Issue 44
(OBP-260)

Monday 1st September 2003

next update week ending 13th September 2003


Please note that any comments made in this news page are those of the Editors' and in no way constitute 
any official points of view from the bus companies mentioned,  or indeed any other official body. 
As a news page we reserve the right to make valid comments as seen from an editorial point of view.

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news please
let me know on
malcolmhc@aol.com

In some ways this last week has been a quiet one from a vehicle point of view but other developments from an operational point of view have brought quite a wealth of correspondence. Perhaps of interest has been the arrival of two further Alexander PS bodied Volvos from the North West. One of these is pictured above and full details may be found under the Stagecoach heading further down this page.

Adrian Lancer wrote regarding the Oxford Group site saying "Malcolm, sorry to keep changing my mind, but I have just discovered that the group has a homepage at http://uk.domeus.com/groups/oxfordbuses and I think this would be a better link than oxfordbus-subscribe@domeus.co.uk." This was the link I quoted on last week's page. This group provides day to day coverage of events in our area and is providing a useful companion to this News Page.

Paul Dudfield wrote referring to the Expressway Oxford project. He says "As the OCBP seems to be read by transport professionals in Oxford, do you think you could put in query about the Expressway Oxford website. At present it is just a holding page saying the full website is due to be launched early in 2003. It seems to be running a little late. Is there any news of when it may be up and running?

One of my regular correspondents wrote regarding road works in the city saying "St. Clements Street has been the scene of roadworks on the Headington-bound side in recent weeks; the gas main and associated tee-offs are being replaced, requiring major damage of the new tarmac surface laid with such disruption barely two years ago (I'm sure you'd approve, Malcolm --- not!).

On Thursday morning congestion was particularly bad, with tailbacks frequently reaching from the Morrell Avenue turning all the way back to The Plain. The primary cause was a lorry full of tarmac, parked fully blocking the left-hand lane exactly at the traffic lights where the 15 bus turns right into Morrell Avenue.

However, a secondary cause was that those traffic-lights -- which have separate signals for "straight on" and "right turn" -- were never showing both arrows at once, whereas normally they do for part of the sequence. Therefore, with traffic for both "straight on" and "right turn" being in the same lane, any alternation between the two destinations within the traffic queue meant a lot of delay.

 

As can be seen above, all traffic is forced to use the right-turn lane by the contractors vehicles parked in the road. Left photo: Coach 11 has a green light (not visible in this shot) but is prevented from moving off by two right-turning vehicles in front of him. When they get their green light (right photo, more than a minute later), coach 11 gets a red. So in a full sequence of traffic-lights lasting over two minutes, he moves up two places in the queue!

Again, straight-on traffic has the green arrow (mirrored by the green light for in-bound traffic) but is all stuck behind one solitary right-turning vehicle forced to wait at the head of the queue.

It used to be the case that the "straight-on" green arrow phase would continue when the "right turn" for Morrell Avenue went green, so long as nobody had pushed the button on the pedestrian crossing which is integrated into the junction. However in recent times the crossing has appeared to activate itself every single time, even with nobody wanting to cross. Here we can see how road users have become impatient and frustrated by the ludicrous situation, and taken the law into their own hands -- or perhaps they simply mis-read the traffic lights. (Vehicle identity concealed to protect the guilty -- Author.) I saw dozens of vehicles jumping the red straight-on light "en masse", in one case placing a young-lady pedestrian with right of way on the crossing in serious danger.

Happily, around lunchtime the contractors' vehicles were removed, the resurfacing almost completed, and the barriers moved back allowing the nearside lane to return to use. Both your reporter and Oxford Bus Company staff had been in touch with the Traffic Signals people to try and find a way of easing the situation.

And why was that pedestrian phase being auto-activated? It's a rather interesting illustration of chaos theory. The Traffic Signals people discovered the answer, and it relates to the *other end* of the junction layout up by Marston Road. There is a little side-street right on that junction, called Brewer Street; it has its own exit traffic-light. The green phase for this runs in series with the pedestrian crossing, that is to say both happen together on the same circuit when either is triggered. It makes sense if you consider the traffic flows and how they interact. Unfortunately the detector-loop in Brewer Street had been "trashed" (*presumably* by the gas contractors), so the only way to let vehicles EVER have a green light out of Brewer Street was to "hot-wire" that part of the circuit. This of course had the unfortunate knock-on effect of always activating the Green Man at the other end of the site, of preventing both "straight on" and "right turn" arrows from showing concurrently, and greatly heightening the *chaos* in St Clements Street!!

I quote the foregoing in detail as this kind of situation is often repeated throughout the UK. I have also noted that the repaired areas of the road surface are not very even and already after less than a week, when driving over the those repairs a bump is felt.

Newman Morgan wrote regarding the loaned Irisbus 852 now with OBC. Newman says "With the arrival in Oxford of an Irisbus demonstrator I thought I'd put together some notes on Irisbus as the name is not that familiar in the UK.

Irisbus was created in 1999 by the fusion of the bus manufacturing divisions of Renault Vehicle Industries and Iveco (Fiat). Irisbus is the 2nd largest manufacturer of passenger buses and coaches in Europe with 7 manufacturing plants plus an 8th under subsidiary name Heuliez Bus. Irisbus's design and administrative head office is located in Lyon, France and it's fiscal head office is now located in Madrid, Spain. Manufacturing facilites are located at Lyon, France, Barcelona, Spain, Modena, Italy, Budapest, Hungary, Valle Vfita, Hungary, Szekespehe Rvar, Hungary and Vysoke Myto, Czech Republic. The 8th facility is Heuliez Bus, France. There is also a joint venture facility in Changzhou, China.

Brand names brought together under Irisbus are Renault, Iveco, Heuliez, Karosa and Orlandi along with CBC-Iveco in China.

The vehicle to be demonstrated in Oxford is a UK version of the highly successful low-floor Renault Agora, or Irisbus Renault Agora as they now badged in France, which first went into service in 1996, is still in production in Lyon and can been seen in various forms all over France with many hundreds in service in Paris alone. The home grown French models are the Agora Standard with two or three doors, the Agora Standard GNV, GasBus version which is entering service in large numbers all over France, the Agora Long, with three or four doors and the Agora Long GNV, these two being articulated bendybus versions of the Standard. The current production range features Euro III spec engines supplied by Fiat although earlier, pre-Euro III models, were Renault powered. These vehicles are considered as city and urban buses. More recently the Agora Line, available with one or two doors, was introduced for routes of a more suburban nature with more seats and less standing capacity. Surprising the Agora Line has found favour with several city operators and substantial batches are now entering service in Paris and Lyon amongst other cities.

In Paris, RATP (Paris Transport) all Agora Standards carry 95 passengers of which 27 are seated, the rest standing. The Agora Longs carry 155 passengers of which up to 46 are
seated, depending on specification. In other cities and towns the passenger capacity varies slightly depending on local conditions. Many of the more recent vehicles feature a 6-seat 'Rotonde' (sometimes 8-seat) which is a U-shaped design at the rear of the bus on a 2-door Standard or 3-door Long to combat seat vandalism.

The UK model is an Agora Line and I believe there is an involvement of Optare of Leeds.

The logo is a dolphin and this has replaced the Renault diamond on Renault-originating models.

The Agora is generally bodied by Irisbus although chassis versions are available for export markets. and many can be seen in the service of EMT, Madrid , where they are known as Renault Hispano City Line and work alongside all Renault/Irisbus Agora Line, Mercedes Benz Citaro, and Irisbus Cityclass (ex-Iveco) models including some incredibly stylish Noge bodied Cityclass designed by Pinnafarini. The UK production version will I believe be a chassis version to be bodied by Optare.

In France, Heuliez Bus purchased Agora City Line chassis and bodied them with their own body. These are marketed as the Heuliez Access'Bus GX317 and GX317 GasBus which is instantly recognisable by its go-faster roof spoiler to dissuade trees from smashing the gas tanks. Until recently Heuliez was jointly owned by Renault and Volvo and an almost identical looking Volvo variant, the Access'Bus GX217, was also available. Following acquisition by Irisbus, the GX217 and bendybus version GX417 have been dropped from the range with Volvo now marketing its own chassis.

As you know, I spend quite a lot of work related time in France and Spain and I've ridden on Agora in all its forms in service with many operators. Personally I think it is one of the smartest and most pleasant low floor vehicles around. French buses are required to adhere to a high standard including wheelchair ramp, brake lock to prevent bus moving whilst doors are open, bell for pedestrian areas, automatically closing centre and rear doors, etc., etc. It will be interesting to see if any of these features are brought to the UK market.

Since Irisbus acquiring Renault Vehicle Industries and Heuliez Bus, its French home market has seen more competition from the likes of the Mercedes Benz Citaro, the Scania Omnicity, the Belgian built Van Hools (another favourite of mine) and even MAN.

Irisbus is also building the futuristic tram-like Civis bio-mode trolleybus in both standard and articulated form, the first examples of which are entering service in Lyon and Las Vegas, USA and are due to be delivered to Rouen and Grenoble. The Rouen examples are optically guided.

In Clermont Ferrand (home of Michelin and Volvic Water) a small batch of T2C (the local franchised operator) Agora Longs are equipped with an optic camera positioned beneath the driver's console. The camera guides the bus along a dotted white line painted in the middle of the carriageway providing a very viable alternative to guided busways as seen in the UK in Leeds and Bradford.

I note the Oxford demonstrator has an Oxford registration under the new system. This is probably because Irisbus UK Ltd is located on the Rabans Lane Industrial Estate in Aylesbury.
"

Buses and Coaches I have driven


Your Editor, when much younger, pictured at a services on the M6 when
on the way to Coventry returning a Roadliner demonstrator to Daimler.

I was looking through some old photos this week and came upon a series of pictures which were taken by myself or friends dating back to the early sixties in the north west of England. This was where my coach driving career started back in January 1961. I will be putting one of these photos on this page each week over the coming months. I hope that some of you may find this of interest.

I used to drive part time for Jacksons-Shearings-Pleasureways, the fore runner of today's Shearings. Don Jackson, the then Managing Director, called me one day to ask if I would like to return a demonstrator they had on loan to the manufacturer. Of course I jumped at the chance  The coach in question was a Duple bodied Daimler Roadliner CVK641C and I duly reported to the Altrincham depot for my duty.

The coach is pictured above when I stopped on the M6 services near Birmingham. A friend, Peter Roberts, accompanied me and it is his photo that I have used.

From a driving point of view the ride was similar to the present day Volvo B12B and Scanias now in service. The Roadliner was rear engined and had plenty of power for a 49 seater of the '60s. Top speed was somewhat over 75mph when at the time there was no speed limit on the motorways. As it was empty I unable to judge performance compared to the modern coach, this being over 35 years ago. I cannot remember if it had power steering but then such items were an unheard of luxury at the time and PSV drivers had strong arms and muscles. The bodywork still looks good to my eyes although the paint job of two shades of "liclac" where more a matter of individual taste. Whatever the merits or not of this coach, Shearings never ordered any and PMT, I seem to remember having large fleet, got badly caught with this model which was never very reliable. Indeed rear engined coaches were not at all popular and Ribble, who had a Leyland Panther/Marshall DP  bodied rear engined coach never ordered anymore. Indeed I drove that particular coach on one occasion (774) from Preston to Liverpool on an X27 relief and found great difficulty in getting a good gear change when using the electro-pnuemocyclic gearbox when linked to /Eaton two speed rear axle. Lots of awful whirring noises I seem to recall !!

Well enough of my ramblings, on to the reports on fleet news this week.

I have been asked to mention the Amersham Running Day which this year will be on Sunday 5th October 2003. It is always a good day with a lot of variety and an event not be missed.

Malcolm Crowe, September 1st 2003.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002

News of the local companies 1st September 2003

the Arriva Bus Running Day
Sunday 21st September 2003
- there will be visiting Routemasters as in previous years
and the event is organised by Richard Bond.
sae to Richard at 11 Telford Way, High Wycombe HP11 8UX for full details
venue : Newlands Bus Station time: 1000-1700


The days of the ex Oxford Olympians are numbered now with their replacement
Olympians taking hold at Wycombe. Here 5132 rests up last Sunday.

Steve Warwick reports as usual.

Although I am on holiday because I am getting married again tomorrow
I can report through the grapevine that Aylesbury have two new additions the the fleet one Dennis Dart SDL 3104 (L400BUS) from Watford and a Dennis Lance/Wright Pathfinder 3377 (M267VPU).

Best wishes to Steve and his new bride.

Graeme Wilson writes "Have some news- at Luton, Olympian 5387 (B185BLG) is withdrawn. 5835 (G235VWL) is now in service, and there is one ECW-bodied Olympian I didn't list previously- 5381 (MUH281X) is still in operation, and was operating route 61 earlier this afternoon. Also, Bristol VR 5866 was on crew bus work during today."

  

   


Another shot of the livery on 602, now a regular on 35 road.
Several people are now admitting that the new livery is growing on them.

Rob Williams notes

Tues 26th:

A couple of odd ones today with: 620 on 400 (X3/X13 branded) , 810 on 2 , Also more normal 102 on 5

Wed 27th:

102 on 15, 103 on 5 , 803 on 2, 826 on 400.

Thur 28th:

The 400 went Citaro crazy with 822, 825, 826 and 827 out!! Thats 2/3 of the Citaro fleet! I guess that the demonstrators must have freed them up from the 500. , 637 on 5

Fri 29th:

638 on 5, 825 & at least one other Citaro on 400, perhaps more, 802 on 2 .

Sat 30th:

104 and 807 on 2.

Adrian Lancer writes "Sorry this is a bit late, but I didn't notice it until yesterday! Regarding the message about the X3 service to Abingdon being "advertised" on Thames Trains, I've noticed that the X3 service is actually included in the Thames Trains timetable booklet (May-September 2003), although the timetable is now out of date due to the recent timetable change when the X13 was introduced! I can't remember which other routes were included but the 132 and Railair (Reading-Heathrow) definitely were."

Monday 1st Sep.

In an hour and a half at Marble Arch today I saw Airline branded coaches 26 and 27 on the X90

 
Another batch which may be near the end of their lives are the Darts.
Certainly a number will be replaced when the new Citaros arrive.
Nr 510 rounds the Eastern by-pass roundabout at Green Road on a 2 road working.


Digging through some old photos I came across this shot of coaches 153 and 155,
later 53 and 55. For a long time they were Airport branded but ended life on the X90.
150-155 were delivered in blue and white livery with black skirts
and received yellow vinyls and lettering before entry into service.In 6/94 150-155
were sent to Plaxtons, Ware and were upseated to C53F and fitted with seat belts.
Between 2/98 and 4/98 150-155 were repainted into the new Citylink blue and white livery.
In 6/98 150-155 were renumbered 50-55.

 


Airlinks D308 on a 757 working last Saturday afternoon, seen having passed through
the "bus gate" on High Street, Oxford.

 


Above is a photo of 52161 operating the service on Wednesday 27th, seen
at the station at roughly 1740.

Rob Williams
www.buszone.co.uk

Following last weeks page Adrian Lancer writes "Re: Edmund Tresham's question on this week's page regarding the whereabouts of the ex-Thames Transit Dennis Lances (I presume he meant 27901-27903) I asked Stephen Osman who runs the Stagecoach fan club at: http://www.geocities.com/stagecoachfan/
and he told me the following: 27901-3 are now at Stagecoach in Cumbria's Carlisle depot alongside similar ex-London & Stagecoach South 27201-12"

Rob Williams writes "Definite new arrivals are Volvo B10M / Alexander PS 20417 and 20423 (H617/23ACK) from Stagecoach Lancaster. Neither are ready for service yet, but have arrived to help tide things over until the new vehicles for the Brookes services arrive. They won't be used on the Brookes services themselves, but instead displace a couple of Olympians off Bicester runs.

The third new MAN will act as a spare vehicle for the Brookes services, but most days actually operate a new contract for BMW also starting in September. The Oxford Bus Company currently run this contract, providing tours around the large BMW plant situated right opposite Stagecoach's depot! It is not unusual to see a Marshall bodied Dart or Citaro there at present.

I suspect that the new Dart / Pointer 2s will be to replace step entrance Darts, to me it would seem like quite an odd vehicle policy change otherwise. This is only speculation on my part at the moment though, things seem to keep on changing at the moment!"


Adrian Lancer also writes "
According to http://www.woolybus.net/ former London DAL20 (32320 - N320AMC) has been acquired by Stagecoach in Oxfordshire from Cheltenham. I saw it in Oxford last Saturday, but I'm not sure which route it was on as I only saw the back of it and the time did not match the timings of any route (could have been a late 11).  The site also quotes the current orders for Oxford as being the 6 Presidents and 3 ALX300 (for the Brookes Contracts), but also six Pointer 2 single deckers - what routes are these for?  (see above Ed.).


An Olympian, 16076, just off route 7, waits its turn at Green Road roundabout, on its way back depot.


MAN 22918 heads from Barton towards the city and Kidlington last Friday.

Trevor Wilson wrote in considerable detail with photographs about the /Megabus operation.

Pictures of BIW4977 at Allsop Arms, Gloucester Place, London, 0&:45, Thursday 28th August 2003. When I first saw this vehicle, I did not realise it was the same Alexander body style front, on account of the mass of single colour blue, as on Lothian Olympians whose colour scheme I think is far more attractive.

   

331HWD now has the number 13604 in clear white numerals above the front upper deck windows dead centre.

Loadings:

17:30 Wednesday 27 August 2003 departure Baker Street to Oxford - probably 10 passengers (definitely less than 15) - seen on departure

17:30 Friday 29 August 2003 departure Baker Street to Oxford - less than 10 passengers at 17:28

I have included a picture of the pole, a street parking restriction pole, being used as the bus stop. Note the discrete Megabus plates. A small 'flag' at the top and a laminated plastic sheet (A4 or less) tie wrapped to the pole. No timetable. Not very prominent! Also I have seen no advertising in the Evening Standard for Megabus this week. And no one with handouts, no Megabus personnel other than the driver. This service does not seem to be promoted at the London end. Is this a contributory factor to the low loadings?

2 axles or 3 axles for double deckers - a question for your readers.

At what point are 3 axles necessary? Over the last year or so the length of 2 axle low floor double deckers has gradually increased. The longest I have seen being the latest Northern Counties bodied Tridents delivered to Lothian and used on the 100 Airbus and 37 Penicuik services (I was in Edinburgh last week for the Festival). Please find below a table comprising the following info:

Vehicle length (in windows), Vehicle weight, reg no or fleet no, operator, vehicle type

6, 11750kgs, TP308, Metroline, Northern Counties Trident

6 1/4, 12150kgs, TPL278, Metroline, Northern Counties Trident

6 1/2, 12040kgs, VWL26, London United, Wright Volvo

6 2/3, ??, ??, Lothian, Northern Counties Trident

7, 14240, reg BIW4977, Megabus, Alexander Olympian - so this bus is 11m(?)

I used number of window per side for length as I did not have any other info to hand. Vehicles are listed in my perceived order of length.

6 1/4 means 6 side window bays and a short bay (as per short bay introduced on RMLs). By the same window counting method, an Oxford Trident is 6 1/4 and all Lothian Olympians are 6 1/4 and thus all the same length.

Apologies if I mixed up Tridents and Volvos.

As you can the it would appear there is very little length difference between a Megabus and the latest Lothian Tridents.

So why a third axle on the Megabus or why 2 axles only needed on long low floor double deckers in the UK? Older technology? Designed to carry far greater number of passengers (and thus more weight?) in Hong Kong than for a similar length in the UK?

Paperbuses - this site http://ppbus.uhome.net/ has paperbus models of Hong Kong buses of which http://ppbus.uhome.net/ctb-987.gif is a Citybus 11m Alexander Olympian, but with 2 doors and the front door being a double door.

In last week's page -

(1) "Ade (Nat.Express driver) wrote "on Sunday just gone at about 0815am, BOTH Megabus vehicles (WLT794 & WLT727) were parked in Gloucester Road, just before Marylebone Road in the bus lane."

I have seen both buses (in this case 13601 and 13604) at a similar time and also just prior to 18:30 several times this week. Although the timetable shows no overlap at Baker Street, the timetable does show that both the 06:30 and 16:00 have a 20 minute longer journey time, which, if they arrive early, could arrive before the previous departure from London.

(2) "Only sign of Stagecoach ownership was on the Customer Survey

BIW4977 has legal lettering for Thames Transit.

A reports from Ralph Adams refers to a piece in The Scotsman last week relating to further developments on Megabus..com. I quote the article with thanks to The Scotsman for an interesting piece.

It's no-frills buses - for 1 by CLAIRE SMITH

THE boss of Stagecoach, Brian Souter, is to launch a new cut-price bus service linking Scotland's major cities for fares of just one pound.

Megabus, which kicks off on 8 September, will be a ticketless service - with bookings made only via the internet - using a new style of double-decker bus.

Mr Souter, who founded Stagecoach with his sister, Ann Gloag, and returned as chief executive in July last year, believes his "big new idea" could revolutionise bus travel. He said: "This is a unique experiment and will lead the way for other companies in the future.

"We've looked at the way the cheap airlines like Ryanair operate and based it on that kind of idea.

"We are mainly targeting young people, particularly students, who want to get around the country by spending as little cash as possible.

"We will be able to make a profit by using a different type of vehicle to those used in the past.

"Far more passengers will be able to travel on these double-deckers than on the traditional single-decker ones.

"The volume of traffic we expect to attract once the service is established will be high enough to maintain profits."

From 8 September, the bright yellow Megabuses will run 12 times a day between Edinburgh and Glasgow, seven times between Glasgow, Perth and Dundee and seven times between Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee.

Travellers who book online at megabus.com will be given a reference number which will enable them to board.

If the scheme is a success, the Perth-based transport operator hopes to roll it out across Scotland and possibly expand across the whole of the UK.

A pilot operation, linking Oxford and London for a pound, has already been running for three weeks and has been "a huge success," with 3,000 tickets sold.

Megabus plans a huge advertising blitz, using posters and radio advertisements and featuring its mascot, Megadriver, a fat jolly bus driver.

The company has ordered a fleet of specially-adapted brightly coloured buses which will seat 94 passengers, but have no toilets on board.

Mr Souter said: "They are no-frills buses - there's no toilet on them, but they are air-conditioned and very comfortable."

Industry insiders said the new concept represented a return to the early days of Stagecoach, when the company took advantage of deregulation to become one of the biggest companies in Scotland and made Mr Souter and Ms Gloag multi-millionaires.

Since Mr Souter returned to the helm, shares in the once ailing company have leapt from 10p in July 2002 to 77p.

Steve Stewart, a spokesman for Stagecoach, which holds its annual general meeting in Perth today, said: "Nothing like this has been done before.

"This is a great opportunity for customers to get a real bargain."

All Megabus fares will be set at a pound for the first two or three months until the service is established, then a range of fares will be introduced, depending on when the journey is booked. But Stagecoach say even last-minute fares will stay at competitive rates, predicting the highest fare will be only 3 or 4, even if booked on the day of travel.

Jack Irvine of Stagecoach said: "If you compare that to the complete rip off that are fares on ScotRail at the moment, it's a bargain.

"We think that the last time fares were as low as this was probably 50 years ago.

"It is going to be cheaper to travel from Glasgow to Edinburgh than to go from one end of Glasgow to another."

Mr Irvine said that when Mr Souter first floated the idea, he found it hard to see how the new cut-price service could ever hope to turn a profit.

"When Brian told me he was giving fares for a pound I nearly fell off my seat.

"But he showed me the figures and if you get the frequency right and you get the loads right you can turn a profit."

He added: "We are very much looking to target the youth and student market, and the 30-and-under generation do everything through the net."

article ends

BROOKESBUS

Rob Williams writes to advise that there is a very snazzy new website www.brookesbus.net which includes most of the Stagecoach city network as well as all of the information that you might need about the new Brookes services. I highly recommend taking a look!

The Brookes services will be operating the vacation timetable on 7th until the start of term on 21st.

From what I gather it is still just three MANs coming, the spare Brookes bus will be the vehicle in an alternative livery to operate the new BMW contract. Stagecoach take-over on the BMW contract this Monday, COMS previously providing the odd Dart as well as Citaros on this contract which operates virtually opposite the Stagecoach depot. It has been arranged that the displays will show MINI Adventure, BMW's current marketing slogan.

Ralph Adams writes "The timetable leaflets are now on display with effective date of 7 September, a week earlier than originally planned in N&P. A dedicated controller based at Gipsy Lane, plus 25 drivers with their own uniform are to be provided. It was planned that all the buses would be at a self contained unit base at Brookes (parking, signing on etc.), but a secure site was not available. The planned site was also used as a footpath by some people.

U1 is from Harcourt Hill (Westminster College) via City, Gipsy Lane, Wheatley Church to Brookes Campus. It normally runs every 20 minutes (sometimes only 2 per hour) and requires 6 double deckers. Evenings is every 30 minutes for the whole distance, and services after midnight are NU1.

U2 is a daytime service every half hour from Oxford Business Park (old Rover site), via Hollow Way to Gipsy Lane. Early evening buses run from Tesco's to Morrell Hall (Off Marston Road) every 30 minutes. This requires 2 MAN buses. These buses also provide extra services on U1 at 8.30 in morning.

U3 Evenings only after U2 finish from City Centre, Iffley Road, Cowley to Gipsy Lane on 30 minute frequency. After midnight it becomes NU3.

The MAN buses are due on 19th September and the Tridents are due 17th October. Meanwhile, as already reported, 20417 & 20423 have arrived for the Bicesters to displace Olympians to Brookes. 16438/39/40 will also need to be on Bicesters as they are not permitted under the Station Bridge. 2 Olympians from Leamington are also due.

Students and staff can buy a Unirider ticket at 75 which allows free travel on U1, U2, and U3. A charge of 50 pence is made on NU1 and NU3 and on any other Stagecoach service in the City. If travelling outside the City, a charge is made of 1 as far as Faringdon (66), Brackley (X6) or Buckingham (X5).

The financing is interesting. A fixed fee is paid by Brookes, but then Stagecoach pay a part of the on board income to Brookes. Brookes is therefore having a maximum liability and it is in their interest to promote the services as they therefore pay less. Stagecoach is guaranteed a minimum amount, plus receives some on board income as well, so again it is in their interest to promote the service.

4 MAN buses are due. 2 will be in dedicated Brookes livery, 1 will be BMW MINI livery and I believe 1 will be in normal Stagecoach livery. The Brookes Controller is anticipating having control of this bus to cover for traffic delays, etc.

The BMW bus is to replace the COMS bus (normally a Mercedes Park & Ride) as apparently Stagecoach have won the contract. It is only required for factory tours at 9.30 and 2.00 so should be available for peak requirements. Back to the original Harry days with a MINI bus in service.

Tappins


Tappins Neoplan in high Street, Oxford, last Saturday

Whites of Abingdon

Rob Williams reports

Mon 01/09/03:

Whites

Plaxton Premiere F366MUT on X30

 

PHOTO CORNER
If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at 
malcolmhc@aol.com


Caught this Atlantean rounding Green Road roundabout last Friday - UPK183S


Niz writes to say "Hi! I thought you might like to know that we have a new bus - a Sensory bus
to work with disabled children. It's a converted Leyland National Greenway.
We're very excited about it as it's absolutely unique."


Another Scania in Oxford, this time from Excalibur.


Weavaway Travel were operating a rail replacement service between Oxford and Bicester
on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The approx 5.30pm departure saw Solo YN03NCF on Wednesday,
"Dick Dastardly" East Lancs Citizen W19CKY on Thursday and Solo YN03NEF on Friday.
"
Report & Photo by Rob Williams

I welcome your photos for inclusion on this page. Please send them to me at
malcolmhc@aol.com

This is a most interesting site which I do recommend

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002