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 225
Thursday 3rd May 2007
next update week ending 12th May 2007

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

To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a driver of a bus in Oxford but considering the fact that the photographs are taken of the vehicle not any person,
I will blank out the face to avoid any discomfort to the individual concerned. If you are the person involved send me an email to have this action taken.
I am sure people will realise that to ask everyone in advance of publication, whose face may appear in a picture is wholly impractical in both time and practice.
I am sorry to have to mention such a matter but we now live in a world of human rights and political correctness which must be considered.

Well, still on the mid week publication of this News Page and this will continue next week. I am off this weekend to Minehead to attend the Quantock Heritage Running Weekend which should prove most interesting. Full details can be found at the following link :

The past week has proved interesting and we have a photo report from Chris Maxfield and Ben Morroll on their visit to Hatfield, St. Albans and Watford. I am also now going to include a suitable picture each week entitled "Buses in the Landscape" and I invite you to submit suitable photos for inclusion. This week's place goes to Colin Cooke for his Canterbury shot.

The weather has been wonderful these last few days and sometimes even a little too much sun for good pictures. Today, Thursday,  is overcast and not quite so warm.

A tight squeeze in Canterbury by Colin Cooke

Colin Cooke writes "As a history student at University of Kent, my son is always telling me how much he likes the bus journey into Canterbury and the entrance into the City via the West Gate tower! The tower has stood for six centuries and negotiating through it represents a good skills test for the local Stagecoach drivers ! As you can see from my photos the wing mirrors only just make it!!!!! Not to be taken at speed. I have also included a shot of the UNIBUS which operates to/from the University."

The buses used in Canterbury are based at Herne Bay some 12 miles from the city.
18160 seen above is one of 24 Tridents based at Herne Bay for services in that area.

How nice to see yet another "Uni" colour scheme.
16361 has been transferred from long time hone Hastings to Herne Bay for the "Uni" services.

It is interesting to note the growth of specialised university bus services, some of which have grown into fully fledged bus companies such as Uno at Hatfield featured elsewhere on this page. Indeed there seems to be a whole new subject which could even make a book - University Buses.

Binders Yard, High Wycombe - a visit by Steve Bunce & more on that Olympian F253YTJ

Steve writes "A couple of interesting London Transport types at the Ward Jones premises this week (17th March) were KGJ 621D, which carried the LT fleet number RMA1 although was originally BEA21, receiving some major attention and also present was RT1702 (KYY 529) the last of the 4 Festival of Britain buses, which toured Europe promoting the event in 1950 still carrying a GB sticker on the rear. Also noted was Bristol VRT VDV 123S, originally with Western National, and now privately preserved."

The photo of RMA1 shows quite clearly the one piece windscreen and lack of destination equipment requested by BEA.

A bit of trawling of the internet turned up the following link about RT1702.

Following on from the photos of the 17th March, here is a selection of what was around today. I was lucky enough to be allowed inside the workshops to take the photo of a stunning RM2116 having it's  underneath sprayed.

Other Routemasters present were RML2483 and RM938. A lovely RF406 (MXX 294) was also in the workshops for an unknown reason.

Star of the yard this week though, had to be new to Southern National BTA 59 - a 1934 Dennis Mace with a 26 seat ECW body.


One I forgot to mention, JRX 823, new as Thames Valley 748 in 1955. It is a Bristol KSW6B ECW L55R.

Some weeks ago I published a picture of an ex Merseyside Olympian taken by Gavin Francis, we did not however know at that time who owned it or any further details. I have now received a lot more information which is most interesting.

Ian Davey writes "That particular bus belongs to Alder Valley Travel of Alton. See for details of their other buses.

Many thanks to Ian for that update.

Reading the magazine Route One a couple of weeks ago I discovered that Yelloway had been reborn. I commend the following web site to readers, I found it most interesting as it tells the history of this once famous company which has been recreated by a local coach operator in the North West.

Picture by Chris Lowe -

As you will see from recollections on the site I have added my own memories of Yelloway which was one of the great names of coaching in the U.K. and must surely rank alongside Black & White, Greyhound, Premiere Travel and so many others.

Portsmouth memories by Marcus Lapthorn

Marcus Lapthorn sent an interesting item on a memory rekindled. Marcus writes "...on 27th July 1963 I travelled on the very last ever journey by a trolleybus in Portsmouth, when BUT/Burlingham 54 seat trolleybus 313 rolled into Eastney Depot just before midnight. 

On 28th April 2007 I was again present, this time at Carlton Colville Transport Museum near Lowestoft, when 313 rolled again after undergoing restoration at different locations over the intervening 40 years. A superb restoration has been accomplished."

Seems this museum is well worth a visit, especially with a fine hot summer forecast.

Photo call - Hatfield, South Mimms, St. Albans and Watford visited by Chris Maxfield and Ben Morroll

Imagine my surprise ...... !!!!! - Friday 27th April dawned fine and sunny. I had worked the 04:30 departure from Oxford to Stansted on National Express 737 and was on my way back at 09:15 from Stansted with my first stop scheduled for the University of Hertfordshire at Hatfield at 10:00. As I turned of the A1001 to gain entry to the bus station I was surprised to see my good friends Chris Maxfield and Ben Morroll armed with their cameras snapping everything in sight. This included me and my trusty steed Scania 59214 which features heavily in this edition of the News Page.

Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Chris and Ben were on a two day trip to this part of the world and below are a selection of the results of their efforts. The pictures illustrate vividly the colourful transport scene in our towns and cities these days.

Pictures by Chris Maxfield - captions included in the file names.

South Mimms & Sullivan's

South Mimms is the most southerly service area on the M1 and is home to a lot of coach operations but also home to the operation of Sullivan Buses -

Their web site is excellent giving as it does a full fleet list including a picture of almost every bus operated. Chris and Ben were in time to catch up with L37WLH which has been specially prepared for the 950 Staines-Thorpe Park service.


St Albans

St. Albans, or to quote its Roman name Verulamium, is a busy place with a "High Street" bus terminus which gives a good area for photography. Served by Arriva, Centrebus, Metroline (on the long 84 service of LT fame) and UNO, the city enjoys good transport services and links.





Watford is a meeting point for many services and the buses of Arriva, Carousel, Metroline, Red Rose and UNO can all be seen plus those of Virgin Trains run by National Express.




Pictures by Ben Morroll - captions included in the file names.


Hatfield is dominated by Uno Bus which has developed from University Bus and which I believe operated some American Bluebird buses in the early days of its existence. Ray Stenning of Best Impressions devised the striking livery which is certainly colourful to say the least. Very few buses remain in the original white and grey livery. The Galleria, which can be seen from the A1M is also served by Arriva and Centrebus.





From the foregoing one can see that all these places are extremely interesting, offering the chance to see some colourful buses and coaches. Between them, Chris and Ben took several hundred pictures and it has been a difficult job to select and suitable batch of pictures to illustrate their day.

Long live the digital camera !!!!

The Wasps play away from home

Several readers wrote in regarding the report last week. Chris Child wrote "Wasps played Northampton in the Heineken Cup and won 30-13. They go on to play Leicester in the final on 20th May at Twickenham."

Trevor Wilson writes "The Motts convoy on Sunday 22nd April was indeed Wasps fans travelling to the Heineken Cup Semi-Final against Northampton Saints held at Coventry's Ricoh Arena - the first time this stadium has been used for a rugby match.  Wasps won 30-13 and we are now going to the final at Twickenham. 

Match report at Coach tickets were £10.  Northampton had about 45 coaches.

Allez Wasps !!"

DVD s by Robin Clare

Robin Clare has a range of DVDs on buses and two recent issues are Working Buses "The New Millenium" Volume 4 - 2003/4 and Volume 11 - 2001. These both contain Oxford sections and volume 4 also includes Reading. They are nicely presented and records the places mentioned as they were for posterity.

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

A silver RM in Staines on the 441 by Russell Young

Russell young writes "In connection with a transport related collectors fayre at the Hythe Leisure Centre in Pooley Green near Staines. First London SRM3 worked a number of free PM extra journeys on First Berkshire route 41 (as 441) between Slough, Windsor and Staines on Saturday 10 February. Details of the bus were:- First London SRM 3

Picture taken in Egham by Russell Young - Copyright

MK Dons visit Wycombe Wanderers and go home winners

Gavin Francis, who is keen of Wycombe, sent this picture of the team coach for MK Dons who played last Saturday and won. Oh dear!!!

Buses in the landscape

As mentioned above I will feature a picture each week under this heading and pride of place this week goes to Colin Cooke for this lovely picture of the castle at Canterbury suitably enhanced by a Stagecoach Olympian.

Taken on 16th April 2007 by Colin Cooke.

3rd Slough Running Day - Sunday 13 May 2007

Please note that the programmes for the above Running Day are now available at £5 each by post from:

Peter Cartwright
54 Guinions Road
HP13 7NX
Tel: 01494 437750                         

Cheques payable to Amersham & District Motorbus Society

or IN PERSON from next week from

Slough Bus Station Enquiry Office


Tourist Information Office
Pauls Row

Amersham & District Running days 2007 - dates for your diary 

Amersham & District Running Days for 2007 are as follows: 

Sun 13 May 2007 - 3rd Slough/Windsor Running Day based on Slough Bus Station 

Sun 24 June 2007 - 2nd Hemel Hempstead Running Day based on Hemel Hempstead Bus Station                        

Sun 30 September 2007 - 19th Amersham Running Day based on Amersham but commemorating the 30th anniversary of the closure of HE Garage (30/09/1977) so there will be a reconstruction of certain routes in the High Wycombe area.

Another good week for news although the picture stakes have been a little less than usual.

Malcolm Crowe - Thursday 3rd May 2007

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

News of the local companies – 3rd May 2007

Another hour was spent in Wycombe taking pictures with my new camera, kindly provided by my insurance company, following an incident between my old camera and a carton of fruit juice. I've not got a Canon Pro Shot G7.

The sun was in the wrong direction but later in the day is still not from this side.
The Enviro 200 on trial can be seen next to the Scania on the 737 (59211).

The little Enviro 200 is, I am told, at Wycombe for trials to see what type of bus can cope with the very hilly conditions in and around the town. The bus has legal lettering for Arriva, Maidstone but is,, once again I am told, on loan from Stevenage and is expected to return tomorrow, Friday 4th May.

On Tuesday evening the bus was on the 33 route and is seen above leaving Wycombe Bus Station.

Earlier in the day the bus had been on the 308 to Downley and I managed a couple of pictures which show the hilly nature of Wycombe.
It seemed to perform very well indeed.

Nigel Peach notes in his comments below that 3841 has returned repainted in the latest livery.
This is interesting to compare with the picture of Oxford's 631 shown under the heading below. The bus above used to be 621 !!!

The Mercedes above, 2115, has recently arrived from Burton-upon-Trent where it carried the fleet number 1250.

I notice that Aylesbury's Varios are gaining colourful super rears as seen above on 2240.

The Mercedes above, 2170, was to have worked the 35 on Tuesday evening but 3867 appeared
and I am sure the driver was very happy with the change.

Seen at Cressex was this Olympian, 5144, last Tuesday morning.

Nigel Peach responded to my request for a fleet list and we would appreciate any corrections readers may know of.

Nigel writes "You showed a picture of new Arriva trainer 3342 last week. Interestingly, this bus spent a month or two based at Wycombe when still in service, last year I think it was. (Yes, Nigel ,see a News Page late last year.) 

You asked for a fleet list. Well, this is certainly not an official one, but is based on my observations, and of course is not guaranteed to be 100% correct!:

Arriva Wycombe allocation at 29/4/07 

1995 Mercedes/Alexander Sprint         2115

1998 Mercedes/Plaxton Beaver2         2171/96/97/98

1994 Volvo B6/Northern Counties Paladin    3115/16/17/27/28/33/38/39

1994/93 Volvo B6/Plaxton Pointer    3137, 3336

1995 Scania/East Lancs European   3144/45/46/58/63

1997 Scania/Northern Counties Paladin      3203/04/05

1993 Volvo B6/Alexander Dash        3242

1994 Dennis Dart/Wright Handybus  3365

2000 Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer MPD     3482

2005 VDL/Wrightbus Cadet 2    3701/02/03 (branded for Park and Ride route 100)

2006 Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer  3805 (red livery and used for TFL service U9)

1996/7 Dennis Dart SLF/Plaxton Pointer 2   3821/22/24/25/26/27, 3181

1995 Dennis Dart/Marshall    3833

2004 Transbus Dart/Transbus Mini Pointer  3837/38/39 (red livery and used for TFL service U9)

1995/96 Volvo B10B/Plaxton Verde  3841/42/43/44/53/54

2005 Volvo B7/Wrightbus Eclipse Urban       3861/62/63/64/65/66/67

1999 DAF/Plaxton Prestige   4429/90/91 

1988-90 Olympian/Alexander 5094, 5106, 5130

1989 Olympian/Northern Counties    5109/10/34/35

1989-91 Olympian/Leyland   5113/20/22/32

1996 Olympian/Northern Counties    5144/45 

Total 70 (57 single deck; 13 double deck) 

Recent arrivals (this year) (included above): 2115, 3137, 3336 and 3128

Recent departures: 3818/20 (Dart/Wright Handybus) to Watford; 5108 (ex Motts Olympian) sold?

In addition, burnt out Scania 3169 is still at the Cressex depot under cannibalisation. 

Most buses now have digital destination displays, but those that don’t yet are:

2115, 3117,28,37, 3336, 3145/46, 3205, 3242, 3365, 3821/22/24, 3181, 3833, 3842/43/44/53/54, 4491, 5130/34/35/13/22/44/45.  

Having said that, they seem to be converting them quite quickly now, so some of these may also have been so treated. As you say, the fleet certainly has a smarter look about it with very few "paper" destination displays now. This is so good to see!

Thanks once again for your weekly slaving away on our behalf!"

Thank you Nigel, your efforts also much appreciated.

Matt Robinson writes from Luton to say "I've recently discovered your site on the Net and would like to thank you for the information you provide and say "keep up the good work". 

As you'll probably assume from the information I have provided I live in Luton but visit Aylesbury and Wycombe regularly, particularly to keep up with ex-Luton vehicles. Your site is particularly useful to me for this reason. 

I was disappointed to see the damage done to Scania 3169 in the recent fire and wondered if you were aware that this is not the first time this has happened to this particular bus?

To provide a bit of background to the ELC Scanias 3143-9 were provided new to Luton for the Luton - Dunstable route 31 in October 1995 (along with 16 other examples going to HH and AY garages). 3167-70 (N28/9/31/2KGS) were then supplied new in June 1996. 3168 went to Luton but the other 3 were delivered to Dunstable for the extended X31 service which operated from Luton Airport to Leighton Buzzard. Strange that only 3 went there as the X31 was a 5 bus route so these appeared alongside the B6s and Olympians. (Luton & Dunstable merged in 2001 and the X31 was also merged with the 31).

A better picture than last week sees the present condition of 3169. I would be surprised if it is rebuilt. MC 

On Christmas Eve 1996 3169 suffered an engine fire which did similar damage to the rear shell of the bus. I don't think the bus was damaged as badly internally as the recent fire but it was out of service for around 5 months having repairs made at East Lancs and Scania. I hope the vehicle is repaired this time but not sure if you think there's any chance of that? I was surprised Luton chose to displace this one given its "31" registration, especially as it's still the primary route that the ELC Scanias are used on.

Scania 3167, mentioned above by Matt, seen last Friday on its old route, the 31, at Luton Airport. MC 

Prior to the fire on 3126, B6 3125 was destroyed at Luton in similar circumstances, unfortunately much more severely than 3126. I wondered if the pictures of the gutted B6 on your 30/10/05 page were in fact of both 3125 (first two) and 3118 (below) or whether it was of the same bus which had been stripped of panelling in the later pictures? (Not sure but I'll check Ed.)

Luton based Olympian 5095 (G645UPP) is back in service with a new upper deck roof donated from another RL Olympian (the upper deck rear window is now positioned higher than before). This was the bus which struck the 12' 6"

Leagrave Station bridge back in 2005 and was originally to be scrapped as the entire top deck structure had been bent back in the accident. 

There are also rumours here that one of our Volvo Olympians, 5141, could be on its way to Wycombe. That's N41JPP and has recently had a new engine and a general tidy up. We still have 7 of these at Luton (from the original batch of 10). They usually operate the 24 service although most show tell-tale signs of frequent vandal damage.

Matt then wrote later saying "I don't have much to report from Luton this week, other than spotting Olympian 5087 (F637LMJ) on the back of a tow truck in Dunstable one evening last week, and the return to service of 5138 (N38JPP) following a minor accident at the front end. Despite the rumours about 5141 moving to HW it was still on 24s last week.

Nice to see the advertising livery on Trident 5431 in the flesh on 280s the other day. We don't seem to get nice things like that on the buses in Luton any more. Olympian 5091 has a rather plain contravision ad for B&Q and there's the Virgin Media ad on one side of Dart 3292 and that's it!

Ex Oxford Olympian 5835 is also still going strong, it seems to mostly be on 9's (Luton-Runfold) when I see it, although I did see it on 24s last Friday. I haven't seen 5831 for a few weeks though. I will look into that one."

I really appreciate Matt's correspondence since longer term readers will remember my plea for a Luton correspondent. Well done Matt!!

Ed Maun writes from Wycombe to report "I was in High Wycombe briefly on Friday afternoon and in the distance saw (I believe) a new Arriva bus heading up Desborough Avenue (towards the Cressex depot?).    I believe it was an ADL Enviro 200 Dart in inter-urban livery.    Thoughts! – was this one of a new batch of vehicles for the new Line 40 High Wycombe to Thame service starting in June?; I believe the contract calls for new low floor buses."  (I am told that Solos are planned for Line 40. Ed.)

Glenn Knight wrote with a picture saying "I have a photo of a Volvo B7 Wright Eclipse unregistered in the Arriva the Shires Stevenage Norton Green Road depot fleet number is 3870. This is at Stevenage Norton Green Road depot for Stevenage town services."

Continuing the 38xx batches of Volvo B7RLE's Stevenage now have a new bus for town services, 3870.
Picture by Glenn  Knight.

Gavin Francis did well to catch Scania 3153 on the 758 at Bullied Way on 26th April.

Apart from the Carousel pictures taken by Chris Maxfield and seen above I took a couple again this week.

The 400 sees regular use of the DAFs which once plied their way at Heathrow before the Heathrow Express was ready.

I'm glad he was turning right, I could have got flattened! A good spot to take pictures at 09:30 in the morning.

Chris from Banbury writes "Just to update you on the Metrorider seen at Heyfordian, West Wycombe, that you mentioned last week. It is 943YKN. It has been there since last Monday (23rd) at least and appears to be being used on a schools service, as it is displaying schools I.D boards in the front window. 

Also there have been up to four Olympians at times in the West Wycombe yard, an increase on the usual two. Sunday 29th saw three 3 there but I was unable to obtain numbers. 

On occasions during midweek, usually around lunchtimes ,a Fosters of Aylesbury Coach is a regular visitor to the West Wycombe location as well, however it does not appear to stay that long."

Magpie, High Wycombe

Seen on service 321 at Wycombe Bus Station, 1st May 2007

See comments from readers in the Editorial regarding the Wasps.

Following the publication last week of the fleet list, Hedley Shanks of Motts Travel writes LIL’s engine has just expired, but we are going to repair it”

Gavin Francis caught up with this "St. Georges's day liveried Scania at Victoria Coach Station.

A reader who studies National Express writes "Thank you for your recent piece about operating the 737 service, which I enjoyed reading. I work for a transport planning firm, and I really appreciated the insight into the organisation that goes into operating a service like this, and the everyday problems such as traffic congestion and how contingency plans are in place. 

I definitely agree that the photos of the three axle Levante you sent are a sign of things to come. With Richard Bowker and Paul Bunting recently commenting about moving NX coaches upmarket, I doubt we will see their Neoplans again, and three axle single decks with more legroom, nice seats and wifi are probably the way things will go. 

For a further clue, look at Page 51 of this London Service Permit Bulletin, for services A4 and A6: 

For a few months now, when permits needed renewing or by renewing them especially, NX have been increasing the maximum length specified from 12.0m to 15.0m. They are paving the way for longer vehicles to be operated if desired, on their routes into London that need these permits."

I am told that the new 6 wheel Scanias will commence delivery around July time,

It's now
Sunday and I've got 59214 again but it now has a new windscreen, the first one having got a crack in it.

Autoglass came on Saturday to fix the windscreen. It takes a few guys to do these big screens.

There is still no sign of the new coaches receiving OXF registrations. Readers have asked when this may happen but I can't answer that question at this time.

It appears that ALL the 8xx series of Volvo B10BLEs have now been refurbished. 801-821.

I have mentioned that three early dual door Volvo B10Bs have received the new livery.

Chris Maxfield got this picture of 631 for us. They look rather smart.

Stephen Le Bras reports that "Oxford 31 has been repainted and was on the X90 on Saturday.""

Chris Maxfield took these pictures of 30 and 32 on X90 service having gained "espress" livery.
The fleet numbers on 32 are rather large !!

I have always liked this rear branding seen on coach 60. It was working an X90 service when caught on camera by Gavin Francis - 26th April.

Red Rose

Ben writes regarding the picture of an HC1 service bus saying "with reference to the Red Rose dart's display of HC1, this is one of the regular performers from our area to Henley College, I believe it travels through Booker and Marlow. Other operators from our area to the college are Neales Coaches often with a Van Hool coach and Carousel on the 157 with an Olympian and a "London United" liveried Metrobus."

Mike Penn writes "I see from your web site that there is a problem over the registration numbers of the new Oxford coaches.  However it also appears that there may be a problem with the new Red Rose Enviro 200s as according to various web sites OV O7 FKH (which is carried by the one that I have photographed) is issued to a Mercedes E class.  We will have to wait and see what develops."

Ben Morroll took this picture last Friday of the bus mentioned by Martin Isles. It is on the W19 in Watford.

Martin Isles writes "Just enjoying this week's column, a little late having just got back from the Sinsheim event in Germany.  You might enjoy the picture of the two RELHs from Merseyside posed side by side in Speyer High Street at the end of the procession through the town.  They received a huge round of applause from the locals and a wedding couple posed in front of the coaches for pictures. Sadly the winning Routemaster from Showbus last year did not make it as there were problems in getting permits for it to travel across Germany as an over height vehicle, the Royal Blue - as runner up - did not have that problem.

Red Rose is continuing the 275 service commercially.  The morning and evening journeys will continue with the daily "shopping trip" around 9.30 from Wycombe and about 2pm from Oxford.

Red Rose's new Enviro 200s are intended for Tring Town Service.

The HC1 is a Bucks County contract service linking Naphill to Henley College via Wycombe and Marlow.  Well done to catch a bus capable of displaying HC1 on its blind!"

This Dart was on the afternoon duty yesterday, not sure about the HC1?

R H Transport 

We have been told that RH Transport have bought two DAF DB250/Optare Spectras from Ensign for use on the X15.

These have come from Go North East and originated in London with London Central.

Further details are awaited.

I rather liked this picture of two Darts on the 10 in Old Road last week. The branding stands out well.

I am told that this 53 reg Dart, of a batch at Oxford, will be the only one at present to receive a full repaint.
It is seen ready to go Banbury where Oxford's allocation is repainted. 34466 was unbranded.

The running shift pits are seen at Horspath depot with a variety of buses being maintained.

Oxford's 59211 seen at Luton last week in this picture by David Benyon.

Swindon depot's 33969 on the 66 at Oxford Rail Station. Picture by Gavin Francis 26th April 2007.

Richard Sharman writes "Immaculate 14516 has seen plenty of use since it arrived at Stratford depot in February. It is used to stand in for the Enviro's when they are off the road and also appeared at Chobham Rally this year."

Seen here having run in from Birmingham on the X20, it then continues to Oxford as an X50.
It is very rare to see a Decker working the Sunday's only Oxford half.  Pictured in Stratford.
(I saw it in Gloucester Green on Sunday afternoon but did not have time to take a picture. Ed.)

Richard adds that he passed four Stagecoach Western coaches in allover white with Stagecoach vinyls, three Expressliners and one ex Tube Berkhof! 52026,YSV 735. These where South on the M5 just off the M6, wonder where these where off to as they where empty?

Gavin Francis sent this picture of a Stagecoach Yorkshire Megabus which came from the Traction Group in 2005.

Not long for Stagecoach now, Viochead's picture of 50038 taken in Glasgow shows off the red seats acquired when it was rebuilt after a fire.

David Catto writes "Just a quick note regarding 50045 pictured in London last Sunday. This was one of its last journeys as it left Aberdeen on Thursday (running light) en route to its new owner. Last Sundays appearance in London was due to a last minute substitution for a Skyliner unable to run due to a problem with the gears. As can be seen the bus is in citylink livery, which didn't impress Mega control, but it was all that was available at the time."


Stuart Curwen has sent this nice picture of an acquired Dart saying "Thamesdown Transport has acquired a Dennis Dart SLF from Hornsby Travel of Scunthorpe it was collected on the 30th April and will be used when refurb on normal town services.

Thames Travel have adorned this Dart with a new super rear ad.

News of expansion of the company comes with the acquisition of Westways of High Wycombe. This company had a portfolio of Excursions, Private Hire and schools work. Michael Wootten advises that they did not take over the schoolwork.

Westways used to run a series of day trips from High Wycombe and this area. These were well supported by the older customers who enjoyed a day out in style.

Greater style than ever came last Tuesday when regular Westway clients, waiting for their coach to Bournemouth, were confronted by two Woottens 06 registered Volvos which took them in fine style to their destination.

The day trippers all said, on their return, how excellent the service was and how they looked forward to future trips with Woottens.

One of the two coaches allocated for the Bournemouth trip, waits to leave Wycombe Park & Ride last Tuesday morning.

We await more details from Woottens.

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

I wonder if this was the Enviro 200 seen in Oxford recently but of which no trace can be found?
Picture by Dave Godley with thanks.


Stratford Blue - where are they now?

John Podgorski writes regarding the recent change in the fleet .

Atlantean CWG 744V - Ensign, Purfleet, for storage.

Dart/NC L120 HHV - Ensignbus, Purfleet, as no 620 in operational fleet.

Dart/Pointer K92 BNY - Ensignbus, Purfleet, as no 692 in operational fleet.

Dart/Carlyle-Pointer ANZ 8799 - resold by Ensign to Renown, Bexhill, (joining ANZ 8798).

Dominators F75/6 TFU - Ensign, Purfleet, for storage.

Fleetline UKV 470R - Bourgignon, Kazilhal, France, (via Ensign).

Olympian D257 FYM - Ensign, Purfleet for, storage.

Letter from a "bus nut"

An elderly reader writes re old COMS days saying "Thanks for your excellent services to this vice of ours.

Let me introduce myself,  I am a *bus nut*, born to the sweet noises of an AEC at the Sandhills Terminus, My brother is an old fogey at COMS, now in his retirement year after C 39 years encompassing Regent 111s, Metroliners, the 4 route and difficult customers.

Doubtless G R Mills (of Buses fame) may have a comment or two if he were to know that brother Ian got me interested in buses when trying to explain an explosion from an HT Blackwell Bus in Colchester Bus Station c1954.

That said, my interest grew and by 1959 I was caught up in this hobby. I have strong recollections of the vehicles and characters of Gordon Holders outfit at Charlton, many questions to ask of the other FKOs with Taylors at Bicester, memories of Drings in Headington, Plastow's at Wheatley and whosever had those vehicles loitering at the hamlet of North Weston twixt Tiddington (Maules of course) and Thame.

I look forward to a useful future discourse, especially if one of your members can identify, looking from a No 1 bus over a wall down the Slade in about 1958/9,what that shed was?"

If you have any pictures or historical memories and wish to submit them for this page please send them to the me at

Coming events, models and useful links

New casting from Britbus

A new casting with a local flavour has been released by Britbus as a picture from Mark Lyons shows. It is a nice model but as Mark says, a little pricey at £33.

Oxford Bus 125 commemorative book

In last week's issue I mentioned that Oxford Bus were publishing a book to commemorate the 125 years of public transport in Oxford. Thanks to Phil Ashworth I have had a review copy and hereunder give my thoughts on this book.

The book is well presented and includes a number of historical pictures of interest including some I had not seen before. The modern pictures have received a nice treatment reflecting the modern fleet against a background of typical Oxford architecture. The Botley Road rail bridge gets a mention and a picture of an AEC pre war decker which has done battle with said bridge and come off worse from its encounter is included.

The book, whilst rather small to reflect the 125 years in detail is nevertheless a must for all who love Oxford, historians and enthusiasts alike.

Copies of the book can be bought from the Oxford Bus Company, Cowley House, Watlington Rd, Oxford OX4 6GA. The cost is £5.95 including postage. Cheques should be made payable to "Oxford Bus Company", it is also available in person from the Oxford Bus Museum during normal opening hours. 

DVD s by Robin Clare

The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :-

Latest Citaro models revealed

Dave Rogers sent the following press release.


Mercedes-Benz Citaro - ukbus 5004 Arriva Manchester  -  ukbus 5007 Oxford Bus


Creative Master Northcord Limited is proud to release two brand new liveries on its well known Mercedes-Benz Citaro casting. Both models have received significant, yet different, modifications to the tooling in order to represent, as close to 100% accuracy as possible, the real buses on the roads. 

ukbus 5004 represents fleet number Arriva North West’s 2851 (CX55 EAA). This Mercedes Citaro is one of three such vehicles with dedicated route branding for service 700 and with the destination set to Manchester. The model features a redesigned interior layout that includes the reduced seating capacity and luggage racks. 

Starting on 29th October 2005, Arriva North West’s service 700 runs from Manchester’s Piccadilly Railway Station to Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. For the service, 3 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses were purchased and numbered 2851-3. They were painted in the same style and colours as the Scania OmniCity buses that already operated between John Lennon and Liverpool city centre. 

ukbus 5007 represents fleet number 830 (X13 OXF) of Oxford Bus Company. 830 entered service in December 2003, to upgrade the X3 & X13 Oxford – Abingdon services. The bus was painted in a new and distinctive livery designed by Best Impressions. 

ukbus 5007 features the smooth, curved windscreen with the destination display set behind the windscreen glass rather than the protruding destination found on the Park & Ride Citaros in the fleet. This feature is one of the standard specifications on other Citaros that the Go-Ahead Group has purchased. 

Mercedes-Benz Citaro ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are each a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the square-mounted, double-glazed windows and the livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. Another main feature on both models is the extensive portrayal of handrails. The headlight / indicator units at the front and indicator / tail light units at the rear are made of individual components to look more realistic.


The brand new single-door Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus models will be distributed by John Ayrey Die-Casts Limited (UK), Porte Publishing Company (Japan) and Concorde Hobby Shop (HK) respectively. The ukbus 5004 and 5007 models are limited to 1700 pieces worldwide respectively. 


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Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002

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


These are three most interesting sites which I do recommend

Bus Zone Logo (2421 bytes)

Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire

Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK

The Oxford Bus Museum

Ray Jackson Art

A web site which has paintings of buses.
Nice present for a Christmas or Birthday wish list !!


Stagecoach Handbook for 2006
from British Bus Publishing

Arriva Handbook for 2006-2007
from British Bus Publishing

The latest handbooks are now on sale, the ever
popular Stagecoach edition now in its 13th year.


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