A guest contribution by Damon Powell.
You may laugh when I say this, but Newark, of all places, has been in the spotlight recently in the local bus world. What with the exiting of Veolia (with the exception of one weekly service) from the town, and the new X3 service there from Grimsby via Lincoln, on which I was the first passenger, there has been no end to say about the town recently.
However, one thing that has been rather overlooked is the Newark town evening and Sunday services Veolia left behind. Every evening, Veolia took charge of the following town services (and also the 67 to Collingham):
- Service 1a (Newark to Coddington) – 5 trips [Hourly: 1840 – 2240]
- Service 2 (Newark to Balderton) – 4 trips [Hourly: 1835 – 2135]
- Service 3 (Hawtonville Circular) – 4 trips (5 Saturdays) [Hourly: 1905 – 2205]
- Service 3a (Hawtonville / Balderton) – 1 trip 
On Sundays a 2 hourly service on the 1a, 2 and 3 services from 1000 to 2200. In addition to this, Stagecoach provided a two hourly service on the 2 and 3 to bring these routes up to an hourly frequency on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Following Veolia’s withdrawal from the Newark area, Stagecoach took on most of the workings, but not without some significant changes. The key change being that the evening services now operate Thursday to Saturday only and only the former Stagecoach workings on the Sunday services remain.
In the evenings, Stagecoach used the 3a idea, to make an hourly service that served both Hawtonville and Balderton, which meant there was no need for an evening service on both the 2 and 3, as they were all in one with the 3a.
The evening service on the 1a has been changed, and now the journeys run as normal 1’s – this doesn’t really affect anyone at all; however the amount of journeys per night has decreased from Veolia’s 5 per night, to just 3 per night.
Also worth noting is the 67 Newark to Collingham evening service, which has been reduced from hourly to just two journeys at 1915 and 2215. In addition, the 67 has lost its Sunday service, as has the 1 to Coddington.
Stagecoach have created a new duty to operate the evening services, it lasts about 6 hours, with a first journey being the 1815 service 1, and the final journey being a dead working at 2330 from Coddington.
The evening services provided by Stagecoach will be going on for at least the next 6 months, so there is plenty of time to photograph them and it’s almost like history repeating itself for some Newark drivers, as once upon a time, it was RoadCar who provided these very services!
And finally, the question of what bus is providing the service? Well, for the last few nights, it has been an Optare Solo providing service – 47398, although 47462 did try and have a go on the first night, but unfortunately its blinds are not programmed for the new services yet – so it is assumed that a Solo will be choice of bus for the time being.
So for the obligatory ‘out with the old, in with the new’… Farewell to Veolia, but long live the new operator Stagecoach – or more to the point, long live the services!