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Monday 5th January 2009
(next update week ending 17th January 2009)
Now in our 11th year
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Well it seems ages since I last put fingers to keyboard in the preparation of my "weekly" news page. As I explained on 18th December my wife had an operation to replace her right knee. This has meant me getting stuck into housework and various domestic duties normally taken care of by my good lady. I really did not have an appreciation of just how much there is to do, especially when one is working full time as I presently do. Anyway Elizabeth is progressing well and apart from a slip on my coach just over a week ago, resulting in an unexpected visit to the John Radcliffe A&E for stitches to my right elbow, we are now getting back on track and I have a little time to prepare the first page for 2009 and the first for nearly eight weeks.
I have appreciated your kind messages of concern and also the continued flow of e-mails and photos which have been received during my enforced break.
So much has been happening and at one point I wondered how I would get back into the swing of things but I have now cleared my backlog of e-mails, edited the photos to be used in this issue and am now down to final preparation.
New buses, take-overs, attacks on drivers, revised routes - all feature in this issue. Also the planned developments to Oxford City Centre traffic continue to feature in the local papers. In fact you can read about a planned public debate at the following link.
The weather is once again a talking point with one of the longest cold spells in recent times making the big return to work more hazardous than usual. Indeed this morning's weather forecast suggest that we face another five or more days of these freezing conditions.
In late November I received a request from UK Highways to use some pictures taken 5 years ago in a period of heavy snow on the M40. I saw no problem with this and was pleasantly surprised to find they had used the two pictures provided for their Christmas cards giving the page due acknowledgement.
I much appreciate the continued support from so many of you and hope 2009 will be a bumper years for the page. Keep the contributions coming. Oh and do accept my apologies if I've not used any contributions sent but I've had a big job to keep up in recent weeks.
Malcolm Crowe, 5th January 2009
Menu for News Page Issue 5th January 2009
Archive Index (previous News Pages)
Introduction & main menu
Editorial & Features plus Picture Corner
Company and Fleet News
Concessionary Travel, Buses in the Landscape, Running Days and Historical articles.
A note regarding photographs which show drivers faces.
Following one complaint from a bus driver 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.
Other items of interest including models, links and accommodation.
Sim Bowman has written regarding his web site and I thought this would prove useful to anyone wanting to visit our area and intending to stay overnight in the Chilterns.
Accommodation in the Chilterns
is in the air! Visit the Chilterns and then, why not stay for a while? If your
looking for a country cottage, a pub, an inn or hotel in the UK within easy
reach of London, then we think you may have found the answer. Lying only a few
miles north-west of London, the Chilterns are a designated
Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty lying within the counties of
Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and the
Thames Valley and there are literally hundreds of places to stay and things to
do in the Chilterns to choose from.
The Chilterns remain an unspoilt area of gently rolling chalk hills, perfect walking country with beautiful beech woods full of wildlife, quiet valleys and charming brick and flint villages with welcoming pubs, inns and hotels. The Ridgeway, an official National Trail, runs from one end to the other and with a myriad of other footpaths the Chilterns offer easily accessible walking in beautiful countryside and only half an hour from north London!
So, if you're looking for holiday accommodation, a short stay or maybe just something to do for the day in the Chilterns - we can help! The Let's Stay Chilterns holiday accommodation and tourist guide features everything from self catering and VB inspected Chilterns holiday cottages, budget and luxury Chilterns hotels, Chilterns bed and breakfast accommodation, guest houses, Chilterns camping and caravanning sites, Chilterns pubs and inns, pet friendly places, properties with facilities for wheelchair users, restaurants, attractions, things to do in the Chilterns and much more.
For more information on the Chiltern Hills please see our new Chilterns Guide.
For more images of the Chilterns and other areas click here.
Altogether a very useful site.
Interesting photo link
Doug Spencer has a nice photo site readers may like to check out.
Trident model with an Oxford flavour
ukbus 1036 Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire
Creative Master Northcord is proud to release a brand new livery on its well-known casting – the Alexander Dennis ALX400-bodied Trident. This is ukbus 1036 carrying standard Stagecoach livery but with special route branding livery.
This model represents Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 (KX55 TLN). This is the second Stagecoach in Oxfordshire ADL ALX400-bodied Trident model that CMNL produced. The previous one is ukbus 1026 with Brookes bus colours.
Stagecoach in Oxfordshire 18394 is one of a fleet of seven Tridents introduced onto route 27 in March 2006 to replace Volvo B10M single deckers. Route 27 operates between Oxford and Bicester up to every 15 minutes at busy times with three main route variants around Bicester – 27A to Glory Farm and Launton, 27B to Glory Farm and Langford and 27C to Ambrosden and Arncott.
18394 is one of three vehicles which carry supplementary branding for the Bicester Duo ticket which was introduced during 2007. The ticket allows two people to travel from Bicester to Oxford for the price of one.
The replica features excellent detailing, inside and out, including an opening engine door, engine detail and the representation of LED lights at the rear. This is a one-piece casting whose clean lines accentuate the windows and livery application on which all logos and lettering are clearly legible. The model has no unnecessary metal poles to hold it together.
It will be a good opportunity to make a twin Stagecoach in Oxfordshire bus model set with ukbus 1036 and ukbus 1025 representing the common street scene in Oxford.
PSV Circle publishes latest issue of the fleet list for Berkshire and Oxfordshire
Ken MacKenzie writes to note that the new PSV Circle fleet list for Berkshire/Oxfordshire (G432) is now available.
Those readers wishing to buy a copy should write to: PSV Circle, 59 Palmer Avenue, Cheam SM3 8EF - Cost id £7.00 plus 50p P & P and it will also be available at the PSV Circle sales stand at Showbus 2007.
This will be a most useful reference for all those interested in the local scene.
Editors review - I have now had chance to review this book and it is indeed very useful, giving details of all known fleets in Berks and Oxon. Whilst some information is not totally up to date it allows the readers to have a comprehensive view of the local fleets and up dates can be gained by joining the PSV Circle. At £7.00 this represents value for money as it also includes a number of good photographs.
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.
Model News of an Oxford bus
Guy writes to send a picture of the latest offering on the model front related to Oxford.
A photo disc for your collection
This week I can bring details of a really super new photo disc from Vics cliix. The disc contains pictures taken in the early 1970s by Vic Zealey and copies can be obtained through Malcolm Hyland's web site http://www.cliix.co.uk.
Here are some samples of the 158 pictures on this disc.
The quality is good and they are all at high resolution.
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.
Robin sent me a copy of his latest DVD to review. "Today's buses - Oxfordshire" is the compelling title which includes Henley, Wallingford and Didcot before the viewer is taken onto Wantage, Witney, Banbury and finally Bicester. Each of these locations is covered in2 to 5 minutes and each shows the current selection of buses and coaches to be found. Finally over 37 minutes is devoted to Oxford with filming in a variety of locations in the city.
On another subject the road sense and behaviour of cyclists in Oxford has to be seen to be believed!!!!
The quality of the DVD is excellent and one can really see clearly the details of each vehicle, something which older video always seemed unable to do. All the latest developments are shown in this September 2007 DVD, including workings from Broad Street during the St Giles Fair weekend.
The DVD provides a unique record of events in Oxfordshire during this period and at £10 is not a very large outlay.
74 Polruan Place, Fishermead,
Milton Keynes MK6 2EA
The full details of DVDs available from Robin Clare may be found at his web site :- http://www.robinclare.co.uk/
Dave Rogers sent the following press release.
CREATIVE MASTER NORTHCORD - 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
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002 to date
These are nine most interesting sites which I do recommend
Mike Penn's photo page with much from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire as well as Buckinghamshire
Chris Lowe's Photo page - mainly North West UK
John Marsh's pictures with a difference
The Oxford Bus Museum
A web site which has paintings of buses.
Arriva Handbook for 2007-2008
The latest handbooks are now
on sale, the ever
Bus Services in Buckinghamshire
Bus services in Oxfordshire
Bus services in Hertfordshire
Where are the Chilterns?
Visit this informative site through the link below.
Visit the "OXFORD BUS PAGE" Archive 1998 - 2002
Visit the "OXFORD & CHILTERN BUS PAGE " Archives from October 2002