Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Lost Scenes - 13th November

I've decided to put the date at the top of my "Sunday Lost Scenes" posts as I'm quite likely to lose count soon. Today's entry comes from the North Devon town of Lynton back in 2004...

First Somerset & Dorset 46731 - P631CGM - Lynton - 2nd August 2004

For many a long year, the north Devon arm of First Devon & Cornwall (First Red Bus) combined with Taunton's First Somerset & Avon depot to operate route 300. Route 300 was a Taunton or Minehead to Ilfracombe or Barnstaple service, operated by both companies crossing the Somerset and Devon border. It usually saw Dennis Darts - such as 46731 - which was a shame as this could have been marketed as a profitable summer long term route with the right buses.

Later on in 2004 First gave up the route, and it is now operated by two different operators that meet in Lynton. Filers operates Ilfracombe - Lynton section of the route, with Quantook operating the Lynton - Minehead section, using a rather lovely open top Scania Omnidekka. First no longer serve Lynton or Lynmouth, having given up the 309 / 310 at the same time, which means this picture is truly a lost scene.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Portswood Update

I paused in Portswood today for the first time in a good few months to survey the local bus scene. I'm very familiar with the bus scene in Portswood, having got to know it very well for the last 4 years.

Firstly, the buses on route 3 seem to have grown! Route 3 has been a haunt for the Dart SLFs for years now, but today 4 Volvo B7RLEs were out on the route, with 1 B10BLE and 1 Dart. Here is former West Yorkshire and Devon & Cornwall Volvo B7RLE 69245 (YJ07WFM), loading passengers in St Denys Road.

Further changes from First see the 7 (Southampton - Bassett Green) lose one bus an hour to become every 30 minutes. First's route into northern Southampton has really suffered as the Unilink network has grown so strongly. The U1 was at full standing capacity on numerous workings today, which was a Saturday. 

Staying with First's route 7, and the ex-London B7TLs seen have taken over from the ex-London Olympians. I didn't manage any photos but 32259 (I think) was out on the route today.

Furthermore, BlueStar's route 14 (Bitterne - Southampton via Mansbridge & Bassett Green) has been cut back to become the P1, connecting Southampton with Bassett Green at an hourly frequency. BlueStar's Solo 2603 (R603NFX) was doing the honours today.

Not any drastic changes but certainly different from the place I knew so well just a year ago!