Busmopolitan Blog – Essex and District Bus and Rail Newspage – December 2014

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Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.

Welcome to the December, 2014 round up.
Possibly the news of the month is the withdrawal of New Horizon’s 78/A Brightlingsea-Colchester local bus service, in the wake of intense competition from the parallel 87 Hedingham Omnibuses route.
Established by Cedric’s of Wivenhoe in 1988 as 78X, this was relaunched as 78/A in September 2013, following the acquisition of Cedric’s by New Horizon in April of that year. For many years, Cedric’s ran 78X alongside Eastern National/First Essex service 78, but when First ceased providing the 78 commercially in August 2007, Cedric’s became the sole “mainstream” operator over this busy corridor, until August 2012, when Hedingham – then recently bought by Go-Ahead PLC, began its commercial 87 venture. From September 2014, the 87 was retimed to run just ahead of New Horizon journeys.
This leaves New Horizon with just one local bus route; its original no 77 – which has run between Great Bentley and Colchester since December 2010.
X974CNO NHT 78X (CR) 22-8-13
Above: In the last week of service 78X, New Horizon Volvo B6BLE/Wright Cadet X974 CNO, was seen at the bottom of Colchester High Street on 22nd August 2013. Low floors had been phased in over previous weeks, prior to the renumbering of 78X to 78/A.

EU59AYM L382 HO 87 (CR)  29-8-12
Hedingham ADL/Enviro 200 no L382 (now 263) heads down Colchester High Street on 29th August 2012; the second day of route 87 operation.

Hedingham has also retrenched. From 1st December, the trial extension of the 88 from Halstead to Braintree, and the “semi express” 88X ceased, with service 88 reverting to its traditional format. The 3 month experiment had failed to attract projected new custom.

Hedingham has also launched its new – Chambers inspired fleet livery.

Seasons Greetings and a Happy 2015.

317671 appeared on RHTT duty on the GE Main Line, on 17/12/14.
317709 has had its ‘Len Camp’ name removed.
Mk111 carriages repainted into the new livery, ex ONE colours are 10214, 12026/7/30/82, 12146/8.

Service 265 (Grays-West Horndon), was withdrawn from 1/12/14.

Former Shearings Volvo B10M/VH A4 APT has passed to Thorns of Rayleigh.

Another VDL SB200/Wright received from Northfleet is 3761 (YJ08 DZM).
Withdrawn are Dart SLF/Super Pointers 3320/1/6 (T820/1/6 NMJ).
3321 has transferred to New Enterprise at Tonbridge.

Following the loss of TfL34 (Walthamstow-Barnet) to Metroline, several of the DLA class DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400s which had been used on that route, have been dispersed. DLA355/75 (LJ03 MJX, MTE) went to Arriva London South at Norwood, while DLA352/3/6 (LJ03 MLE/F, MJY) were sold to Lister (dealer), Bolton.

A minibus has arrived, in the shape of Ford Transit 16 seater SD10 UBU, ex Arnold Clark Rental of Glasgow. This joins one time Charterhouse School 16 seat Transit GR07 RYF. Both came via dealers.

Acquired from Mc Donald of Dundee is Neoplan Skyliner YN51 XMW.

In from Docklands Buses is Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer LDP194 (SN51 UAG). It is running in London General red/grey/yellow with no fleet names.
The 10 reg ADL/Enviro 200s still retain Docklands Buses fleet names – even though they were transferred over some years ago.
AE06HCC ED2  108 (BLACKHEATH)  21-12-14
Above: Former Blue Triangle Dennis Dart SLF/MCV ED2; now with London Central – at Blackheath Village on 21/12/14, on the cross river 108 service.

The orange/yellow fleet livery has been replaced by plain white.
Above: A view of Chariots Corringham yard in May 2004. The coach at the rear is of the Cunningham Carriage Company.

16 seat Ford Transit AV09 HXO, continued on loan from Robertson Van Hire, into December.

Ex London General Volvo B7TL/Wright Geminis WVL79, 81 (LF52 ZPK/M) retain Merton (AL) depot codes.
Scania Omnidekkas 944/6 retain Metrobus fleet names.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents PVL 169, 232 (X569XGK, Y732 TGH) and Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini WVL251 retain London Central fleet names. WVL 251 also still has Camberwerll (Q) depot codes.

DAF SB120/Wright Cadets DW1-8 (LF52 TKJ/C/D, TJY/V/X/O/K); DWL15 (BX04 BXM), DWL18/9 (FJ54 ZDP/T) – latterly with London General; have passed to Ensign. DW1 and 8 were resold to Cotswold Green of Nailsworth; DWL15 to Western Greyhound.
Above: DW4 at Ensign on 18/12/14.
LF52TKN DW11 ETB 393 3-05
Above: In original East Thames Buses condition; sister DW11 on Holloway Road in March 2005.

P427, 426UUG ENSIGN 7-05
Above: Volvo Olympians P427 UUG and P426 UUG seen in July 2005, when just acquired by Ensign from Yorkshire Coastliner.

Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale 827 (P427 UUG ex WLT 307) has passed to A2B, Luton, Bedfordshire.
Sister 826 (WLT 916 orig P426 UUG) is on loan to A2B.
The remaining Olympians are being replaced by 04 reg ex Stagecoach London Tridents. LX04 FXU is the first of the Tridents noted. It has been converted to single door, fitted with seatbelts, and led destination plus tachograph installed. LX04 FXR/S/T are understood to be the others.
The latest Heritage Fleet addition is AEC PRV Routemaster RM1843 (843 DYE). Meanwhile, Bedford WTB/Duple EYE 599 has arrived (in unrestored condition), from a preservationist.
Open top Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 395 (P495 SWC) has been exported to Cyprus; being bought by Aphrodites Waves Tours of Agia Wapy. It was repainted cream before delivery.
Futher SLF/ALX200s sold are City Coach Company liveried 729 (Y329 FJN) to Trustybus of Harlow; 743 (Y343 FJN) to Nu-Venture of Aylesford and 772 (Y372 FJN) to Belle-Vue of Manchester.
On Boxing Day, commercial service X10 (Lakeside-Southend), ran for that day only.
LX04FXU & Y372FJN 772 ENSIGN  14-12-14
Above: Trident LX04 FXU undergoing service prep at Purfleet on 14/12/14. Alongside is withdrawn Dart SLF/ALX200 no 772.
Above: Ensign’s annual running day on 6/12/14, brought out the usual interesting variety of classic buses; including Ensign’s former St Helens Corporation Marshall dual door bodied AEC Swift EDJ 246J; seen here at Brentwood High Street.
(Adam Kelleher).
Above: Bringing back memories of a bygone era, preserved Green Line AEC Reliance/Park Royal RP90 is also pictured at Brentwood, on the running day.
(Adam Kelleher).

A second Optare Excel here is JFZ 8261.

YX09ADO 44519 (REAR) 64 FEC IPS  17-12-14
Above: ADL/Enviro 200 44519 shows its new Ipswich livery and branding, at Old Cattle Market Bus Station on 17/12/14.

Refreshed Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32488 (AU 53 HKF) has Superoute 66 branding.
ADL/Enviro 200s 44516/7 (YX09 ACV/Y) are branded for route 53 (Ipswich Town Centre-Pinewood).
All of 44516-9 are now in the Ipswich Refreshed livery, which features the First frog, and straplines for ‘Relax and get Connected….’;’Hop into Town’.
Volvo B7RLE/Wrights 66977/8/9 have transferred to Norwich.
Ipswich town services 55 (Bixley) and 56 (Broke Hall), ceased after 24/12/14.
AU53HKG 32489 FEC IPS 56  8-8-12
Above: First Eastern Counties Volvo B7TL/ALX400 no 32489, on the 56 in August 2012.

S569TPW 65569 (u) (CR MAGDALEN ST)  23-12-14

Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 42551 (S551 WAT) has been withdrawn and cannibalised. Parts have been used to repair SLF/Super Pointer 43736 (S736 TWC).
Scania L94UB/Wright 65569 (S569 TPW) is parked in the old Colchester Borough Transport garage at Magdalen Street (pictured above). Withdrawn sister 65576 (T576 JNG) is in the old Colchester Bus Station parking area, around the back of Queen Street depot.
SLF/Super Pointer 43480 (R680 DPW) is delicensed at Braintree (BE).
SLF/Super Pointers 43448 (P448 NEX) and 43474 (R474 CAH) are now being significantly stripped at Braintree.
The isolated operation at Luton Airport, the 888 ‘RailAir’ shuttle, passed to Go-Ahead London General from 7/12/14.
This was connected with the transfer of the local rail franchise from First to Govia.
Vovlo B7A/Wright artics 10180/1/2 (T3,4,5 FCC), 19031 (T5 FCC) and Volvo B7L/Wright 66358 (Y186 HNH) have passed to London General.
Above; Mercedes Citaro bendy bus T5 FCC at Luton Airport Parkway station in August 2009. The reg mark on this bus was later transferred to Volvo B7LA/Wright bendy no 10182. At the time of this picture, First Northampton ran the Airport-Parkway shuttle, with First Essex taking over after Northampton was closed.
Back in Essex, Dart SLF/Super Pointer 43719 (R719 DJN) has moved from Hadleigh (HH) to Clacton (CN), while 42918 (EU05 AUK) is now ‘Refreshed’.
R714DJN 43714  7 CN XMAS LIGHTS 12-14
Above: SLF/Pointer no 43714 at Pier Avenue, Clacton in December 2014.
First’s service 7 is not connected with that of GoRide (see below).
(Adam Kelleher).

Van Hool Astromega 820 KPO has reverted to its original registration of JEV 245Y.

There were changes to the Brightlingsea services from 1/12/14.
The 78A Brightlingsea Circular and 79 Brightlingsea-Clacton ceased to operate at weekends.
Service 7 (Clacton-Holland) ceased from 2/12/14.

The first bus to appear in the new fleet colours is Volvo B10BLE/Alexander ALX300 480 (S376 MVP).
Received from Konect for spares only is Dennis Trident/EL 711 (T811 RFG). Sister 723 (W823 NNJ) was briefly on loan from Konect.
EU07GVY 615 HO 88 TO GT YELD (CR)  27-10-14
Above: Hedingham ADL/Enviro 400 no 615, leaves Colchester on an evening peak 88 run to Great Yeldham, on 27/10/14.
EU07GVY 615 HO 88 (BE RLY STN)  22-11-14
Above: Hedingham ADL/Enviro 400 no 615 at Braintree Railway Station on 22/11/14; in the last week of 88 reaching this location.

The Braintree – Halstead section of 88 and the 88X Colchester-Eight Ash Green express variant, were de-registered from 1/12/14. Volvo B10BLE/Wright 481 (R216 HCD) performed the last 88X journey on 28/11/14. The peak hour 88 still runs beyond Castle Hedingham to/from Great Yeldham, however, effectively replacing the 88X with an “all stops” service. Before the 1/9/14 changes, peak hour 88s had run no further than Castle Hedingham. The 88 has also largely reverted to single deck operation again.
R227HCD 482 HO 88X (CR)  10-14
Above: Hedingham Volvo B10BLE/Wright no 482, departs Colchester on an 88X journey in October 2014.

Meanwhile, from 8/12/14, Kelvedon (KN) regained operation of Honywood School route 4 (Coggeshall-Easthorpe) from Clacton (CN) – meaning the KN strength is back to 8 buses again.

Service X4 was withdrawn from 8/12/14.
Optare Excel 172 (YG52 DGE) has a super rear advert for Designer Hair Studios.

Ex Ensignbus Dennis Dart SLF/Alexander ALX200 Y339 FJN, has been noted parked at the First Essex depot in Chelmsford.

From 8/12/14, new service A8 began. This runs between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street; by-passing Stratford and running in a clockwise loop via Bow, Mile End, Whitechapel, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green. There are 50 departures daily. As a result, A9 has been cut back from Liverpool Street, to operate as Stratford-Stansted.
Scania K340EB6/Caetano Levante SH03 (FJ07 DVH,) has been re-registered SHZ 5736.

Dennis Dart SLF/Caetano Nimbus 8.8m 1562 (RX07 KPG) is now here, ex loan to New Enterprise at Tonbridge.
Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3311 (S303 JUA) has passed to Panther Travel (qv).
SLF/Plaxton Pointers 3312/5 (S310/3 JUA) have gone from store at Stansted. The site at Ninth Avenue is now cleared of TGM vehicles, and used solely by Panther Travel.
From 1/12/15, Essex CC service 105 (Colchester-Walton) ceased to serve the Bridgebrook Loop, following the reinstatement of service 3 as a commercial venture by Stephensons.

Commercial service 78/A (Brightlingsea-Colchester) ceased after 20/12/14.
78 school journeys from Brightlingsea to Colchester, Norman Way will continue, however.
The 78 has been running in one form or another since circa 1935.
X331HLL NHT 78 (CR)  1-12-14
Above: New Horizon Trident X331 HLL on the school working of 78, on 1/12/14. Seen on Lexden Road, Colchester.

Sold are Mini Pointer Dart SLFs V198 ERG and Y161 NLK.

Mercedes Sprinter RX54 RRU has come from Hussein of Bradley, West Yorkshire.
Ex Network Colchester is Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer S303 JUA. This is for temporary use on a short term contract.
A Standby contract for Abellio Greater Anglia at Norwich has been won – from Smiths of Blofield. AGA Rail Standby is also now done in north Essex and south Suffolk.

Bova Futura YJ08 NTE has passed to Moseley, South Elmsall (dealer).

From Metroline, via Ensign is Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President LK51 XGL.

Ex Travelmasters of Sheerness, latterly Freedom Travel of Horseheath Trident/ALX400 T697 KPU has been acquired through Ensign.
Solos 201/2/3 (YJ06 YSK, YJ56 AOT/U) have been resold via Ensign to First Devon and Cornwall.
Mini Pointer Dart SLF 601 (YN04 PZY), has had an internal refresh.
YN04PZY 601 REGAL 15 (CF)  2008
Above: 601 in original condition, at Chelmsford in 2008.

LX61DFG 12131 (REAR) CANDY CRUSH 15 (BLACKWALL)  21-12-14
Above: ADL/E40H 12131, in ‘Candy Crush’ overall advert – at Blackwall on 21/12/14.

New Routemasters LT313/4 (LTZ 1313/4) have arrived, ex loan to Stagecoach Bluebird.
They will be used for staff training, in advance of the conversion of TfL55 (Whipps Cross-Oxford Circus) in February 2015.
Moved from Leyton (T) to West Ham (WH) are Tridents 17826/7/8/52/3/5 (LX03 BXZ, BYA/B, BZF/G/H), 17907/8 (LX03 OSA/B), 18210/1/2 (LX04 FWW/Y/Z).
Trident 17551 (LY02 OBC) is reinstated.
Withdrawn are Tridents 17588/9 (LV52 HFX/Y).
Received from Selkent are Tridents 17945-9/59-63 (LX53 JYH/J/K/L/N, JZA/C/D/E/F).
Transferred to Selkent are Tridents 17861/2/3/93/4/5 (LX03 NFF/G/H, ORF/G/H); ADL/Enviro 400 19746; ADL/Enviro 200 36366.
Trident 17454 (Y454 NHK) has gone to Ensign for breaking. Sister 17536 (LY02 OAB) has been resold by Ensign to Cardinal Buses of Staines.
Trident 17790 (LX03 BWD) has transferred to Stagecoach Chesterfield.
Tridents 17528/9/38/53/60/71/82 (LX51 FOM/N, LY02 OAD, OBE/M, LV52 HFC/P) have been returned from Ensign and transferred to Stagecoach South.
Tridents 17489/90/5 (LX51 FMJ/K/U) have been returned from Ensign and transferred to Stagecoach Cumbria.
Super rear adverts noted are:
Trident 17853 (LX03 BZG) – Waltham Forest Culture.
Trident 18277 (LX05 BWK) – Transport for London GPS.
ADL/Enviro 400 19794 – Contactless.
LX03ORF 17893 169 BKSIDE 10-04
Above: 17893, one of the latest Tridents to migrate to Selkent, seen at Barkingside in October 2004; when still relatively new.
LX09ADO 36342 (BLACKHEATH)  21-12-14
Above: One of the ADL/Enviro 200s displaced from East London to Selkent by the double deck conversion of TfL372 (Hornchurch-Lakeside);
36342 was seen at Blackheath Village on 21/12/14. It had broken down while on a Lewisham bound 380 service and was being assisted by a fitter from its new home at Catford (TL).

ADL/Enviro 200 demonstrator YX14 RXB is on loan, with fleet no 204.
Long ADL/Enviro 200 465 (EU62 FBO) briefly replaced SLF/Super Pointer 459 (GU52 HKD) as the route 247 Hadleigh outstation bus, in early December. Then SLF/Mini Pointer 413 (EU03 CFX) appeared later in the month.
GU52HKD 459 STEPHENSONS 247 (CR)  17-12-14
Above: Stephensons no 459 negotiates Middleborough, Colchester on 17/12/14.

ADL/Enviro 400s DN33778/81/2 (SN12 AVU/X/Y) are in overall adverts for Candy Crush.
Volvo B9TL/Wright Gemini2 VN36105 (BJ11 DSV) and ADL/Enviro 40H hybrid DNH39129 (SN12 ATY) have lost their overall schemes.

Sourced via Ensign is ex DawsonRentals Super Pointer Dart SLF KP54 BYL, which had been with the now defunct Premiere of Nottingham.
Sold to Ensign are SLF/Super Pointers SNZ 7292/6 and SLF/MPDs TNZ 1186, 1252.
SLF/Pointer PD31 (R744 BMY) is withdrawn. It has passed to Erith Commercials.

Accident damaged Scania N230UD/Darwen Olympus SDM206 (PN08 SVZ) has been written off.

From 17/12/14, route SB72 (Great Wakering-Rayleigh) stopped serving Clements Hall Sports Centre and Tesco.

Courtworth Banner cropped

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