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 226
Wednesday 9th May 2007
next update week ending 19th 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.

This last weekend saw your Editor enjoying a short break in north Somerset at the heritage running weekend of Quantock Motor Services.

The name Quantock comes from the range of hills which predominate the road from Taunton to Minehead.

The event was well supported and until Monday morning a very dry and sunny weekend was enjoyed. I have selected a number of pictures to give readers some idea of what was on offer.

Quantock Running Weekend - 5th to 7th May 2007

Quantock variety - buses and coaches between duties on Saturday 5th May 2007

The scene on Minehead Promenade on Saturday 5th May - something for everyone.

The East Kent TS8 is a regular at Minehead and this year saw two recently restored Crosville buses.
The North Western Bristol was a nice example and the Blue Bus Daimler looked very spruce.
The Southdown Leyland TS had just been M O T 'd and was a very sweet runner.
The Dennis Duple coach has just been professionally restored and was immaculate.

This Huddersfield Daimler CWA6 was turned out as a PMT wartime bus as it will participate in a film
about the life of Stanley Matthews.

This ex Ribble PD2 White Lady is a firm favourite in the Quantock collection.
On a warm day drivers found it very hot in the cab and it was necessary to open one of the driving windows.
It seems amazing that a company would run a 48 seat double decker but remember these were designed in the days when
single deckers took 31 to 35 passengers.

Once the pride of local operator Scarlet Motors in Minehead, this coach shows off the dorsal fin
which was considered very slick in 1948 when this coach was new.

This 1960 AEC Reliance with Weymann DP bodywork has been fully restored with retrimmed seating.
It shows the route blind for a Hanley-Manchester service run by Potteries Motor Traction in the post war years.

The base of Quantock Heritage is at Norton Fitzwarren and is home to a couple of interesting buses from our area.
The two bus, once used at Oxford, is now past its running days but a recently acquired Lynx is still roadworthy.
It is not in service however and who knows what is future maybe. I am told its engine would fit a Tiger coach.

Not all the buses and coaches in fleet are old and this Scania is the regular performer on the Porlock Hill - Lynmouth service.
Its livery and internal seating trim replicates the Ribble White Lady theme.
The open top Routemaster failed to appear having been sold to an operator in York.

The next weekend planned running days are 4th and 5th August and will, I am sure, be well worth a visit. The other added attraction of the area is the West Somerset Railway which runs from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead and below is the recently restored S&DJR 2-8-0 nr 88 which was running last weekend.

Who likes Great Western ? - you'd have been spoilt for choice last weekend at Minehead.

Canterbury comments by Tim Burns

Tim Burns writes "Thanks ever so for the website and its contents. As for West Gate at Canterbury, I well remember the squeeze for all buses when I was a student there in the early 80's.

AEC Regent V were my favourite ride, especially when they were storming up St Stephens Hill. Mind you, the last round of Bristol VRs had a particularly powerful engine, which really could make mincemeat of the hill. 

It was always amazing how the drivers fitted the buses through such a tight gap. I think a mirror was scraped only once in the years I lived in the City - not bad really.

The AEC's were lovely machines, once described by East Kent bus drivers as "boy racer" buses - I understand they could reach 70mph - though not in the city Centre of course! They still seem to be a few with Stagecoach East Kent (as it now is) and there is a Herne Bay bus rally in August which brings out these and other machines. I've been meaning to go but have not been able to fit it in up to now.

Thanks again for the article - brought back many memories."

Thank YOU Tim, it makes the effort worthwhile and it shows the value of including other areas.

Binders Yard, High Wycombe - Thames Valley preserved buses

Ed Maun writes "Seeing the photo of ex Thames valley Bristol KSW 748 (JRX 823) in issue 225 in Binders yard, brought to mind the preserved Thames Valley Bristol K 446 (DBL 154) which I have not seen or heard of for a while.   Do you know if it is still around?"

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.

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

RM29 in London by Peter Edgar

Peter Edgar writes "Having just read your latest newsletter it reminded me that I meant to send you the attached picture of RM 29.

Timebus have recently returned the vehicle to service after giving it a full repaint, and reinstalling the  traditional front upper deck opening windows.

RM 29 was one of the last vehicles returned to service by TfL after refurbishment by Marshall`s and operated on the last day of route 159 in December 2005."

Photograph taken at St Pauls Cathedral Coach Park.

(Is it that long ago that the 159 ran! Ed.)

Seagulls over Sorento by Alan Gelson

Alan Gelson writes "I took this picture whilst I was on holiday in Sorento, Italy. I thought this picture might have been of interest as its just like the ones in the U.K. - well except for the left hand drive etc."

Ex Oxford area buses in their new homes

From time to time I receive pictures of buses and coaches from our area and two landed on my desk this week which are interesting.

Go West Midlands are now operating what was R9 OXF on their National Express diagrams.
This coach has just received NEx vinyls and looked very smart.
Inside it still proclaims "Excalibur" class gained when it was refurbished for the X90 "espress" service.
GWM will lose the 777 shortly but many drivers are transferring to Dunn Line where new coaches will run this service.

Russell Young sent this picture of ex Stagecoach (Thames Transit) Dennis Lance 901 now with GWM in its Diamond Bus fleet.

Buses in the landscape

Peter Edgar writes "Not sure if the attached are eligible for the 'Buses in Landscape' feature?

These were taken on my recent journey through the Panama Canal and show the road that crosses the  bottom lock at Gaturn (Atlantic end of the Panama)

A point of interest other than the bus crossing the lock is that the ship on the left was carrying somewhere in the region of 1000 containers."

Spot the bus - doesn't it look small.

Our second submission this week is from Andrew Millwood.
The fountains in High Wycombe.

Finally my own for this week is "the bus and the train" - Watchet last weekend.

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 - Wednesday 9th May 2007

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

News of the local companies – 9th May 2007

Lots of information on Arriva this week starting with Matt Robinson who writes "Here is the link to the fleet list site, I found it when I googled one of the buses' registration numbers while looking for photos.

I'm not sure how up to date it is as it still has 3126 and 3855 showing (although if my memory serves me right both of these were disposed of some time ago?)

A further link for the site in question is

Matt goes on to say "I travelled into Luton from home on Olympian 5143 (N43JPP) on 24s this morning. The engine sounded pretty rough. 5139 seemed to be in a much better condition than it's sister on the return journey.

I also noticed that the destination screen on Scania 3608 is currently not working at all. Passing through Dunstable on Saturday morning it was on the 31 and the driver was having problems programming the display. It displayed 31 but no destination, just wavy lines.

I've not had a chance for a look yet, but have been informed of 5 new Wright B45F Volvo B7RLEs entering service at Stevenage. They are reported as:
3868 KE 07 EVX
3869 KE 07 EVY
3870 KE 07 EWA
3871 KE 07 EWB
3872 KE 07 EWC.

They entered service a couple of weeks ago. My original assumption was that they must be for the 100/1/2 but I have been told that in fact they're replacing some of the Volvo B6s on Stevenage town services 2/3/4/5 alongside the existing Volvo/ALX300s there. I've not seen any working into Luton on 100s so far either, although 3454 and 3457 are regular performers on the route of late (complete with local Stevenage route branding). 3457 has an electronic destination display fitted.

Not sure what they plan to do with the displaced B6s. Although I must say that they all appear to be in far better condition than the newer M reg ones at Luton. (I've heard them described by some drivers as "burning coal fires" in the back of them!)

I also understand there are 3 Optare Solos due at Watford. I will try and get some details on these."
  (I wonder if these are for the Line 40 at Wycombe? Ed.)

Soon to be but a memory, Olympian 5122 is seen on a mid day working to Ibstone last week, passing through Stokenchurch.

Whilst running through Luton airport last week I spotted this Olympian, 5137, on the 31 which normally seems to be a single deck route.

Stu writes "just to let you know that 5141 has gone from Luton but to Watford instead. In return they sent 5118 but being a height bridge bus 14'6" it was no good to us. Therefore 5118 was swapped with Wycombe for 5135 which is now a Luton.

On the green line 757 services there will be 4 coaches being painted  in
easybus orange. 4363 or 4364 is in the process and 4054 will be done soon with digital destinations fitted.

This is so that the easybus sprinters can be used on a new Stansted service."

Your Editor noted that Wycombe allocated Dart 3482 was working in Hemel last week. It carried a large £ in the drivers windscreen, so may have been a temporary transfer?



Glenn Knight sent this picture of Dart 451, taken at Silver Street, Luton on 3rd May 2007.
Does this mean that Red Rose have lost the 327?

Picture by Gavin Francis

News of the week from Oxford is the re-registration of the V reg batch of coaches and so far three have been noted.

15 V15 OXF - now V282 SBW
16 V16 OXF - now V284SBW
17 V17 OXF - now V281SBW

Note that yet again the batch is not registered in order which is a pity really and makes it difficult to remember, especially in the years to come what was what.

Picture by Gavin Francis

Thanks to Gavin Francis and Stephen Le Bras for their sightings.

Edgar Burcio took this picture on a rainy day at Terminal 4, Heathrow.

R H Transport 

Richard Sharman writes "Courtesy of Ross Newman, the R.H Transport Spectra's will be K312/23 FYG, new to London Central but latterly with Go-North East. They are currently in paint and due at Yarnton Depot end of next to early part of the following week. 

The revised X15 start's from the 4th of June."

Chris Maxfield caught up with 1 route branded 22943 working a 7 service on 2nd May.

This ex Swindon Volvo B6 was caught working the 59 in Oxford last week by Gavin Francis.

Caught on camera by Suzy Scott is this Cambridge Trident. Now where have I seen those two girls before?

Currently on loan at Stratford is Cummins engined DAF DB250/Northern Counties 346, this retains it o/s exit door!
Picture & Report by Richard Sharman

Glenn Knight reports that "As from 20th May VT99 Luton Airport - Milton Keynes is going every 30minutes timetable link >"

I expect this means that the coach used recently on the X6 will revert to the VT99? 

From the same batch as the Oxford Scanias, 59206 is from Stagecoach Yorkshire but seen on stand 10 in Gloucester Green last week.
Picture by Gavin Francis.

Not to be outdone by my picture last week, Gavin Francis sent this picture of 50123 receiving
a new upper deck windscreen at Horspath depot last week.

Gavin Francis sent this picture of a Preston based 15 metre Volvo on a Megabus working in London.

Pearces of Berinsfield

This company has a new small coach as seen in this picture from Gavin Francis

Thames Travel have got this Enviro 400 on demonstration. Picture by Robin Clare.

Gavin Francis got two shots of the Enviro 400 in Oxford City Centre.
It was proving somewhat elusive.


On the subject of registrations, this one is on a pick up used by Weavaway.
Picture by Rob Williams.

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

Gavin Francis caught up with this delightful little coach at Oxpens last weekend.



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