The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  ~~~~   The page for enthusiasts in the Oxford Chilterns Area - News from you and news for you - pictures too  

Issue 126

Tuesday 3rd May 2005
next update week ending 13th May 2005

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

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

Apologies for the delay in posting this week's page but there is some interesting news concerning the Tube which I wanted to wait for. please refer to the relevant news under the Stagecoach heading in Operator News below.

Newbury & district visited - corrected information

Following my article on Newbury last which, it certainly generated quite a bit of interest and correspondence, Rob Williams wrote saying "Looks like the gremlins have got in - you refer to Newbury Buses as Newbury & District throughout. Newbury and District is a trading name of Weavaway Travel, whilst Newbury Buses is the western sister of Reading Buses."

Thanks to Rob for that, I have corrected the original page but every comment helps.

Rob goes on to say "Most services also pick up in Northbrook Street, the main shopping Street in Newbury. Entrance to Northbrook Street is controlled by rising bollards. Newbury Bus Station is in fact owned by Newbury Buses."

The 1st Slough & Windsor Running Day - 17th April 2005

My apologies to Mike Sheppy whose name I spelt incorrectly on last week's page.

I had mentioned the fact that i lacked a picture of the Thames Travel Scania "The Pink Lady" which operated the X20 service from Henley to slough on the running day. This has been resolved by Mike Penn who was on hand to obtain the shot below.

Thames Travel 154 which had just arrived from Oxford and Henley.

Chiltern Queens and a question.

Fred Spresser of Thames Travel has written asking the following question.

Chiltern Queens  -  Golden Jubilee

2005 would have seen the 50th. anniversary of the formation of Chiltern Queens of Woodcote in Royal Berkshire.  Unfortunately the “Throne” was abdicated before the Silver Jubilee could be celebrated.

At the recent Windsor/Slough Running Day to celebrate the 75th. anniversary of Green Line operation from there to London, a number of ex Chiltern Queens and/or present Thames Travel employees wondered if, how and when this anniversary could and should be celebrated.

It is known that a number of ex C. Q. vehicles are still in service with local operators and/or are preserved at The Oxford Bus Museum or in other locations.

If any one else thinks this event should be celebrated, and has any suggestions as to what form it could take, e.g. Static event, if so – where?, or a running day over former routes.  If you are an owner of an ex C. Q vehicle, or knows anyone who is, or a former C. Q. employee with interesting memorabilia which could be displayed we would like to hear your comments.

Initial suggestions/comments should be made to Fred Spresser at Thames Travel, Wallingford on 01491 837 988 or 07771 800 701.

Postscript to article on Aylesbury bus station

John Bristow writes " a postscript to your recent comments on bus arrangements in Aylesbury I attach a photograph of RF 295 which I took there on 4 May 1968.  For my money the RFs were the best looking British single deck bus ever produced. 

Also, many thanks to your contributor who provided the story behind the VRT in Watlington."

RF 295 on 4 May 1968 loads in Kingsbury Square in Aylesbury for a run on service 359 to Amersham
Picture by john Bristow.

Radio aerials

Geoff Cunliffe writes "Thanks to Derek in last week’s News page for his (partial) answer concerning radio aerials on the Scania Irizars. 

I had worked out that there was probably a (disconnected) broadcast FM aerial, which Derek confirms, and one for the two-way radio system, but I am slightly surprised by his suggestion of a second type of two-way radio system to the Company Controller since, at least until recently, there was a ruling from the DTI that only one radio frequency would be allocated to a company. If this caused an operational problem, it had to be solved “in-house” by gismos for working with different user groups. 

I must confess that I had overlooked the GPS system when I was stood pondering on Carfax Corner, and speculate if the fourth aerial is to transmit the details of the coach position back to the Company Controller rather than having an aerial which effectively serves two purposes as Derek suggests. 

Isn’t it wonderful when you consider the trivia which concerns us enthusiasts?"

Oxford Bus Company:
 Question - why have at least some of the Scania Irizars got THREE radio

Answer - The first batch (Airline) actually have four!

1) All OBC buses are fitted with an aerial for the Controller's radio; this is a flat box nearly 1 foot square, fitted to the roof.  It looks like (and is usually incorrectly assumed to be) a ventilator of some kind.

2) All OBC vehicles (except 644 and probably a few others) have recently been fitted with a spindly aerial, generally fitted off to one side, above the driver (opposite side on Excaliburs).  In all cases, nearby there is a small flat disc.  My strong assumption is that this is the GPS equipment:  the disc is the antenna that collects signals from satellites, and the aerial sends the calculated location information for that vehicle back to the base station.

3) All OBC's Scanias have a biggish aerial immediately behind the centre top marker-light.  I believe this is for a car-radio-type FM radio system (disconnected, except in 50).

4) The Airline Scanias, but NOT the Espress quintuplet, have a short stubby aerial just behind (2).  Those vehicles are fitted with a different sort of Controller Radio system, which is the only reason I can think of for its existence;  however, these vehicles still have the box-type (1) aerial.

Note that all of the Stagecoach fleet also appear to be fitted with the GPS equipment (2), and that the Tubes and some of the local buses also carry the (1)-type aerial.

Can another reader shed more (or definitive) light on these assumptions?

Kind regards & keep up the good work on the page,"


Historical reference in our area

Ed Maun writes to regarding two companies long since just history in our area

Alder Valley Leyland Nationals 

Reference Issue 124 and new Leyland Nationals at High Wycombe:   101-103 and 127 were all new in 1973.   101-103 were part of a batch (101-105) ordered by Thames Valley, hence the LMO registration numbers; 127 was part of a batch (106-127) ordered by Aldershot & District, hence the KCG registrations numbers.

South Midland 

Reference Issue 125 and loans to COMS:   According to the David Flitton/Paul Lacey South Midland history, the 5 South Midland coaches on hire to COMS in 1970 were Bristol MW/ECW 833(UJB 199) and 858(WRX 773), and Harrington bodied Bedfords C410-412(EMO 551-553C).

London Country

Gavin Francis sent a nice shot of an Atlantean with LCBS.

Taken at Amersham Garage MA  1980 by Gavin Francis.

A question?

Daniel Stazicker writes " I'm trying to find a DMS with Damascus youth project which is supported by Oxford bus co - I have seen the photographs on your site, although I cannot get any contact number ? Do you know where it is kept ?"

20mph for Oxford

Bus Monkey writes to note "A fancy new sign has been put up in the High Street. If it detects anything travelling above the 20mph speed limit it lights up a bright 20mph sign with the words SLOW DOWN below.

It will be interesting to watch."

Indeed the sign did appear but only briefly and has now gone somewhere else. I did feel that it was most effective and believe that speed in the city would be cut down by the greater use of such signs.

Correspondent still required

Having found a good map of the Chilterns (see at the bottom of this page), I now realise that I need regular information from Dunstable, Hemel Hempstead, Hitchin and Luton. Is there anyone out there who would be prepared to send in regular report and digital photos of this interesting area?

Now on to this week's News and photos. Thank you to everyone who has contributed this week. I have not received so much news this week and so the operator reports are predominantly photographic in nature. I do however realise that many of you enjoy the photos more than the text.

Malcolm Crowe - Tuesday 3rd May 2005

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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

News of the local companies – 3rd May 2005

Quite a few pictures were submitted by readers which I am pleased to include below.

Nigel Peach writes "All Leyland Olympian 5120 (G290UMJ) has received an electronic destination display - the first double decker at Wycombe that I've seen to be so treated." and Gavin Francis got the photographic record.

Martyn Banham writes "Arriva 5101 put in an appearance on the 280, with its overall-advert providing a bit of colour. 5829 (E229 CFC) is apparently to join 225 and 228 at Arriva Southend."

Ben Morroll had a trip to our area and sent me a number interesting pictures. I liked this one of 5106 on a rail replacement service. Ben says "Attached is another of the rail replacement pics I took earlier, all I know on the location is Harrow-on-the-Hill, knowledge on road names etc is non existent, but I think the scenery adds to the effect."

Stephen Morris who is Editor of Buses Focus sent me this picture he took on a visit to High Wycombe. This is 3864 in the rain. The next issue of Buses Focus will include an article on Carousel Buses. Stephen writes "I visited High Wycombe in torrential rain last Tuesday; not terribly impressed with Arriva's electronic displays showing 'Have your pass or fare ready', or words to that effect. Presumably regulars know that, and non-regulars won't know where the bus is going, and may be put off at the prospect of having to have a pass! I'm told their washer was out, and the fleet looked mucky, including the new 05 B7RLEs

Used Carousel's A40 to get there; the Citaros are very impressive. Feature on Carousel in next issue of BUSES FOCUS."

Mike Penn writes "Following your visit to Aylesbury I am enclosing a couple of photos of buses on the Silver Rider service.  The first is one of the standard Optare Aleros (YN04LXF) and the second is the Optare Slimline Solo demonstrator which was around for a week or so (YN04LXD).  I have noticed on a couple of recent visits to Aylesbury that buses on some routes that used to turn right out of the bus station and proceed up through the market area were instead turning left and exiting on to the ring road.  These included the Red Route 9, the 280 (Oxford) and the X15 (Milton Keynes).  I don't know if this is standard now or just a temporary thing but it made it better for photographing buses as there were more routes concentrated in one area."


Chris Maxfield noted that Optare Alero YN04XZK was operating the 260 service last week. It was in full South Yorkshire PTE livery but minus vinyls.
Here it is seen in Aylesbury on the 115

Nigel Peach writes "All Leyland Olympian 5120 (G290UMJ) has received an electronic destination display - the first double decker at Wycombe that I've seen to be so treated."

Andy Churchill writes ".....a fifth DAF SB220 /PLAXTON PRESTIGE (R976FNW) arrived in March. It is part of the same ex-airport batch as the other four, retaining the original B30D layout with the name ''CAROUSEL PARKING LOGISTICS''. It is intended to retain the bus in this condition, although a few more seats are likely to replace the large luggage pens."

As luck would have it Gavin Francis came up with this picture taken on the 28th April in Stokenchurch.

From the picture above it would appear that there are now two Metrobuses in the new livery?
I did not have time to find out. What is noticeable is the lack of full destination displays once the hallmark of this company.

A forthcoming model of an Oxford P&R Citaro

Joshua writes to say "Just some news for this weeks page, Creative Master Northcord has released this month that they will be making a model of a City of Oxford Motor Services Citaro Park and Ride 823, expected in August 2005, at an rrp of £26.99." 

Readers write

Brian Matthews writes "In response to your request for pictures of the loan vehicles mentioned in this weeks page here is 24 with its "BI" and "On loan to City of Oxford Motor Services" paper sticker"


Ralph Adams notes that "801 had an electrical fire at 1740 in Queen Street but no visible damage. With 3 fire vehicles in attendance, it meant the normal stopping arrangements were disrupted."

This quickly taken picture of the yard at the new Watlington road depot on 29th April shows 801 ready for service.
Also in the picture is 602 which was also seen on 5 road last week.

Ralph also noted Citaro 836 working 35 road going over the humps at Kennington last week.

Where did they go?

More pictures this week of buses from the old COMS fleet now embraced within the Oxford Bus Company empire.

Mike Penn once gain sent some interesting pictures this week of members of the once large VR fleet. He says "Having sent you the photo of CJO473R it occurred to me that I have photos of others of the batch.  So here are CJO469R with Crosville Wales at Llandudno in April 1994 and CJO472R with Eastern Counties at Norwich in May 1986.  The advertisement on the latter is rather striking!"

Once 469 this VR was pictured by Mike Penn in Llandudno on the long service to Caernarfon.

Another gem, this time 472 when with Eastern Counties.

Mike sends these comments on the picture below "Another photo I have just found that you might find interesting.  It is former City of Oxford Bristol VR CJO473R operating for Ensignbus at Romford in July 1989.  VRs were never common on London Transport routes and this one looks a little odd with its enlarged destination indicators especially as it was one of the ultra low-height VRs.

and another
, this time 473 and equipped with London style displays working for Ensignbus.

Richard Fiueld sent some interesting pictures saying "Attached is ex City of Oxford Fleetline? KFC 379G. It is seen here at Pontardawe in the Swansea valley in the early 1980's. Not the best photo I've ever taken I must admit."

Richard also sent the next picture ".......An ex City of Oxford series 2 VRT GUD751N is owned by Carmarthenshire County Council as a family bus, whatever that is. Croeso, seen in the destination box, means welcome in Welsh."


Oxford Airline nr 54 leaves Gloucester Green last Tuesday evening on an X90 working to London.

A surprise appearance by a Park & Ride Trident last Tuesday morning on 2 road.

Volvo/Paladin 653 has had a spruce up as seen here last Saturday when it was working 4 road.

Coach 67 now has its electronic display fully operational.

The X3 is presently terminating in Castle Street instead of Oxford Rail Station.
This is due to the road works in Abingdon Road which has a significant effect on running times.
Sorry about the quality but it was pouring with rain. The bus is 828.


The response to my request for older photos was overwhelming and I have held further readers contributions over until next week.


Daniel Stazicker sent this picture of one of Heyfordian's Olympians B739CCN

Motts Travel 

Ed Maun writes "Coach & Bus Week dated April 21st contains an item regarding Motts relocating to new purpose built premises close to their current site. Does anyone know where this is? I went past the current depot on Monday 25th April and it was still in full use.  When are they expecting to move?  Apparently, the current Stoke Mandeville site has been sold for redevelopment."


Daniel Z sent this nice shot of an Olympian new to Crosville in December 1984 and now with Rebound.
It came from Arriva to Rebound in August 2003

Red Rose Aylesbury

Gavin Francis's contribution this week includes this Metrorider at Beaconsfield.

Correspondent Chris Lowe has been busy with his camera as usual and has come up with another ex Oxford Olympian picture saying "If you are interested here is a photo of Hyde Road based 16509 (R509UWL) which I photographed this afternoon operating a short working on Princess Road garage service 256 (Manchester - Flixton), Hyde Road provide short workings to Old Trafford for when Manchester United FC are playing at home."

M A N 22938 is now back from repaint and was working the 3 yesterday, Saturday and Martyn Banham was on hand to record the bus back in service. It still lacks the full route vinyls.

An event of some significance is about to occur in Oxford. Four of the old M A N Tubes are to return for a short period to cover for post delivery modifications to be made to all 25 members of the Oxford Tube Neoplan fleet, 50101-50125.

The work is expected to take four to six weeks and will be carried out at three locations on four coaches at each time. To cover the absence of four coaches and ensure continuity of service four Megabus M A N/Jonckheere coaches are be sent to Oxford and last weekend 50046 and 50058 arrived.

The two M A N s mentioned above parked in the sun last Saturday morning at Exel Logistics site in Oxford.

The M A N s are in excellent condition and since The Oxford Tube also carries Megabus passengers will not be too out of place on the service.

50119 climbs New road in Oxford last week on a London bound service.

The new Neoplan deliveries are now almost complete with 50126 up to 50143 sighted. This leaves 50144-50150 to arrive.

A further new Neoplans again from Cwmbran is 50143  CN05FVW seen in bullied Way, London yesterday.

I also saw this interesting diamond pattern warning on the nearside mirror on another example, 50136 also in London.
The picture was snapped in a great hurry in the rain.

Ben Morroll sent this further picture of 50141 in Birmingham last week.

Chris Lowe writes regarding my comments on a Magic Bus Olympian on the Manchester service saying "I know of at least two occasions where the Magicbus Olympians have been used, 13647 was used a couple of weeks ago on the Liverpool service. Plus 13651 was used not long ago as well.

Manchester's Magicbus Olympians are 13639/41/2/4/7/50/1 they were at Princess Road where the Megabus service is run from, but they are supposed to have been transferred to Hyde Road so you may not see them again."


Daniel Stazicker sent this nice shot of an ex Maidstone and District Olympian double deck coach now with Tourex.

Richard Sharman writes to say  

Vehicles Out-

FFC 322V- Tourex, Oxford for Spares.

JWL 322W- Tourex, operational.

G780 WFC- Smiths of Tysoe

Whites of Abingdon

Ed Maun writes "Reference Issue 124 and the Henley Town service: This was started by Alder Valley North (not yet renamed “Berks Bucks Bus – Bee Line”) at deregulation on 26th October 1986 as services H1 and H2 operated by Ford Transit mini buses from Maidenhead depot.  They were advertised as “Busy Bee” services as were all AVN/Bee Line mini bus services."

Does anyone have any pictures from that period?

Woottens, Chesham

Michael Wootten writes "I thought your readers may be interested in the following fleet news: 

Coaches acquired are former Shearings Volvo B10M / Van Hool Alizee C53F P822 GBA and Plaxton Premiere 350 C53/49Ft bodied Volvo B10M's R186 TKU from Gordons of Rotherham, R551 TKV (A20 CLC) from Country Lion of Northampton and P288 ENT from Taf Valley Coaches of Penrheol. 

Withdrawn and sold during April were Volvo B10M / Jonckheere Jubilee P50 C53F SJI 8101 (B39 KAL), Leyland Tiger / Plaxton Paramount 3200 C57F BFP 261Y and former Barrow Leyland Tiger / Duple Laser 2 C57F UIB 4752 (C913 XEO). These were the last Leyland Tigers in service with the company. 

An updated fleet list can be found at 

I would like to thank you once again for all your efforts in producing such an interesting and informative news page every week.

Worth's of Enstone

Richard Sharman advises that the following vehicles are awaiting disposal. 

P7WMS now P455 KFC



Dart S2WMS

If you wish to be included on a mailing list where I will advise of any mid week news & when each News Page is posted
please let me know on

If you have a digital camera and wish to submit photos for this page please send them to the me at

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

These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK


Bus Services in Buckinghamshire

Bus services in Oxfordshire

Where are the Chilterns?

Visit this informative site through the link below.

back to home page
Map showing the Chilterns Hills beginning in Oxfordshire in the Thames Valley and stretching north-east through Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire to Hitchin in Hertfordshire. The highest points are over 250m. There are various water courses running from the Chilterns to the South East.

Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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