11/01/2011

My top 5 bus routes of 2010

I travelled on many bus routes during 2010, some I hadn't been on before and some old favourites. Here is the top 5 bus routes I sampled in 2010...

Norfolk Green CoasthopperXtra
King's Lynn - Sedgeford - Docking - Burnham Market - Wells Next The Sea - Cley Next The Sea - Holt - Kelling Heath - Sheringham

The CoasthopperXtra was a new addition the Norfolk Green network in 2010, it operated during the peak summer season to supplement standard Coasthopper services on some of the main parts of the route as well as to provide links to some places not directly linked to the coast such as Sedgeford, Docking, Holt & Kelling Heath. The service was operated using some of the 12 (07-10 reg) Slimline Optare Solos from the Coasthopper fleet as well as the odd standard Norfolk Green Solo. The drivers on both Coasthopper services really do warrent a mention, their customer service is fantastic and they are always happy to help passengers and answer their enquiries whether about the bus route or about local landmarks/places of interest. The scenery along the route is beautiful, and well worth a try if the Xtra returns in 2011 (if it doesn't the 'normal Coasthopper is just as spectacular!)

Stagecoach Cambridgeshire Citi5
Cambridge - Girton Corner - Bar Hill - Willingham - Swavesey - Fenstanton - St Ives

This route is an hourly extension of the main Citi5 service that operates between Cambridge and Bar Hill only. Unlike the rest of the Citi services the Citi5 is operated by Fenstanton depot using some of the Scania powered Enviro400's and Volvo B7RLE/Eclipse 2's with leather coach seats intended for use on the yet to open Guided Busway. On the extended Citi5 you are almost guarenteed to have a Enviro 400 and the real power of these vehicles can be fully appreciated whilst travelling along the winding rural roads of Cambridgeshire. The views are fantastic all along the route with some wonderful buildings to see both in Cambridge and the villages en route. Certainly a worthy alternative to the main road 55 service.

Brighton & Hove Metro 7
Hove George Street - Brighton Station - Old Steine - County Hospital - Brighton Marina

This service is well worth a try if you are visiting Brighton. It is operated using mainly T reg Dennis Tridents with East Lancs Loylne bodywork, although some Scania Omnicity double deckers can sometimes be found on the route. The Tridents cope suprisingly well with the hilly terrain of Brighton. The main reason for being in my top 5 is because of the marina terminus which is well worth a visit with many shops, cafes and resturants featured in the marina complex, in addition the fantastic views are worth a visit alone.

Norfolk Green X29
Fakenham - Pensthorpe - Foulsham - Bawdeswell - Lenwade - Norwich

Norfolk Green began operating the Norfolk County Council funded X29 route in late 2007 after First Eastern Counties withdrew its 56 service sighting low passenger numbers as the main reason for withdrawal. Since 2007 Norfolk Green have worked their magic on the service which has grown massively in the 3 years they have been running the route, in 2007 the service ran every 2 hours using Optare Solos and Mercedes Benz Varios. Today it operates hourly using four dedicated route branded 38 seat Optare Versas (1x 58 reg, 1x 09 reg & 2x 10 reg) The service operates through some beautiful countryside and also passes two of Norfolk's biggest tourist attractions - Pensthorpe Nature Reserve (home to BBC's Springwatch) and the Dinosaur Adventure Park. A new development from late 2010 is that there are now guarenteed connections in Fakenham to the X8 service to & from King's Lynn

Konectbus str8
Toftwood - Dereham - Norwich Bus Station - Norwich Rail Station

This service began operation in 2009 as a fast, alternative, 'str8' link between Dereham & Norwich with just a handful of stops at each end of the route. It started in 2009 with a frequency of every two hours using two leather seated Optare Tempos. The route increased to hourly in early 2010, and from late 2010 is now even more regular operating up to every 30 mins with some journeys needing double deckers to cope with passenger numbers. I like this service because of its simplicity and its fast journey times that beat both Konectbus' own 'fab4' service and First Eastern Counties X1 service, Another good point to mention is Konectbus' quality and excellent customer service that is always apparent when using their buses.