Edited by John Podgorski BA Hons, MSc, CMILT.
Welcome to the February 2017 edition of Busmopolitan.
There was a serious accident at Witham on 8/2/17, which resulted in chaos to the local road transport network.
At approx 1545, a MAN TGA articulated lorry, carrying 26 tonne uniterupted industrial power supply , for some reason failed to negotiate the bend on the sliproad at Witham North and careered off Colmans Bridge and onto an embankment alongside the southbound carriageway of the A12. The ISO container it was carrying split open, and the hazardous load caught fire. Sadly, the driver was declared dead at the scene.
The bridge and A12 south were immediately closed. The northbound A12 was shut for around 2 hours. However, the London bound A12 remained closed until the following evening – February 9th, and Colmans Bridge was still closed on 10th February. This cut a major road link through Essex, as well as access to Witham from the north.
Above: The stricken lorry.
Below: The same truck, taken 8 days earlier, on 31/1/17, coming off Colmans Bridge and into Witham. The spot where it crashed is in the middle distance. The driver is not the gentleman who sadly lost his life in this tragic accident.
Bus and coach services directly affected by this incident were:
71 (Colchester-Chelmsford) – operated by First Essex.
91 (Tollesbury-Witham) – Hedingham and Stephensons.
481 (Felixstowe/Ipswich-London) – National Express.
484 (Walton-Clacton-London) – National Express.
505 (Colchester-Danbury) – Stephensons.
506 (Colchester-Heybridge) – Stephensons.
521/3 (Colchester-Chelmsford) – First Essex.
676 (Colchester-Chelmsford) – Stephensons.
Feering-Ipswich Schools – Suffolk Norse.
HN1 (Silver End-Honywood School) – Hedingham.
Maldon-Bicknacre-Danbury-Colchester Schools – Graham’s of Kelvedon.
T1 (Ipswich-Witham) – Beestons.
Bus and coach services indirectly affected were:
38/A (Witham-Braintree-Halstead) – Stephensons.
39 (Powers Hall End-Witham Morrisons) – Stephensons.
65 (Highwoods-Colchester-Tollgate) – First.
70 (Colchester-Braintree-Chelmsford) – First.
72 (Witham-Chelmsford) – First.
73/A (Chelmsford-Maldon) – First.
82 (Colchester-Fordham) – Hedingham.
83 (Colchester-Great Tey) – Hedingham.
88 (Colchester-Halstead) – First and Hedingham.
90 (Witham-Maldon) – Stephensons.
250 (Ipswich-Stansted-Heathrow) – National Express.
623 (Chelmsford-Witham) – Stephensons.
673 (Chelmsford-Maldon) – Stephensons.
HN7 (Marks Tey-Honywood).
One correspondent reported that the 505 took 2 hours 40 minutes to travel 2.4 miles, after it was halted in the tailback at Kelvedon. It arrived at its destination 209 minutes late.
The A12 South was partially reopened on the evening of 9/2/17,after the wreckage had been recovered – but the bridge and sliproad remained shut. This was reopened, Witham bound only, on 10/2/17.
The lorry driver who died was named as Mr G Johal, aged 30, from Witham. He was an employee of the local branch of Harris Truck and Van – DAF, Iveco and MAN agents. An inquest into his death was opened at Chelmsford on 15/2/17, with the cause of his death being multiple injuries caused by the crash. The inquest was then adjourned until July 2017.
Thoughts go out to all affected by this dreadful accident.
AH MINIBUSES, LITTLE CLACTON.
There are two bases. The main depot/office on London Road, and an outstation at Holland Road.
Was sold to NIBS of Wickford on 17/2/17, following retirement of Amber’s proprietor.
Above: Amber DAF MB230/VH YNJ 214 calls at Southend Airport on an Abellio Greater Anglia rail replacement to/from Stratford on 20/9/15.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (COLCHESTER).
Volvo B7RLE/Wright 3817 (GN07 AVD) has returned from Arriva Network Harlow.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 3329 (X521 GGO) is now with Arriva Kent and Surrey at Maidstone.
ARRIVA KENT THAMESIDE (SOUTHEND).
On loan from Optare was orange liveried Optare Solo SR YN64 DWD. This was to cover for Optare Versas undergoing warranty work.
One time Southend Transport Leyland Fleetline/NC MRJ 241W has gone to MC Tractors, Ely for scrap – via Ensign.
ARRIVA LONDON NORTH.
Took over TfL48 (Walthamstow Central-London Bridge) from Stagecoach East London on 25/2/17. DW Class VDL300LF/Wright Gemini2s are being used from Ash Grove (AE) depot.
On loan from Trustybus is Scania Omnilink/EL YR52 VFL.
TfL387 (Creekmouth-Little Heath) was renumbered EL3 and converted to LT Class New Routemasters, upon transfer of this contract from Stagecoach on 18/2/17. It is the first wholly suburban route to be worked by LTs. LT907 was pictured at River Road, Barking on the first day. The entire batch for East London Transit is LT903-953 (LTZ 2013-53). EL1 and EL2 were progressively converted during late February.
The last Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart SLFs working on TfL Contracts, are with Blue Triangle. DMN6 was pictured (below) at South Street, Romford on 26/2/17, by S Austin.
From Xplore Dundee are Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents V42, 45 MOA. From National Express West Midlands are V423/31/99 MOA. V45 MOA is allocated to registered schools service 888.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton President 583 is delicensed and stored at H&B Commercials, Ipswich.
New are CRJ900s EI-FPI/J.
On 15/2/17, 66846 was seen at Stratford on a Hoo Junction to Shoeburyness light engine move.
New ADL/Enviro 20D MMCs are 1238-59 (YY66 PYB/D/F/G/H/J/L/O/P/S/T/U/V/W/X/Z, PZA/B/C/D/E/F). And new ADL/Enviro 40H MMCs are 2522-37 (SN66 WRE/G/J/K/L/O/P/R/T/U/V/W/X/Z, WSD/E). These are for new and renewed TfL contracts.
66017 was at Marks Tey Sand Yard on 22/2/17.
EAST THAMES BUSES.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini VWL42 (BX04 BKL), latterly with London General, has been resold via Ensign, to York Pullman.
DAF SB120/Wright Cadet DW12 (LF52 TKA), latterly with London Central has gone to MC Tractors, Ely for scrap – after cannibalisation by Ensign.
New are Airbus A320-214s G-EZPV/W/X/Y, EZRA.
Withdrawn are Class 373 EMUs 373013/14. They were moved from Fawkham Junction, Kent to Temple Mills on 25/2/17.
The new Chelmsford Park and Ride Buses are ADL/Enviro 200s 67189-97 (SN66 WKK/L/M/O/P/R/S/T/U). The previously used Volvo B7RLE/Wrights, 69512-20 have transferred from Chelmsford (CF) to Hadleigh (HH) – mainly to upgrade route 27 (Southend-Canvey).
Volvo B7TL/Alexander ALX400 32068 (KP51 VZS) and Volvo B7RLE/Wright 66797 (MX05 CMY) are the latest in Refreshed livery. All such repaints now have ‘Essex’ fleet names.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 43801 (AO02 ODM) has gone to Alpha Recovery for scrap – despite having relatively received Refreshed livery.
Above: Seen in February 2012, when still quite new, Chelmsford Park and Ride Volvo B7RLE/Wright no 69519 exits Victoria Road into Duke Street.
The driver of the lorry, which shed its steam engine load onto a First Essex bus at West Mersea on 23/9/15 – injuring 23 people – 6 seriously, pleaded guilty to the charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving (insecure load) on 28/2/17. Philip Last, aged 53 of Great Yarmouth, was driving a DAF XF low loader for R M Cowels of Lowestoft, when the Burrell steam engine on the back, fell onto Scania N113/Wright 65573 (S573 TPW), crushing the front offside of the bus. Mr Last will be sentenced on 20/4/17 at Ipswich Crown Court.
Ancillary vehicles: 90590 (EX55 ZHA) is a Ford Fiesta van, seen both at Colchester and Hadleigh.
Seen at Tollesbury outstation during February, were Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents Y184 NLK, LK03 NHF; Leyland Olympian/Alexander RH G805 GSX and Volvo Olympian/Alexander Royale P418 KSX.
New is Dornier DHC-8 402 turboprop G-PRPK.
FOURWAYS COACHES, HIGHWOOD, CHELMSFORD.
Sourced through Ensign are ex London United Volvo B7TL/EL Vykngs PG04 WHD/M.
Diesel 70003 is reinstated.
GALLEON TRAVEL, HARLOW.
Sold is Volvo SBR/Berkhof double deck coach WA08 APO.
66717 was at Bow Midland on 9/2/17.
On hire from Rail Support Services (RSS) diesel electric shunter 08511. It is based at Cambridge.
Further Class 321 EMUs transferred from Great Northern/GTR are 321405/07.
Also ex GTR are Class 317 EMUs 317345/46/47/48.
The majority of stock has now received the new ‘Greater Anglia’ branding.
EMUs 379012/028 still retained ‘Abellio GA’ names at the end of February. 379028 leads a London-Cambridge service into Audley End on 25/2/17.
Above: With the new ‘Greater Anglia’ fleet names, Class 317 EMU 317510 calls at Audley end on the Cambridge-Stansted Airport service on 25/2/17.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 259 (EU56 FLP) has moved from Clacton (CN) to Sible Hedingham (HD).
Dennis Trident/EL 723 (W823 NNJ) now has red Hedingham fleet names on Konect blue/yellow livery.
Volvo B7TL/Wright Gemini 510 (LB02 YWX) has gone for repair.
Above: Clacton allocated SLF/MPD 290, on the 82 at Southway, Colchester on 31/5/16.
Below: Deniis Trident/EL 723 at Sible Hedingham depot on 23/2/17.
New Boeing 737-800-8MGs are G-JZHU/V, which will likely appear at Stansted, when ops start there at the end of March.
JR EXECUTIVE TRAVEL, COPDOCK.
HOW 3R is a Van Hool T917 tri-axle – ex Howards/Springfield Travel. It has been re-registered KX05 AYM. Pictured on Greater Anglia rail replacement at Witham on 25/2/17.
The remaining Ipswich Park and Ride will passed to First Eastern Counties as a commercial operation. This is the Copdock P and R, which had opened in November 1997. Originally operated by Ipswich Buses; First Eastern Counties was the contractor between 2008 and 2013, after which Ipswich Buses returned. For its second tenure, IB used ex Nottingham City Transport Optare Versas, including no 150, seen (above) on the bridge over the River Orwell at Princes Street on 28/10/16. Ipswich rail station is in the background. First will take over from July 2017.
Another Dennis Dart SLF/EL Spryte to be withdrawn is 89 (X89 LBJ).
Sold for scrap to PSV Recycling, Hadleigh (Suffolk) are Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400s 6 (LG02 FCE), 18/19 (V126/62 MEV) and ex Carters Volvo Olympian/Alexander RH 43 (R156 LHK ex 98 D 20388). The last retained red/yellow livery.
The Dutch flag carrier airline has returned to London City Airport. From 6/2/17, a service from Amsterdam Schipol commenced, initially once daily, but to increase to four return trips from March 2017. It marks a comeback by KLM to this air hub, after an eight year absence. The route is worked by Embraer 190s, such as PH-EZB, pictured (below) at Stuttgart, Germany on 22/5/17.
Class 317 EMU 317891 is now in LOROL colours.
New is Scania K440EB6/Caetano Levante SH225 (BV66 WRC)
NEW HORIZON, FRATING.
Sold is Volvo Olympian/NC R549 LGH.
Acquired the business of Amber Coaches, Rayleigh on 17/2/17. The portfolio includes a selection of school contracts.
Above: NIBS ex Docklands Buses Scania Omnicity LX08 ECF at the Canvey Museum Running Day of 12/10/14.
P&M COACHES, WICKFORD.
Sold is Mb 0814D/Mellor welfare bus L702 VHY.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Super Pointer BIG 7006 has been named ‘Paige’.
Plaxton Primo MX55 WDT is ex Scraggs of Stoke on Trent, pictured (top) at Matching Green depot on 25/2/17.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer BIG 9856, has returned, off loan from Regal.
Leyland Olympian BIG 9248 is on loan to Ward’s of Alresford (qv).
Volvo B10M/Plaxton Premiere BIG 9807 has been repaired using parts from N615 APU.
Ancillary vehicles: Ford Transit Connect van YP13 LRX is now AB13 PAN. VW Caddy van AB57 PAN has reverted to its original BF58 EZK mark and been sold to its regular driver – engineer ‘Ziggy’ – picture below. Peugeout 106 P568 LKE has gone to Takeley Metals for scrap, while Rover 200 T913 LRT is withdrawn.
Traffic: The route 60 Audley End/Saffron Walden-Hempstead shuttle ended on 17/2/17, when the road was reopened.
Acquired is Scania K114/Irizar YN56 FGJ. It was previously with Lucketts, Fareham. It is seen (above) on Greater Anglia rail replacement at Ingatestone on 18/2/17.
Above: The ‘Regal Explorer’ Mercedes 0814D/Plaxton Cheetah, at Witham on 23/2/17.
More new Boeing 737s are 800-8AS models EI-FTS/T/V/W/Y/Z, FZA.
Boeing 737-8AS EI-EFP has passed to Jeju Air, following repaint at Bournemouth.
STAGECOACH EAST LONDON.
TfL48 (Walthamstow Central-London Bridge) passed to Arriva London North from 25/2/17 (qv). Dennis Trident no 17799 was seen on the route at Bishopsgate in June 2004.
Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 17925 (LX03 OTA) has been resold by Ensign to Fast Point Plus, Sofia, Bulgaria. Tridents 17157/77 (V157/77 MEV), 17549 (LY02 OAZ) went to MC Tractors, Ely for scrap – after spares recovery by Ensign.
Mercedes Citybus 45 demonstrator/EVM RE66 KKY was on loan in mid to late Feberuary. It was trialled on route D4 (Bradwell-Southminster circular). It then moved onto Arrow Taxis at Maldon and was replaced by orange/red liveried BV66 GYJ.
Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Mini Pointer 413 (EU03 CFX) is on loan to NIBS, Wickford.
SWIFT TRAVEL, NORTH WEALD.
Optare Alero S24 WFT has been re-registered back to YL51 ZTO.
Withdrawn is BAe RJ100 HB-IYR. It has gone to store at Cranfield, UK.
Scania K360/Irizar YT12 YUA has passed to Hebridean Transport, Sandwick, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
New are Boeing 757-330 G-JMOE and Boeing 767-31KER G-TCCA.
TITAN AIRWAYS, STANSTED.
Boeing 737-436 G-POWP is now here.
TONY GLEW, COLCHESTER.
This operator has ceased most of its activities. One minibus school contract remains until the end of the 2016/17 academic year, and outstanding private hires are being honoured. Much of Glew’s work has been reassigned to other local operators. Its Wickham Bishops-Colchester Norman Way private school contract has passed to Talisman. Glew’s founder and proprietor George “Tony” Glew had passed away in 2016. The company was established in 1988 with two minibuses, initially run from the boss’s home. Larger coaches began to arrive from 1993 and a base at the Hythe in Colchester was set up. This was on a plot of land at the junction of The Quay and Maudlyn Road, and was shared with Tee Jays Travel (now Enigma Travel).
When it was redeveloped for housing in 1997, Glew moved to Great Tey, where it remained ever since, while Tee Jay’s went “around the corner”, to Fieldgates at Haven Road.
Once at Great Tey, Glew expanded – eventually running vehicles across the entire size spectrum, from minibuses to double deckers. Great Tey had ample secure parking and workshop facilities.
Glew’s work portfolio was a mix of school contract and private charter. It never ran any stage services. In 1997/1998 the works contract for Sovereign Chicken (now Grampian Country Foods) at Witham was run, launching this service which Fargo then held from 1998 to 2007 and Arriva/Network Colchester after that until late 2016 when Beestons took over. Originally running as Harwich to Witham, the “chicken run” eventually became a network (under Fargo and Arriva), also serving Braintree, Colchester and Ipswich. The school runs were of note as they included a long standing private contract between Wickham Bishops and Colchester (see above), along with some home to school services centred on the Kingswood Hoe School in Colchester.
Mr Glew had originally been a London bus driver, before working as a plastic injection moulding engineer for many years, prior to his own business venture.
Above: Just after acquisition by Glew, Dennis Javelin/Caetano YIL 5494 being prepared for service at PW Commercials, Witham on 24/7/15. It was subsequently repainted blue.
An ancillary vehicle is Ford Transit MWB hi cube van BG66 VKT – at Lea Interchange (LI).
Mercedes Citaro demonstrator BT66 ZTE is on loan.
Scania Omnilink/EL YR52 VFL has been hired to Barkerbus at Roydon. Sister YR52 VFN is delicensed.
TURNERS OF ESSEX, WICKHAM ST PAUL.
This has been reconstituted as a new limited company.
Above: Turners ex Talisman Setra S415 MY53 TRA on Abellio GA rail replacement at Marks Tey on 1/2/15.
WARD’S OF ALRESFORD.
Volvo B7TL/Plaxton Presidents X651/56 LLX were destroyed by fire at Cockaynes Farm depot on the evening of 6/2/17, in what was an arson attack. The remains were subsequently cut up on site.
Leyland Olympian BIG 9248 has been hired from Panther Travel to cover.
With thanks to: Essex Buses Yahoo; R Delahoy; R McGregor; J Sadd; D Tredwell; R Watson-Lang.