10/10/2013

Notes from North West Norfolk ~ double deck delights

Today we are introducing a new regular series 'Notes from North West Norfolk' which will include news, features & photographs covering the bus scene and railway in our local area, we hope regular readers from this area (and of course those from elsewhere!) will enjoy this new series.

Whilst in King's Lynn yesterday the number of double decker buses photographed got us thinking about the ever increasing number of this type in use in the area, and how things have changed since as recently as 5 or 6 years ago when apart from the small collection of Leyland Olympians operated by First, double deckers were very few and far between... fast forward to 2013 and double deckers are now a regular sight in King's Lynn and the surrounding area.

Norfolk Green 6 YJ03UML
Norfolk Green Optare Spectra bodied DAF DB250LF 6 YJ03 UML seen yesterday operating on the Fairstead One.

We start with our favourite local operator Norfolk Green that operated double deckers (Bristol VRs and then MCW Metrobuses) in their early years, however after the last of these departed several years in the mid to late noughties passed with no double deckers in the fleet at all, that was until 2010 when the first ex Reading Optare Spectra bodied DAF DB250LFs joined the fleet.

Norfolk Green 10 LV52HHP
Norfolk Green Alexander ALX400 bodied Dennis Trident 10 LV52 HHP seen yesterday on an 11 to Hunstanton.

In the three years since then a total of 17 double deckers have joined this local independant's fleet; 9 Optare Spectra/DAF DB250LFs (ex Reading Buses) 2 Dennis Trident/ ALX400s (ex Stagecoach London) 2 Dennis Trident/East Lancs Myllenium Lolyne (ex Cumbria County Council) and 4 ADL Enviro400s (brand new in 2012/13) - these can be found operating on a variety of Norfolk Green's routes, most notably on the 10/11 to Hunstanton and 505 to Spalding.

Norfolk Green 24 SN13EEB
Norfolk Green Alexander Dennis Enviro400 24 SN13 EEB seen yesterday on a Coasthopper CH1 to Hunstanton.

As we mentioned earlier First had a number of Leyland Olympians in their local bus fleet, these were later replaced by 7 W reg Alexander ALX400 bodied Volvo B7TL's which remained in the fleet until their local operations were sold to Norfolk Green in 2011, the remaining vehicles left at First's King's Lynn depot was then dominated by Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini bodied Volvo B7TL/B9TL double deckers dating from 2007/08 for use on the long haul X1 route between Peterborough and Lowestoft.

First King's Lynn 33815 YX63LKD
First King's Lynn Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33815 YX63 LKD seen yesterday in King's Lynn.

Moving on to the last month and a new fleet of 22 Alexander Dennis Enviro400s have begun being introduced at First King's Lynn for use on the X1, once all of the new vehicles have entered service they will be seen passing through the town four times an hour on their way East to Lowestoft and West to Peterborough.

First King's Lynn 33818 YX63LKG
First King's Lynn Alexander Dennis Enviro400 33818 YX13 LKG seen yesterday in King's Lynn.

Other than the Norfolk Green and First X1 double deckers already mentioned, Konectbus often use double deckers - usually East Lancs Lolyne bodied Dennis Tridents on their service from King's Lynn to Swaffham and Watton.

Hope you enjoyed the first edition of 'Notes from North West Norfolk' - look out for the next edition that should appear next week!