothly with one exception, 37579 failed on the A47 at Dereham with a coolant leak - it was working XL13 -Y7 14.55 Lowestoft - King's Lynn. 
On Tuesday, Joe Leathers photographed 20515 in company with an Anglian rival in Norwich bus station. 
Resurfacing work in Swaffham caused a few delays on Wednesday. The day began with 37568 expiring in the town while on XL13-Y7 06.10 from Great Yarmouth, it was overheating and King's Lynn supplied 37160 as a replacement. Malcolm later saw 37160 arriving 14 late and departing 10 late on the 14.55 to Lynn. Des Speed comments that he was on time with 37572 on the 08.15 from Lowestoft until encountering the Swaffham congestion. On time arriving, he was 7 late departing and then only because a car kindly let him out. It always annoys me how car drivers in the main totally ignore buses signalling to pull out from a stop, which is probably why bus drivers always seem amazed when I flash them to pull out ! 37570 was off the road at King's Lynn with a gearbox/data link fault. 
By Thursday, the resurfacing work in Swaffham had moved away from the route and timekeeping was good. K17-XL04 swapped 37565 for 37576 at lunchtime.
Here's a former X1 favourite which still sees work on the 'shorts', 34108 seen here in two photographs kindly supplied by Joe Leathers

Friday was a bit hit and miss with morning services generally fairing ok with the exception of L10-XL16 with 37567 which was 15 late from Wisbech westbound. , but as often is the case, it was XL01 -K14 onwards which saw delays. K14 itself with 37579 was 14 late from Wisbech on the 12.49 to Peterborough, but then lost more time coming back 31 late. Des reports : "I was driving XL05-K18 14.12 King's Lynn - Peterborough forward from the Southgates where it is due to depart at 14.17. 37160 was late arriving, so I relieved the driver on the inbound working at 14.32. Departure from the bus station was 31 late at 14.43. Peterborough arrival was at 16.04, 33 late". (I saw Des passing by me at 15.25 with 37160 and 37563 on K19 was just 90 seconds behind !!). In order to streamline things, Des then left Peterborough 27 late with passengers for King's Lynn only. Staff were ready at the Southgates to escort passengers over the road to a connecting service to Lowestoft and King's Lynn bus station was reached 30 late. 37160 then went to the depot for a breather before working the 18.00 to Yarmouth (K1-XL07). Its departure was delayed due to displacement of drivers and it left at 18.18, but was only 8 late into Yarmouth.
Meanwhile the Norwich Bus Page report the first working by 37562 in its new livery from Yarmouth depot.
The Saturday service on 6th July was always going to be likely to suffer delays as it was the Lord Mayors Parade in Norwich and the Wisbech Rose Fair float procession. For the latter buses avoided the area by using the Wisbech St. Mary route or the A1101 up to Elme Hall. Doreen was a passenger on K14 13.38 from Peterborough with 37563 and reports coming to a halt outside PC World on Bourges Boulevard to rescue passengers on the previous service (Y13-XL19) on which 37572 had failed with a burst water pipe. Packed to the gunwales 37563 continued eastbound using the Wisbech St. Mary route. 37158 took Y13 forward from King's Lynn. 
37570 was let out for the second day running on K3-XL09, but didn't complete the turn with 37565 working the 16.15 Lynn - Peterborough. This was seen returning on the 18.42 running 6 late at Walpole and having made up a considerable amount of time as it was very late going over. During the afternoon, 37571 was inserted into the 14.17 westbound from Lynn as 37567 was late arriving and this then worked the 14.47 departure (K19-XL06)
Sunday saw 37571 come into Lynn with a cracked upper screen at 11.45 and 37569 replaced it. Later 37574 was seen marooned in a queue of returning daytrippers on the King's Lynn Bypass at 19.15 - approximately 14 late on the 15.50 from Lowestoft (XL07).
Evening diversions via Wisbech St.Mary are currently in operation from 20.00 due to roadworks on Guyhirn Bank. Monday saw 37562 arrive in Lowestoft, it was viewed by Malcolm Hicks on the 14.40 Service 1 to Martham. An accident on the Acle Straight caused some delays. Matthew was at Lowestoft to view the 11.25 X1 departure (K19-XL06) which was formed by 37569 which didn't arrive until 11.29 and it then left 14 late.
Des Speed says " On 37567 working the 09.25 ex Lowestoft (K15-XL02) and on time until the l RTA closed Acle Straight. I was approximately 6 miles towards Acle and had to do a 5 point turn, return to Yarmouth and then go via Filby. Acle was reached  -47 (11.14), Norwich -39 (11.34) I transferred Dereham passengers to bus behind (who was just 10 late because of the diversion). Resumed service at Little Fransham, Swaffham -18 (12.25) Arrive Lynn 12.54, large load, depart -19 (13.01)". Later on I was in Wisbech at 17.00 and viewed 37569 - seen by Matthew earlier - now 16 late on K19-XL06 and going westbound K3-XL09 was 37576, 10 late.
Nothing too untoward to report for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but 37566 is reported to be required at Volvo for a new rear axle shortly.
This looks like Mr Foley at the controls of 37157 seen arriving in Norwich on Thursday 4th while working K16-XL03 06.17 King's Lynn - Lowestoft. Photo : Joe Leathers


9th July 2013

Apologies for the lack of updates this week, I hope to post an up to date report on Wednesday.