Go-Ahead East Anglian update and Park & Ride wins

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It has been reported that Go-Ahead Group-owned Konnectbus has won all six contracts for Park & Ride services in Norwich.

The operator is expected to acquire new buses, as each Park & Ride service will require three buses and spare vehicles will be needed. It is also reported that these vehicles must be no older than six years of age.

Konectbus currently operates Park & Ride services from Costessey, Harford and Thickthorn.

In a separate development, Go-Ahead Group is upgrading its double-decker bus fleet in its East Anglia region, with the addition of 21 refurbished Scania OmniDekkas.

The first three buses, which were previously employed on Transport for London (TfL) contracted services out of Orpington garage, entered service with Anglian on Wednesday (March 25). Of the remainder, five are destined for Hedingham, with 13 for Chambers.

As part of their preparation for life in the provinces, the buses have been converted by Eastleigh-based Hants & Dorset Trim from TfL two-door specification to single door, with the resultant enhanced seating capacity.

Nick Field, Deputy General Manager for Hedingham and Chambers told CBW: “It marks a significant investment by the Go-Ahead Group in the East Anglia region. We put the work out to tender and found Hants & Dorset offered the highest quality of work for the best price. We are very pleased with the result.”

The Anglian trio have replaced East Lancs-bodied Tridents, which were new to the Brighton & Hove fleet.

“The refurbishment specification for all the vehicles was similar, although there are differences,” explained Nick.

“For example, on the Anglian examples, the moquette matches that on the five former London Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini-bodied Volvo B7TLs at Konectbus. The Anglian examples are also equipped with standard McKenna Bros Mobitec blinds, while the remainder are fitted with Hanover white front, side and rear destination displays.”

Internally, the seats have been re-covered and all handrails have been stripped, shotblasted and re-covered in silver from the previous yellow.

A number of OmniDekkas are going in to the Chambers fleet to release an equal number of Plaxton President-bodied Volvo B7TLs for Hedingham, which will in turn replace Tridents currently on the mainline services. The Tridents will be cascaded to school work, which will see the withdrawl of the Volvo Olympians.

Nick added: “The fleet swap will allow the introduction of a revised livery for Hedingham to be accelerated. This is based on the current Metrobus provincial livery. We’ve not got a large number of engineering speares, so a practical livery is vital. Our ethos is one panel, one colour.”