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 214
Sunday 4th February 2007
next update week ending 17th February 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.

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To see the pictures full size just click on the thumbnail

Well, more or less back to normal but a slight twinge of back pain from time to time. Guess it will take time to get right.

This past week has seen the delivery of more Solos for Stagecoach Oxfordshire, the final service of Stratford Blue and the transfer of various Stagecoach Darts to Stratford to replace the departing SB fleet. Several interesting pictures have been received from readers plus some corrections to the last issue.

It is interesting to note that cameras are now appearing in Oxford in connection with OTS and I expect that soon vehicles ignoring the ban on their presence in the city centre will find themselves fined. In fact as the picture below show drivers should take care not to get caught.

Now hopefully cars will not blatantly ignore the bus/taxi only areas and OTS will finally become more effective.

Stratford Blue and the final hour followed by Stagecoach

Wednesday 31st January saw the final service operated under the Stratford Blue banner. Dart MPD 400 returned to the depot after the last service from Birmingham bringing to an end a period of renaissance in the town.

Richard Sharman writes "Stratford Blue - 31st of January 07. The Last vehicle to operate under EnsignBus ownership at Stratford Blue was Pointer 400,KN04 XCU." 

Seen here entering the depot at 20.30, coming off the X20 from Birmingham with a small END sign in the n/s upper window.

The following day two Darts were transferred from Witney and Stagecoach presence began to be felt in Stratford.


Thanks to Richard Sharman for the pictures and a continuing supply of information.

Chris Maxfield writes "A bit more Stratford Blue news following last weeks feature on them. The two Guide Friday liveried vehicles pictured on last weeks news pages, were towed away by breakdown from the site on Friday morning.

The LT liveried Olympian is still there, along with two of the other SB liveried deckers that were shown in Gavin's pictures.

Meanwhile, down the road at Leamington Spa, the three Olympians that were featured around 2 to 3 months ago on the pages, and were pictured at the rear of Leamington garage awaiting disposal, have also gone this week. To where, remains a mystery !!"


Richard Sharman's visit to Diamond Bus had a couple of errors which have been corrected by other readers

A reader writes "Firstly Bradford depot closed best part of a year ago when the 240 was taken away from the op. Seemingly there had been a lot of problems including a number of drivers from other parts of Europe who had many close scrapes and it is suggested that they often got lost."

Chris Maxfield had to take a coach to Plaxton's near Sheffield and took some pictures of ex Oxford Bus Darts being prepared for Diamond Bus. 403 and 405 are seen below under single door conversion.

John Marsh dedicates an item on his web site to the OCBP

John Marsh has now settled in Deeping St James, Lincs and writes "I didn't have time to tell you before we left Newbury but, as a parting gesture, I dedicated a gallery on my web site to you.  It is called "Cycling in Oxford" but you will find a few buses too!"

John's site has some very interesting pictures and is well worth a visit.

Paper buses again

Marcus Lapthorn writes "You may be aware of this already, but re 'your reference to cardboard buses, I have just been sent a sheet of card which features MUD 27W, an OBC single decker featuring a Howes Model Shop, of Broad St, Oxford all over advert!"

A question I asked about traffic lights last week.

Trevor Wilson writes "I think you will find all traffic lights are programmed to cycle round at quite times just to ensure that no one becomes trapped due to the traffic lights not registering vehicles properly."

Roadworks in Oxford City Centre can often cause some long delays

The roadworks by Magdalen College continue to cause delays. If you are lucky you may get through without a wait but if you miss a sequence then you are in for a five minute wait. As can be seen from the picture below a long queue often develops taking traffic all the way back up the High Street towards Carfax.

Various projects in connection with Park & Ride to the city reach fruition

Thornhill Bus Station to open on Monday

A bus station has been constructed at Thornhill which can be seen in the pictures below. This will formally open at 1000hrs on Monday 5th February.


Redbridge nearly ready

The new waiting room and control tower at Redbridge seems almost ready for operation. Already the 300 service is stopping at the normal stop rather than using the temporary stop at the exit.

Oxfordshire County Council to stop support for the X15

Smaller buses and a changed service are in the pipeline for the X15 which is currently operated by Thames Travel. I am awaiting more information from the county before I make further mention of changes.

Snow comes to the Chiltern but only for a few days - January 2007

A slight dusting of snow came towards the end of January and here we can see an Oxford Tube climbing out of Oxfordshire
on its journey towards London on 25th January. In the second picture an Airline coach heads Oxford bound on the day before.
The late afternoon sunshine gives pleasant colour to the two scenes.

Wycombe beat Wrexham 2-0

Gavin Francis saw Wycombe come good yesterday when they beat Wrexham 2-0. The transport for the team was provided by Motts as was transport for supporters as seen below.

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.

There has been a great deal of information and photographs to include this week and I do wish to sincerely thank all my contributors.

Malcolm Crowe - Sunday 4th February 2007

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

News of the local companies – 4th February 2007

Mike Penn  writers regarding items mentioned last week saying "A couple of points regarding this week's page.

Arriva The Shires 3336 (L516 CPJ) came from Arriva East Herts & Essex last December having arrived with them from Burtons in November 2005.  I photographed it in Harlow last year.

3137 (L43 MEH) has served much of its time at Luton, although it has had two spells at Aylesbury.  It came to the then Luton & District from Stevensons when only a few months old.  It is interesting to note that it has (or at least had when I last saw it) London Buses pattern seat moquette.  I am wondering if Stevensons bought it as a shell and fitted it out themselves using second hand DMS seats."

Carousel on Line 4 seen near Hazelmere on 24th January with some snow around.

An Arriva operated Caetano Levante en route to Bristol and Brixham - Richard Sharman.

Chris Maxfield took these pictures of Stagecoach operated Levantes at Barnsley last week.

Unusually but following an accident on the A40 which traffic chaos, coach nr 71 is seen on an X90 working on 23rd January.

Red Rose - Aylesbury

In recent weeks the Tiger pictured below by Gavin Francis has been a regular performer on the 275 to High Wycombe.

R H Transport Services Ltd

Chris Maxfield caught up with this recent arrival in the RH fleet pained in what were Thames Transit minibus colours.

Route 10 to get new branding

Rob Williams writes "Seven of the Alexander ALX200 Dart SLFs are to receive new branding for route 10. This follows a complete repaint program for all nine vehicles, the fitting of new LED destination displays and retrimmed seating. Bright yellow will replace the existing light blue which has been phased out as the repainting of the six current vehicles has progressed. The new branding will extend to a striking interior application which will feature information about the route and images of some of the major locations along it. 

33650-4 are to be fitted on Sunday 4th February, with the external items on 33655 and 33763 to follow once their repaints have been completed. Real Time information equipment is also going to be fitted shortly as part of a package agreed with Oxfordshire County Council that has seen new flags, bus shelters and RTI displays start to appear at stops along the route as part of an infrastructure upgrade. 

Route 10 was increased in frequency from 2nd January up to every 12 minutes (previously up to every 15 minutes)."

Richard Sharman caught Dart 33654, freshly overhauled and repainted at Carfax last week.

Now, who is going to be first with a picture of a Dart with the new branding in service?

Solo 47454 now fully liveried is seen in Richard Sharman's picture at Witney being used for driver familiarisation last week.

Deliveries are now almost complete and here we see 47457 which had just arrived last Thursday with 47458 behind.

Dart 33822 on the 7 at Kidlington. Picture by Chris Maxfield.

Newer Dart 34468 was caught in Park End Street by Richard Sharman on its branded route last week.

As the Varios based at Witney are nearing the end of their time at that depot and on its routes, I was pleased to receive a number of pictures from Michael Bennett who writes "On Thursday I was returning home around 13:00 and I managed to photograph the Stagecoach in Swindon driver trainer DAF SB220 / Optare Delta - No. 26026.  The photo shows it in St Michael's Avenue, Highworth, and it is following the Number 7 route.  My Stagecoach bus fleet list book of 2002 shows that it was allocated to Stagecoach - London at that time, and it was already a training vehicle by then."


"Also I was in Bampton on Friday morning hoping to see a new Solo in service.  Speaking to one of the drivers, he said that they had just the one at Witney depot, and it was being used for driver familiarization.  So I amused myself for a few minutes around 11:00 and again at 12:00 by taking a few photos of the Mercedes / ALX 100s that are the usual fare."


"I did see one of the newish Tridents - 18134 - at Bampton on a driver duty changeover at 13:00 just two years before at the end of January 2005, so it is not always just Mercedes."

Richard also took this picture of 20852 on the long X6 working leaving Gloucester Green.

Whilst Chris Maxfield was up in Barnsley he took this picture of brand new 39616.
I think these buses were ordered before SC took over the former company.

Chris Maxfield took this picture and says 20423 was once at Oxford. It is now at Barnsley.

Fleet nr   Registration Vin nr Body nr Type Seating Alloc Comments
47449 - KX56 TXN SABENMAFO7L192592 192592 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47450 - KX56 TXO SABENMAFO7L192593 192593 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47451 - KX56 TXP SABENMAFO7L192594 192694 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47452 - KX56 TXR SABENMAFO7L192595 192595 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47453 - KX56 TXS SABENMAFO7L192596 192596 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47454 - KX56 TXT SABENMAFO7L192597 192597 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47455 - KX56 TXU SABENMAFO7L192598 192598 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47456 - KX56 TXV SABENMAFO7L192599 192599 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47457 - KX56 TXW SABENMAFO7L192600 192600 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47458 - KX56 TXY SABENMAFO7L192601 192601 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered
47459 - KX56 TXZ SABENMAFO7L192602 192602 Optare Solo Slimline B28F WY M A N powered

Seen in Gloucester Green is 50115 still minus branding last week but it had acquired same by the weekend.
The other coach which has been missing its branding, 50105, has also received same last Friday.

Richard Sharman has provided a picture of the recently acquired Trident in service on the X39.


Steve Annells writes "Not a particularly good photograph, taken Saturday morning in Wallingford Market Place 3 February, but it struck me that anyone who thinks of Thames Travel as running all-white Plaxton Darts might get a shock if they'd seen this!"

Whites of Abingdon

The Solo used on the 108 has at last acquired a proper destination display.

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

A bus new to Crosville is this Olympian now with Rebound. Picture by Richard Sharman.

Nice picture of a nice coach in a nice livery taken by Richard Sharman on Saturday 3rd February.


Wycombe Bus and routes in the area by David Ive

David writes "Last Christmas, Santa Claus brought me a Scanner, so I've started scanning my own. I've not yet loaded the software properly as I need a new PC with a larger hard disk, but I've scanned a few slides and done some simple editing using Microsoft Picture Manager. 

Attached are 2 slides which I have scanned. I know the Southern National one isn't local, but I thought you might like to see it anyway as it's such a nice view. Also, I thought that the green and cream really suited VR's. Shame that, like a lot of liveries, it's been replaced by First's corporate mess. 

Talking of liveries, and with a more local slant, the other picture shows a Wycombe Bus Olympian on the A4010 near the Rose & Crown at Saunderton. A few unusual things come together here. The vehicle is one of Oxford's original 2 door vehicles, and as far as I can remember, it wasn't based at Wycombe for too long. Note the 'Wycombe Centre' blind - I don't think that they lasted too long, either. Finally, the 322 was peak hour only journey, which left Risborough at about 09:00. Not sure how different it was from the 321, but I think it ran via Southfield Road between West Wycombe and High Wycombe. I believe that the vehicle ran up to Risborough on a School journey and this was the return. Certainly something else that was short-lived."


"These days the 321 is operated by Magpie with a white Dart that has a piece of paper in the window. As a Londoner, where blinds used to be so informative, I hate bits of paper in windscreens. Some journeys on the new 'Line 300' through Risborough just display 'Bus Station' in both directions - that drives me mad, also. 

In the last 21 years, since I moved here, very few buses now use the main road to Wycombe. We used to have the X15, of course, and I will also scan you a nice picture of one of the, then, new, blue Olympians with Alexander bodywork in a dedicated livery for it. I believe the vehicle is still at Aylesbury Depot. The recent picture of the Lodekka on your site recalled days when frequent buses on the long Aylesbury - Windsor route plied the A4010 and the Naphill route was a bit of a backwater."

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. 


Would readers who respond to the above please quote my site when doing so.

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

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