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A fairly quiet month on the XL with no out of course breakdowns in service recorded, not bad for buses in a sixth year of intensive service. Three more MOT tests were conducted in the month on 33807, 33815 and 33809, the latter completed on May 2nd. 
Before this 33809 was in a spot of trouble with binding brakes on the evening of April 5th. It returned after repairs on 11th. 33813 came off service at King's Lynn at lunchtime on April 15th and was diagnosed as needing a replacement engine - a quick despatch to Norwich Vulcan Road saw it returned to Lynn and back on the road on Saturday 20th, there must have been some overtime by the engineers concerned there ! On Thursday 18th a persistent gear fault on 33807 and 33819 being hit by another companies vehicle in Norwich bus station meant everything else had to behave over the Easter weekend which thankfully it did. 
Back at work, 33813 near Walton Highway on April 29th on the 11.40 Peterborough - Norwich

The roadworks between Thorney and Eye continued during April, although by this time all XL drivers had discovered how to avoid them and delays were minimal. Maundy Thursday was as expected the heaviest day for traffic on the A47. Delays at lunchtime peaked at around 25 minutes, with 33816 seen arriving late by that margin in Wisbech on the 12.10 from Peterborough, the previous service with 33803 was similarly delayed. By early evening most services were slightly behind time, but worst noted were the 15.10 from Peterborough which was 38 late at Necton with 33805 and the 16.10 ex Peterborough (33809) was 27 late into King's Lynn. The Tuesday after Easter weekend had potential for chaos, but in the end 20 minutes was the biggest delay. One service, 33815 on the 09.10 from Peterborough, ran via Wisbech St. Mary to avoid congestion on Guyhirn Bank.

Busiest bus in April was 33817 which was in service for all but one day of the month. 

Two services I have not mentioned before are the 07.25 (school days) and 07.40 Dereham - Norwich shorts. During the school term, one of the three Enviro 400s which overnight at Norwich does the school service which is due into Norwich at 08.10 before working the 08.40 to Peterborough, while the 07.40 is normally worked by a Gemini which then continues its duties on the 25 from the University to the Railway Station. In school holidays the 07.40 ex Dereham is worked by the Enviro 400 which has a tight turn round arriving in Norwich at 08.30 and departing westbound at 08.40. On Wednesday 24th April, the 07.25 was unusually worked by Purple Line Volvo B7TL Plaxton President 32201, which has the rather appropriate registration LT52WTF !

It's a few years since we had a report on the X2, a service where the bus diagrams have always seemed fluid, presumably due to congestion en route. Services are now numbered X2, X21 & X22 depending on the route used but things don't seem to have changed a great deal and although the service is normally worked by the Lowestoft based Geminis which had cascaded from the Lowestoft - Peterborough X1, some other types do appear. 

37570 at Gillingham on February 26th. Photo : ZJN Photography

Of the Geminis, 37573 & 37578 are based at Great Yarmouth for use on the X1 while the remainder of 37563 - 37579 are used on the X2. Almost any vehicle based at Lowestoft can sometimes put in an appearance on the X2 group of services. 

From Leeds to Lowestoft ! 36215 formerly in West Yorkshire is a regular on the X2 group of services. Photo : East Norfolk Bus Blog.

During April, Lowestoft's 36215 was a common sight along with Yarmouth allocated 36183 & 36185 and from 26th April 36186 joined them. These Geminis were originally in use in West Yorkshire. The Volvo B7TL Alexander ALX400's also put in occasional appearances, especially heritage liveried 30888.

Resplendent in Lowestoft Heritage colours, 30888 is seen at Corton in May 2017. Photo ZJN Photography.

 In times of shortage, even a single deck ADL Enviro 200 can deputise such as 44531 on the 16.10 Lowestoft - Norwich on Friday 12th April and sister 44532 on the 07.40, 11.10 and 14.00 departures on Wednesday 17th.

44531 on a more usual route, the 99a from Bungay to Southwold seen at Ilketshall St. Lawrence on 11th April. Photo : ZJN Photography

The X1 (and X11) from Norwich - Yarmouth - Lowestoft is still worked by Enviro 400s 33820-33824 based at Lowestoft, but as up to 14 vehicles are required for the weekday service, Great Yarmouth make up the balance. The two Yarmouth Geminis formerly based at King's Lynn 37573 & 37578 are used as are a variety of other types including former demonstrator 37562. Other Geminis noted on the route in April were 37274 & 37275 in pretty much daily use plus 37141 and 32629. Lowestoft loaned 37567/574 helped out for a while in April too. On 11th April, ALX400 30886 was a surprise on the 15.30 X11 out of Norwich. Interestingly the former demonstrator Enviro 400, 33423 now seems restricted to use on services 1 and 1A. 

Apologies for the late report for April, I will try harder next month !

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