Author Topic: National Express Happenings 2021  (Read 2012 times)

Offline Steves

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National Express Happenings 2021
« on: April 14, 2021, 10:13:43 PM »
At least there are some National Express operations again although none serving Cambridge. The NX website now has a timetable finder which shows all the routes currently planned - which means up to around the end of May. The start dates are shown in a list. The previous Guide page now only shows fares and has a link to the new timetables page at https://timetables.nationalexpress.com/

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2021, 10:19:52 AM »
National Express resumed operation of service 727 this week. A new NX contractor on the service is Worthing Coaches, the previous operators having been Whippet Coaches and NX in house.

Tri-axle Scania/Caetano Levante X5609 (BU18 OSK) worked the 0805 service from Norwich to Brighton today (26 June 2021). It had been new to Luckett’s of Fareham whose fleet number it was X560956 (as a 56 seater the last two digits of that rather long fleet number possibly related to the seating capacity).


David
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Offline Steves

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2021, 09:02:28 PM »
Seems a lot of work is coming in house. Worthing Coaches is part of Lucketts - owned now by National Express. From my limited experience of Lucketts, expect drivers who are less relaxed than those who work for Whippet.

Offline Steves

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2021, 09:20:42 PM »
Looking at the timetables suggests a driver changeover at Stansted with Start Hill drivers working the route to Norwich from there.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2021, 09:25:19 PM »
That is right Steve. Had a chat with one of the 727 drivers this evening and learned that Stansted based drivers drive the vehicles on the Stansted-Norwich section of the route.

Over the day I have seen the following Worthing Coaches vehicles working the service:

Norwich to Brighton:
0805 XW5609 (BU18 OSK)
1205 XW5613 (BU18 OSO)
1905 XW5610 (BU18 OSL)

Brighton to Norwich:
0620 XW5611 (BU18 OSM)
1415 XW5612 (BU18 OSN)


David
« Last Edit: June 26, 2021, 09:28:43 PM by Spoddendale »
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Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2021, 07:59:07 AM »
Notices and Proceedings 2493 dated 18 August 2021 contains the following grant:

Section 2.2 – New Applications Granted

PF2040604 SN NATIONAL EXPRESS LTD Director(s): THOMAS FINDLAY STABLES, EDWARD MARTIN RICKARD, CHRISTOPHER HARDY, JANET BURKE BIRMINGHAM COACH STATION, MILL LANE, BIRMINGHAM, B5 6DD

Operating Centre: UNIT 1B, STANSTED DISTRIBUTION CENTRE, START HILL, GREAT HALLINGBURY, BISHOP'S STORTFORD, CM22 7DG Authorisation: 10 vehicle(s)

Operating Centre: LONG STAY CAR PARK, ROUND COPPICE ROAD, STANSTED AIRPORT, STANSTED, CM24 1SE Authorisation: 50 vehicle(s)

Operating Centre: UNIT 5, STANSTED DISTRIBUTION CENTRE, START HILL, GREAT HALLINGBURY, BISHOP'S STORTFORD, CM22 7DG Authorisation: 20 vehicle(s)

Operating Centre: THE PLATEAU, THE PLATEAU TRAILER PARK SOUTH, KIMPTON ROAD, LUTON, LU2 0TB Authorisation: 40 vehicle(s)

Transport Manager(s): LEIGHSEN PAUL TOMKINS, GAVIN JOHN BING, PAUL JASON CROCKER, ROGER LEYSTER, GRAHAM TANSWELL



David
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My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
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Offline Barry

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2021, 10:33:48 AM »
As always, it's a bit difficult to work out what Nx are up to (and the NX agents site still isn't back in use for timetables).

But have they effectively dropped Cambridge - London again? The only journey I could find was an overnight Norwich - Cambridge - Stansted - Heathrow - Victoria (!) journey.

Offline HughT

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2021, 11:21:21 AM »
But have they effectively dropped Cambridge - London again? The only journey I could find was an overnight Norwich - Cambridge - Stansted - Heathrow - Victoria (!) journey.

With the exception of the overnight 492 Norwich-Victoria (which is routed via Cambridge southbound only) it looks as though you have to use one of the Stansted Airport services and change there.

Offline dennisdart

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2021, 06:43:14 PM »
Peterborough still has not got any NE services back, and from what I have read from elsewhere
the Lincolnshire and Hull services to London via Peterborough have been discontinued - 498 and 499
I think.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2021, 08:14:40 PM »
That 492 service is certainly a weird one. The nights of operation differ southbound and northbound as does the route travelled.

Southbound is EVERY night:
Norwich (0100), UEA (0112), Thetford (0155), Mildenhall (0220), Newmarket (0240), Cambridge (Parkside) (0305/0310), Trumpington P&R (0322), Stansted Airport (0400/0410), Heathrow Airport (0530), London VCS (0620)

Northbound is just Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday:
London VCS (2230), Stratford (2320), Stansted Airport (0010/0020), Newmarket (0115), Thetford (0150), Norwich (0235)

When I first saw the timetable (on 9 October) it departed Norwich at 0130 and did not serve Cambridge and Trumpington but ran direct between Newmarket and Stansted. The 0220 departure time from Mildenhall is the one and only London service to call at Mildenhall, there are no other southbound or northbound calls on any other London services (490/491). Really strange.

Service 492 is worked by Ambassador Travel with the coach off the southbound service working back from Victoria at 0730. The 2230 northbound 492 is worked by the coach from the 1715 Norwich-London service 490.

 

David
« Last Edit: October 25, 2021, 08:19:32 PM by Spoddendale »
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Offline TCD813

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2021, 11:00:51 AM »
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, there's another bit of 'restructuring' of long-distance buses: FirstGroup sells Greyhound to FlixBus. Click the link to go to the new topic.
TCD813? The reg of a Southdown Motor Services, Northern Counties bodied, Leyland Titan PD3/4 FH39/30F (popularly dubbed 'Queen Mary') from the late 50s.
There's all 'manor' of stuff on my Twitter A/c.

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2021, 03:47:35 PM »
Notices and Proceedings number 2504 dated 3 November 2021 contains the following application:

Section 3.5 – Cancellations of Existing Services

PD0000738/331 NATIONAL EXPRESS LTD, NATIONAL EXPRESS HOUSE, BIRMINGHAM COACH STATION, MILL LANE, DIGBETH, BIRMINGHAM, B5 6DD
Operating between Lowestoft Bus Station, Gordon Road and London Victoria Coach Station given service number 490 / 491 effective from 01 January 2022.

(Services 490/491 have not operated from Lowestoft for quite some time. Since the commencement of the Covid lockdown these two services have operated from Great Yarmouth to London (travelling via Norwich etc). Hopefully this application is just to surrender a redundant licence rather than for a total withdrawal otherwise National Express will have even less of a presence in East Anglia than they have now)


David
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Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2021, 08:49:33 AM »
During October 2021, using the tracking info on the 'Bus Times' website, I have been recording which vehicles have been operating on the NX service 727 (Norwich-Brighton) and services 490/491/492 (Gt. Yarmouth-Norwich-London).

My lists may be seen by following this link:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/docs


David


 
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My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
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Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2021, 07:54:50 PM »
The National Express Great Yarmouth-Norwich-London services 490/491/492 are currently contracted to Ambassador Travel.

However, on Monday 8 November the vehicle working the 1415 service from Great Yarmouth to London and the 1930 London to Great Yarmouth was BK15 AJU, a vehicle which I believe is from the fleet of National Express owned West Midlands Travel.

For the past few weeks, using the tracking facility on the ‘Bus Times’ website, I have been recording which vehicles have been working each journey on these services. The above trip is the first recorded movement on ‘Bus Times’ of BK15 AJU since Monday 25 October when it operated the 1445 Great Yarmouth to London and the 2000 London to Norwich services.

So, I wonder how it was that this coach found itself in Great Yarmouth on 25 October to operate a mid-afternoon duty. Possibly Ambassador Travel 215 which operated a morning round trip that is usually the first part of the duty failed when returning from London on the 1000 service to Great Yarmouth and was substituted with BK15 AJU?

But, if ‘Bus Times’ is correct, why was BK15 AJU not then recorded as moving for two whole weeks thereafter?

The six National Express liveried coaches operated by Ambassador Travel (three of which are former WMT vehicles) were all shown to have operated over the few days following 25 October so I don’t think the coach has been loaned to cover another coach that is off the road long term.

I am intrigued.

A link to a photograph of the coach:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/51058588


David
My photos may be seen at
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The site includes:

My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2021, 07:47:45 PM »
Notices and Proceedings number 2505 dated 10 November 2021 contains the following application:

Section 3.5 – Cancellations of Existing Services

PD0000738/323 NATIONAL EXPRESS LTD, NATIONAL EXPRESS HOUSE, BIRMINGHAM COACH STATION, MILL LANE, DIGBETH, BIRMINGHAM, B5 6DD Operating between Birmingham Coach Station and Great Yarmouth Market Gates Bus Station given service number 375 effective from 01 January 2022.

(As with the application listed last week regarding the cancellation of services 490/491 which were re-instated post Covid lockdown, I don’t believe that service 375 has operated at all since the first Covid lockdown. Presumably as this service wasn’t re-instated it is now ceasing for good).


David
My photos may be seen at
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The site includes:

My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2021, 09:28:57 AM »
The National Express Great Yarmouth-Norwich-London services 490/491/492 are currently contracted to Ambassador Travel.

However, on Monday 8 November the vehicle working the 1415 service from Great Yarmouth to London and the 1930 London to Great Yarmouth was BK15 AJU, a vehicle which I believe is from the fleet of National Express owned West Midlands Travel.

For the past few weeks, using the tracking facility on the ‘Bus Times’ website, I have been recording which vehicles have been working each journey on these services. The above trip is the first recorded movement on ‘Bus Times’ of BK15 AJU since Monday 25 October when it operated the 1445 Great Yarmouth to London and the 2000 London to Norwich services.

So, I wonder how it was that this coach found itself in Great Yarmouth on 25 October to operate a mid-afternoon duty. Possibly Ambassador Travel 215 which operated a morning round trip that is usually the first part of the duty failed when returning from London on the 1000 service to Great Yarmouth and was substituted with BK15 AJU?

But, if ‘Bus Times’ is correct, why was BK15 AJU not then recorded as moving for two whole weeks thereafter?

The six National Express liveried coaches operated by Ambassador Travel (three of which are former WMT vehicles) were all shown to have operated over the few days following 25 October so I don’t think the coach has been loaned to cover another coach that is off the road long term.

I am intrigued.

A link to a photograph of the coach:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/51058588


David

The East Norfolk Bus Blog site tells that this coach has been acquired by Ambassador Travel becoming their 200. So now they have seven NX liveried Caetano Levantes. This latest addition is a Volvo B8R and is former West Midlands Travel 90 new in 2015. The other six vehicles are Scanias dating from 2019 (214/5 new to Ambassador and 217-219 ex West Midlands Travel).

At the time of writing NX services 490/491/492 (Great Yarmouth-Norwich-London) feature seven round trips on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays which can be worked by five vehicles. On the other three days there are only four round trips which can be worked by three vehicles.



David
My photos may be seen at
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My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline Barry

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2021, 08:29:47 PM »
A few National Express services seem to have returned, unannounced, to Cambridge at some point; a mid morning 777 on the way from Stansted to Birmingham with afternoon / evening return, and  5 daytime and evening 727 between Gatwick and Norwich.

I can't imagine that a marketing strategy of hoping people find you by chance is the way forward for the UK coach industry, but both NE and Flix appear to be operating that way :-(

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2021, 09:37:04 AM »
I hadn't noticed the 777 Barry refers to but the 727 resumed operation in its current format on 21 June 2021. The 727 is operated by Luckett's/Worthing Coaches as mentioned in some of the postings above.

During October, using the tracker on the ‘Bus Times’ website, I logged the different coaches used and my file which includes an outline timetable may be seen via this link:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/51055438

To supplement the above an album of photos of the vehicles used may be seen here:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/1308438

Vehicles are provided from the Lucketts/Worthing Coaches base at South Lancing and the regular vehicles are usually Scania/Caetano Levante 2 tri-axles (5504-5514). 5602 became more of a regular from mid-November. One occasion (31 October) a Levante 3 (5512) made an appearance but unfortunately I didn’t get see it.   

During November I have continued to log the vehicles although the general format has remained.


David
My photos may be seen at
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The site includes:

My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101

Offline Steves

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2021, 07:20:23 PM »
I can't imagine that a marketing strategy of hoping people find you by chance is the way forward for the UK coach industry, but both NE and Flix appear to be operating that way :-(
And Megabus has been a secret service - at least in Cambridge - for years

Offline Spoddendale

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Re: National Express Happenings 2021
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2021, 10:09:07 PM »
Service 727

There appears to have been a new timetable introduced on service 727 from today (Monday 29 November).

The service 727 now comprises three services between Norwich (UEA) and Heathrow Terminal 5 and two services between Great Yarmouth and Heathrow Terminal 5. The latter two are worked by Ambassador Travel. I think the other three might be worked by NX in house.

The service does not run through to Brighton and so Lucketts and Worthing Coaches do not work the 727s.


Services 490/491/492

The Great Yarmouth-Norwich-London services 490/491/492 remain unchanged and it would appear that Ambassador Travel are still working these.


The above changes would perhaps explain why BK15 AJU was added as an extra vehicle to the Ambassador fleet of late ex West Midlands Travel.


David
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 10:11:15 PM by Spoddendale »
My photos may be seen at
http://www.ipernity.com/home/davidslater-spoddendale

The site includes:

My 1960s/1970s snapshots taken when I worked in the Traffic Offices at Yelloway:
http://www.ipernity.com/doc/davidslater-spoddendale/album/690101